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Guidance

Information requirements from licensing authorities

Details on the information that we require from licensing authorities.

Licensing authority annual returns

We collect data from local licensing authorities to help us monitor and report on the state of gambling in Great Britain. To simplify and standardise this data collection, we require licensing authorities to complete an annual licensing authority return.

Data from each licensing authority return is published in our annual Licensing Authority Statistics report, which provides data on activity by licensing authorities in respect of their duties under the Gambling Act 2005.

The annual licensing authority return is included in the single data list (SDL) (opens in a new tab) managed by the Ministry of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. The SDL is a list of all the datasets that local government must submit to central government, including arm’s length bodies such as the Gambling Commission.

The return collects data on inspections and age verification test purchasing visits of gambling premises by licensing authorities.

Submitting licensing authority returns

Licensing authority returns need to be submitted via our online returns system (opens in a new tab).

Access to the online returns system requires a passcode. They are sent to the registered local authority lead for gambling licensing every March, contained within a letter notifying them that the online return system is opening for submissions.

A glossary of terms and guidance on the questions in the licensing authority return are available.

The reporting period for the returns is 1 April to 31 March annually. Returns must be submitted within 42 days after the end of the annual period.

Where returns are submitted late, incomplete, or are inaccurate, we will contact the licensing authorities. If we do not receive an up-to-date, accurate regulatory return after we have contacted a licensing authority, our Chief Executive will normally contact the licensing authority’s Chief Executive to discuss the reasons.

If a licensing authority has problems completing their return, they should contact us.

PDF copies of previously submitted returns are available for licensing authorities to download from the ‘History’ section of the online returns system.

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