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Personal functional licence (PFL)

Apply online

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It can take up to 8 weeks to process a personal functional licence if there are no mistakes in the application.

If you plan to be involved in gaming or handling cash in relation to gambling at a casino you must hold a PFL before you start work.

You need a PFL if you are:

  • a dealer or croupier
  • a cashier
  • an inspector
  • a pit boss or gaming supervisor
  • security staff or monitoring surveillance related to gambling activities.

It costs £185 to apply for a licence, the fee must be paid by credit or debit card online and the fee is non-refundable.

You must be 18 or over to apply for a licence.

When you apply for a licence it is your responsibility to follow the relevant rules and regulations, it is not the responsibility of your employer.

Application costs

It costs £185 to apply for a licence, the fee must be paid by credit or debit card online.

This fee is non-refundable, this includes if your application is unsuccessful or you choose to withdraw from the application process.

We are unable to accept payments made by American Express or Visa Electron.

Who can make the payment

You must pay the fee yourself, using your own credit or debit card.

The card you use must be:

  • in your name
  • registered at your home address.

When to pay

You'll need to pay the fee to be able to continue your application. You won't be able to submit until you've paid.

What information you need when applying

To apply for a licence you'll need:

  • an email address and mobile number to start a new application and continue your application
  • all your addresses for the last 5 years and the dates you lived there
  • a credit or debit card to pay the application fee.

Documents you may need to submit

Depending on where you live, or have been living, you may also need to provide:

  • proof of identity documents, such as your passport or driving licence
  • certified copies of your identity documents
  • copies of your police report and credit report or letter of good standing from your bank (if you have lived outside the UK in the last 5 years).

Criminal record checks

As part of the application process we'll need to ask if you've received any criminal convictions, warnings or reprimands.

If you fail to declare any criminal convictions which we later discover during our checks, this may result in your application being refused or your licence being revoked.

Why we do criminality checks

We do this to assess if a person is suitable to hold a personal licence. We are also required to carry out these checks by law, under Part 5 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab).

Not all convictions will prevent you from getting a licence. When considering the suitability of someone to hold a personal licence, we review details of the offence on a case by case basis.

Relevant offences which may result in a licence application being refused, or a licence to be revoked, are listed under Schedule 7 of the Gambling Act (opens in new tab).

Do not send us any documents unless we ask for them

You may have a certificate from a previous DBS or Disclosure Scotland by an employer. Do not send us these certificates, even if the check was done recently. We will always request new checks as part of the application process.

Types of criminality checks

During the application process, we will let you know what checks will be completed and if we need anything further from you.

If you lived or worked in England or Wales in the last 5 years

We will carry out a Basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (opens in new tab), which is done electronically. We will ask you some questions in the application to enable us to carry out this check.

If you declare any criminal history in your application, we reserve the right to carry out a Standard DBS check, instead of a Basic DBS check. You will be notified if we intend to do this. We cannot do this Standard check electronically, instead, we'll send you a form which you'll need to complete, sign, and return to us.

Electronic checks can take 1 to 7 days to complete. Standard checks can take up to 3 weeks.

After DBS checks

DBS will issue a certificate which details any relevant convictions, warnings or offences against you.

Once you get your certificate, we may ask you to send this to us. Do not send us your certificate unless we ask for it. We will tell you how and where to send it to.

If you have only lived in Scotland in the last 5 years

We will request a Disclosure Scotland check (opens in new tab)

We will send you a form which you need to complete, sign and return to us.

Disclosure Scotland checks can take up to 3 weeks.

After Disclosure Scotland checks

Disclosure Scotland will issue a certificate which details (if any) relevant convictions, warning or offences against you.

Once you get your certificate, we require you to send this to us and we will tell you how and where to send it.

If you were born outside of England, Wales or Scotland or lived overseas in the last 5 years

We will ask you to obtain a copy of a police record from your local police force. If these records are not in English, you must obtain certified copies, translated into English. For example, copies which have been certified by a solicitor.

This is at your own cost and is not covered by the application fee. We will not pay any fees for obtaining or translating these documents.

These documents need to be uploaded as part of your application. We may reject your application if they are not provided, or not in English.

You can find more information about certifying a document on GOV.UK (opens in new tab).

After you receive your licence

If you are convicted or receive a caution for an offence once you have your licence, you are required to tell us about any offences listed in Schedule 7 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab) within 5 days or as soon as reasonably possible.

Tell us online

You can tell us about any offences using the Manage your personal licence service.

Start

You can find out more about which key events you need to report to us as a personal licence holder.

Uploading your documents

If we ask for any additional information or supporting documents, you can submit these online. Upload your documents using the apply for a personal licence service (opens in new tab).

Applications during COVID-19

Please do not send any documents to us by post.

If you have already posted an application or supporting documents to us and are waiting for a response, contact us. Follow our COVID-19 guidance for more information.

If you need help

You can read more about sending information to us as part of your application.

If you still have questions, get in touch with us online by completing our licence application query form and we'll direct your query to the appropriate team.

When you get your licence

Your licence will last indefinitely unless:

  • it is revoked
  • it is suspended
  • you choose to surrender it
  • it lapses, for example due to bankruptcy
  • it is forfeit, for example if a court orders it when you are convicted of a relevant offence.

However, you will need to maintain your personal licence every 5 years.

If you need a copy

You will not receive a physical copy of your licence from us but you can download a copy through our manage and maintain your personal licence service (opens in new tab).

You need to be able to produce your licence on demand within a specified period of time if a constable or enforcement officer asks to see it.

Updating your contact details

Most changes to your personal details can be done online and you will not have to pay any fees to make these changes.

You can change your:

  • name
  • address
  • email address
  • phone number.

If you want to make changes to your licence

You can read more about the process for making changes or varying your personal licence.

Tell us online

Update your personal details using the Manage your personal licence service.

Start

If your application is rejected

If we reject your application we'll let you know the reasons why and the steps you can take to appeal if you are unhappy with our decision.

If we have given you a final decision and you are not satisfied with it, you can appeal to HM Courts & Tribunals Service (opens in new tab), which is an independent body.

If you no longer need your licence

If you hold a personal functional licence and no longer need it you can give it up, or 'surrender' it.

If you are no longer working in the gambling industry and do not plan to return, you should surrender your licence.

You do not need to pay a fee to surrender your licence.

If you do not need your licence and do not surrender it, we'll continue to send reminders to keep your personal details up-to-date and when you are next due to maintain your licence.

How to surrender your licence

You can surrender your licence online:

  1. sign into our Manage and maintain service (opens in new tab).
  2. from your account hub, select 'Surrender your licence', under the licence section.
  3. we'll process your request and your licence will no longer be active.

After you surrender your licence

After we have processed your request, the register of personal licence holders will show your licence has been surrendered. It can take a couple of days for this to update.

Your entry will remain on the register for 3 years.

If you start working in the gambling industry in a position that requires a personal licence, you'll need to apply for a new personal management (opens in new tab) or personal functional licence (opens in new tab) and pay a fee.

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