With this document you can:

This box is not visible in the printed version.

Guidance to licensing authorities

Our guidance for licensing authorities.

Published: 1 April 2021

Last updated: 13 May 2021

This version was printed or saved on: 21 September 2021

Online version: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/guidance/guidance-to-licensing-authorities

Changes to the Guidance for Licensing Authorities

  1. April 2021 Update

    Added Part 1 - General guidance on the role and responsibilities of licensing authorities in gambling regulation - Primary legislation - 1.14 & 1.19

    Added Part 16: Gaming machines - The meaning of ‘available for use’ - 16.17, 16.18, 16.19, 16.20, 16.21, 16.22, 16.23, 16.24, 16.25 and 16.26

    Added Part 17: Casinos - Controlling where gaming machines may be played – casino - 17.58

    Added Part 18: Bingo - Gaming machines - 18.8

    Added Part 19: Betting premises - Gaming machines - 19.5

    Added Part 21: Adult gaming centres - Self-exclusion - 21.4

    Added Part 34: Small society lotteries - Application and registration process for small society lotteries - 24.29

    Added Appendix I: Glossary of terms – OPSS

    Amended Part 1: General guidance on the role and responsibilities of licensing authorities in gambling regulation: Co-ordination and contact – 1.10

    Amended Part 1: General guidance on the role and responsibilities of licensing authorities in gambling regulation: Primary legislation – 1.18

    Amended Part 2: The licensing framework – Introduction - 2.3

    Amended Part 3: The Gambling Commission - Main functions of the Commission - 3.5

    Amended Part 3: The Gambling Commission - Relationship between the Commission and licensing authorities - 3.9 and 3.10

    Amended Part 6: Licensing authority policy statement - Local risk assessments - 6.44

    Amended Part 6: Licensing authority policy statement - Consultation process - 6.58

    Amended Part 7: Premises licences - Applications - 7.41

    Amended Part 8: Responsible authorities and interested parties definitions - Responsible authorities - 8.8

    Amended Part 9: Premises licence conditions - S.179 – Pool betting - 9.16

    Amended Part 15: Occasional use notices - Introduction - 15.1

    Amended Part 15: Occasional use notices - Use (and misuse) of OUNs 15.4

    Amended Part 18: Bingo - Gaming machines - 18.8

    Amended Part 20: Tracks - Definition of a track - 20.5

    Amended Part 20: Tracks - Betting on tracks - 20.16, 20.18, 20.19 and 20.20

    Amended Part 20: Tracks - Applications - 20.55

    Amended Part 20: Tracks - Pool betting - 20.64

    Amended Part 21: Adult gaming centres - Gaming machine - 21.5

    Amended Part 24: Unlicensed family entertainment centres - Introduction - 24.2

    Amended Part 25: Clubs - Permits - 25.54

    Amended Part 29: Poker - Advertising - 29.52

    Amended Part 34: Small society lotteries - Application and registration process for small society lotteries - 34.40 and 34.41

    Amended Part 36: Compliance and enforcement matters - Powers of entry in Scotland - 36.18, 39.19 and 36.20

    Amended Part 36: Compliance and enforcement matters - Illegal gambling - 36.25

    Amended Part 36: Compliance and enforcement matters - Test purchasing and age verification - 36.32

    Amended Appendix I: Glossary of terms - DCMS changed to Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport

    Removed Part 1: General guidance on the role and responsibilities of licensing authorities in gambling regulation - Co-ordination and contact - 1.11 and 1.12

    Removed Part 13: Information exchange - Information the Commission makes available to licensing authorities - 13.18

    Removed Part 16: Gaming machines - The meaning of ‘available for use’ - 16.17, 16.18, 16.19, 16.20, 16.21 and 16.22

    Removed Part 29: Poker - Advertising - 29.53 and 29.54

    Removed Part 36: Compliance and enforcement matters - Illegal gambling - 36.22

    Removed Appendix I: Glossary of terms - BRDO

Part 1: General guidance on the role and responsibilities of licensing authorities in gambling regulation

Introduction

1.1 When the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab) (the Act) came into force in late 2007, it brought in a new, comprehensive system for gambling regulation in Great Britain. For the first time, the vast majority of commercial gambling was brought together into a single regulatory framework. The Act established a dedicated regulator, at a national level, in the form of the Gambling Commission (the Commission). But it also recognised the potential local impact and importance of gambling. So it created many local regulators, whose job it is to manage gambling locally, in line with local circumstances. Those regulators are the 368 licensing authorities of England, Wales and Scotland. In doing so, the Act established a strong element of local decision-making and accountability in gambling regulation.

1.2 The Act gives local regulators discretion to manage local gambling provision, including discretion as to the level of fees set to cover the cost of administering the local system of regulation within limits set by The Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) in England and Wales1. It sets out some boundaries to that discretion, consistent with the recognition of gambling as a mainstream leisure activity.

1.3 The Act also provides scope for the Commission to act to set an overall direction at national level, while leaving licensing authorities in the lead locally, with appropriate support from the Commission. This Guidance, to which licensing authorities must have regard, is an important part of those arrangements.

Partnership working between the Commission and licensing authorities – shared regulation

1.4 The Commission works in partnership with licensing authorities to regulate gambling. In doing so, the Commission will tend to focus on operators and issues of national or regional significance, and licensing authorities will take the lead on regulating gambling locally. The Commission and licensing authorities may work directly together on particular issues, for example where it may establish a precedent or help build capacity and learning to be rolled out more widely.

1.5 The Commission draws on, and shares, the intelligence and insights of its regulatory partners, in particular licensing authorities, who may well be better positioned to identify emerging risks to the licensing objectives or instances of illegality which can start at a local level. By working closely together we are able to prevent such risks growing into a more widespread problem and to ensure that both the Commission and licensing authority resources are used efficiently.

1.6 In the Commission’s view, the statutory duty to aim to permit gambling, subject to reasonable consistency with the licensing objectives, is best delivered through partnership working between industry and regulator, including licensing authorities. Licensing authorities should aim to work with local businesses to reduce the risk to the licensing objectives to acceptable levels. The Act does not envisage regulation by either the Commission or licensing authorities being aimed at preventing legitimate gambling.

1.7 Further, the Commission was not established, and is not resourced, to lead on local gambling regulation. Licensing authorities have the power to collect fees, subject to statutory maxima, to cover the costs of local gambling regulation. In addition, local regulation is more cost effective and licensing authorities are better placed to understand and manage local issues. So, while the Commission aims to adopt a position of support and assistance for licensing authorities in carrying out their functions, that is in the context of licensing authorities taking the lead on local regulation of gambling.

1.8 This is reflected in the Commission’s approach to representations on premises licence applications. Neither licensing authorities nor operators should take the absence of a specific representation on particular application as indicating the Commission’s approval of that application. However, exceptionally, where an application for a premises licence, or the operation of a current premises licence, raises matters of wider or national significance, the Commission will consider making representations or requesting a licence review. The Commission may also comment on an application if it has particular observations about an operator. The Commission will aim to work with the relevant licensing authority in formulating any representation it wishes to make.

1.9 In many instances, effective outcomes will depend on close co-operation and communication between the Commission and licensing authorities. Ultimately, however, the responsibility for every licensing decision rests with the licensing authority itself, in line with the principle of local accountability.

Co-ordination and contact

1.10 The Commission works with national bodies such as the Local Government Association (LGA) (opens in new tab), The Institute of Licensing (IoL) (opens in new tab), The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) (opens in new tab), the Society of Local Authority Lawyers and Administrators in Scotland (SOLAR) (opens in new tab), The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) (opens in new tab) and others to share intelligence and good practice as well as regular updates on gambling related matters. The Commission also provides a regular update via the LA Bulletin, e learning modules, a dedicated section of the website2, inspection templates and quick guides. Resource permitting we offer support for specific cases of compliance and enforcement as well as the delivery of training and awareness raising sessions throughout GB.

1.11 Since the Act was introduced a great deal of collective experience and insight has been developed, enabling licensing authorities and the Commission to fulfil their roles within the shared regulatory system more effectively and efficiently. Case studies available in the LA toolkit provide examples of successful multi-agency initiatives undertaken by the Commission and its regulatory partners.

1.12 – Licensing Authorities and their public health colleagues should be aware that there exists a National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms3. Experience suggests that close working between the teams can deliver important results in protecting the third licensing objective of ‘protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling’. A database of national, regional and local initiatives can be found on the Commission website4.

