Licensing Authority Bulletin February 2019
Raffling big ticket items: prizes, pitfalls and potential risks
We have recently investigated a number of different ‘house lotteries’ and other high value prize competitions in which members of the public could buy a ticket for a few pounds for a chance to win the home or car of their dreams. Many of these competitions have been run illegally putting entrants at risk so we have produced some FAQs on house lotteries to help keep consumers safe from unregulated and unlicensed gambling.
Commission, NHS and others in Wales meet to discuss problem gambling
A round table event was chaired by Chief Medical Officer for Wales Dr Frank Atherton and Gambling Commission Chief Executive Neil McArthur.
The latest Commission figures show that around 20,000 people in Wales are problem gamblers and approximately 84,000 are at risk of developing a problem.
Around 30 representatives from organisations including NHS Wales, local authorities, treatment providers and sports bodies met to discuss ways of reducing those numbers. Topics addressed included prevention and treatment services, public health messaging, gambling venues and research.
Bangor University and Public Health Wales have published a report “Framing a public health approach to gambling harms in Wales: Challenges and opportunities” (opens in new tab) along with a risk index map to help LAs and industry operators to produce local area risk assessments and to use this understanding of local area risk to protect vulnerable people from harm by developing appropriate policies and procedures.
The Gaming Machine (Miscellaneous Amendments and Revocation) Regulations 2018
These Regulations (opens in new tab), which amend the B2 gaming machine stakes from £100 to £2 were laid in December and will take effect from 1 April 2019. Further communications will be issued prior to April. The changes to stakes on B2 machines will be done via software updates. In order to test that the software is working effectively, it is known that some operators will undertake a soft launch and introduce the reduced stake on a limited number of machines in early March.
Children’s exposure to age restricted TV adverts is falling
The Advertising Standards Agency recent report (opens in new tab) shows that children’s exposure to TV ads for alcohol, gambling and food and soft drink products high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS products) is declining.
- Children’s exposure to gambling ads, relative to adults’, has fallen year-on-year from 39% in 2008 to 20% in 2017. That means children see, on average, about one TV ad for gambling for every five seen by adults in 2017
- Gambling ads made up less than 2% of all the TV ads that children saw on average every year between 2008 and 2017; that equates to approximately 65.2 seconds per week
- The majority of TV ads for gambling that children have seen since 2011 are ads for bingo, lottery and scratchcards
- Children’s exposure to ads for sports-betting has decreased from an average of one ad per week in 2011 to 0.4 ads per week in 2017.
GamCare Quality Mark for gambling operators
GamCare has launched the new Safer Gambling Standard (opens in new tab), a social responsibility quality standard for the gambling industry. The Standard aims to drive up overall standards of social responsibility practice across the gambling industry, making gambling safer for consumers. The new accreditation sets out to recognise gambling operators who go above and beyond the requirements of gambling industry Licensing Codes and Conditions of Practice (LCCP), comprising 10 sets of assessment criteria for social responsibility across online and land-based operations.
LA Bulletin February 2019 - Advice and guidance updates
Lottery Ticket Vending Machines (LTVM)
LAs are advised that we have written to a number of pubs and machine suppliers following an investigation into illegal fund raising through Lottery ticket vending machines(LTVMs.)
In these cases, operators (both licensed and unlicensed) were offering to install lottery ticket vending machines in public houses on a ‘profit share’ basis. This tended to involve the absolute minimum of 20% being passed to the society, with the remaining profits (the surplus after the payment of prizes and reasonable expenses) being split between the machine supplier and the premises siting the machine. This is contrary to the Act, which states that it is a criminal offence under sections 260 and/or 261 to use lottery profits for a purpose other than that stated, i.e. the good cause printed on the ticket.
Small society lotteries (registered with their local authority) or large society lotteries (licensed by the Commission) must not be promoted for commercial gain. The funds raised belong to the society and only “reasonable expenses” may be deducted, as dictated by the authorised promoter (the society).
Society lotteries, including those utilising lottery ticket vending machines, must be controlled and promoted by the society (under the terms of their small society lottery registration/Gambling Commission licence) or licensed External Lottery Manager (acting under contract with the society) only.
