If you have a question about your gambling, or the gambling of someone close to you, our FAQs from gambling consumers during lockdown may provide valuable information.
Try the new Gambling Commission website we're working on, and give us feedback.
Skip to main content

Back To TopIntroduction

14.1 It is an offence to provide facilities for gambling unless either the required permissions are in place, or an exemption applies. One such exemption is for the holder of an operating licence to notify a Temporary Use Notice (TUN) to the relevant licensing authority. This is not a permanent arrangement, but allows premises such as hotels, conference centres or sporting venues to be used temporarily for providing facilities for gambling. A TUN may also apply to a vessel, whether moored or moving. TUNs are often, but not exclusively, used to run poker tournaments.

14.2 The primary legislation in respect of TUNs can be found at s.214-234 of the Act. This sets out the nature and form of the notice to be given by the operator; other bodies to be informed (including the Commission); objections and appeals; and instructions to the licensing authority concerned.

14.3 Secondary legislation – Gambling Act 2005 (Temporary Use Notices) Regulations 2007 (SI 2007/3157) – sets out the restrictions on the type of gambling to be offered under a TUN. These restrictions are:

  • it can only be used to offer gambling of a form authorised by the operator’s operating licence, and consideration should therefore be given as to whether the form of gambling being offered on the premises will be remote, non-remote, or both
  • gambling under a TUN may only be made available on a maximum of 21 days in any 12 month period for any or all of a named set of premises
  • it can only be used to permit the provision of facilities for equal chance gaming, and where the gaming in each tournament is intended to produce a single overall winner
  • gaming machines may not be made available under a TUN.

14.4 In relation to tournaments, the requirement that the gaming is ‘intended to produce a single overall winner’ does not restrict the gaming to only one winner through the course of the tournament, although there will ultimately be one final tournament winner. It is considered acceptable for each qualifying round of the tournament; (for example comprising several hands/games of poker) to produce a single overall winner of that qualifying round, whose prize may be the right to progress to the next stage in the tournament. There can also be additional competitions run alongside or leading up to the main event, provided that each of these also only provides one winner. Further information on poker is set out in Part 29.

14.5 Cash games are games where each hand provides a winner and are not permitted under a TUN.

Back To TopProcedure

14.6 The holder of an operating licence must give notice to the licensing authority in whose area the premises are situated. The Secretary of State has prescribed the form of the notice which must specify information including:

  • the type of gaming to be carried on
  • the premises where it will take place
  • the dates and times the gaming will take place
  • any periods during the previous 12 months that a TUN has had effect for the same premises
  • the date on which the notice is given
  • the nature of the event itself.

14.7 A TUN must be lodged with the licensing authority not less than three months and one day before the day on which the gambling event will begin. A fee is payable to the licensing authority to whom the notification is sent. The application must be copied to:

  • the Commission
  • the police
  • HM Commissioners for Revenue and Customs
  • if applicable, any other licensing authority in whose area the premises are also situated.

14.8  The person who is giving the TUN must ensure that the notice and copies are with the recipients within seven days of the date of the notice. If these requirements are not met, then the event will be unlawful. Where the premises are situated in an area covered by more than one authority, the person giving notice must send the notice to one authority and copy to the others. Licensing authorities will have to work closely together in such circumstances to ensure that the 21-day maximum period for TUN is not breached.

14.9 When the licensing authority receives a notice, it must send a written acknowledgement as soon as is reasonably practicable.

Meaning of premises

14.10 S.218 of the Act refers to a ‘set of premises’ and provides that a set of premises is the subject of a TUN if ‘any part’ of the premises is the subject of a notice. The reference to ‘a set of premises’ prevents one large premises from having a TUN in effect for more than 21 days in a year by giving notification in relation to different parts of the premises and re-setting the clock. Note that this definition of a ‘set of premises’ differs to ‘premises’ in Part 8 of the Act (see Part 7 of this guidance).

14.11 The definition of ‘a set of premises’ will be a question of fact in the particular circumstances of each notice that is given. In considering whether a place falls within the definition, licensing authorities will need to look at, amongst other things, the ownership/occupation and control of the premises. For example, a large exhibition centre with a number of exhibition halls may come within the definition of ‘premises’. A TUN should not then be granted for 21 days in respect of each of its exhibition halls. In relation to other covered areas, such as shopping centres, the licensing authority will need to consider whether different units are in fact different ‘sets of premises’, given that they may be occupied and controlled by different people.

14.12 A notice maybe given in respect of a vessel, but only if it is a passenger vessel or a vessel that is situated at a fixed place. A vessel at a fixed place would include a structure on water that is not intended to be able to move (such as an oil rig, or an artificially constructed island in the middle of a lake). S.231 lists responsible authorities who must be notified in relation to giving notice in respect of a vessel.

