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Guidance to licensing authorities

The Gambling Commission's guidance for licensing authorities.


3 - Licensed premises gaming machine permits

26.8. Licensing authorities may issue licensed premises gaming machine permits for any number of category C or D machines in licensed premises (alcohol licensed premises as described in s.277 of the Act). Where a permit authorises the making available of a specified number of gaming machines in particular premises, this will effectively replace, and not be in addition to, any automatic entitlement to two machines under s.282 of the Act.

26.9. Holders of licensed premises gaming machine permits are required to comply with a code of practice issued by the Commission on the location and operation of machines, Code of practice for gaming machines in clubs and premises with an alcohol licence.

26.10. The detail of how to apply for licensed premises gaming machine permits is set out in Schedule 13 of the Act (for England and Wales) and in the Licensed Premises Gaming Machine Permits (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (for Scotland) (opens in new tab) (SSI No 505/2007).

26.11. Applications must be made by a person or organisation that holds the on-premises alcohol licence for the premises for which the application is made. An application may not be made if a premises licence under the Act is in effect at the premises. The application must be made to an authority in whose area the premises are wholly or partly situated. The Act requires an application to include information on the premises to which it relates, and the number and category of gaming machines sought. Apart from this it is for the licensing authority to direct the form and manner of the application and what additional information and documents are required.

26.12. In determining an application, the licensing authority must have regard to the licensing objectives and to this guidance. They may also take account of any other matters that are considered relevant to the application. The application does not require notification to the Commission or police before determination, however, licensing authorities are able to specify this as a requirement should they see fit.

26.13. The licensing authority may grant or refuse an application. In granting the application, it may vary the number and category of gaming machines authorised by the permit. If granted, the licensing authority must issue the permit as soon as possible after that. Where they refuse the application they must notify the applicant as soon as possible, setting out the reasons for refusal. The licensing authority must not refuse an application, or grant it for a different number or category of machines, unless they have notified the applicant of their intention to do so and given the applicant an opportunity to make representations, orally, in writing, or both.

26.14. The permit must specify the person or organisation to which it is issued, the number and category of gaming machines for which the permit has effect, the address of the premises and the date on which it takes effect.

26.15. The permit holder can apply to the licensing authority to amend the permit to reflect a change in the holder’s name. They must comply with the request, provided the prescribed fee is paid.

26.16. The permit holder must keep the permit on the premises, and it must be produced on request for inspection by a constable, enforcement officer or local authority officer. Not to do so is an offence. If the permit is lost, stolen or damaged, the holder may apply to the issuing authority for a copy, accompanied by the prescribed fee.

26.17. There are no renewal provisions for this class of permit because they are indefinite and continue in force for so long as the premises continues to have an alcohol licence and the holder of the permit continues to hold that licence. The permit can lapse if the holder surrenders it to the licensing authority.

26.18. The holder may apply to vary the permit by changing the number and/or category of machines authorised by it.

26.19. The licensing authority is able to cancel a permit. It may only do so in specified circumstances which include if the premises are used wholly or mainly by children or young persons or if an offence under the Act has been committed. Before it cancels a permit the licensing authority must notify the holder, giving 21 days' notice of intention to cancel, consider any representations made by the holder, hold a hearing if requested, and comply with any other prescribed requirements relating to the procedure to be followed. Where the licensing authority cancels the permit, the cancellation does not take effect until the period for appealing against that decision has elapsed or, where an appeal is made, until the appeal is determined.

26.20. The licensing authority can also cancel a permit if the holder fails to pay the annual fee, unless failure is the result of an administrative error. The court may order forfeiture of the permit if the holder is convicted of a relevant offence.

26.21. Where a person applies to a licensing authority for the transfer of an alcohol premises licence, they will also need to apply separately for the transfer of the licensed premises gaming machine permit. Both applications will require a fee to be paid.

26.22. The applicant may appeal to the Magistrates’ court or Sheriff against an authority’s decision not to issue a permit. The holder can also appeal against a decision to cancel a permit.

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Automatic entitlement to two machines
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Exempt gaming
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