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Guidance to licensing authorities

The Gambling Commission's guidance for licensing authorities.


1 - Introduction

26.1. It is important to remember that gambling must remain ancillary to the main purpose of the premises and the exemptions and permits are reliant on the premises holding a valid alcohol licence. Experience indicates that, in circumstances where breaches of gambling regulations occur, licensing authorities have a powerful lever in securing compliance, due to their ability to review the alcohol licence.

26.2. S.279-284 of the Act only apply to premises in respect of which an on-premises alcohol licence (in England and Wales) or a premises licence under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 (opens in new tab) has been issued – provided that, in the case of Scotland, it is not a licence authorising the sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises only – and that have a bar at which alcohol is served, without a requirement that alcohol is served only with food. So, any hotel, restaurant or pub that has a bar can offer gambling under Part 12 of the Act, but hotels and restaurants that serve alcohol only with food cannot.

26.3. Licensing authorities might seek to reassure themselves that a premises has not applied for an alcohol licence under the Licensing Act 2003 (opens in new tab)/Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 (opens in new tab) with the sole aim of benefiting from the associated machine and exempt gaming entitlements. It is expected that all gambling made available on the premises will remain ancillary to the premises main activity. Where concerns exist that this might not be the case, and the premises is primarily used to make gambling available, the licensing authority might choose to exercise its powers under s.284 of the Act and remove the exemption.

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Automatic entitlement to two machines
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