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Guidance to licensing authorities

The Gambling Commission's guidance for licensing authorities.


2 - Automatic entitlement to two machines

26.4. S.282 of the Act provides an automatic entitlement to alcohol licence holders to make available two gaming machines (of category C or D) for use in alcohol-licensed premises. To take advantage of this entitlement, the person who holds the on-premises alcohol licence or relevant Scottish licence must give notice to the licensing authority of their intention to make gaming machines available for use, and must pay the prescribed fee (as set by regulations) (SI No 1832/2007: The Gaming Machines in Alcohol Licensed Premises (Notification Fee)(England and Wales) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab) or SSI No 311/2007: The Gambling Act 2005 (Fees No. 2)(Scotland) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab)). If the person ceases to be the holder of the relevant alcohol licence for the premises, the automatic entitlement to the two gaming machines also ceases. Whoever applies for the new premises alcohol licence would also need to apply under s.282(2). A renewal of the automatic entitlement is required only where there is a change in the alcohol licence premises holder (either due to a transfer of licence or application for new licence), not for a change in designated premises supervisor or designated premises manager alone. As there is no requirement to stipulate whether the alcohol licensed premises intends to site category C or D or one of each category, a re-notification should not be required for a change in the mix of gaming machines made available provided it remains within the automatic entitlement to two machines of either category C or D.

26.5. This is not an authorisation procedure. Licensing authorities have no discretion to consider the notification or to turn it down. The only matter to determine is whether the person applying for the automatic gaming machine entitlement is the holder of the alcohol licence and whether the prescribed fee has been paid. There is no statutory requirement for pubs and other alcohol-licensed premises to display a notice of their automatic entitlement to gaming machines.

Removal of exemption

26.6. Licensing authorities can remove the automatic authorisation in respect of any particular premises by making an order under s.284 of the Act. They can do so if:

  • provision of the machines is not reasonably consistent with the pursuit of the licensing objectives
  • gaming has taken place on the premises that breaches a condition of s.282, for example the gaming machines have been made available in a way that does not comply with requirements on the location and operation of gaming machines
  • the premises are mainly used for gaming
  • an offence under the Act has been committed on the premises.

26.7. Before making an order, the licensing authority must give the licensee at least 21 days’ notice of the intention to make the order and consider any representations that they may make. The licensing authority must hold a hearing if the licensee so requests and must comply with any other procedural requirements set out in regulations. If there is no appeal, the order will take effect 21 days after notice of the intention was given. The authority must give the licensee a copy of the order and written reasons for making it. The licensee may appeal to the Magistrates’ court or the Sheriff.

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Licensed premises gaming machine permits
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