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Guidance to licensing authorities

The Gambling Commission's guidance for licensing authorities.


1 - Introduction

1.1. When the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab) (the Act) came into force in late 2007, it brought in a new, comprehensive system for gambling regulation in Great Britain. For the first time, the vast majority of commercial gambling was brought together into a single regulatory framework. The Act established a dedicated regulator, at a national level, in the form of the Gambling Commission. But it also recognised the potential local impact and importance of gambling. So it created many local regulators, whose job it is to manage gambling locally, in line with local circumstances. Those regulators are the licensing authorities of England, Wales and Scotland. In doing so, the Act established a strong element of local decision-making and accountability in gambling regulation.

1.2. The Act gives local regulators discretion to manage local gambling provision, including discretion as to the level of fees set to cover the cost of administering the local system of regulation within limits set by The Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) in England and Wales1. It sets out some boundaries to that discretion, consistent with the recognition of gambling as a mainstream leisure activity.

1.3. The Act also provides scope for the Commission to act to set an overall direction at national level, while leaving licensing authorities in the lead locally, with appropriate support from the Commission. This Guidance, to which licensing authorities must have regard, is an important part of those arrangements.


1 The fees levels in Scotland are set by the Scottish Government.

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Partnership working between the Commission and licensing authorities – shared regulation
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