Clause 22 - Policy for licensing and regulation

Part of Gambling Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:00 pm on 16th November 2004.

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Photo of Richard Caborn Richard Caborn Minister of State (Sport and Tourism), Department for Culture, Media & Sport 5:00 pm, 16th November 2004

Amendment No. 111 would require the gambling commission, in issuing or revising its policy for licensing and regulation, to consult only those businesses that were affected by the statement or a revision to the statement. Under the provisions of the Bill as currently drafted, the commission is required to consult organisations representing gambling businesses. That duty is wider than would be the case under the proposed amendment.

The Government believe that it is unnecessary to restrict in that way the commission's ability to consult the gambling industry. When the commission issues its policy for licensing and regulation, it will cover how it will apply the principles to all sectors of the gambling industry. It is therefore right that the commission should be able to engage in a wide consultation exercise across the industry. That applies equally to amendments to the policy proposed by the commission; gambling businesses that are not directly affected by a revision but that may have to deal with its consequences should have the opportunity to make their views known. The amendment would preclude that in an unnecessarily restrictive way.

Amendment No. 92 would require the Commission to consult industry trade bodies before issuing or revising a code of practice. The amendment appears to be based on a misunderstanding of clause 23. As drafted, clause 23 requires the commission, before revising a code of practice, to consult

''one or more persons who appear to the Commission to represent the interests of persons who . . . carry on gambling businesses.''

The clause therefore already provides the commission with the scope to consult industry trade bodies.

Amendment agreed to.