Plans for greater protection for those people most at risk from gambling harm have been backed by Knowsley Cabinet Members.
The Council must review its Statement of Gambling Policy every three years and Knowsley has carried out an extensive consultation exercise as part of its review, far wider than the statutory requirements of the Gambling Act.
Following the extensive consultation, the updated policy includes strengthened measures to protect children, young people, and vulnerable persons from gambling harm.
Cllr Shelley Powell, Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, said:
“We know from national research that areas like Knowsley, with the most socio-economically deprived and disadvantaged groups, are also the most susceptible to gambling harm.
“The Council has only limited powers to refuse gambling licence applications but must protect children, young people and vulnerable people from gambling harm. Plans are underway to develop local area profiles that will be used in conjunction with the updated draft policy to help try and protect those in Knowsley most at risk from gambling harm.
“These profiles will be used to help target resources and to require operators with gambling premises in local risk areas to address any increased risk of harm.”
Stakeholders including the Council’s own Environmental Health, Planning, and Public Health services, as well as Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs, the Borough’s Parish and Town Councils, and Faith Groups were consulted, in addition to Merseyside Police, representatives of gambling businesses, and persons likely to be affected by the policy.
The Borough’s Licensing Committee and the Sustainable Borough Scrutiny Committee have also considered and contributed to the policy.
The draft policy will now be submitted to a full meeting of the Council for approval in December.