The Gambling Act 2005 received Royal Assent on 7 April and as a result licensing of premises will become the responsibility of local authorities. The licensing authorities will be obliged to adopt a Statement of Principals by the beginning of 2007 and Epping Forest District Council will soon be consulting with residents on its draft policy.
Under the new regime the licensing authority is required to prevent gambling being a source of or associated with crime and disorder or being used to support crime. They also have to ensure that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way and protect children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling. The licensing authority is also responsible for licensing premises where gambling activities are to take place, the issuing of permits for the use of certain gaming machines and the registration of small society lotteries.
However licensing authorities will not license remote gambling or the individuals who operate gambling establishments as this falls to the Gambling Commission via Operator Licences.
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