Guidance to licensing authorities
Our guidance for licensing authorities.
- Changes to the Guidance for Licensing Authorities
Part 1: General guidance on the role and responsibilities of licensing authorities in gambling regulation
- - Introduction
- - Partnership working between the Commission and licensing authorities – shared regulation
- - Co-ordination and contact
- - Primary legislation
- - Statutory aim to permit gambling
- - The licensing objectives
- - Codes of practice
- - Licensing authority discretion (s.153 of the Act)
- - Local risk assessments
- - Licensing authority policy statement
- - Limits on licensing authority discretion
- - Other powers
- Part 2: The licensing framework
- Part 3: The Gambling Commission
- Part 4: Licensing authorities
- Part 5: Principles to be applied by licensing authorities
Part 6: Licensing authority policy statement
- - Introduction
- - Fundamental principles
- - Form and content
- - Other matters to be considered
- - Local risk assessments
- - Local area profile
- - Declaration by licensing authority
- - Consultation
- - Reviewing and updating the policy statement
- - Advertisement and publication
- - Additional information to be made available
- Part 7: Premises licences
- Part 8: Responsible authorities and interested parties definitions
- Part 9: Premises licence conditions
- Part 10: Review of premises licence by licensing authority
- Part 11: Provisional statements
- Part 12: Rights of appeal and judicial review
- Part 13: Information exchange
- Part 14: Temporary use notices
- Part 15: Occasional use notices
- Part 16: Gaming machines
Part 17: Casinos
- - Casino premises
- - Casino games
- - Protection of children and young persons
- - The process for issuing casino premises licences
- - Resolutions not to issue casino licences
- - Converted casinos (with preserved rights under Schedule 18 of the Act)
- - Casino premises licence conditions
- - Mandatory conditions – small casino premises licences
- - Mandatory conditions – converted casino premises licences
- - Default conditions attaching to all casino premises licences
- - Self-exclusion
- Part 18: Bingo
- Part 19: Betting premises
Part 20: Tracks
- - Definition of a track
- - Track premises licences – differences from other premises licences
- - Betting on tracks
- - Licences and other permissions for the provision of betting facilities
- - Betting on event and non-event days
- - Social responsibility considerations for tracks
- - Gaming machines
- - Self-service betting terminals (SSBTs)
- - Applications
- - Licence conditions and requirements
- Part 21: Adult gaming centres
- Part 22: Licensed family entertainment centres
- Part 23: Introduction to permits
- Part 24: Unlicensed family entertainment centres
- Part 25: Clubs
- Part 26: Premises licensed to sell alcohol
- Part 27: Prize gaming and prize gaming permits
- Part 28: Non-commercial and private gaming, betting and lotteries
- Part 29: Poker
- Part 30: Travelling fairs
- Part 31: Crown immunity and excluded premises
- Part 32: Territorial application of the Gambling Act 2005
- Part 33: Door supervision
Part 34: Small society lotteries
- - Small society lotteries
- - The status of lotteries under the Act
- - Licensing authority guidance
- - Social responsibility
- - External lottery managers’ licence status
- - Lottery tickets
- - Prizes
- - Specific offences in relation to lotteries
- - Application and registration process for small society lotteries
- - Administration and returns
- Part 35: Chain gift schemes
- Part 36: Compliance and enforcement matters
- Appendix A: Summary of machine provisions by premises
- Appendix B: Summary of gaming machine categories and entitlements
- Appendix C: Summary of gaming entitlements for clubs and alcohol-licensed premises
- Appendix D: Summary of offences under the Gambling Act 2005
- Appendix E: Summary of statutory application forms and notices
- Appendix F: Inspection powers
- Appendix G: Licensing authority delegations
- Appendix H: Poker games and prizes
- Appendix I: Glossary of terms
3 - Permits
12.14. The process for appealing a decision in relation to a permit is set out in the relevant Schedules of the Act, as detailed below. In each case, the appeal should be made to the local Magistrates’ court in England and Wales or to the Sheriff court in Scotland, and must be made within 21 days of receipt of notice of the decision.
12.15.__ In considering the appeal, the court or Sheriff will take into account whether the licensing authority had regard to its statement of policy, this guidance and codes of practice published by the Commission, and the licensing objectives.
Schedule 10 – family entertainment centre (FEC) gaming machine permits
12.16. Schedule 10, paragraph 22 sets out the processes for appeals for FEC gaming machine permits. The applicant or holder of a permit may appeal if the licensing authority has:
- rejected an application for a permit or renewal of a permit
- given notice that the premises are not being used as an FEC
- stated that the holder is incapable of carrying out an FEC business by reason of mental or physical incapacity.
