Guidance to licensing authorities
The Gambling Commission's 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
4 - The process for issuing casino premises licences
17.11. Licensing authorities whose areas have been chosen for the new casinos should set out the principles they intend to apply when determining the ‘winner’ of a premises licence competition, in their statement of policy so that it is available to potential applicants before the authority invites applications for the available casino premises licences. The unsuccessful applicants must be informed of the result of the competition.
17.12. The Secretary of State has issued a code of practice (opens in new tab) about the procedure to be followed by licensing authorities in making determinations at both stage one and stage two, and also about the matters authorities are to take into account in making such determinations. The Act requires licensing authorities to comply with any code of practice issued by the Secretary of State.
17.13. Where an authority invites applications, those applications may be in the form of an application for a provisional statement as well as in the form of an application for the grant of a full casino premises licence. Where an application is made in the form of a provisional statement it is to be treated in the same way as an application for a casino premises licence and included in any two-stage determination process that the authority is required to carry out. If an application for a provisional statement is successful in that process, then it is not necessary for a further two-stage licensing process to be held when a casino premises licence application is eventually made by the operator to whom the statement has been issued.
17.14. As a first step in licensing a casino, the licensing authority will have to invite applications for any casino premises licences that it may issue. Regulations set out how the process of inviting applications is to be done (SI 2008/469: The Gambling (Inviting Competing Applications for Large and Small Casino Premises Licences) Regulations 2008 (opens in new tab)).
17.15. It is possible that the number of applications that the relevant licensing authorities will receive will exceed the number of licences available. The Act lays down a framework for a two-stage process for considering applications in these circumstances.
17.16. As with all deliberations in premises licences, the authority should not confuse planning and building regulation considerations with the matter before it.
17.17. Authorities should think carefully before entering into any agreements or arrangements with potential casino operators which might be perceived to affect their ability to exercise their stage two functions objectively and without having prejudged any of the issues. If any such agreements or arrangements are entered into, it will be important that authorities are able to demonstrate (for example, through having obtained independent and impartial advice on the competing applications)that any decision they reach is objectively based and is not affected by the arrangements.
17.18. If more applications are received than the number of available licences, the authority must determine whether each application would be granted a licence if there were no limit on the number of licences that the authority could grant. Each application must be considered separately and no reference made to the other applications received.
17.19. During this process each of the other applicants will be considered an ‘interested party’ and may make representations. The consideration of representations should be the same as that for normal applications for premises licences, detailed in Part 7 of this guidance.
17.20. This process will result in one or more provisional decisions to grant a premises licence, which will be disclosed to the applicant and any party that made representations.
17.21. The provisional decision of the licensing authority at stage one may be appealed. Until any appeal has been determined, the licensing authority may not proceed to stage two.
17.22. The second stage of the process only applies where the number of applications which the licensing authority would provisionally grant under the stage one process exceeds the number of available casino premises licences.
17.23. Under the second stage of the process the authority has to decide between the competing applications and grant any available licences to those applications which in their opinion will result in the greatest benefit to its area.
17.24. There is no right of appeal against the grant or refusal at stage two although an applicant may seek judicial review of a licensing authority’s decision.
17.25. Where a licensing authority issues a provisional statement following a two-stage determination process, they may limit the period of time for which the statement has effect. This is so that the authority can control the period within which the full casino premises licence application has to be made. Under Schedule 9 to the Act the authority is allowed to extend the period for which the provisional statement has effect if the person to whom it is issued applies to have it extended.Previous section
Protection of children and young persons Next section
Resolutions not to issue casino licences
Last updated: 19 April 2023
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