Chance to have a say on gambling

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COUNCIL chiefs are urging folk not to leave things to chance and have their say on Wigan’s future gambling policy.

Local residents, licensed businesses, interest groups and public agencies are all being asked to air their views on how best the local authority can police the industry in a fair way that prevents criminality and protects the vulnerable.

The Gambling Act 2005 requires all councils to prepare and publish a Gambling Licensing Policy Statement every three years and a review into the current policy, due to expire in January, is now under way.

Coun Paul Prescott, chair of Wigan Council’s Licensing Committee, said: “A revised draft Gambling Licensing Policy Statement has been produced and comments are invited on the proposed changes. We need to ensure that the policy promotes the three statutory gambling licensing objectives. First, to prevent gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime.

“Second, to ensure that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way. And third, to protect children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.”

Copies of the revised draft policy are available for inspection at all of the borough’s libraries, Wigan Town Hall, Wigan Life Centre and Leigh Town Hall.

The policy can also be viewed on the council website. Go to www.wigan.gov.uk and search: draft gambling policy. Submit comments using a Consultation Response Form also available at the above website link.

Alternatively, responses can be made by letter or by email to licensing@wigan.gov.uk

Comments should be submitted in writing to Mr S Wearing, Principal Licensing Officer, Wigan Council, Places Directorate, Trading Standards and Licensing Section, Town Hall, Wigan, WN1 1YN no later than October 1.