People in Tower Hamlets are to be asked to comment on the council’s gambling policy following concerns over the effects of betting shops in shopping centres.
The Gambling Act 2005 expects local authorities to review their policy every three years following an initial consultation.
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “My cabinet has expressed concern about the socio-economic impact of betting shops on town centres and it is important that the policy reflects the community’s views.”
“I am pleased to offer the chance to residents to help inform the council’s new gambling policy.”
“We have been looking at the work other local authorities have done in addressing the proliferation of betting shops and want to ensure that Tower Hamlets demonstrates best practice in this area,” he added.
There are three licensing objectives highlighted in the Gambling Act that a council must include into any policy.
The first objective is to prevent gambling being a source of crime or disorder, secondly to make sure that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way and the final objective is to protect children and other vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling.
James Cook, corporate affairs officer at the Gambling Commission, a betting regulatory body, said: “The Commission encourages licensing authorities to have a statement of policy that is genuinely reflective of local issues, local data, local risk and the expectations that a licensing authority has of operators who either currently offer gambling facilities or wish to do so in the future.”
He added: “It acts as the primary vehicle for setting out the licensing authority’s approach to regulation having taken into account local circumstances”.
The current gambling policy has been running since 2013 which will end next year.
Tower Hamlets council says the consultation period will run from October 19 until January 17, 2016.
If you wish to comment on the proposals, or make comments about gambling in the borough you can contact the council via email