Venue: Meeting to be held virtually
Contact: Claudia Wakefield, Senior Governance Officer
Declaration of Members' Interests
In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, Members are asked to declare any interest they may have in any matter which is to be considered at this meeting.
There were no declarations of interest.
The Council’s Licensing Officer presented a report in respect of an application for a Bingo Premises Licence under the Gambling Act 2005, in respect of Merkur Slots (UK) Ltd at 247 Heathway, Dagenham, RM9 5BG. The application proposed that the premises would provide bingo by way of 20 G-Tab bingo tablets and 30 gaming machines, with 20% being Category B machines and the remaining machines with either Category C or D content. The application initially proposed that the premises would operate seven days a week between the hours of 09:00am and 02.00am, with bingo permitted between the hours of 09:00am to midnight only; however, following conciliation with the Metropolitan Police, the applicant proposed the operational hours of 09:00am to midnight each day.
Five representations had initially been received from two responsible authorities, which were the Council’s Licensing Authority Responsible Authority Officer (LARAO) and the Metropolitan Police Licensing Officer (MPLO), as well as three local residents. The representations from the LARAO and MPLO had both been made under two of the three licensing objectives, namely ‘preventing gambling from being a source of crime and disorder, being associated with crime & disorder or being used to support crime’ and ‘protecting children and other vulnerable people from harm or from being exploited by gambling’, whilst the three representations received from local residents were raised under all three licensing objectives.
On 2 December 2021, a ‘conciliation’ meeting was arranged between officers from the applicant’s company, the applicant’s representative, the LARAO and the MPLO. This conciliation did not result in the withdrawal of any representation but as referred to above, resulted in a reduction of the operating hours from 02:00am to midnight each day. Further conciliation between the MPLO and the applicant’s representative took place via email and resulted in the Police Licensing representation being withdrawn on the basis of the reduced operating times from 02:00am to midnight each day, and further additional conditions, as set out at section 2.17, page 9 of the agenda.
It was noted that the company currently operated under a similar bingo premises licence, at Cashino Gaming, 62 East Street, Barking, IG11 8RQ. There were five other gambling licensed premises in close proximity to the proposed premises.
The Sub-Committee then heard from the LARAO, who set out his representation as per page 61 of the agenda. The representation was made in support of the Council’s Gambling Licensing Policy, which had been informed by the Council’s risk assessment of local area vulnerability to gambling-related harm. The risk assessment took relevant Public Heath, Police and socioeconomic data sets and used spatial analysis techniques to produce a model of vulnerability to gambling-related harm across the Borough. The risk assessment, together with that provided by the index of multiple deprivation, showed the Borough to be subject to widespread deprivation to which gambling-related harm contributed. As a consequence, the Policy stated its concern and opposition to the siting of further gambling premises in the most deprived or vulnerable and at-risk areas of the ... view the full minutes text for item 6.