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How we assess operating licence applications

When we assess your application we consider whether your business will uphold the licensing objectives and if you are suitable to carry out the activities your licence will allow.

Assessing suitability

When considering suitability we want to see evidence to support and enable an assessment for the following areas:

Identity and ownership

Your identity and the identity of other people relevant to the application, for example, the person who ultimately owns a corporation that your business is a part of.


Financial and other circumstances, past and present, and those of people relevant to the application, including the resources likely to be available to carry out the licensed activities.


Your honesty and trustworthiness and that of the people relevant to the application


The experience, expertise, qualifications and history and yourself and the people relevant to the application.


Your criminal record and that of people relevant to the application.

What we assess

We will look at your policies in order to make sure that:

  • the licensing objectives will be followed
  • there is an understanding of the legislation overall
  • evidence that your arrangements will meet social responsibility requirements.

Our approach to licensing is set out in our Licensing, compliance and enforcement policy statement.

There is no requirement that an applicant be incorporated in a particular country or jurisdiction. However, it is important to note the requirement in section 69 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab) that states you must provide an address in the UK at which a document under the Act may be served.

If your head office and registered office addresses are overseas, you will have to provide a correspondence address that is in the UK at which papers can be posted to so that you receive them quickly.

The address cannot be a PO Box and needs to be somewhere where you, for example, have a consistent staff presence or be the address of an official representative such as an accountant, solicitor or auditor. Such a correspondence address in the UK must be maintained for the life of the licence.

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How to apply for an operating licence
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