CHARITY race nights and small lotteries held in Flintshire may require a gambling licence from the council.

Flintshire Council’s licensing committee has reviewed the authority’s updated Gambling Policy after consultation earlier this year.

The policy is in place to prevent gambling being a source of crime and disorder, ensures it is conducted in a fair and open way, and protects children and vulnerable people from being exploited.

In drafting the policy the council has worked with the North Wales licensing group.

Gemma Potter, the council’s licensing team leader explained to members that while all local authorities in North Wales had a similar policy in place, there would be slight differences depending on the area.

She said: “There are some differences in the way our authority areas look.

“For example if you take Conwy into consideration they have the big seafront in Llandudno with all the arcades so their policy is going to look slightly different to ours.”

Chair of the committee, Greenfield Cllr Rosetta Dolphin (Eagle) asked whether charity race nights would be considered events that required a licence.

Ms Potter said they would be decided on a case by case basis depending on the situation.

The Leader: Gambling

She said: “We do have lots of guidance documents from the Gambling Commission and we do look into each individual issue separately.

“For a race night, depending on what the stakes are you probably would need one but there are certain instances when you might not need one - so it’s very much on a case by case basis on the advice that comes from the Gambling Commission.”

Ms Potter added that there could also be confusion about small society lotteries and that the policy applied to those too.

She added: “Where people do raffles, when the ticket is sold and drawn on the same day you don’t need a licence for that.

“But if there are any advance raffle ticket sales for certain things like in schools, that organisation has to hold a small society lottery licence and the promoters’ details need to be on those raffle tickets and that’s a query we get quite often.”

It costs £40 for a small society lottery licence, and renewal is £30 per year.

Buckley Bistre West Cllr Carolyn Preece (Lab) asked whether mental health could be specifically included in the public health strategy part of the policy.

“Because of the big impact gambling has on individuals you need to have something in there”, she said.

Ms Potter said mental health would already be covered by the public health strategies, and that the wording was the same for other authorities across North Wales.

Some committee members agreed the wording should be left as it was, with Argoed and New Brighton Cllr Mared Eastwood (Lib Dem) adding: “An umbrella term gives you more flexibility within it than specific lists. Personally, I’m more comfortable with that.”

Cllr Preece’s proposed amendment that the words mental health be specifically included within the policy failed.

Members then followed the recommendations and voted to approve the draft policy as originally worded.

The policy will go to cabinet in June for final approval after which it will be valid for three years.