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Guidance to licensing authorities

The Gambling Commission's guidance for licensing authorities.


3 - Conditions attached through regulations made by the Secretary of State or Scottish Ministers – all premises

9.19. The Secretary of State and Scottish Ministers have set out conditions to be attached to all premises licences in the Gambling Act 2005 (Mandatory and Default Conditions) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab) (SI 2007/1409), and the Gambling Act 2005 (Mandatory and Default Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab) (SSI 2007/266).

9.20. Conditions under these regulations fall into two categories:

  • mandatory conditions made under s.167 of the Act that must be attached to premises licences
  • default conditions made under s.168 of the Act, that attach to the premises licence unless the licensing authority decides to exclude them, using its powers under s.169.

9.21. Licensing authorities should note that mandatory conditions made under these regulations are set with the intention that no further regulation in relation to that matter is required. Therefore, it is extremely unlikely that licensing authorities will need to impose individual conditions in relation to matters that are already dealt with by mandatory conditions. Licensing authorities should only consider doing so where there are regulatory concerns of an exceptional nature, and any additional licence conditions must relate to the licensing objectives.

9.22. Mandatory conditions applying to all premises licences are set out at paragraph 9.25 onwards. In addition, there are mandatory conditions that relate to particular category of premises licences. Details of these can be found in Part 17 of this guidance to Part 22 of this guidance.

9.23. Licensing authorities have more flexibility in relation to default conditions and may exclude a default condition and substitute it with one that is either more or less restrictive. Licensing authorities should note, however, that default conditions are intended to reflect normal industry operating practices. In circumstances where default conditions are excluded, the Commission would generally expect them to be replaced by other conditions, given the requirements of s.153. Where the condition is more restrictive, the licensing authority should ensure that they have clear regulatory reasons for doing so.

9.24. Default conditions under the regulations set out above relate to particular categories of premises licence and details can be found in Part 17 of this guidance to Part 22 of this guidance.

Mandatory conditions

9.25. The following mandatory conditions apply to all premises licences:

  • the summary of the premises licence issued by the licensing authority must be displayed in a prominent place on the premises. In England and Wales this must include a summary of the terms and conditions of the premises licence.
  • the layout of the premises must be maintained in accordance with the plan that forms part of the premises licence.
  • neither National Lottery products nor tickets in a private or customer lottery may be sold on the premises in England and Wales. Sale of National Lottery and private lottery tickets are prohibited in Scotland.

9.26. There are also mandatory conditions attaching to each type of premises licence controlling access between premises. There can be no direct access between one premises licensed under the Act and another premises licensed under the Act, with the following exceptions:

  • between licensed betting premises
  • between bingo premises and alcohol-licensed premises and/or clubs with a club gaming or club machine permit or family entertainment centres (FECs) and tracks
  • between tracks and alcohol-licensed premises and/or clubs with a club gaming or club machine permit, FECs or betting premises and bingo premises
  • between FECs and alcohol-licensed premises, bingo halls or clubs with club gaming or club machine permit and tracks.

Default conditions

9.27. S.169 of the Act gives licensing authorities:

  • the ability to exclude from premises licences any default conditions that have been imposed under s.168
  • the power to impose conditions on premises licences that they issue.

9.28. Licensing authorities should make decisions on conditions on a case-by-case basis, and in the context of the principles of s.153. They must aim to permit the use of premises for gambling and so should not attach conditions that limit their use except where it is necessary in accordance with the licensing objectives, the Commission’s codes of practice and this guidance, or their own statement of policy. Conversely, licensing authorities should not turn down applications for premises licences where relevant objections can be dealt with through the use of conditions.

9.29. Licensing authority statements of policy will need to consider the local circumstances which might give rise to the need for conditions. Where there are specific risks associated with a particular locality, the licensing authority might decide to attach conditions to the premises licence to mitigate those risks. For example, local issues associated with a high crime rate may put a premises at risk of not being consistent with the licensing objectives, and specific conditions may be necessary to address the risk.

9.30. Where there are risks associated with a specific premises or class or premises, the licensing authority may consider it necessary to attach conditions to the licence to address those risks, taking account of the local circumstances.

9.31. Conditions imposed by the licensing authority must be proportionate to the circumstances which they are seeking to address. In particular, licensing authorities should ensure that the premises licence conditions are:

  • relevant to the need to make the proposed building suitable as a gambling facility
  • directly related to the premises (including the locality and any identified local risks) and the type of licence applied for
  • fairly and reasonably related to the scale and type of premises
  • reasonable in all other respects.
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Conditions and authorisations by virtue of the Act
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Conditions that may not be attached to premises licences by licensing authorities
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