There are four main types of gambling permit that licensing
authorities are responsible for issuing:
Licensing authorities are required to submit notice of any
permits issued, to the Gambling Commission, through licensing authority
Application forms for club gaming, or club machine
permits can be obtained from your local licensing
(gaming machine permits)
Pubs and other alcohol licensed premises are automatically
entitled to two category C or D gaming machines upon notification
to the licensing authority of their intention to make gaming
machines available for use. Licensing authorities can issue gaming
machine permits which allow additional category C and D gaming
machines to be provided. Where a gaming machine permit authorises
the making available of a specified number of gaming machines in
particular premises, this will effectively replace, and not be in
addition to, any automatic entitlement to two machines.
Unlicensed Family Entertainment Centres (gaming
Family entertainment centres (FECs) are most commonly located at
seaside resorts, in airports, and at motorway service centres. FECs
cater for families, including unaccompanied children and young
Unlicensed FECs are able to offer category D machines if they
obtain a gaming machine permit from their local licensing
authority. Any number of category D machines can be made available
with such a permit (subject to non-gambling considerations, such as
fire regulations and health and safety).
Prize gaming is gaming where the nature and size of the prize
available is not determined by either:
- the number of people playing
- the amount paid for, or raised by the gaming.
Prize gaming permits can be issued by licensing
authorities, to those who would like to run prize gaming from a
premises they occupy, or plan to occupy, if the premises does
not already have an existing premises licence or a club gaming
Clubs (club gaming permits and club
There are two types of club permit available: a club gaming
permit or a club machine permit.
- Club gaming permits allow the provision of no
more than three gaming machines in total. Each of the three
machines must be from categories B3A, B4, C or D but only one B3A
machine can be sited, by agreement, as part of this entitlement.
Club gaming permits also allow equal-chance gaming (for example,
poker) and games of chance (for example, pontoon, chemin-de-fer)
under certain restrictions.
- Club machine permits allow the holder to have
no more than three gaming machines in total. Members' clubs and
miners' welfare institutes may site up to three machines from
categories B3A, B4, C or D but only one B3A machine can be sited,
by agreement, as part of this entitlement. Commercial clubs may
site up to three machines from categories B4, C or D (not B3A
An advice note has been issued which sets out a number of
matters that licensing authorities should consider before a permit
is issued and once the permission has been granted. It supersedes
the previous advice note dated December 2007 and offers more
comprehensive information on the subject, including examples of
Advice to licensing authorities on club gaming permits and club
machine permits - April 2011 should be read in
- Parts 25 and 29 of Guidance to Licensing Authorities
- Code of practice on equal chance gaming in clubs and premises
with an alcohol licence
- Gaming machine permits code of practice and Schedule 12 to the
Act, which contains the provisions relating to club gaming permits
and club machine permits.
Renewal of club gaming permits and club machine permits - March
What permits can different types of clubs apply for?
Licensing officers should be aware that licensing legislation
and gambling legislation have different definitions of clubs.Under
the Gambling Act 2005 clubs do not have to have an alcohol licence
to apply for a permit.
Members’ clubs must have at least 25 members
and be established and conducted ‘wholly or mainly’ for purposes
other than gaming (excluding bridge or whist clubs).
A club must be permanent in nature, not established to make
commercial profit, and controlled by its members equally. Examples
include working men’s clubs, branches of the Royal British Legion
and clubs with political affiliations. Members’ clubs can
apply to their local licensing authority for either a club
gaming permit or a club machine permit.
Applicants must provide us and the police
with copies of applications for club gaming permits or club
Commercial clubs have the
same characteristics as members’ clubs, but they are established
with a view to making a profit. An example of a commercial club is
a snooker club. Commercial clubs can apply to their licensing
authority for a club machine permit. Applicants must provide us and
the police with copies of applications for club machine
Further information on members clubs and commerical clubs can be
found in our quick guide
Members' club or commercial club - October 2012
Miners’ welfare institutes are associations
established for recreational or social purposes. They are managed
by representatives of miners, or use premises regulated by a
charitable trust which has received funds from one of a number of
mining organisations. Miners’ welfare institutes can apply to their
local licensing authority for either a club gaming permit or a club
Applicants must provide us and the police with
copies of applications for club gaming permits or club machine
Detailed information about permits is
contained within our
to licensing authorities (4th Edition)
Vehicles and vessels
Vehicles: Permits can not be issued to vehicles
(including trains, cars, lorries, or coaches).
Vessels: Permits cannot be issued to vessels
(such as cruise ships, ferries, boats or hovercraft). Vessels may
require a premises licence if commercial gambling is provided on
Detailed information about vehicles and vessels is contained
to licensing authorities (4th Edition).
Page last reviewed: December 2012