Jersey’s betting shops are being consulted on changes to their licences as the modernisation of the Island’s gambling laws and regulations continues.
The Jersey Gambling Commission - which regulates all gambling in the Island - says that the new licence conditions would give them detailed financial information about betting across Jersey, and in different areas and individual premises.
The changes would be unlikely to make much difference to most Islanders, but would make it a condition of the 29 bookmakers’ licences that they respect ‘self-exclusion’ requests by gamblers who want to be refused access to betting shops because they are concerned about their gambling.
The proposed new licence system would also allow bookmakers to apply for a licence to open on a Sunday like any other shop (the parish Constables will have the final say on whether they would be allowed to do so) and allow the advertising of licenced gambling services, subject to a strict code of practice.
Jersey Gambling Commission chief executive Dr Jason Lane said that although most Islanders would not notice much difference, the reform of the licences would make a big difference to the work of the commission.
"This is the next big step in the reform of our gambling regulations and will give us access to meaningful data about gambling Islandwide and in individual shops," he said.
"The new policy statement makes it explicitly clear that anyone who does not respect a “self exclusion request” will be putting their licence in jeopardy.
"It also requires licensees to demonstrate to us that they have promoted socially responsible gambling, and we hope that most will do so through donations to the independent Jersey Social Responsibility Fund."
Changes to the existing license rules have to be made by the end of this year and the new rules will come into force from the start of 2014.