Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What happens to my licence if I become bankrupt or my company goes into liquidation?


The Gambling Act 2005 specifies that operating licences will lapse if the licence holder ceases to exist or goes into liquidation.

Personal management licences and personal functional licences will lapse if the licence holder becomes bankrupt.

In addition, licence holders must notify the Gambling Commission at an early stage in the liquidation or bankruptcy processes as set out below.

Personal Licence holders

If you are presented with a petition for bankruptcy or enter into an Individual Voluntary Arrangement, this is a  key event, and you must notify us within five working days.

However, your licence will only lapse if you are declared bankrupt. Having been declared bankrupt does not necessarily prevent you from obtaining a personal licence in the future.

If you want to continue to work in positions where a personal licence is needed, you will need to apply for a new licence. You will need to provide a full explanation of the circumstances that led to you being declared bankrupt to support your application.

For further information, (including information on the sequestration of an estate in Scotland), please read Bankruptcy of personal licence holders letter to trade associations - November 2008

Operating licence holders

You need to notify us of key events, within five working days, including (where the licence holder is a company):

  • a petition being presented for the winding up of the company or a group company
  • if the company or a group company is put into administration or receivership.

Where possible you should state who has been appointed as the administrator.

Once the company is in administration, if the business continues to trade, the administrator is responsible for ensuring the business complies with the Gambling Act 2005 and the Licence conditions and codes of practice - consolidated May 2014 (LCCP).

The company's licence will only lapse if the license holder goes into liquidation.

Advice to administrators

If you are appointed an administrator for a licensed operator, you need to inform us if you intend the business to continue to trade. You need to state who will have responsibility for overseeing operations, and if these people do not hold a personal licence or are not approved Annex A holders, personal management licences will need to be applied for.

In addition, we will require copies of administrators' reports and must be notified if the company is placed into liquidation. In the event that the assets of the business are to be sold, you must ensure that all sales are to licensed operators. In the case of sale of machines, we do not expect you to apply for a suppliers licence provided that either:

  • the gaming machines or parts of gaming machines are only sold as scrap
  • the supply of the gaming machine is incidental to the sale or letting of property on which the machine has previously been lawfully used.


Page last reviewed: August 2014

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