Primary legislation

1.13 The primary legislation governing gambling in Great Britain is the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab). It covers England, Wales and Scotland, but not Northern Ireland, which has its own arrangements.

1.14 The overall approach of the Act is to state that gambling is unlawful in Great Britain, unless permitted by:

1.16 The Act establishes two comprehensive offences: providing facilities for gambling or using premises for gambling without the appropriate permission. Such permission may come from a licence, permit, or registration granted in accordance with the Act or from an exemption given by the Act. Where authority to provide facilities for gambling is granted, it is subject to varying degrees of regulation, depending on the type of gambling, the means by which it is conducted, and the people by whom and to whom it is offered.

1.17 The Act is designed, as far as possible, to be flexible and future-proof. In practice, this means that in many areas the Act sets a framework, with more detailed rules set out in regulations made under the Act.

1.18 In addition, the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 (opens in new tab) came into force on 1 November 2014 and amends the Act. It requires remote gambling operators selling into the British market, whether based here or abroad, to hold a Commission licence to enable them to transact with British consumers. The Act (as amended) has implications for remote operators and does not impact the powers or authority of licensing authorities.

1.19 The Gambling Act 2005 permits the advertising of gambling in all forms, provided that it is legal and there are adequate protections in place to prevent such advertisements undermining the licensing objectives. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is the UK’s independent regulator of advertising. It enforces the UK Advertising Codes (the Codes), written by the Committees of Advertising Practice. The Codes cover the content and placement of advertising and are designed to ensure that advertisements for gambling products are socially responsible, with particular regard to the need to protect children, young persons under 18 and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited. The Codes also require that advertisements for gambling products or services do not mislead. Any complaint about the content and placement of advertising or marketing communications should be sent directly to the ASA.

Statutory aim to permit gambling

1.20 The Act places a legal duty on both the Commission and licensing authorities to aim to permit gambling, in so far as it is considered to be reasonably consistent with the pursuit of the licensing objectives. The effect of this duty is that both the Commission and licensing authorities must approach their functions in a way that seeks to regulate gambling by using their powers, for example, powers to attach conditions to licences, to moderate its impact on the licensing objectives rather than by starting out to prevent it altogether.

The licensing objectives

1.21 The three licensing objectives (s.1 of the Act) which guide the way that the Commission and licensing authorities perform their functions and the way that gambling businesses carry on their activities, are:

1.22 The Commission and licensing authorities have a duty to pursue the licensing objectives, and we expect gambling business to deliver them.

Codes of practice

1.23 The Commission has the power to issue two types of code of practice. The first is a social responsibility (SR) code. A SR code must be followed and has the force of a licence condition. The Commission may also issue ordinary codes (OC) which are intended to set out best industry practice. They are not mandatory but operators are expected to follow them unless they have alternative arrangements in place that they can demonstrate are equally effective.

1.24 S.153 of the Act requires licensing authorities, in exercising their functions, to have regard to any code of practice issued by the Commission. A full version of the Commission’s Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) is available on the Commission’s website.

Licensing authority discretion (s.153 of the Act)

1.25 Licensing authorities have discretion to regulate local provision of gambling and the Act gives wide-ranging powers to do so. Those include the power:

1.26 In exercising its functions under the Act, s.153 states that the licensing authority shall aim to permit the use of premises for gambling in so far as it thinks it:

1.27 The ‘aim to permit’ framework provides wide scope for licensing authorities to impose conditions on a premises licence, reject, review or revoke premises licences where there is an inherent conflict with the relevant codes of practice, relevant guidance issued by the Commission, the licensing objectives or the licensing authorities own policy statement.

1.28 Licence conditions are one method by which it is possible to mitigate risks associated with a particular premises. The imposition of licence conditions might be prompted by locality specific concerns, for example the proximity of gambling premises to a school.

1.29 However, licensing authorities may also wish to have proactive engagement with local operators to mitigate risks to the licensing objectives. Such engagement can facilitate an open and constructive partnership which, in turn, can improve compliance and reduce regulatory costs. Engagement with operators should be prompted by justifiable concerns or in pursuit of the principles set out under s.153.

1.30 To reflect the breadth of licensing authority discretion, they are entitled to request such information from operators as they may require to make effective licensing decisions. The Act requires that an application must be accompanied by a minimum level of information (detailed in Part 7 of this guidance). In the Commission’s view, however, this does not preclude reasonable requests from licensing authorities for additional information to satisfy themselves that their licensing decision is reasonably consistent with the licensing objectives and the Commission’s codes. That information may include, for example, a suitable business plan or the operator’s own assessment of risk to the licensing objectives locally.

Local risk assessments

1.31 To improve the exchange of information between licensing authorities and operators, the Commission has introduced SR code provisions that require operators of premises-based businesses to conduct local risk assessments (SR 10.1.1), and an ordinary code provision that says licensees should share their risk assessments with licensing authorities in certain circumstances (OC 10.1.2).

Licensing authority policy statement

1.32 The statement of licensing policy is a very important part of the architecture of local gambling regulation and it is expected that licensing authorities will use it to set out the local issues, priorities and risks that inform and underpin its approach to local regulation.

1.33 It provides the opportunity for licensing authorities to agree and set out how gambling is to be managed in different parts of the local authority area to deal with local concerns and issues. It provides clarity of expectation for licensees and prospective licensees about how their businesses are likely to be treated in different localities. The existence of a clear and agreed policy statement will provide greater scope for licensing authorities to work in partnership with local businesses, communities, and responsible authorities to identify and mitigate local risks to the licensing objectives.

1.34 The policy statement is the primary vehicle for setting out the licensing authority’s approach to regulation having taken into account local circumstances. It ensures that operators have sufficient awareness and understanding of the relevant licensing authority’s requirements and approach, including its’ view on local risks, to help them comply with local gambling regulation.

1.35 More detail on licensing authorities’ statement of licensing policy is set out at Part 6 of this guidance.

Limits on licensing authority discretion

1.36 Licensing authorities are subject to some specific constraints in exercising their functions. As set out at paragraph 1.25, s.153 of the Act provides that licensing authorities shall aim to permit the use of premises for gambling in so far as they think it in accordance with the principles set out in s.153(a) to (d).

1.37 Therefore a licensing authority has no discretion to grant a premises licence where that would mean taking a course which it did not think accorded with the Guidance contained in this document, any relevant Commission code of practice, the licensing objectives or the licensing authority’s own policy statement.

1.38 In addition, the Act makes specific reference to factors that must not be considered by a licensing authority in exercising its functions under s.153:

Other powers

1.39 As stated, licensing authorities have a broad discretion to regulate local provision of gambling and they have similar regulatory powers to the Commission with respect to their licensees, including the power to impose conditions and to review licences. They are not able to impose financial penalties but can impose fees relating to the costs of local regulation. They also have wider powers under legislation such as the Licensing Act 2003 (opens in new tab).

1.39 The Act gives licensing authorities a number of other important regulatory functions in relation to gambling. Their main functions are to:

Part 2: The licensing framework

Introduction

The Act creates three types of licence:

2.2 The Commission has responsibility for granting operating and personal licences for commercial gambling operators and personnel working in the industry.

2.3 Licensing authorities have responsibility for licensing gambling premises within their area, as well as undertaking functions in relation to lower stake gaming machines in clubs and miners’ welfare institutes. In England and Wales, local authorities have these responsibilities; in Scotland they have been given to licensing boards. The Act also provides a system of temporary and occasional use notices. These enable licensing authorities to authorise premises that are not licensed generally for gambling purposes,to be used for certain types of gambling for limited periods. Parts 14 and 15 provide more information on temporary and occasional use notices.

Operating licences

Types of operating licence

2.4 There are various types of operating licence, linked to different types of gambling activity. S.65 of the Act sets out the types of operating licence that may be issued. Some types of gambling activity may be provided remotely, for example over the internet (online gambling) or telephone, or non-remotely such as in land-based premises. Some types of licence provide additional permissions, for example to make particular numbers and types of gaming machine available.

