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Bolton Gambling Licenses On The Rise

Thursday, February 7th, 2019 6:40am

By Joseph Timan - Local Democracy Reporter

Gambling premises in the borough will have to pay more for their licences.

Premises licence fees will rise to the maximum level, almost doubling the cost.

The fees were previously set at 55 per cent of the statutory maximum.

The move was to address the “under recovery” of costs associated with providing gambling licences.

Cllr Sue Haworth, who chaired the licensing committee which approved the change, voted against the rise in fees.

The Harper Green councillor said she would prefer to spread the cost of such a large increase over two years.

She said: “It had not been brought to my attention that we had a lower fee for a number of years. If there’s going to be a large increase on something, I would split the uplift in two. I would have done one increase and the next year another increase.

“It’s not a problem for me. It’s just something that I thought about. There were other members on the day who made arguments why they felt it’s not a problem from these businesses.”

Councils are required to review and publish their statement of principles, commonly referred to The Gambling Policy, every three years.

The most recent version of this was published in 2016, meaning it is due for review this year.

A report approved at the meeting provided information about the proposed changes and the consultation process to be followed.

It was presented at a Licensing and Environmental Regulation Committee meeting took place on December 18.

The draft statement of principles and the increase in licence fees were approved with 12 out of 13 councillors voting for it.

It was moved by Cllr Nick Peel and seconded by Cllr Bagnall.

During the meeting, councillors also granted two private hire vehicle licences and refused one on the grounds that the driver did not declare convictions on his application form.

The meeting lasted just under three hours.

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