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Guidance to licensing authorities

The Gambling Commission's guidance for licensing authorities.


4 - Exempt gaming

26.23. Exempt gaming is detailed at paragraphs 25.10 to 25.21 in Part 25 of this guidance.

26.24. A fee may not be levied for participation in the equal chance gaming offered by an alcohol-licensed premises under the exempt gaming rules. A compulsory charge, such as charging for a meal, may constitute a participation fee, depending on the particular circumstances.

26.25. Information about poker in alcohol licensed premises can be found in Part 29 of this guidance.

Removal of exemption

26.26. Licensing authorities can remove the automatic authorisation for exempt gaming in respect of any particular premises by making an order under s.284 of the Act, if:

  • provision of the gaming is not reasonably consistent with the pursuit of the licensing objectives
  • gaming has taken place on the premises that breaches a condition of s.279, for example the gaming does not abide by the prescribed limits for stakes and prizes, a participation fee is charged for the gaming or an amount is deducted or levied from sums staked or won
  • the premises are mainly used for gaming
  • an offence under the Act has been committed on the premises.

26.27. Before making an order, the licensing authority must give the licensee at least 21 days’ notice of the intention to make the order and consider any representations that they may make. The authority must hold a hearing if the licensee so requests and must comply with any other procedural requirements set out in regulations. If there is no appeal, the order will take effect 21 days after notice of the intention was given. The authority must give the licensee a copy of the order and written reasons for making it. The licensee may appeal to the Magistrates’ court or the Sheriff.

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