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Guidance to licensing authorities

The Gambling Commission's guidance for licensing authorities.


3 - Licensing authority decisions

4.9. S.153 provides that licensing authorities shall aim to permit the use of premises for gambling in so far as they think it is:

  • a. in accordance with any relevant code of practice under s.24
  • b. in accordance with any relevant guidance issued by the Commission under s.25
  • c. reasonably consistent with the licensing objectives (subject to a and b above),
  • d. in accordance with the licensing authority’s statement of licensing policy (policy statement) (subject to a to c above).

4.10. Therefore, a licensing authority has no discretion in exercising its functions under Part 8 of the Act, to grant a premises licence where that would mean taking a course which it did not think accorded with the guidance contained in this document, any relevant Commission code of practice, the licensing objectives or the licensing authority’s own policy statement.


4.11. The decision making powers of licensing authorities may be delegated, as set out in s.154 of the Act for England and Wales and s.155 for Scotland. Decisions that are delegated to a licensing committee, may be further delegated to a sub-committee, which may then arrange for the decision to be taken by an officer of the authority.

4.12. It is open to licensing committees to choose not to delegate decisions. An important consideration in determining whether any particular decision should be delegated will be whether delegation might give rise to a risk of judicial review challenge, particularly on the basis of appearance of bias.

4.13. The tables at Appendix G set out a summary of licensing authority delegations permitted under the Act for England and Wales, and for Scotland.

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Statutory framework
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