Gambling licensing policy

Last updated: 1 April 2022

Gambling premises licences: risk assessment

Gambling operators, such as those operating betting shops and adult gaming centres, are required to assess local risks posed by the provision of gambling facilities at each of their premises and how these risks may undermine the licensing objectives.

The Council expects risk assessments to be structured in a manner that offers sufficient assurance that a premises has suitable controls and procedures in place. These control measures should reflect the level of risk within the particular area, which will be determined by local circumstances.

Risk does not necessarily relate to events that have happened but also to events that could happen. Risk is related to the probability of an event happening and the likely impact of that event on one or more of the licensing objectives.

The Licensing Authority will challenge an operator’s risk assessment where it can be evidenced that there are local risks that the operator has failed to take into consideration or where proposed control measures are deemed to be inadequate.

Licensees and applicants are required to share their local risk assessments with licensing authorities when applying for a premises licence, applying for a variation to an existing premises licence or otherwise at the request of the licensing authority.

Information provided within risk assessments may be used by the Licensing Authority when determining applications for:

  • new licences
  • variations
  • provisional statements
  • reviews

Operators are strongly encouraged to refer to relevant information provided with the Local Area Profile in conjunction with the licensing objectives when formulating or reviewing their risk assessments.

Local factors

Local risk assessments must take into account any relevant matters identified in the Licensing Authority’s statement of licensing policy.

Risk assessments should take into account the risks presented by the local landscape, such as the premises’ exposure to particular vulnerable groups and crime. For example, premises located near temporary accommodation for the homeless or addiction rehabilitation centres will require specific risk identification and appropriate control measures to be put in place.

Operators are required to produce or update a risk assessment when:

  • applying for a new premises licence
  • applying for a variation to a premises licence
  • significant changes in the local environment or at the premises warrant the review of a risk assessment

Changes to risk assessments

It is the operator’s responsibility to identify when significant changes require their existing risk assessment to be reviewed.

To assist, the Licensing Authority will notify licensed operators when changes are made to the Local Area Profile which accompanies this policy. The characteristics identified in local area profiles are not exhaustive and operators may identify other significant factors that they need to take into account.

Operators are expected to take a proactive approach in reacting to significant changes to the local environment and they should not wait to be notified by the Licensing Authority before reviewing their risk assessment to account for a change in local circumstances.

Operators will need to review their risk assessment when changes occur at their premises, arising for example from changes to layouts or working practices.

Copies of risk assessments

It is considered to be good practice for operators to hold a copy of local risks assessments at the premises to which it relates.