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Guidance

Guidance to licensing authorities

Our guidance for licensing authorities.

Contents


1 - Casino premises

17.1 Under the Act, licensing authorities in England and Wales have the role of issuing premises licences for casinos and monitoring those licences. In Scotland the licensing boards are licensing authorities and continue to have responsibilities for granting permissions for casinos in the form of premises licences.

17.2 New casino premises licences issued under the Act will fall into one of two categories namely large casino premises licence or small casino premises licence. These are subject to separate regulations, involving a two-stage application process, detailed below.

17.3 In addition, there is a third category of casino that is permitted through transitional arrangements under Schedule 18 of the Act, which may be referred to as 1968 Act converted casinos. Most of these casinos fall below the size thresholds of the other two categories. Such casinos may operate as card clubs without offering casino games.

17.4 The gaming machines permitted to be made available in new casinos are related to the number of gaming tables available for use (SI 2009/1970 The Gambling Act 2005 (Gaming Tables in Casinos) (Definitions) Regulations 2009 (opens in new tab)):

  • no more than eight large casino premises licences will be permitted. Large casinos will have a minimum total customer area of 1,500m2. This category of casino will be able to offer casino games, bingo and/or betting and up to 150 gaming machines in any combination of categories B1 to D (except B3A lottery machines) provided that a maximum ratio of 5:1 gaming machines to gaming tables is met. Large casinos therefore need 30 gaming tables available for use to qualify for the maximum 150 machines. These facilities can be provided under a single licence (there are two new casinos operational, in Newham and Milton Keynes).
  • no more than eight small casino premises licences will be permitted. Small casinos will have a minimum total customer area of 750m2. A small casino will be able to offer casino games, betting and up to 80 gaming machines in any combination of categories B1 to D (except B3A lottery machines) provided that a maximum ratio of 2:1 gaming machines to gaming tables is met. Small casinos therefore need 40 gaming tables available for use to qualify for the maximum 80 machines.

17.5 The Commission has become aware that in some instances, operators who hold a combined non-remote casino licence and betting operating licence, have looked into converting part of their casino premises to betting premises. Licensing authorities are reminded that when considering such applications they must be satisfied that, if granted, the premises in question meets the relevant mandatory and default conditions for the relevant premises licence.

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Casino games
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