A revised gambling policy aimed at protecting vulnerable people from exploitation has been approved by councillors this week.
Scarborough Council’s policy review takes place every three years and, subject to final approval by full council in November, the new document is due to come into force at the end of January.
The draft document followed a period of consultation and 23 comments were received relating to the shielding of adult gaming centres (AGCs) and family entertainment centres.
Una Faithfull, the council’s licensing manager, this week told members of the licencing committee: “It is for the protection of children and vulnerable people from being exploited.”
She added that the document outlined previously agreed partition specifications – such as size and constructions, and that the area should be monitored by either CCTV or door supervisors.
“It will come into effect early 2013 and the policy will cover the next three years – after that we will have to start the whole process again,” she added.
Cllr Herbert Tindall welcomed the fact the areas had to be monitored. He added: “Monitoring by CCTV must be far superior than door supervisors because it will be all the time.”
Members were told that it could also be monitored by members of staff.
Cllr Joe Plant said that a recent incident in Whitby, where golly dolls were offered as prizes at an arcade and had raised a number of complaints.
He added: “We had a couple of emails from people that thought they were racist. It still is an issue.”
Ms Faithfull said that the complaints were being investigated.
Cllr Brian Watson, the committee chairman, said he was concerned over enforcement. He said: “I am concerned that the staff is going to be cut by one and I have concerns over enforcement.”
He was told that there would be a move from a proactive to a reactive response to complaints and some aspects of the work could be picked up by other services.