2.5 Different activities may be authorised by a single operating licence (a combined operating licence) but a single licence cannot authorise both remote and non-remote activity. The different types of licence and their associated permissions are summarised in the table below:

Type of licence Non-remote gambling authorisedRemote gambling authorised
Casino operating licenceYesYes
Bingo operating licenceYesYes
General betting operating licenceYesYes
Pool betting operating licenceYesYes
Betting intermediary operating licenceYesYes
Gaming machine general operating licence for an adult gaming centreYes
Gaming machine general operating licence for a family entertainment centreYes
Gaming machine technical operating licenceYesYes
Gambling software operating licenceYesYes
Lottery operating licenceYesYes

2.6 Operating licences are not transferable. However, there are provisions in the Act which deal with circumstances in which control of a company changes hands.

How operating licences are granted

2.7 The Commission, like licensing authorities, has a statutory duty to permit gambling in so far as it thinks reasonably consistent with the licensing objectives. In considering whether to grant an operating licence, and any conditions that may be attached, the Commission has regard to the licensing objectives, and to the suitability of the applicant, in terms of integrity, competence and finances (including source of finance). The Commission also takes into account the business model proposed and its likely compatibility with the law and the licensing objectives. Putting forward a business model that is incompatible with the licensing objectives is likely to lead to questions of the operator’s suitability.

2.8 More detail is available in the Commission’s Policy Statement for Licensing, Compliance and Enforcement.

Operating licence conditions and codes

2.9 Conditions covering a range of matters may be attached to operating licences. Some conditions are set out on the face of the Act, such as the mandatory conditions relating to society lotteries at s.99. The Secretary of State has powers under s.78 of the Act to apply conditions to a class of operating licence – for example, the condition that regulates the number of playing positions at wholly automated roulette tables in casinos. The Commission also has powers to attach conditions either to a class of operating licences, or an individual licence.

2.10 Breaching a licence condition is a criminal offence, although the Commission will default to its regulatory rather than criminal powers when considering such a breach. Those powers include warnings, unlimited fines and suspension or revocation of the licence.

2.11 The Commission also has the power to issue two type of code. The first is a social responsibility (SR) code. An SR code must be followed and has the force of a licence condition. The Commission may also issue ordinary codes (OC), which are intended to set out best industry practice. They are not mandatory but operators are expected to follow them unless they have alternative arrangements in place that they can demonstrate are at least equally effective.

Personal licences

2.12 The purpose of the personal licence is to ensure that individuals who control facilities for gambling or are able to influence the outcome of gambling, are directly accountable to the Commission. The Commission can impose licence conditions that are specific to personal licences. Such conditions include requirements that the holder takes reasonable steps to avoid causing a breach of an operating licence, keeps up to date with developments in gambling legislation or guidance, and informs the Commission of certain specified key events.

2.13 Outside the casino industry, personal licences are usually held by people in key management positions like strategy, marketing, finance and compliance. In the casino industry, people providing the day to day gambling such as croupiers, also currently need a personal licence.

2.14 Some licences are subject to a requirement that at least one member of management holds a personal licence. This does not apply to small-scale operators, as defined in regulations made by the Secretary of State, who are exempt from the obligation. SI 2006/3266: Reg 2 of the Gambling Act 2005 (Definition of small-scale operator) Regulations 2006.

Premises licences

2.15 Where an individual or company uses premises, or causes or permits premises to be used, to offer gambling, they will also need to apply for a premises licence. Detailed information concerning premises licences can be found in Parts 7, 9 and 10 of this guidance.

2.16 Premises licences, and the regulatory tools associated with them, are a key means by which licensing authorities can ensure that risks to the licensing objectives are mitigated effectively.

2.17 Premises licences can be granted without conditions or subject to conditions, and can be reviewed or revoked by the licensing authority. Part 9 of this guidance provides some illustrations of how licence conditions have been used by licensing authorities in a range of circumstances and a non-exhaustive list of premises licence conditions is provided at Appendix F of this guidance.

2.18 Premises licences are issued by the licensing authority with responsibility for the area in which the premises are situated and may authorise the provision of facilities on:

2.19 Except in the case of tracks (where the occupier of the track who holds the premises licence may not be the person who actually offers the gambling), premises licences may only be issued to those who hold a relevant operating licence, or who have applied for one. Premises licences may be transferred to someone else holding a valid operating licence.

2.20 In addition to licences, there are other forms of authorisation that a licensing authority may grant, for example, authorisations for the temporary use of premises, occasional use notices and different permits for unlicensed family entertainment centres, prize gaming, gaming machines on alcohol-licensed premises and club gaming and club machine permits.

Part 3: The Gambling Commission

Introduction

3.1 The Commission is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (opens in new tab). It is governed by a board of Commissioners appointed by the Secretary of State. The Commission is publicly funded, although its funding is derived in the main from licence fees that holders of operating and personal licences are required to pay, rather than coming from the Exchequer.

3.2 In common with licensing authorities, the Commission has a statutory duty to pursue and have regard to the licensing objectives as set out in s.1 of the Act, and to permit gambling so far as it thinks is reasonably consistent with them.

3.3 The Commission is required to publish and consult on a Statement of Principles for Licensing and Regulation which sets out how the Commission approaches its regulatory and other functions under the Act.

Main functions of the Commission

For the purposes of this guidance, the Commission has the following principle statutory functions:

3.5 The Commission also has a duty to advise the Secretary of State on gambling and its regulation. To ensure that the Commission is well placed to provide such advice, it monitors developments in gambling in Great Britain and in other jurisdictions. It works closely with a range of regulatory partners, including licensing authorities, the Advertising Standards Authority (opens in new tab), the Information Commissioner’s Office (opens in new tab) , Ofcom (opens in new tab), and with stakeholders including the industry itself, faith and community groups, those with lived experience of gambling harm, government departments and bodies working in the field of gambling research.

Relationship between the Commission and licensing authorities

3.6 The Commission works jointly with its regulatory partners to pursue the licensing objectives. The Commission’s approach is one of partnership building and collaboration through proactive engagement, regular up to date advice and support such as quick guides and the LA Bulletin as well as intelligence sharing.

3.7 The Commission draws on the intelligence and insights of its regulatory partners, in particular licensing authorities, who may well be better positioned to identify emerging risks to the licensing objectives, or instances of illegality which can start at a local level. By working closely together we are able to prevent such risks growing into a more widespread problem and to ensure that both Commission and licensing authority resources are used efficiently.

3.8 Since the Act was introduced a great deal of collective experience and insight has been developed, enabling licensing authorities and the Commission to discharge their separate, but sometimes overlapping, functions both more effectively and more efficiently. This ongoing collaboration is vital in ensuring that compliant operators understand the requirements of the regulatory framework and that where non-compliance and illegality occur, appropriate sanctions are applied to deter others and uphold the licensing objectives. Case studies available in the LA toolkit provide examples of successful multi-agency initiatives undertaken by the Commission and its regulatory partners.

3.9 In addition to the Commission’s LA bulletin that provides a summary of the key issues affecting licensing authorities, we also provide support and guidance on specific issues at forums and training events. The Commission also produces e learning modules, inspection templates and quick guides. Resource permitting we offer support for specific cases of compliance and enforcement as well as the delivery of training and awareness raising sessions throughout Great Britain.

3.10 At a headline and strategic level , the Commission meets regularly with national bodies such as the the Local Government Association (LGA) (opens in new tab), the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) (opens in new tab), the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) (opens in new tab), the Society of Local Authority Lawyers and Administrators (SOLAR) (opens in new tab), and the Institute of Licensing (IoL) (opens in new tab). These meetings provide opportunities to discuss issues of concern, emerging trends and this guidance.

Part 4: Licensing authorities

Introduction

Licensing authorities (as defined in s.2 of the Act) are responsible for local gambling regulation and the Act gives them responsibility for a number of regulatory functions in relation to gambling activities. These include:

4.2 The Act also provides a system of temporary and occasional use notices. These authorise premises that are not licensed generally for gambling purposes to be used for certain types of gambling, for limited periods. Parts 14 and 15 of this guidance provide more information on temporary and occasional use notices.

4.3 In exercising their statutory functions, licensing authorities have a broad discretion in regulating the local provision of gambling through the wide ranging powers at their disposal, including:

Statutory framework

4.4 In addition to the Act, there is other legislation which licensing authorities should be aware of.

Licensing Act 2003

4.5 Licensing authorities in England and Wales have responsibilities under the Licensing Act 2003 (opens in new tab). There are some inter-dependencies between the Licensing Act 2003 (opens in new tab) and the Act, in terms of the framework for decision making and the procedures that must be followed. However, licensing authorities must take care to ensure that they follow the procedures and only take into account issues that are relevant to the Act, when dealing with applications under the Act. Particular care should be taken to distinguish considerations made under the Act from those relevant to alcohol licensing, public entertainment or late night refreshments.