12.17. The Magistrates’ court or Sheriff may dismiss the appeal, substitute any decision that the licensing authority could have made or restore a permit. They may also remit the matter back to the licensing authority to decide in accordance with any determination they make, in which case the same rights of appeal will apply, as for the original decision. The court or Sheriff may also make an order for costs.
Schedule 11 (Parts 4 and 5) – small society lotteries
12.18. Schedule 11, paragraph 51 sets out the processes for appeals for small society lotteries. In England and Wales, the Act states that local authorities register societies to run lotteries rather than licensing authorities, and in Scotland such decisions are made by the licensing board. A society may appeal if their application for registration is refused or their registered status is revoked.
12.19. In considering an appeal, the Magistrates’ court or Sheriff may uphold the licensing authority’s decision, reverse it, or make any other order. If remitting the decision back to the authority, the same rights of appeal will apply as for the original decision.
Schedule 12 – club gaming permits and club machine permits
12.20.__ Schedule 12, paragraph 25 sets out the process of appeal for club gaming permits and club machine permits. If the authority rejects an application for the issue or renewal of a permit, the applicant may appeal. If the authority cancels a permit, the holder of the permit may appeal. A person who made an objection to the grant of the permit, or made representations in relation to the cancellation of a permit, may appeal against a grant or refusal to cancel respectively.
12.21. The authority may only refuse an application on one or more of the following grounds:
- a) (i) for a club gaming permit: the applicant is not a members’ club or miners’ welfare institute, (ii) for a club machine permit: the applicant is not a members’ club, miners’ welfare institute or commercial club
- b) premises are used by children or young persons
- c) an offence or a breach of a condition of the permit has been committed by an applicant
- d) a permit held by an applicant has been cancelled during the last ten years
- e) an objection has been made by the Commission or local chief officer of police.
12.22. The authority may only cancel a permit on one of the following grounds:
- a) the premises are used wholly or mainly by children or young persons
- b) an offence or breach of condition of the permit has been committed in the course of gaming activities.
12.23.__ In considering an appeal, the court will determine whether any of these statutory grounds applied in the circumstances. In addition, the court will take into account any objections made by the Commission or local police chief and the considerations at paragraph 12.15.
12.24. In England and Wales only, there is a fast-track application procedure (set out in Schedule 12(10)) for holders of a club premises certificate that is issued under s.72 of the Licensing Act 2003 (opens in new tab). In these circumstances, the Commission and police do not have to be consulted and therefore the authority will not receive any objections. The permit must be granted unless:
- the applicant is established or conducted wholly or mainly for the purposes of the provision of facilities for gaming, other than gaming of a prescribed kind
- the applicant is established or conducted wholly or mainly for the purposes of the provision of facilities for gaming of a prescribed kind and also provides facilities for gaming of another kind
- a club gaming permit or club machine permit issued to the applicant has been cancelled during the period of ten years ending with the date of the application.
There is no equivalent provision for clubs in Scotland under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 (opens in new tab).
12.25. The Commission is aware that this fast-track procedure has been used inappropriately by applicants to avoid full scrutiny of applications and licensing authorities should pay particular attention to such applications.
12.26. On an appeal, the court or Sheriff may dismiss the appeal, substitute any decision that the licensing authority could have made, restore a permit, or remit it back to the authority to decide in accordance with a determination of the court, where the same rights of appeal will apply as for the original decision. They can also make an order for costs.
Schedule 13 – licensed premises gaming machine permits
12.27. Schedule 13, paragraph 21 sets out the appeal process for licensed premises gaming machine permits, which only apply to England and Wales. The Scottish Government has set regulations (SSI no. 505: The Licensed Premises Gaming Machine Permits (Scotland) Regulations 2007) (opens in new tab) on permits for alcohol-licensed premises in Scotland. An applicant for a permit may appeal if the application is rejected. The holder of a permit may appeal if he is permitted fewer or a different category of machines than applied for, or if the licensing authority gives a notice which cancels or varies the entitlements of the permit.
12.28. On an appeal, the Magistrates’ court can dismiss the appeal, substitute any decision that the licensing authority could have made, restore a permit, or remit it back to the authority to decide in accordance with a decision of the court, where the same rights of appeal will apply as for the original decision. An order for costs can be made.
Schedule 14 – prize gaming permits
12.29. Schedule 14, paragraph 22 sets out the appeal process for prize gaming permits. If the licensing authority rejects an application for the issue or renewal of a permit, the applicant may appeal.
12.30. On an appeal, the Magistrates’ court or Sheriff may dismiss the appeal, substitute any decision that the licensing authority could have made, or remit it back to the authority to decide in accordance with a determination of the court, where the same rights of appeal will apply as for the original decision. They can also make an order for costs.Previous section
Giving reasons for decisions Next section
Temporary use notices
Last updated: 22 March 2023
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22 March 2023 - formatting changes.