A REVISED gambling policy for Darlington which seeks to prevent it becoming a associated with crime, conducted in a fair way, and which prevents vulnerable people from being exploited looks set to be approved.

Members of Darlington Borough Council will consider revised licensing principles for gambling premises following a consultation exercise, which included the responsible authorities, the gaming industry, the leisure industry and organisations dealing with problems arising from gambling.

The council currently licenses 12 betting shops and 26 clubs and pubs for the provision of gambling.

As part of the consultation the council’s public health officers highlighted the harms gambling can cause and welcomed a Government move to reduce the maximum stake at fixed odds betting terminals from £100 to £2.

The authority’s licensing committee chairman Councillor Thomas Nutt said: “Our most important role is to actively work to protect those who live and work in Darlington and who visit our area.

“Premises used for gambling are licensed as they carry out activities that can impact on individuals and the community. For many, gambling is an enjoyable activity, however, we recognise for others it may cause harm, particularly among the young and vulnerable.”

The policy has remained largely unchanged apart from minor amendments that have been made to reflect revised guidance to local authorities from key stakeholders.