14.13   A TUN may not be given in respect of a vehicle.

Objections to TUNs

14.14 The licensing authority and the other bodies to which the notice is copied should consider whether they wish to give a notice of objection. In considering whether to do so, they must have regard to the licensing objectives and if they consider that the gambling should not take place, or only with modifications, they must give a notice of objection to the person who gave the TUN. Such a notice must be copied to the licensing authority. The notice of objection and the copy to the licensing authority must be given within 14 days, beginning with the date on which the TUN is given. An objection may be withdrawn by giving written notice to those to whom the notice of objection was sent and copied.

14.15 Licensing authorities should have procedures in place to ensure that such notices are considered without delay so that, where appropriate, the opportunity to lodge an objection is not missed.

14.16 If objections are received, the licensing authority must hold a hearing to listen to representations from the person who gave the TUN, all the objectors and any person who was entitled to receive a copy of the notice. If all the participants agree that a hearing is unnecessary, it may be dispensed with.

14.17 Those who raise objections may propose modifications to the notice that will alleviate their concerns. Remedies may include a reduction in the number of days when gambling occurs or a restriction on the type of gambling permitted. If the modifications are accepted by the applicant, a new TUN must be given, incorporating the modifications, and the original notice will be treated as withdrawn. This withdrawal will be without prejudice to the right of any other person other than the objector to give notice of objection in relation to the new notice. The three-month time limit and fee will not apply to the new notice. The person who made the original objection and proposed the modification may not object to the new notice, but others to whom it is copied may object. If there are no new objections, there will be no need for a hearing.

14.18 If the licensing authority considers that the TUN should not have effect – after a hearing has taken place or has been dispensed with – it must issue a counter-notice which may provide for the TUN:

  • not to have effect
  • to have effect only in respect of a specified activity
  • to have effect only in respect of activity carried on during a specified period of time or at specified times of day
  • to have effect subject to compliance with a specified condition.

14.19 The principles that the authority must apply in issuing a counter-notice are the same as those in determining premises licence applications. In particular, the licensing authority should aim to permit the provision of facilities for gambling under a TUN subject to its view as to whether to do so accords with the Commission’s Licence conditions and codes of practice, this guidance and the licensing authority’s statement of policy, and is reasonably consistent with the licensing objectives.

14.20 If the licensing authority gives a counter-notice, it must give reasons for doing so and must copy the counter-notice to all those who received copies of the TUN.

14.21 If the licensing authority decides not to issue a counter-notice, the TUN will take effect. The licensing authority must give notice of its decision to the person who gave the TUN and to others to whom it was copied.

Back To TopAppeals

14.22 An appeal against the licensing authority’s decision may be made by the applicant, or any person entitled to receive a copy of the TUN, to the Magistrates’ court or Sheriff court within 14 days of receiving notice of the authority’s decision. There is a further right of appeal to the High Court or Court of Session on a point of law.

Back To TopEndorsement of the notice

14.23 If no objections are made within 14 days of the date of the notice, the licensing authority must endorse the notice as valid and return it to the person who gave it. If the endorsed copy of the notice is lost, stolen or damaged, the person who gave the notice may request a new endorsed copy from the licensing authority, subject to the payment of a fee.

14.24 S.228 of the Act sets a time limit for the completion of all proceedings on TUN of 6 weeks beginning with the date on which the TUN is received. This includes considering whether to give a notice of objection; holding a hearing if necessary, giving a counter-notice, or giving a notice of determination.

14.25 The person who gives a TUN may notify the licensing authority that it is withdrawn at anytime up to and during the time it has effect. In those circumstances the notice will have no effect, and any unlapsed period of time will not count towards the 21-day maximum for a TUN having effect on the premises.

Displaying the notice

14.26 While the gambling is taking place, a copy of the TUN must be displayed prominently on the premises. It is an offence not to produce the notice endorsed by the licensing authority when requested to do so by a constable, an officer of HM Revenue & Customs, an enforcement officer, or an authorised local authority officer.

Maximum period

14.27 If the premises have been the subject of one or more TUN for more than a total of 21 days in the past 12 months, the licensing authority must issue a counter-notice that has the effect of stopping the TUN coming into effect. The format of counter notices are prescribed by either the Secretary of State or Scottish Ministers (SI 2007/3157: Gambling Act 2005 (Temporary Use Notices) Regulations 2007). Failure to comply with the counter-notice will be an offence. A licensing authority may issue a counter-notice which limits the number of days that the TUN comes into effect, bringing it within the 21-day limit. Such counter-notices require consultation with the applicant to ensure that the restrictions they impose do not result in an unworkable event.

Back To TopLarge events

14.28 Licensing authorities may receive TUNs from a high profile operator such as a casino, to hold an event in a larger venue (eg a stadium or an arena). In these circumstances operators may seek to use technology, such as tablet devices, to meet the demands of hosting an event at such a venue. It is possible that operators will need to hold a remote operating licence to operate certain devices and licensing authorities are encouraged to contact the Commission for further advice and guidance.