A specialist task and finish group to investigate gambling related harm in Barnsley, made up of seven councillors, met with gambling charities, council licensing officers, a counselling service and Leeds City Council, to see what measures could be taken to tackle problem gambling in the borough.
The group found that gambling in the borough is more prevalent in the most deprived areas, and has recommended a number of schemes to address the issue.
The report was presented to Barnsley Council’s cabinet in April, and members are set to support a number of recommendations made in the report during their next meeting on June 1.
One of the recommendations was to investigate the placement of Category D Machines in the borough’s gambling premises, to ensure that they are not placed in pairs.
The gambling commission categorises the machines as low-stake fruit machine style machines, coin pushers or crane grabs.
A report states that the council’s licensing department “will prioritise the investigation of any reports of premises that have two or more gaming machines sited together”.
The report adds that BMBC already does not allow gambling advertising in council-owned advertising spaces, and that the council “will commit to encouraging wider partners not to advertise or promote gambling in any form.”
If the report is approved, an online training course for council staff will be developed by the public health department to raise awareness on gambling, problem gambling, and gambling-related harm.
Gambling support material will also be provided in other languages and an easy read format.