Gambling business in East Ayrshire were visited last week by staff from East Ayrshire Council and the Gambling Commission to check that they are complying with the terms of their gambling licences.
The joint visits to local Licensed Betting Offices, Adult Gaming Centres and Family Entertainment Centres were part of a programme of educational and awareness raising activity taking place in four council areas across Scotland organised by SOLACE (the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives) and COSLA, the umbrella body for local government in Scotland.
Under the Gambling Act 2005, gambling premises operate under a local premises licence which is issued by the local Licensing Board with the gambling operator being licensed by the Gambling Commission. The Commission expects operators to meet standards set out in its Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice.
Figures from the Scottish Health Survey published in 2016 suggested that 0.8% of the adult population in the Ayrshire and Arran Health Board area identified as problem gamblers (using PGSI or DSM-IV screens) with a further 3.2% of the adult population at low or moderate risk of problem gambling (using PGSI screen).
Councillor Clare Maitland, East Ayrshire Council Cabinet Spokesperson for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Addiction Recovery said: “The adverse impacts of gambling can affect not only the individual, but also the health and wellbeing of families and communities, so we want to make sure that everything possible is being done to protect local people who may be at risk of particular gambling harms.”
Helen Venn, Commission Executive Director said: “The Commission was pleased to be make joint visits with Council colleagues to make sure that operators are meeting the standards which the Commission expects from them in running a gambling licensed premises. Our visits reminded operators about their responsibilities in holding a gambling licence and protecting their customers from gambling harm.”