Consultation launched on Gambling Policy

Darlington Borough Council has released a new Statement of Principles for the Gambling Act 2005 (Gambling Policy) and wants to hear the views of local residents, businesses and other organisations.
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Councillor Jonathan Dulston, deputy leader of Darlington Borough Council, explained:

Many people enjoy gambling, but for some, gambling poses serious risks and can cause devastating harm both directly and indirectly.

In recent years we have seen a change from more traditional methods of gambling, such as betting shops, towards online forums, such as mobile phone apps and computers. Public trust and confidence in gambling has declined and there is significant public concern about the visibility of gambling and the impact this may have on children, young people and others who might be vulnerable.

“Although gambling is considered a legitimate leisure activity, it must be licensed and regulated to ensure consumers and the wider public are protected.

“The council recognises the role it plays in minimising the harmful effects gambling may have and we want to hear your views on the new Gambling Policy.”

Joy Allen, Police and Crime Commissioner for County Durham and Darlington said:

“Gambling harm can have a devastating impact on victims, businesses and on the lives and families of those who commit crime to support gambling or to pay off gambling-related debts. I welcome this approach and depth of understanding shown by Darlington Borough Council around some of the hidden harms associated with gambling as they seek public’s views on their new gambling policy.

“We have already had a number of positive discussions on how we can work together to reduce gambling related harm and crime. I look forward to working in partnership with the council, public health, gambling businesses, and experts by experience to make fast progress to reduce the harm caused by gambling in Darlington and prevent associated crime, homelessness, domestic abuse, child neglect and suicides.”

The revised policy will be introduced in January 2022 as part of a three-year review cycle. There are few amendments as there have been no legislative changes in the last three years, but the views of the public are now being sought for consideration before the new policy is implemented.

You can view the proposed policy online at

You have until 19th September 2021 to share your views – you can do this by emailing or you can contact Colin Dobson, licensing manager on 01325 405988.

If you require information, advice and support for anyone harmed by gambling, GamCare can be contacted free on 0808 820 133 or by visiting its website at

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