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Guidance to licensing authorities

The Gambling Commission's guidance for licensing authorities.


1 - Introduction

15.1. S.39 of the Act provides that where there is betting on a track on eight days or fewer in a calendar year, betting may be permitted by an Occasional Use Notice (OUN) without the need for a full premises licence. The Secretary of State has the power to increase or decrease the number of occasional use notices that an operating licence holder could apply for each calendar year. ‘Day’ is defined as midnight to midnight, so an event that starts on one calendar day and ends on the following day would count as two days. OUNs are designed to allow licensed betting operators to provide betting facilities at genuine sporting events (such as point-to point racecourses and golf courses for major competitions) within the boundaries of the identified venue on a specific date, without the need for a full betting premises licence. An OUN must be served by a person who is responsible for the administration of events on the track or by an occupier of the track. The following should be noted in relation to an OUN:

  • OUNs can only be relied upon for eight days or fewer in a calendar year and therefore licensing authorities should keep a record of the number of notices served in relation to each track. The period of eight days applies to the venue and not the individual who has submitted the notice.
  • an OUN must be submitted for each day that betting activity will be conducted on the premises. If betting activity is to be held over a period of eight consecutive days, the operator will be required to submit eight separate notices.
  • the notice must specify the day on which it has effect. An event running past midnight and ending on the following day accounts for two occasional use days, even though in practice it is one event.
  • no objection or counter notice (refusal) is possible unless the maximum number will be exceeded.
  • notice must be given to the licensing authority and the police, in writing, before the event starts.
  • no premises licence can exist for the place which is the subject of the notice.
  • land can be used temporarily as a track, for example for a point-to-point race, provided that sporting events or races take place there. There is no need for a track to be permanently established.
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What constitutes a track
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