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Betting

Information for betting in shops, tracks, racecourses and pools, including real and virtual betting.

Overview

There are three separate definitions of betting under The Gambling Act 2005.

1. Accepting a bet on:

  • the outcome of a race, competition or other event or process
  • the likelihood of anything occurring or not occurring
  • whether anything is or is not true.

2. A transaction that relates to the outcome of a race, competition or other event or process may be a bet within the meaning of section 1 even if:

  • the race, competition, event or process has already occurred or been completed
  • one party to the transaction knows the outcome.

3. A transaction that relates to the likelihood of anything occurring or not occurring may be a bet within the meaning of section 1 even if:

  • the thing has already occurred or failed to occur
  • one party to the transaction knows that the thing has already occurred or failed to occur.

You can read more about the legal definition of betting in Part 1 section 9 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab)

Guidance

Guidance for the betting sector.

Licences and fees

There are different types of licence that betting businesses may need to apply for, you may need more than of the following:

We issue operating licences and personal licences; premises licences are issued by local licensing authorities.

Types of operating licence

An operating licence allows you to provide gambling activities to customers in Great Britain.

Licence activities

You can apply to us for a licence to provide betting in a premises (non-remote) or online (remote).

Activites

All activities

Remote licence activities

Calculating your fees

Our online fees calculator can help you with understanding the amounts of your application, first annual and annual fees.

Personal management licences

Personal management licences allow people to work in certain roles in a gambling business.

Some businesses do not require personal licences to be held. Instead, you need to submit Annex A Declarations. These are required for businesses with three employees or less.

Annex A Declaration

If your business qualifies as a small-scale operator, you can submit an Annex A declaration instead of applying for a personal management licence.

Premises licence

You will need a premises licence to provide betting to players in a non-remote setting. You will need to apply to the licensing authority the premises is located, to get a premises licence.

You will need to apply for an operating licence, before you apply for any premises licences.

Legislation and Policies

Gambling in Great Britain and the Gambling Commission's duties and responsibilites are detailed in the Gambling Act 2005.

The following legislation and policies are also applicable to operating licence holders.

Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP)

The LCCP outlines the requirements that all operating and personal licence holders must follow.

Getting a licence

You can apply online for a licence from us to provide betting activities.

A betting application can take up to x months to process depending on the complexity of your business.

You will need to apply for an operating licence, before you apply for a premises licence from the local licensing authority.

Information you'll need for your application

We will ask you to provide information about you and your business as part of your licence application.

Apply online

You can use our online service to apply for an operating licence.

If you have not used the service before, you'll need an email address only you can access to be able to create an account.

Make sure you include all the information we ask for when you submit your application. If your application is rejected because something is missing, we will not refund your application fee.

Assessing your application

If your application is rejected

We will send you a letter explaining which documents are missing and you'll need to reapply online.

You must provide the missing documents, as well as the documents you included originally, and you will need to pay the application fee again.

Your licence

If we grant you a licence to run a gambling business, you will be able to download a copy of your licence from eServices.

You must make your licence available for inspection by request from Gambling Commission staff, licensing authority staff or other official bodies such as the police or fire service.

When you hold a licence

An important part of the Gambling Commission’s work is to ensure that licence holders are compliant. Compliance requires licence holders to understand and act in accordance with:

Compliance activity is based on risk and the risk that each licensed activity poses to the Gambling Commission’s licensing objectives.

The three licensing objectives are:

  • keeping crime out of gambling
  • ensuring gambling is conducted fairly and openly
  • protecting children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

Compliance

Guidance and information for running a compliant gambling business. Including information on how we carry out assessments, your responsibilities under the LCCP and other gambling-related legislation.

Regulatory returns

All operating licence holders are required to submit regulatory returns to the Commission on a quarterly or annual basis, depending on the type of licence and activities held.

Public Register

We provide details of all businesses and individuals we licence on our Public Register service.

When you are issued a licence, we will display the details of your licence on the register.

This includes:

  • your head office address
  • details of the activities you are licensed for and from when
  • domain and trading names you've told us about, and
  • details of any regulatory action that has been carried out.

Display of licensed status

If you hold a remote licence, the gambling websites and apps you provide must show details about your licence and link to your public register licence information.

This is a condition of your licence under LCCP Condition 8 - Display of licensed status.

Making changes to your licence

You can make most changes to your licence online, using eServices.

You can:

  • add or remove licence activities
  • change the activity fee category up or down
  • add or remove management or key people in the business
  • add or remove trading names
  • add or remove domain names for websites where you provide gambling.

Some of these changes require you to pay a fee.

Surrendering your licence

If you no longer need your licence, you can surrender it.

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