Licensing (Scotland) Act 20052

4.6 The position in Scotland is similar, with procedures and decision making requirements under both the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 (opens in new tab) and the Act. The same care must be taken by licensing authorities in Scotland to consider only those issues which are relevant to matters under the Act in their decision making, and to ensure that they follow the prescribed procedures under the Act.

Other provisions and legislation

4.7 Conditions on premises licences should relate only to gambling, as considered appropriate in light of the principles to be applied by licensing authorities under s.153 of the Act. Accordingly, if the Commission’s Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) or other legislation places particular responsibilities or restrictions on an employer or the operator of premises, it is not necessary or appropriate to impose similar conditions on a premises licence issued in accordance with the Act.

4.8 Similarly, where other legislation confers powers on inspection and enforcement agencies in relation to separate activities or concerns, the Act does not affect the continued use of such powers, for example, the powers of an environmental health officer in respect of statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (opens in new tab).

Licensing authority decisions

4.9 S.153 provides that licensing authorities shall aim to permit the use of premises for gambling in so far as they think it is:

4.10 Therefore, a licensing authority has no discretion in exercising its functions under Part 8 of the Act, to grant a premises licence where that would mean taking a course which it did not think accorded with the guidance contained in this document, any relevant Commission code of practice, the licensing objectives or the licensing authority’s own policy statement.

Delegations

4.11 The decision making powers of licensing authorities may be delegated, as set out in s.154 of the Act for England and Wales and s.155 for Scotland. Decisions that are delegated to a licensing committee, may be further delegated to a sub-committee, which may then arrange for the decision to be taken by an officer of the authority.

4.12 It is open to licensing committees to choose not to delegate decisions. An important consideration in determining whether any particular decision should be delegated will be whether delegation might give rise to a risk of judicial review challenge, particularly on the basis of appearance of bias.

4.13 The tables at Appendix H set out a summary of licensing authority delegations permitted under the Act for England and Wales, and for Scotland.

Part 5: Principles to be applied by licensing authorities

Licensing objectives

5.1 In exercising their functions under the Act, particularly in relation to premises licences, temporary use notices and some permits, licensing authorities must have regard to the licensing objectives set out in s.1 of the Act, namely:

5.2 It is expected that the licensing authority will have set out their approach to regulation in their policy statement, having taken into account local circumstances. This is dealt with in more detail at Part 6.

Objective 1 : Preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime

5.3 Among other matters, licensing authorities may need to consider the location of premises in the context of this licensing objective. For example, in considering an application for a premises licence or permit that is in an area noted for particular problems with disorder, organised criminal activity etc, the licensing authority should think about what, if any, controls might be appropriate to prevent those premises being associated with or used to support crime. That might include conditions on the premises licence, such as a requirement for door supervisors. The requirement for conditions might be determined by the operator’s own risk assessment or the local area profile carried out by the licensing authority, as detailed in Part 6. A non-exhaustive list of licence conditions is provided at Appendix F.

5.4 A licensing authority will need to consider questions raised by the location of gambling premises when:

5.5 In the context of gambling premises licences, licensing authorities should generally consider disorder as activity that is more serious and disruptive than mere nuisance. Factors to consider in determining whether a disturbance was serious enough to constitute disorder would include whether police assistance was required and how threatening the behaviour was to those who could see or hear it. There is not a clear line between nuisance and disorder and the licensing authority should take the views of its lawyers before determining what action to take in circumstances in which disorder may be a factor.

5.6 Regulatory issues arising from the prevention of disorder are likely to focus almost exclusively on premises licensing, rather than on operating licences. However, if there are persistent or serious disorder problems that an operator could or should do more to prevent, the licensing authority should bring this to the attention of the Commission so that it can consider the continuing suitability of the operator to hold an operating licence.

5.7 Of course, licensing authorities are experienced in making judgements in relation to the suitability of premises, particularly those for which they have responsibilities under the Licensing Act 2003 (opens in new tab) /Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 (opens in new tab), in which context they have wider powers to also take into account measures to prevent nuisance.

5.8 In relation to preventing disorder, licensing authorities have the ability under s.169 of the Act to attach additional conditions to premises licences, and are entitled to include a requirement for door supervision, as provided for in s.178 of the Act. If a person employed on door supervision would be required to hold a licence issued by the Security Industry Authority (opens in new tab) (SIA), that requirement will have force as though it were a condition on the premises licence. Further information on conditions on premises licences can be found in Part 9 of this guidance.

5.9 There are a number of voluntary initiatives that the gambling industry participates in to address issues such as underage access, staff safety and security. These change from time to time and licensing authorities are advised to check with local operators, for example when conducting inspections, as to which (if any) scheme the operator is a part of. For example, The Safe Bet Alliance’s Voluntary Code of Safety and Security National Standards for Bookmakers. Further information can often be found on the websites of industry trade associations.

5.10 Licensing authorities do not need to investigate the suitability of an applicant for a premises licence, including in relation to crime. The issue of suitability will already have been considered by the Commission, because any applicant (except occupiers of tracks who do not propose to offer gambling themselves) will have to hold an operating licence from the Commission before the premises licence can be issued. However, if the licensing authority receives information during the course of considering a premises licence application or at any other time, that causes it to question the suitability of the applicant to hold an operating licence, these concerns should be brought to the attention of the Commission without delay.

Objective 2 : Ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way

5.11 Generally the Commission would not expect licensing authorities to find themselves dealing with issues of fairness and openness frequently. Fairness and openness is likely to be a matter for either the way specific gambling products are provided and therefore subject to the operating licence, or will be in relation to the suitability and actions of an individual and therefore subject to the personal licence. However, if licensing authorities suspect that gambling is not being conducted in a fair and open way this should be brought to the attention of the Commission so that it can consider the continuing suitability of the operator to hold an operating licence or of an individual to hold a personal licence.

5.12 In relation to the licensing of tracks, the licensing authority’s role will be different from other premises in that track owners will not necessarily have an operating licence. In those circumstances the premises licence may need to contain conditions to ensure that the environment in which betting takes place is suitable. Further information can be found in Part 20 of this guidance.

Objective 3 : Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling

5.13 In exercising their powers under s.153, licensing authorities should consider whether staff will be able to adequately supervise the gambling premises, as adequate staffing levels is a factor to consider regarding the prevention of underage gambling. The Commission would expect the operator and the licensing authority to work together to consider how any impediments to the supervision of premises might be most appropriately remedied. Supervision also applies to premises that are themselves not age-restricted (eg bingo and family entertainment centre (FEC) premises) but which make gambling products and facilities available.

5.14 Where a licensing authority considers the structure or layout of premises to be an inhibition or potential inhibition to satisfying this licensing objective, the licensee should consider what changes are required to ensure the risk is mitigated. Such changes might include the positioning of staff or CCTV, the use of floor-walkers and the relocation of the staff counter to enable direct line of sight. Licensing authorities will need to consider the proportionality of changes to the physical layout in relation to other measures that could be put in place.

5.15 If the operator fails to satisfy the licensing authority that the risks are sufficiently mitigated, it may be appropriate to conduct a review of the premises licence.

5.16 In relation to casinos, the Commission has issued a code of practice on access to casino premises by children and young persons, as provided for by s.176 of the Act. The code of practice is available as part of the Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) or as Gambling codes of practice. In accordance with s.176 of the Act, adherence to the code will be a condition of the premises licence. Further information can be found in Parts 9 and 17 of this guidance.

5.17 The Act does not seek to prohibit particular groups of adults from gambling in the same way that it prohibits children. The Commission does not seek to define ‘vulnerable persons’ but it does, for regulatory purposes, assume that this group includes people who gamble more than they want to, people who gamble beyond their means and people who may not be able to make informed or balanced decisions about gambling due to, for example, mental health, a learning disability or substance misuse relating to alcohol or drugs.

5.18 Licensing authorities need to consider, in relation to particular premises, whether any special considerations apply in relation to the protection of vulnerable persons. This could be a local risk that is reflected in the licensing authority’s policy statement. Any such considerations need to be balanced against the authority’s objective to aim to permit the use of premises for gambling.

