Knowsley’s updated Gambling Policy aims to better protect those most vulnerable from gambling harm and was tonight noted by members at a full meeting of Knowsley Council (Wednesday 19 January).
Knowsley carried out an extensive consultation as part of its review of the existing policy and the update includes strengthened measures to protect communities who are most vulnerable to the harms caused by problem gambling.
The Council must publish, and review every three years, a Statement of Gambling Policy. Council heard that the Gambling Policy was subject to an urgent decision by the Chief Executive after the meeting of the Council where it was due to be considered (15 December 2021) had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 and guidance in relation to the latest variant.
Cllr Shelley Powell, Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, said:
“Councils like Knowsley have limited powers under the law to refuse licensing applications for gambling premises – and when we know the financial and mental health harms that can be caused to individuals and families this is a real cause for concern.
“Nobody wants to see families suffer whilst gambling companies profit at their expense. It’s really important we do whatever we can – within the limited powers that a local authority has – to protect vulnerable people from harm.
“We’ve listened to the concerns of people in Knowsley and will be working to identify information about local areas of our borough particularly vulnerable to harmful gambling. This will enable us to use the powers we do have to protect these communities.”
Read the report and updated Gambling Policy on the council’s website.