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Guidance to licensing authorities

The Gambling Commission's guidance for licensing authorities.


1 - Introduction

14.1. It is an offence to provide facilities for gambling unless either the required permissions are in place, or an exemption applies. One such exemption is for the holder of an operating licence to notify a Temporary Use Notice (TUN) to the relevant licensing authority. This is not a permanent arrangement, but allows premises such as hotels, conference centres or sporting venues to be used temporarily for providing facilities for gambling. A TUN may also apply to a vessel, whether moored or moving. TUNs are often, but not exclusively, used to run poker tournaments.

14.2. The primary legislation in respect of TUNs can be found at s.214-234 of the Act. This sets out the nature and form of the notice to be given by the operator; other bodies to be informed (including the Commission); objections and appeals; and instructions to the licensing authority concerned.

14.3. Secondary legislation – Gambling Act 2005 (Temporary Use Notices) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab) (SI 2007/3157) – sets out the restrictions on the type of gambling to be offered under a TUN. These restrictions are:

  • it can only be used to offer gambling of a form authorised by the operator’s operating licence, and consideration should therefore be given as to whether the form of gambling being offered on the premises will be remote, non-remote, or both
  • gambling under a TUN may only be made available on a maximum of 21 days in any 12 month period for any or all of a named set of premises
  • it can only be used to permit the provision of facilities for equal chance gaming, and where the gaming in each tournament is intended to produce a single overall winner
  • gaming machines may not be made available under a TUN.

14.4. In relation to tournaments, the requirement that the gaming is ‘intended to produce a single overall winner’ does not restrict the gaming to only one winner through the course of the tournament, although there will ultimately be one final tournament winner. It is considered acceptable for each qualifying round of the tournament; (for example comprising several hands or games of poker) to produce a single overall winner of that qualifying round, whose prize may be the right to progress to the next stage in the tournament. There can also be additional competitions run alongside or leading up to the main event, provided that each of these also only provides one winner. Further information on poker is set out in Part 29 of this guidance.

14.5. Cash games are games where each hand provides a winner and are not permitted under a TUN.

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