Section 153 principles

5.19 S.153 of the Act provides that, in exercising its functions under Part 8 of the Act, a licensing authority shall aim to permit the use of premises for gambling in so far as it thinks it is:

5.20 Whilst there is a presumption in favour of permitting the relevant premises to be used for gambling, the licensing authority may not do so unless satisfied that such use would be in accordance with this guidance, any relevant Commission code of practice, its own statement of licensing policy, and the licensing objectives.

5.21 In the unlikely event that a licensing authority perceives a conflict between a provision of a Commission code of practice or this guidance, and its own policy statement or view as to the application of the licensing objectives, the structure of s.153 makes it clear that the Commission’s codes and this guidance take precedence.

5.22 In determining applications for premises licences, the Act explicitly sets out two principles that licensing authorities should not have regard to:

5.23 A licensing authority is therefore afforded significant scope to exercise its powers under s.153 on the grounds that it does not encroach on the two principles set out above.

5.24 The requirements in s.153 are subject to the licensing authority’s power under s.166 to resolve not to issue casino premises licences. This means that a resolution not to issue a casino premises licence applies regardless of the matters set out in s.153.

Codes of practice

5.25 The LCCP sets out the Commission’s general licence conditions and associated codes of practice provisions under the Act. The codes of practice are set out within the second part of the LCCP.

5.26 To assist licensing authorities in determining premises applications and inspecting premises, all the codes of practice) are also available as a single document. The codes specify a number of requirements, many of which relate to social responsibility issues and these may be of particular interest where a licensing authority has concern about matters such as protection of the young and vulnerable. It should be noted that the codes also apply to situations in which the gambling being offered is not normally the responsibility of an operating licence holder. Examples include the code of practice for equal chance gaming and the code for gaming machines in clubs and premises with an alcohol licence.

Good practice in regulation

5.27 Under the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006 (opens in new tab), any person exercising a specified regulatory function has a legal duty to have regard to the statutory principles of good regulation in the exercise of the function (Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006 (opens in new tab), section 21). These provide that regulatory activities should be carried out in a way which is transparent, accountable, proportionate, and consistent and should be targeted only at cases in which action is needed. The Commission has regard to these principles in relation to its responsibilities and also has regard to the requirements of the Regulators’ Code (previously the Regulators’ Compliance Code), Department of Business, Innovation and Skills5, 2014, issued under section 23 of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006 (opens in new tab). The purpose of the Code is to promote efficient and effective approaches to regulatory inspection and enforcement which improve regulatory outcomes without imposing unnecessary burdens on business.

5.28 The statutory principles of good regulation and the Code also apply to local authorities, who are under a statutory duty to have regard to them when fulfilling their regulatory functions under the Act. The Legislative and Regulatory Reform (Regulatory Functions) Order 2007 (opens in new tab), was amended by the Legislative and Regulatory Reform (Regulatory Functions) (Amendment) Order 2009 (opens in new tab), which, amongst other things, extended the application of the 2007 Order to local authorities in Wales and Scotland exercising regulatory functions under the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab) - see Parts 3 and 7.

5.29 Guidance produced by Regulatory Delivery now replaced by the Office of Product Safety and Standards seeks to assist local authorities in interpreting the requirements of the Regulator’s Code for example in delivering risk-based regulation in relation to age restrictions.

Age-restricted products and services framework (opens in new tab)6 sets out an agreed set of shared responsibilities and reasonable expectations for young people, their parents and carers, businesses, employees and regulators with regards to access to age restricted products and services. The document forms the foundations of the Age-restricted products and services: a code of practice for regulatory delivery (opens in new tab)7.

Human Rights Act 1998

5.30 The Secretary of State has certified that the Act is compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. In considering applications, and taking enforcement action under the Act, licensing authorities should bear in mind that they are subject to the Human Rights Act 1998 (opens in new tab) and in particular:

Other considerations

5.31 Licensing authorities should not turn down applications for premises licences where relevant objections can be dealt with through the use of conditions. In determining applications for premises licences and permits, a licensing authority may request as much information as it requires to satisfy itself that all the requirements set out at s.153 of the Act are met.

5.32 Licensing authorities must ensure that the application is in accordance with the relevant codes of practice, this guidance, the licensing objectives and the licensing authority’s own policy statement. There is, therefore, significant scope for licensing authorities to request additional information from the applicant where they have concerns about both new applications and variations.

5.33 Where concerns remain, licensing authorities may choose to attach conditions to the premises licence. Further details are provided in Part 9 and a non-exhaustive list of licence conditions is included at Appendix F of this guidance.

5.34 Licensing authorities should be aware that other considerations such as moral or ethical objections to gambling are not a valid reason to reject applications for premises licences. In deciding to reject an application, a licensing authority should rely on reasons that demonstrate that the licensing objectives are not being, or are unlikely to be, met, and such objections do not relate to the licensing objectives. An authority’s decision cannot be based on dislike of gambling, or a general notion that it is undesirable to allow gambling premises in an area (with the exception of the casino resolution powers).

Part 6: Licensing authority policy statement

Introduction

6.1 S.349 of the Act requires all licensing authorities to prepare and publish a statement of licensing principles that they propose to apply in exercising their functions under the Act, commonly known as a policy statement8. The policy statement forms the licensing authority’s mandate for managing local gambling provision and sets out how the licensing authority views the local risk environment and therefore its expectations in relation to operators with premises in the locality.

6.2 The policy statement acts as the primary vehicle for setting out the licensing authority’s approach to regulation having taken into account local circumstances. For example, a licensing authority might identify the safeguarding of children as a key priority, in which case its statement would set out those policies, procedures and control measures it would expect licensees to follow to mitigate any risks relating to underage gambling.

6.3 Policy statements are likely to reflect differences in approach between different licensing authorities. The statement made by a seaside town licensing authority, which may see gambling businesses as an important part of its plans for growth and regeneration based on regular influx of visitors, may well be significantly different from that of an inner city authority, which may be more concerned with impact on the vulnerable. In this respect, licensing authorities may find it helpful to make an assessment of the pattern of gambling and associated risks to the licensing objectives in their own areas.

6.4 The Commission encourages licensing authorities to have a policy statement that is genuinely reflective of local issues, local data, local risk and the expectations that a licensing authority has of operators who either currently offer gambling facilities or wish to do so in the future. The existence of a clear and robust policy statement provides greater scope for licensing authorities to work in partnership with operators, other local businesses, communities, and responsible authorities to identify and to proactively mitigate local risks to the licensing objectives. Whilst not being a responsible authority, many licensing authorities have found it beneficial to obtain advice from public health teams in informing the Statement.

6.5 The policy statement can be reviewed and revised by the licensing authority at any time, but must be produced following consultation with those bodies and persons set out in s.349(3) of the Act. Regulations made by the Secretary of State, or Scottish Ministers in Scotland, prescribe the form of statements, and the procedure to be followed in relation to them and their publication, as detailed in paragraph 6.11 onwards.

6.6 Licensing authorities should ensure that the policy statement balances the need for a degree of certainty on the part of gambling businesses with the need to remain responsive to emerging risks. It should be evidence led, based on the principles outlined below and reviewed at least every three years.

Fundamental principles

6.7 Licensing authorities have a duty to pursue the licensing objectives and all policy statements should begin by stating the three licensing objectives (s.1 of the Act), which the policy will promote:

6.8 The statement should also state that the licensing authority shall aim to permit the use of premises for gambling as set out in s.153 of the Act.

6.9 It is expected that licensing authorities will regulate gambling in the public interest which will be reflected in the policy statement.

6.10 While the policy statement may set out a general approach to the exercise of functions under the Act, it should not override the right of any person to make an application and to have that application considered on its merits. The exception to this is where the licensing authority has passed a ‘no casino’ resolution under s.166(1) of the Act, detailed in Part 17 of this guidance. Additionally, the policy statement must not undermine the right of any person to make representations on an application or to seek a review of a licence where provision has been made for them to do so.

Form and content

6.11 The Gambling Act 2005 (Licensing Authority Policy Statement) (England and Wales) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/636) and the Gambling Act 2005 (Licensing Authority Policy Statement) (Scotland) Regulations 2006 (SSI 2006/154), set out requirements as to the form and publication of licensing authority policy statements of policy and subsequent revisions of statements. In addition to those requirements, this guidance sets out certain information that the Commission considers should be included in all licensing authority statements of policy.

