Highland Licensing Board agrees response to betting consultation
The Highland Licensing Board met today to consider their response to the call for evidence on the UK and Scottish Governments’ proposals on the devolution of powers relating to Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs).
The Board unanimously endorsed proposals for the Scottish Government to be given powers to regulate fixed odds betting machines which are currently controlled by the UK Government.
Chair of the Highland Licensing Board, Councillor Ian Cockburn said: “I’m pleased that our proposed response received the full backing of the Board today as currently our powers to refuse betting licence applications are very restricted and we have very little control over the number of FOBTs operating.
“In our response we make it clear we would like to see clause 45 apply not just to new betting premises licences but also existing ones. This would allow us to reduce the number of FOBTs already operating, particularly in Inverness where three betting premises are within 200m of each other and between them they currently operate 12 FOBTs.”
In its response the Board also highlights that it would like to see amendments made to the Gambling Act 2005 to enable Licensing Boards to refuse an application for a betting premises licence in their area if they consider that there is an over provision. Local authorities currently have powers to restrict numbers of other types of licensed premises in particular localities on the grounds of over provision, but has no power to do so in respect of betting premises.