The Gambling Commission has sought to clarify the role of ‘authorised persons’ – including police officers and officers of licensing authorities – in Scotland.
Its updated advice note, The Role of Authorised Persons – Scotland, clarifies two issues, namely that:
- Authorised persons are already operating within local authorities in Scotland by virtue of their existing powers - for example, environmental health officers authorised by local authorities will already be authorised persons. The note highlights that, “It is a matter for local authorities and Licensing Boards to consider how those officers are currently discharging their statutory functions under the Gambling Act”.
- Authorised persons, irrespective of the basis of which they are authorised, can act with legal authority under the Gambling Act 2005. “For example, once authorised for health or prevention of pollution purposes, Licensing Standards Officers (LSOs) are also authorised persons under the Act and can (and should) rely on the enforcement powers in the Act to regulate gambling in their area.”
A Gambling Commission spokesperson said: “The updated Advice Note is intended to provide additional clarification on the role of authorised persons to licensing authorities and councils in Scotland in meeting their responsibilities under the Gambling Act 2005.
“We would ask that the licensing authorities in Scotland and local councils consider how their existing officers, who are authorised persons in terms of the Gambling Act, are currently discharging their statutory functions under the Act, particularly in relation to the protection of young and vulnerable people.”