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An operating licence is required to provide most gambling facilities in Great Britain.
Published: 3 May 2021
Last updated: 1 November 2021
This version was printed or saved on: 8 December 2023
Online version: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/licensees-and-businesses/guide/operating-licences
Overview: If you provide facilities for remote gambling (online or through other means), and advertise to consumers in Great Britain, you will need a licence from the Gambling Commission.
There are 3 types of operating licence:
You may need one or a combination of these licences to provide gambling facilities to consumers in Great Britain.
View the activities we licence and the fees you'll need to pay.
You can apply for an operating licence using the apply for an operating licence service.
Apply for an operating licence online.Start
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.
When considering suitability we want to see evidence to support and enable an assessment for the following areas:
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.
We will look at your policies in order to make sure that:
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.
If we make a decision about your licence or an application for a licence, we will let you know the reasons why and the steps you can take to appeal if you are unhappy with our decision.
You can appeal against a decision about your gambling licence if:
You normally have to pay a fee to appeal (opens in a new tab). This fee will be refunded if you win your case.
If we have given you a final decision and you are not satisfied with it, you can appeal to the HM Courts & Tribunals Service (opens in a new tab), which is an independent body.