The Shetland Licensing Board has taken an important step toward refining its gambling policy by approving a 12-week public consultation period. During a meeting at Lerwick Town Hall, council members came together to set the terms of the consultation, which will remain open until December 25.

While officials initially recommended maintaining the current gambling policy without any changes, the consultation aims to collect feedback from residents and stakeholders to address potential concerns. This inclusive approach allows for a thorough examination of the existing policy and its impact on different groups. Recognizing that a policy review has been overdue for over a year, the licensing board emphasized the importance of revisiting and improving gambling regulations.

In 2019, Shetland’s relationship with gambling came into focus when the licensing board adopted its current Statement of Gambling Licensing Principles. This document provides guidance to potential applicants on adhering to the law for a three-year period. Notably, a new clause was added during the revision, requiring gambling premises license applicants to establish policies for identifying and supporting vulnerable individuals. This addition aims to address concerns about gambling issues, particularly in the context of online gambling, which may be a hidden problem in the region.

Currently, Lerwick, the largest town in the Shetland Islands, has only one licensed gambling premises called Shetland Turf Accountants. In addition to licensed gambling premises, Shetland also has gaming machine permits, club gaming permits, and various small society lotteries.

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