6.12 The regulations provide that the form of the statement can be determined by the licensing authority itself, subject to the requirement that the policy statement must contain an introductory section summarising the matters contained within the statement. The introductory section must include:

6.13 The policy statement should set out the activities that the licensing authority is able to license.

6.14 The regulations also require the policy statement to set out specific matters in separate sections relating to the principles to be applied by the licensing authority in exercising:

Each of these is set out in further detail below.

i. Competent authority for protection of children from harm

6.15 Under s.349 of the Act, the policy statement must set out the principles that the licensing authority proposes to apply in exercising their functions. One of those functions is to determine who will be competent to advise them about the protection of children from harm and so the policy statement must contain a section that sets out the principles the licensing authority will apply in designating a competent body.

6.16 In many licensing authority areas, the recognised competent body will be the local Safeguarding Children Board in England and Wales, or the Child Protection Committee in Scotland. However, the licensing authority has discretion to determine the most appropriate competent body to advise it, and must consider which body best fulfils this function. The policy statement should set out this consideration, or the criteria the authority intends to use, in order to designate that body and confirm that designation in writing.

6.17 A designated body is a responsible authority under s.157(h) of the Act. Licensing authorities should engage fully with the designated body and provide sufficient opportunity for them to be consulted on the development of the policy statement, as they can offer valuable insight into the impact of gambling on children in the local area. Licensing authorities might also opt to consult such groups as part of its own local area profile, discussed at paragraph 6.47 onwards.

ii. Interested parties

6.18 Licensing authority policy statements must contain a section that sets out the principles to be applied by the licensing authority to determine whether a person is an interested party in relation to a premises licence, or in relation to an application for or in respect of a premises licence.

S.158 of the Act defines interested parties as persons who, in the opinion of the licensing authority:

6.20 It is a matter for the licensing authority to decide whether a person is an interested party with regard to particular premises and that should be decided on a case by case basis. However, the licensing authority should set out the principles it will apply in determining whether a person is an interested party in its policy statement, and that may include relevant factors it will take into account. For example, this could be the size of the premises and the nature of the activities taking place as larger premises may be considered to affect people over a broader geographical area compared with smaller premises offering similar facilities.

6.21 Licensing authority policy statements should include guidance as to whom they consider comes within the category of those who living sufficiently close to premises to be affected by it or have business interests, that may be affected by it. For example, this could include trade associations, trade unions, residents’ and tenants’ associations. It is expected that the types of organisations that may be considered to have business interests will be interpreted broadly to include, for example, partnerships, charities, faith groups and medical practices.

iii. Exchange of information

6.22 Licensing authority policy statements must contain a section that sets out the principles to be applied by the licensing authority in relation to the exchange of information with the Commission (s.29 and s.30 of the Act) and other persons (s.350 of the Act).

6.23 S.29 of the Act enables the Commission to require information from licensing authorities, including the manner in which the information is compiled, collated and the form in which it is provided, providing that it:

6.24 S.350 of the Act allows licensing authorities to exchange information with other persons or bodies for use in the exercise of functions under the Act. Those persons or bodies are listed in Schedule 6(1) as:

6.25 The licensing authority policy statement must set out how it will approach information exchange with other persons or bodies under the Act, and whether it intends to establish any protocols in this regard. The policy statement should also include the authority’s approach to data protection and freedom of information, in particular, how information will be protected, whether the confidentiality of those making representations will be maintained, what information will be shared with other agencies or persons and how information can be accessed by data subjects.

6.26 Further information regarding the exchange of information can be found in Part 13 of this guidance.

6.27 For the purposes of their policy statement, licensing authorities should confirm that they will act in accordance with the relevant legislation and guidance from the Commission and will adopt the principles of better regulation (detailed at paragraph 5.27).

iv. Inspection and criminal proceedings

6.28 Licensing authority policy statements must contain a section that sets out the principles to be applied by the licensing authority in exercising their inspection function (part 15 of the Act) and in instigating criminal proceedings (s.346 of the Act), except in Scotland.

6.29 The statutory principles of good regulation and the Regulators’ Code10 (paragraph 5.27) apply to licensing authorities. This means that inspection and enforcement activities must be carried out in a way which is transparent, accountable, proportionate, consistent and targeted, and promotes efficient and effective regulatory approaches which improve outcomes without imposing unnecessary burdens on business.

6.30 The policy statement should set out the principles to be applied by the licensing authority in relation to inspections. It is recommended that licensing authorities adopt a risk-based approach to inspection programmes and the policy statement should outline the criteria the licensing authority will use to determine the level of risk in respect of premises. Such an approach could include targeting high-risk premises which require greater attention, whilst operating a lighter touch in respect of low-risk premises, so that resources are more effectively concentrated on potential problem premises. If the licensing authority has a local area profile, as outlined at paragraph 6.47 onwards below, their inspection approach is likely to informed by it.

6.31 Many licensing authorities in England and Wales will have general enforcement policies which are in accordance with the codes of practice developed with the Crown Prosecution Service. Such licensing authorities may wish to refer to these codes in their policy statement, in relation to the management of criminal cases.

6.32 Further guidance on licensing authorities’ compliance and enforcement responsibilities is available in Part 36 of this guidance. This has been developed following discussions between the Commission, the police, licensing authorities and other law-enforcement and regulatory agencies to agree respective roles in relation to particular types of gambling and licensed premises.

Other matters to be considered

Relevant factors when considering applications and reviews

6.33 The policy statement should set out what factors it is likely to take into account when considering applications for premises licences, permits and other permissions, and when determining whether to review a licence. This may be informed by the licensing authority’s local area profile and will include considerations such as the proximity of gambling premises to schools and vulnerable adult centres, or to residential areas where there may be a high concentration of families with children.

6.34 Although the policy statement should identify the factors to be considered, it should be clear that each application or review will be decided on its merits. Importantly, if an applicant for a premises licence can show how licensing objective concerns can be overcome, the licensing authority will need to take that into account in its decision making.

Statement regarding casino resolution

6.35 The policy statement should include details about how the licensing authority has taken or will take a decision in relation to a casino resolution. A licensing authority may resolve not to issue casino premises licences within its area. If it does so, the resolution must be published in its policy statement (s.166(5) of the Act).

Other regulatory regimes

6.36 The policy statement should include a firm commitment to avoid duplication with other regulatory regimes, so far as possible. For example, a range of general duties are imposed on the self-employed, employers and operators of gambling premises, both in respect of employees and of the general public, by legislation governing health and safety at work and fire safety. Therefore such requirements do not need to be included in the policy statement.

Demand for gaming premises

6.37 Previous legislation required that the grant of certain gambling permissions should take account of whether there was unfulfilled demand for the facilities. This is no longer the case and each application must be considered on its merits without regard to demand. The policy statement should reflect the ‘aim to permit’ principle (s.153 of the Act) and should not comment on whether there is demand for gambling premises.

6.38 However, the policy statement may comment on the location of premises and the general principles it will apply in considering the location so far as it relates to the licensing objectives. For example, a policy statement may set out that the licensing authority will carefully consider applications for premises licences and whether there is a need for conditions to mitigate risks, in respect of certain kinds of gambling located very close to a school or a centre for those experiencing or at risk of gambling harm, in light of the third licensing objective. The policy statement must be clear that each case will be decided on its merits and will depend to a large extent on the type of gambling that is proposed for the premises.

Other information

6.39 Licensing authorities may wish to include other information in their policy statement to ensure clarity on their approach to local regulation, particularly the factors that will not be relevant to the exercise of their functions under the Act. This will ensure that applicants or persons who wish to make representations have all the necessary information to be able to do so, including what representations may not be relevant.

6.40 For example, licensing authorities may wish to explain in their policy statements that any objections to new premises or requests for a review should be based on the licensing objectives of the Act. The policy statement could make it clear that – unlike the Licensing Act 2003 (opens in new tab) and the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 (opens in new tab) – the Act does not include the prevention of public nuisance and anti-social behaviour as a specific licensing objective.

Local risk assessments

6.41 The Commission’s Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) formalise the need for operators to consider local risks.

6.42 Social responsibility (SR) code 10.1.1 requires licensees to assess the local risks to the licensing objectives posed by the provision of gambling facilities at each of their premises, and have policies, procedures and control measures to mitigate those risks. In undertaking their risk assessments, they must take into account relevant matters identified in the licensing authority’s policy statement.

6.43 Licensees are required to undertake a local risk assessment when applying for a new premises licence. Their risk assessment must also be updated:

6.44 The SR provision is supplemented by an ordinary code provision indicating that licensees should share their risk assessment with licensing authorities when applying for a premises licence or applying for a variation to existing licensed premises, or otherwise at the request of the licensing authority. Both provisions took effect from April 2016.

