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Guidance

Guidance to licensing authorities

Our guidance for licensing authorities.

Contents


3 - Permits

12.14 The process for appealing a decision in relation to a permit is set out in the relevant Schedules of the Act, as detailed below. In each case, the appeal should be made to the local Magistrates’ court in England and Wales or to the Sheriff court in Scotland, and must be made within 21 days of receipt of notice of the decision.

12.15 In considering the appeal, the court or Sheriff will take into account whether the licensing authority had regard to its statement of policy, this guidance and codes of practice published by the Commission, and the licensing objectives.

Schedule 10 – family entertainment centre (FEC) gaming machine permits

12.16 Schedule 10, paragraph 22 sets out the processes for appeals for FEC gaming machine permits. The applicant or holder of a permit may appeal if the licensing authority has:

  • rejected an application for a permit or renewal of a permit
  • given notice that the premises are not being used as an FEC
  • stated that the holder is incapable of carrying out an FEC business by reason of mental or physical incapacity.

12.17 The Magistrates’ court or Sheriff may dismiss the appeal, substitute any decision that the licensing authority could have made or restore a permit. They may also remit the matter back to the licensing authority to decide in accordance with any determination they make, in which case the same rights of appeal will apply, as for the original decision. The court or Sheriff may also make an order for costs.

Schedule 11 (Parts 4 and 5) – small society lotteries

12.18 Schedule 11, paragraph 51 sets out the processes for appeals for small society lotteries. In England and Wales, the Act states that local authorities register societies to run lotteries rather than licensing authorities, and in Scotland such decisions are made by the licensing board. A society may appeal if their application for registration is refused or their registered status is revoked.

12.19 In considering an appeal, the Magistrates’ court or Sheriff may uphold the licensing authority’s decision, reverse it, or make any other order. If remitting the decision back to the authority, the same rights of appeal will apply as for the original decision.

Schedule 12 – club gaming permits and club machine permits

12.20 Schedule 12, paragraph 25 sets out the process of appeal for club gaming permits and club machine permits. If the authority rejects an application for the issue or renewal of a permit, the applicant may appeal. If the authority cancels a permit, the holder of the permit may appeal. A person who made an objection to the grant of the permit, or made representations in relation to the cancellation of a permit, may appeal against a grant or refusal to cancel respectively.

12.21 The authority may only refuse an application on one or more of the following grounds:

  • a) (i) for a club gaming permit: the applicant is not a members’ club or miners’ welfare institute, (ii) for a club machine permit: the applicant is not a members’ club, miners’ welfare institute or commercial club
  • b) premises are used by children or young persons
  • c) an offence or a breach of a condition of the permit has been committed by an applicant
  • d) a permit held by an applicant has been cancelled during the last ten years
  • e) an objection has been made by the Commission or local chief officer of police.

12.22 The authority may only cancel a permit on one of the following grounds:

  • a) the premises are used wholly or mainly by children or young persons
  • b) an offence or breach of condition of the permit has been committed in the course of gaming activities.

12.23 In considering an appeal, the court will determine whether any of these statutory grounds applied in the circumstances. In addition, the court will take into account any objections made by the Commission or local police chief and the considerations at paragraph 12.15.

12.24 In England and Wales only, there is a fast-track application procedure (set out in Schedule 12(10)) for holders of a club premises certificate that is issued under s.72 of the Licensing Act 2003 (opens in new tab). In these circumstances, the Commission and police do not have to be consulted and therefore the authority will not receive any objections. The permit must be granted unless:

  • the applicant is established or conducted wholly or mainly for the purposes of the provision of facilities for gaming, other than gaming of a prescribed kind
  • the applicant is established or conducted wholly or mainly for the purposes of the provision of facilities for gaming of a prescribed kind and also provides facilities for gaming of another kind
  • a club gaming permit or club machine permit issued to the applicant has been cancelled during the period of ten years ending with the date of the application.

There is no equivalent provision for clubs in Scotland under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 (opens in new tab).

12.25 The Commission is aware that this fast-track procedure has been used inappropriately by applicants to avoid full scrutiny of applications and licensing authorities should pay particular attention to such applications.

12.26 On an appeal, the court or Sheriff may dismiss the appeal, substitute any decision that the licensing authority could have made, restore a permit, or remit it back to the authority to decide in accordance with a determination of the court, where the same rights of appeal will apply as for the original decision. They can also make an order for costs.

Schedule 13 – licensed premises gaming machine permits

12.27 Schedule 13, paragraph 21 sets out the appeal process for licensed premises gaming machine permits, which only apply to England and Wales. The Scottish Government has set regulations (SSI no. 505: The Licensed Premises Gaming Machine Permits (Scotland) Regulations 2007) (opens in new tab) on permits for alcohol-licensed premises in Scotland. An applicant for a permit may appeal if the application is rejected. The holder of a permit may appeal if he is permitted fewer or a different category of machines than applied for, or if the licensing authority gives a notice which cancels or varies the entitlements of the permit.

12.28 On an appeal, the Magistrates’ court can dismiss the appeal, substitute any decision that the licensing authority could have made, restore a permit, or remit it back to the authority to decide in accordance with a decision of the court, where the same rights of appeal will apply as for the original decision. An order for costs can be made.

Schedule 14 – prize gaming permits

12.29 Schedule 14, paragraph 22 sets out the appeal process for prize gaming permits. If the licensing authority rejects an application for the issue or renewal of a permit, the applicant may appeal.

12.30 On an appeal, the Magistrates’ court or Sheriff may dismiss the appeal, substitute any decision that the licensing authority could have made, or remit it back to the authority to decide in accordance with a determination of the court, where the same rights of appeal will apply as for the original decision. They can also make an order for costs.

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Giving reasons for decisions
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Temporary use notices
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