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Guidance to licensing authorities

The Gambling Commission's guidance for licensing authorities.


2 - Conditions and authorisations by virtue of the Act

9.4. The following paragraphs set out specific sections of the Act that provide for conditions to be attached automatically to premises licences, or for authorisations to be granted automatically. The Secretary of State and/or Scottish Ministers may make regulations requiring these conditions to be set out on the premises licence, and there is no discretion to decide not to include them or to modify them. The table after paragraph 9.18 summarises which sections of the Act apply to which types of premises licences.

S.172 – number of gaming machines

9.5. S.172 provides for premises licences to permit a specified number of gaming machines of particular categories in each type of gambling premises. These permissions are set out in detail in Part 16 of this guidance.

S.173 – betting on virtual events

9.6. S.173 authorises the holder of a casino premises licence or a betting premises licence to make facilities available for betting on virtual events. This is separate from betting on virtual events by means of a gaming machine. It is intended to cover facilities such as virtual horse and greyhound racing which are person-to-person transactions, involving virtual images that are not displayed on a machine.

S.174 – gambling in addition to casino games

9.7. S.174 authorises the holder of a casino premises licence for a small or large casino to make available the following types of gambling in addition to casino games:

  • equal chance games
  • betting – but not in pre-2005 Act casinos with grandfather rights and only with a betting operating licence
  • bingo – but only in large casinos and only with a bingo operating licence.

9.8. For the purposes of the Act, equal chance games are ones which do not involve playing or staking against a bank and in which the chances are equally favourable to all players. Licensing authorities must not restrict the equal chance gaming available nor prohibit casino games that have not been prohibited by the Commission. Part 17 of this guidance provides details of the casino games authorised by the Commission.

S.176 – access by children and young persons to casinos

9.9. S.176 requires the Commission to issue at least one code of practice about access to casino premises for children and young persons. In particular, the code must:

  • specify steps that the premises licence holder must take to ensure that under-18s do not enter casino premises, including ensuring that each entrance to the casino is supervised by at least one person who is responsible for compliance with the code of practice
  • require that, unless the supervisor is certain that a person seeking admittance is an adult, evidence of age must be provided by those seeking to enter the casino or gambling area.

9.10. S.176 makes it a condition of the premises licence that the licensee must comply with the code of practice issued by the Commission. Licensing authorities should note that the requirement under s.176 for supervision at each entrance is separate to any other condition that may be attached relating to ‘door supervision’ more generally.

S.177 – giving of credit

9.11. S.177 attaches a condition to casino premises licences and bingo premises licences that prohibits the licensee from:

  • giving credit in connection with the gambling taking place on the premises
  • participating in, arranging, permitting or knowingly facilitating the giving of credit in connection with the gambling on the premises.

9.12. However, s.177 does not prevent the licensee from contracting a third party to install cash dispensers (ATMs) on their premises, which may accept both credit and debit cards. Such an arrangement is subject to requirements that the premises licence holder has no other commercial connection in relation to gambling with the provider of the ATMs (aside from the agreement to site the machines), does not profit from the arrangement, and does not make any payment in connection with the machines. All premises licences also include a mandatory condition which requires that any ATM made available for use on the premises must be located in a place that requires any customer who wishes to use it to cease gambling in order to do so (Part 1(5) of The Gambling Act 2005 (Mandatory and Default Conditions) Regulations).

9.13. S.177 deals with the prohibition of credit in respect of casino and bingo premises licences. However equivalent prohibitions are placed on bingo and casino operating licences, as set out in s.81 of the Act, credit and inducements.

S.178 – door supervision

9.14. If a licensing authority attaches a condition relating to door supervision, and the person carrying out those duties are required by the Private Security Industry Act 2001 (opens in new tab) (PSIA) to hold a licence, s. 178 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab) prescribes that the requirement under PSIA will be treated as if it were a condition of the premises licence. There is, however, an exemption from the PSIA licensing requirement for in-house employees working as door supervisors at casino and bingo premises, details of which can be found in Part 33 of this guidance.

9.15. S.178 defines door supervision as requiring someone to be responsible for ‘guarding the premises against unauthorised access or occupation, against outbreaks of disorder or against damage’.

S.179 – pool betting

9.16. S.179 provides that a betting premises licence in respect of a track may not authorise pool betting to take place, other than in respect of dog or horse racing and only where the acceptance of bets is by the holder of the betting premises licence, or in accordance with arrangements made by them. In the case of dog racing, this preserves the existing arrangements at dog tracks where the totalisator is operated by or on behalf of the occupier of the track.

S.182 – access by children and young persons to tracks

9.17. S.182 applies only to a betting premises licences in respect of tracks. It requires the licensee to ensure that children and young persons are excluded from any area in which facilities for betting are provided and from any area where a gaming machine (other than a category D gaming machine) is situated. The exception to this, for betting areas only, is on race days at dog and horse racing tracks, that is on those days when racing occurs or is expected to take place. In those cases, under-18s may have access to betting areas but licensing authorities should note that this exception does not affect the prohibition on betting by children and young persons.

S.183 – Christmas day

9.18. S.183 applies a condition to all premises licences that facilities for gambling must not be provided on Christmas day, namely the period of 00.01 hours on 25 December until 00.00 hours on 26 December.

Section of the Act
Type of premises licences.172s.173s.174s.176s.177s.178s.179s.182s.183
All premises licencesxxx
Bingo premises licencesx
Casino premises licencesxxx
Small casinosx
Large casinosx
Betting premises licencesx
Betting premises licence in respect of a trackxx
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Conditions attached through regulations made by the Secretary of State or Scottish Ministers – all premises
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