6.45 Where concerns do exist, perhaps prompted by new or existing risks, a licensing authority might request that the licensee share a copy of its own risk assessment which will set out the measures the licensee has in place to address specific concerns. This practice should reduce the occasions on which a premises review and the imposition of licence conditions is required.

6.46 Where a licensing authority’s policy statement sets out its approach to regulation with clear reference to local risks, it will facilitate operators being able to better understand the local environment and therefore proactively mitigate risks to the licensing objectives. In some circumstances, it might be appropriate to offer the licensee the opportunity to volunteer specific conditions that could be attached to the premises licence.

Local area profile

6.47 Licensing authorities will find it useful to complete their own assessment of the local environment as a means of mapping out local areas of concern, which can be reviewed and updated to reflect changes to the local landscape. For the purpose of this guidance, we refer to such assessments as local area profiles. Completion of a local area profile is not a requirement on licensing authorities but there are significant benefits for both the licensing authority and operators, in having a better awareness of the local area and risks. Importantly, risk in this context includes potential and actual risks, thereby taking into account possible future emerging risks, rather than reflecting current risks only.

6.48 An effective local area profile is likely to take account of a wide range of factors, data and information held by the licensing authority and its partners. An important element of preparing the local area profile will be proactive engagement with responsible authorities as well as other organisations in the area that can give input to map local risks in their area. These are likely to include public health, mental health, housing, education, community welfare groups and safety partnerships, and organisations such as GamCare (opens in new tab) or equivalent local organisations.

6.49 Good local area profiles will increase awareness of local risks and improved information sharing, to facilitate constructive engagement with licensees and a more coordinated response to local risks. The local area profile will help to inform specific risks that operators will need to address in their risk assessment, discussed at paragraph 6.41 above, which will form a part of any new licence application, or an application to vary a licence.

6.50 For example, an area might be identified as high risk on the basis that it is located within close proximity to a youth centre, rehabilitation centre, or school. The licensing authority might indicate, for example, that they would expect licensees to take appropriate steps to ensure that advertising relating to their premises, or relating to events at their premises, is not displayed at a time when children are likely to be near the premises. The licensee would be reasonably expected to have sufficient controls in place to mitigate associated risks in such areas and, if not, the licensing authority would consider other controls themselves.

6.51 It is for licensing authorities to determine whether to include a local area profile within the body of their policy statement or separately. If included in the policy statement, the licensing authority’s view of local risks would be a consideration for local gambling regulation in the context of s.153 of the Act. Licensing authorities may consider this is best achieved by making reference to the local area profile, so that it can be reviewed and updated without the need for full consultation.

6.52 There is no prescriptive template for a local area profile, as each assessment will be influenced by local circumstances. However it is expected that that it will draw upon the knowledge and expertise of responsible authorities and be updated on a regular basis to reflect changes to the local environment.

6.53 As stated, there is no mandatory requirement to have a local area profile, but there are a number of benefits:

Declaration by licensing authority

6.54 Licensing authorities may wish to include a declaration in their policy statement which sets out that, in producing the final policy statement, it has had regard to:

6.55 Licensing authorities should note that the regulations and this guidance do not prevent them from including any additional information that they consider necessary or helpful.

Consultation

6.56 In determining its policy statement, the licensing authority must give appropriate weight to the views of those it has consulted. In deciding what weight to give, the factors to be taken into account include:

6.57 A licensing authority should always be able to give reasons for the decisions it has made following consultation. Having regard to this guidance will be important for consistency.

Consultation process

6.58 S.349(3) of the Act requires licensing authorities to consult with the following on their policy statement or any subsequent revision:

6.59 The list of persons to be consulted is deliberately wide. This enables licensing authorities to undertake a comprehensive consultation exercise with anyone who may be affected by or otherwise have an interest in their policy statement.

6.60 It is a matter for licensing authorities to develop their own consultation practices, including the methods for consultation and who they consider it necessary to consult with, which might include consultation with relevant local groups, business and responsible authorities.

6.61 Any written consultation should follow best practice as set out by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (opens in new tab). Consultation responses should usually be published within 12 weeks of the consultation closing. Where licensing authorities do not publish a response within 12 weeks, they should provide a brief statement on why they have not done so. Consultation documents could be provided on the licensing authority’s website.

Reviewing and updating the policy statement

6.62 The licensing authority’s policy statement will have effect for a maximum of three years and must be reviewed thereafter, but the licensing authority may review and alter the policy at any time during the three year period. For example, licensing authorities will need to consider if their policy statement should be reviewed in the event of a change of policy, such as a change in local planning policy.

6.63 Where the policy statement is reviewed and changes proposed, licensing authorities must consult on any revision.

6.64 Authorities should note that where a statement is revised, it is only the revision that needs to be published and consulted on. So, for example, an authority may consult separately on whether to pass a casino resolution and then subsequently publish the resolution as part of the statement. This can be done without any need to review and reopen consultation on the main body of the statement. The same would apply if the licensing authority was updating its local area profile to take account of changing local risks. Any revisions must be published and advertised in the same way as a new statement.

6.65 The regulations referred to at paragraph 6.11 confirm that the form and content of revisions to the policy statement can be determined by the licensing authority, subject to the requirement that the revisions must include an introductory section at or near the beginning, summarising the matters dealt with in the statement and listing the persons consulted in preparing the revision.

6.66 Where the revision deals with any of the matters below, these must be presented in separate sections:

  1. the principles to be applied in exercising the powers under s.157(h) of the Act to designate, in writing, a body which is competent to advise the authority about the protection of children from harm
  2. the principles to be applied by in exercising the powers under s.158 of the Act, to determine whether a person is an interested party in relation to a premises licence, or an application for or in respect of a premises licence
  3. the principles to be applied in exercising functions under s.29 and 30 of the Act with respect to the exchange of information between it and the Commission, and the functions under s.350 of the Act with respect to the exchange of information between it and the other persons listed in Schedule 6 to the Act
  4. the principles to be applied in exercising the functions under Part 15 of the Act with respect to the inspection of premises; and the powers under s.346 of the Act to institute criminal proceedings in respect of the offences specified in that section.

Advertisement and publication

Advertising the policy statement or revisions

6.67 Before a statement or revision comes into effect, the regulations referred to at paragraph 6.11 require licensing authorities to publish a notice of their intention to publish a statement or revision. The notice must:

Publishing the policy statement or revisions

6.68 The regulations at paragraph 6.11 stipulate that the policy statement or any subsequent revision, must be published on the licensing authority’s website and be made available at reasonable times for inspection by members of the public at one or more public libraries in the area covered by the statement or in other premises situated in that area. The statement or revision must be published at least four weeks before it takes effect.

Additional information to be made available

6.69 In order to ensure that applicants and persons who wish to make representations have the necessary information to be able to do so, the information set out below should be made available by licensing authorities are part of their communication strategy.

6.70 It is open to licensing authorities to include any of this information in their policy statement. However, they might think it more appropriate to make it available in another form, such as on their website.

Registers

6.71 S.156 of the Act requires licensing authorities to maintain a register of the premises licences that it has issued. The register must be made available, at any reasonable time, to the public who may request copies of the entries. Authorities should ensure that information regarding the location of the registers (eg on the website, in the council offices), when they can be viewed, and the cost of obtaining copies is made available to the public.

6.72 A database of premises licences is available on the Commission’s website and consists of information submitted by licensing authorities. The register is published with the caveat that the Commission cannot provide any assurance on the completeness and accuracy of this data. The Commission recommends that licensing authorities should be contacted directly for accurate and up-to-date premises information.

Fees

6.73 Under s.212(2)(d) of the Act, local authorities in England and Wales shall ‘aim to ensure that the income from fees… as nearly as possible equates to the costs of providing the service to which the fees relates’. Further information on fees setting in England, Wales and Scotland in available in Part 36.

Applications

6.74 Licensing authorities should ensure that information is available on how to make applications for licences and other permissions under the Act. In particular, it would be helpful if licensing authorities ensure that a full list of responsible authorities and their appropriate contact details is readily available. Application forms, where appropriate, should also be made available. Licensing authorities should note that there are no prescribed application forms for family entertainment centre, prize gaming or licensed premises gaming machine permits. As such, the licensing authority will need to make clear how applications for these permits should be made and in what form. Additionally, licensing authorities will need to ensure that information regarding making representations, and applying for a review of a premises licence, is also made available.

