Cardi councillors refuse to fold over casinos
Katy Jenkins, local democracy reporter
Ceredigion councillors have reiterated their objection to casinos in the county and called for greater restrictions on gambling advertising.
During an update on national Gambling Commission research and the upcoming need to review the council’s gambling policy at licensing committee members voted unanimously in repeating previous objections to allowing a casino to be set up in Ceredigion.
The council, as licensing authority, is due to review its gambling policy under the Gambling Act 2005 this year with the draft policy to be consulted on.
At committee on Thursday councillors were clear that the policy should retain its clause that bans casinos from Ceredigion.
Cllr Marc Davies also raised concerns about gambling advertising, particularly on TV, with members also worried about a lack of control on the age of those accessing online gambling.
He said more pressure to limit advertising – or stop it altogether – was needed, adding that no other “addictive substances” were advertised so freely.
This was noted by senior licensing officer Gareth Rees who said that there is a problem with control of gambling on devices such as mobile phones and it was hopefully going to be looked at as part of an upcoming Government White Paper.
The Gambling Commission has published a new study examining gambling in young people and adults aged 16 to 30, outlined for members, and further information from the Government discussions will be fed back to the committee.
It found that exposure to the positive and negative extremes of gambling (e.g. witnessing big wins or big losses, or being exposed to very positive or very negative attitudes about gambling) at an early age led to an increased interest in gambling in later life, and in some cases riskier or more harmful gambling behaviour
The study also found that friends and family played a hugely influential role in shaping gambling behaviour, whilst advertising and marketing played a lesser role in influencing young people’s tendency to gamble, acting as a trigger or nudge to play as opposed to the reason to start gambling.
Tim Miller, Executive Director of the Gambling Commission said: “Protecting consumers is at the heart of everything we do, and it is important we understand the ways in which children and young people gain exposure to gambling, the products they are playing, and what factors influence their relationship with gambling.
“This latest research forms an important part of our ongoing and wider research programme into gambling behaviours and latest trends across Great Britain.
“Action to protect consumers should be led by evidence and today’s research publication provides important insights specifically into the ways that children and young people can be protected from gambling harms.”