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Guidance to licensing authorities

The Gambling Commission's guidance for licensing authorities.


1 - Introduction

24.1. Unlicensed family entertainment centres (uFEC) are able to offer only category D machines in reliance on a gaming machine permit. Any number of category D machines can be made available with such a permit, although there may be other considerations, such as fire regulations and health and safety, to take into account. Permits cannot be issued in respect of vessels or vehicles.

24.2. uFECs are premises which are ‘wholly or mainly’ used for making gaming machines available (S.238 Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab)). As a result, it is generally not permissible for such premises to correspond to an entire shopping centre, airport, motorway service station or similar. Typically, the machines would be in a designated, enclosed area.

24.3. A permit lapses if the licensing authority informs the permit holder that the premises are not being used as an FEC (Schedule 10 (14) Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab)). Further guidance is set out at paragraph 22.5.

24.4. If the operator wishes to make category C machines available in addition to category D machines, the operator will need to apply for a gaming machine general operating licence (Family Entertainment Centre) from the Commission and a premises licence from the licensing authority.

24.5. Schedule 10 of the Act sets out the application process and regulatory regime for FEC gaming machine permits.

Next section
Applying for a permit
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