Gambling policy Part A
2.1. Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council is situated centrally in the County of Hertfordshire, which contains ten District/Borough Councils in total. The Council area has a population of 122,000 in the latest (mid – 2016) estimate an increase of approximately 10.4% since the 2011 Census making it the fifth largest in the County in terms of population. The Council area covers an area of approximately 130 square kilometres and is mainly rural with two central residential and commercial centres of Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City and numerous rural villages. These areas are shown in the map at Appendix A. Welwyn Garden City is the largest town in the borough with around 42% of the borough’s total population and Hatfield is slightly smaller with around 34 % of the borough’s population. Both towns have a wide range of retail and services serving both the towns themselves and the wider local area, as well as large regionally – significant employment areas with a particular prevalence of large businesses and national headquarters. Hatfield is also home to the two main campuses of the University of Hertfordshire, giving the town a notable student population.
2.2. The borough health profile shows that the borough’s health is generally better than the English average. About 15% of children live in low income families. Life expectancy for both men and women is higher than the England average. The rates of alcohol-related harm and self-harm hospital stays are better than average for England. Rates of statutory homelessness, violent crime and long term unemployment are better than average. Local profiles involve reducing obesity and increasing physical activity in adults, reducing smoking, and helping the growing older population maintain their health.
2.3 As at January 2018 the number of licences, permits and registrations are as follows.
- Nil casinos
- Nil bingo clubs
- 15 licensed betting offices
- About 140 alcohol premises and regulated clubs (who may request a grant or renewal of gaming machine permits)
- About 50 Small Society Lotteries
2.4 The Gambling Act 2005 requires the Council to prepare and publish a “Statement of Licensing Policy” that sets out the principles that the Council will apply in exercising their functions under the Act while having regard to the licensing objectives. This policy statement must be published at least every three years. The policy statement must also be reviewed from “time to time” and any amended parts re-consulted upon. The statement must then be re-published.
2.5 Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council is the Licensing Authority under the Gambling Act 2005 and is responsible for granting premises licences in the Borough of Welwyn Hatfield in respect of: -
- Casino premises;
- Bingo premises;
- Betting premises, including tracks;
- Adult Gaming Centres;
- Family Entertainment Centres
2.6 This “Statement of Licensing Policy” has been prepared having regard to the provisions of the Guidance issued by the Gambling Commission and the licensing objectives of the Gambling Act 2005. It is intended to be a discussion document leading to adoption by The Council of a formal Statement of Licensing Policy, after having due regard to any responses from those consulted on the policy statement.
2.7 The revised policy will come into effect on the date of adoption by the Council and will be reviewed as necessary, and at least every three years from the date of adoption.