Cookies on the Gambling Commission website

The Gambling Commission website uses cookies to make the site work better for you. Some of these cookies are essential to how the site functions and others are optional. Optional cookies help us remember your settings, measure your use of the site and personalise how we communicate with you. Any data collected is anonymised and we do not set optional cookies unless you consent.

Set cookie preferences

You've accepted all cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time.

Skip to main content


Guidance to licensing authorities

The Gambling Commission's guidance for licensing authorities.


2 - Section 153 principles

5.19. S.153 of the Act provides that, in exercising its functions under Part 8 of the Act, a licensing authority shall aim to permit the use of premises for gambling in so far as it thinks it is:

  • a. in accordance with any relevant code of practice under s.24 (the LCCP)
  • b. in accordance with any relevant guidance issued by the Commission under s.25 (this guidance)
  • 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).

5.20. Whilst there is a presumption in favour of permitting the relevant premises to be used for gambling, the licensing authority may not do so unless satisfied that such use would be in accordance with this guidance, any relevant Commission code of practice, its own statement of licensing policy, and the licensing objectives.

5.21. In the unlikely event that a licensing authority perceives a conflict between a provision of a Commission code of practice or this guidance, and its own policy statement or view as to the application of the licensing objectives, the structure of s.153 makes it clear that the Commission’s codes and this guidance take precedence.

5.22. In determining applications for premises licences, the Act explicitly sets out two principles that licensing authorities should not have regard to:

  • s.153 makes it clear that in deciding whether or not to grant a licence, a licensing authority must not have regard to the expected demand for gambling premises that are the subject of the application
  • s.210 (1) of the Act states that ‘in making a decision in respect of an application...a licensing authority should not have regard to whether or not a proposal by the applicant is likely to be permitted in accordance with law relating to planning or building’.

5.23. A licensing authority is therefore afforded significant scope to exercise its powers under s.153 on the grounds that it does not encroach on the two principles set out above.

5.24. The requirements in s.153 are subject to the licensing authority’s power under s.166 to resolve not to issue casino premises licences. This means that a resolution not to issue a casino premises licence applies regardless of the matters set out in s.153.

Previous section
Licensing objectives
Next section
Codes of practice
Is this page useful?
Back to top