The pub is acting as a retailer, the machine supplier as a service provider, and the society remains responsible for the lottery. The society must ensure the publican has received the required age verification, self-exclusion, problem gambling and social responsibility training before siting the machines. It is also imperative that there are policies and procedures in place which have been agreed between the society and publican for cash handling and the reconciliation and banking of ticket sales. If these and the other conditions and legislation are not adhered to, it is likely that the lottery is unlawful. A public house selling tickets for an unlawful lottery could be committing criminal offences.
Gaming machines in staff canteens
We have recently received reports of what are in effect staff canteens and staff rooms (for example in supermarkets, railway and bus stations) applying for club machine permits under the guise of a staff social club. Applications are sometimes made by the machine supplier acting on behalf of the social club. The concern is as to whether the social club is genuinely a club for the purposes of the Act and is therefore legitimately able to apply for the permit.
LAs reminded that the applicant must satisfy the definition and requirements of a members’ or commercial club, as defined in section 266 and 267 of the Act and summarised in the members club or commercial club quick guide. As an example, in some cases at least, there does not appear to be a proper constitution, rules or membership list available
Inspection forms updated
The LLEP Crime and Anti Money Laundering checklist has recently been updated. The checklist and all other inspection forms and guidance are available on the LLEP website (opens in new tab). Please share the findings of your visits with your compliance manager so that we can continue to build a broad picture of premises’ compliance.
LA Bulletin - Reference materials February 2019
The Institute of Licensing (opens in new tab) and the Commission have worked together to produce some gambling e-learning modules:
- Gaming machines - three separate modules which cover the various types of gaming machines, the physical components and signage requirements and how to deal with non-compliant machines
- Inspection powers and inspection preparation – designed to help co-regulators familiarise themselves with their powers to enter and inspect gambling premises and the preparation to undertake before conducting an inspection of any gambling premises.
- Introduction to inspecting a betting premises – aimed at helping co-regulators improve their understanding of what to check when conducting an inspection of a betting premises - both inside and outside the premises.
These modules can be accessed by anybody via the IOL website,and all are CPD accredited. Once on the website simply click on the ‘e-learning’ tab on the top right, then log in if you have an existing account, or request a log in via firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
We also have several refresher modules for licensing officers which compliance managers can deliver at licensing meetings. Topics include machines, permits, money laundering, poker. If you are interested in receiving such training, please contact your compliance manager.
Quick guides and template letters
Some quick guides are designed to give to operators when undertaking visits, others provide an accessible ‘how to’ for licensing staff
- Public health and gambling
- Sharing information and intelligence
- Statement of Principles (for councillors)
- Money laundering
- Gaming machines in pubs
- Race night, casino night or poker night
- Members’ club or commercial club
- Poker in clubs
- Poker in pubs
- Facilitating betting in pubs and clubs is illegal
- Skills with prizes
- Illegal gaming machines
- Comparing lottery ticket dispensers and B3A machines
- Illegal siting of gaming machines
- Fairs and fairgrounds
- Running a lottery
- Running prize competitions and free draws
- Multi-activity sites
- Police statutory powers under the Gambling Act
- Examples of non-complex category D gaming machines
Gambling Act statutory notices and forms
It is a statutory requirement that applicants use the correct forms to give proper notice of applications, variations etc to all responsible authorities, including the Gambling Commission.
We host all the statutory notices and application forms as they are no longer available on the DCMS website.
Find operating licence holders
We publish the names of all companies and individuals who hold, or have applied for, operating licences in Great Britain along with the names of companies or individuals whose licences have lapsed, been revoked, forfeited, expired, suspended or surrendered in the last 6 months.LAs must check the operator licence quoted on premises applications with the register before granting a premises licence. An application for premises licence may only be made by persons who have an operating licence which allows them to carry out the proposed activity for example a bingo operating licence for a bingo premises or have applied for an operating licence (although the premises licence cannot be determined until an operating licence has been issued).
Premises licence register
The information on our publicly available premises register is based on the statutory notifications received from LAs regarding grants, variations, revocations, lapses etc, and is updated monthly. LAs are encouraged to send all necessary correspondence to email@example.com. Where email notification has been made it is not necessary to follow up by post.
In relation to gaming machines, we only require notification of grant/rejection of Club Machines Permits and Gaming Machine Permits. There is no requirement to advise us when an alcohol licence holder submits their notification for an automatic entitlement to two gaming machines. However, LAs must keep a record of how many automatic entitlement notifications it receives each year, as that information is requested in the annual LA returns.
Last updated: 1 December 2023
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