Statutory application forms and notices

6.75 There are a range of statutory application forms and notices that licensing authorities are required to use as part of their gambling licensing responsibilities. A summary list of these can be found in Appendix E.

Delegation

6.76 Information should be provided as to how functions are delegated under the Act (eg whether decisions are to be taken by a licensing officer, licensing sub-committee or full committee). A table setting out the scheme of delegation required by the Act may be the most appropriate method for this and is located in Part 4 of this guidance.

Part 7: Premises licences

Introduction

7.1 Considering applications for premises licences is the main business of the licensing authority in terms of local gambling regulation. Where an individual or company uses premises, or causes or permits premises to be used to offer gambling, a premises licence is required.

7.2 Premises licences are issued by the licensing authority with responsibility for the area in which the premises are situated. Guidance on dealing with premises which are situated in more than one licensing authority can be found at paragraph 7.10.

Premises

7.3 In accordance with s.150 of the Act, premises licences can authorise the provision of facilities on:

7.4 By distinguishing between premises types, the Act makes it clear that the gambling activity of the premises should be linked to the premises described. Thus, in a bingo premises, the gambling activity should be bingo, with gaming machines as an ancillary offer on the premises. This principle also applies to existing casino licences (but not to licences granted under the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab)) and betting premises licences. The Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) sets out in full the requirements on operators. Subject to the gaming machine entitlements which various types of licence bring with them (except in the case of tracks), the Act does not permit premises to be licensed for more than one of the above activities.

Meaning of premises

7.5 In the Act, ‘premises’ is defined as including ‘any place’. S.152 therefore prevents more than one premises licence applying to any place. But, there is no reason in principle why a single building could not be subject to more than one premises licence, provided they are for different parts of the building, and the different parts of the building can reasonably be regarded as being different premises. This approach has been taken to allow large, multiple unit premises such as pleasure parks, tracks, or shopping malls to obtain discrete premises licences, where appropriate safeguards are in place. However, licensing authorities should pay particular attention if there are issues about sub-division of a single building or plot and should ensure that mandatory conditions relating to access between premises are observed.

7.6 In most cases the expectation is that a single building/plot will be the subject of an application for a licence, for example, 32 High Street. But that does not mean that 32 High Street cannot be the subject of separate premises licences for the basement and ground floor, if they are configured acceptably. Whether different parts of a building can properly be regarded as being separate premises will depend on the circumstances. The location of the premises will clearly be an important consideration and the suitability of the division is likely to be a matter for discussion between the operator and the licensing authority.

7.7 The Commission does not consider that areas of a building that are artificially or temporarily separated, for example by ropes or moveable partitions, can properly be regarded as different premises. If a premises is located within a wider venue, a licensing authority should request a plan of the venue on which the premises should be identified as a separate unit.

7.8 The Commission recognises that different configurations may be appropriate under different circumstances but the crux of the matter is whether the proposed premises are genuinely separate premises that merit their own licence – with the machine entitlements that brings – and are not an artificially created part of what is readily identifiable as a single premises.

7.9 The Act sets out that the type and number of higher stake gaming machines allowable in premises is restricted according to the type of premises licence or permit granted. For example, a converted casino licence allows for 20 gaming machines in categories B, C or D. With the exception of AGCs and FECs, premises are not permitted to be used exclusively for making gaming machines available, but rather to provide the gaming facilities corresponding to the premises licence type. Further detail on gaming machines is set out in Part 16 of this guidance.

7.10 The Act states that an application must be made to a licensing authority in whose area the premises are wholly or partly situated. In circumstances where the premises lie in more than one licensing authority’s area, the operator should make their application to just one of those authorities. As both licensing authorities are responsible authorities under s.157 of the Act, the other licensing authority must be notified of the application and is entitled to make representations. As a responsible authority, it has an opportunity to pass relevant information about the premises to the licensing authority determining the application. Further detail on responsible authorities is set out at Part 8 of this guidance.

7.11 Casino premises are subject to separate regulations, involving a two-stage application process. Details of the two stage process can be found in Part 17 of this guidance.

Vessels

7.12 The Act permits premises licences to be granted for passenger vessels. Separate application forms are prescribed for vessels under the Premises Licences and Provisional Statements Regulations (SI 2007/459 or SSI 2007/196). The definition of a vessel in s.353(1) of the Act is:

7.13 This last part of the definition should be given a normal and sensible interpretation. Structures which are an extension of the land are not vessels, even if they arch over water. Thus, neither a pier nor a bridge is to be considered a vessel and they remain premises under the Act. This is important because not all forms of permit are available to vessels.

7.14 The Act allows pleasure boats to apply for premises licences. As with multi-purpose buildings, the part of the vessel where gambling takes place will be licensed and the usual restrictions on access for children will apply. The Act applies in relation to a vessel that is not permanently moored or berthed, as if it were premises situated in a place where it is usually moored or berthed. The relevant licensing authority for considering an application for a premises licence in respect of a vessel is the authority for the area in which it is usually moored or berthed.

7.15 Where a premises licence is sought in connection with a vessel which will be navigated while licensable activities take place, the licensing authority should be concerned with the promotion of the licensing objectives on board the vessel. It should not focus on matters relating to safe navigation or operation of the vessel, the general safety of passengers or emergency provision, all of which are subject to regulations which must be met before the vessel is issued with its Passenger Certificate and Safety Management Certificate.

7.16 Licences are not required for gambling if it takes place aboard a vessel engaged on an international journey. Such gambling is exempted from the offences under the Act if the vessel is on a journey which has taken it, or is intended to take it, into international waters (so this includes cross-channel ferries). In the case of aircraft, no offence takes place if the gambling takes place in international airspace.

7.17 This means that licensing authorities will have jurisdiction over gambling conducted on vessels on all inland waterways, at permanent moorings, and on all aircraft on the ground or in domestic airspace. If an ocean-going vessel is involved, authorities will need to establish where the vessel has been, or is intending to go.

Vehicles

7.18 Vehicles (trains, road vehicles, aircraft, sea planes and amphibious vehicles, other than a hovercraft) may not be the subject of a premises licence and therefore all forms of commercial betting and gaming will be unlawful in a vehicle in Great Britain. Certain allowances are made for private and non-commercial gaming or betting to take place in a vehicle, but these are subject to a number of stringent requirements. These ensure that, at no point, can the gambling become a commercial activity.

Access to premises

7.19 An issue that may arise when division of a premises is being considered is the nature of the unlicensed area from which a customer may access a licensed gambling premises. The precise nature of this public area will depend on the location and nature of the premises. Licensing authorities will need to consider whether the effect of any division is to create a machine shed-type environment with very large banks of machines, which is not the intention of the access conditions, or whether it creates a public environment with gambling facilities being made available.

7.20 The Gambling Act 2005 (Mandatory and Default Conditions) Regulations ( SI 2007/1409 for England and Wales (opens in new tab) and SSI2007/266 for Scotland (opens in new tab)) set out the access provisions for each type of premises. The broad principle is that there can be no access from one licensed gambling premises to another, except between premises which allow access to those under the age of 18 and with the further exception that licensed betting premises may be accessed from other licensed betting premises. Under-18s can go into FECs, tracks, pubs and some bingo clubs, so access is allowed between these types of premises.

7.21 These Regulations define street as ‘including any bridge, road, lane, footway, subway, square, court, alley or passage (including passages through enclosed premises such as shopping malls) whether a thoroughfare or not’. This is to allow access through areas which the public might enter for purposes other than gambling, for example, access to casinos from hotel foyers.

7.22 There is no definition of ‘direct access’ in the Act or regulations, but licensing authorities may consider that there should be an area separating the premises concerned, for example a street or cafe, which the public go to for purposes other than gambling, for there to be no direct access.

7.23 The relevant access provisions for each premises type is as follows:

Type of premisesAccess provisions
Casinos
  • the principal entrance to the premises must be from a ‘street’
  • no entrance to a casino must be from premises that are used wholly or mainly by children and/or young persons
  • no customer must be able to enter a casino directly from any other premises which holds a gambling premises licence
AGCs
  • no customer must be able to access the premises directly from any other licensed gambling premises.
Betting shops
  • access must be from a ‘street’ or from other premises with a betting premises licence
  • no direct access from a betting shop to another premises used for the retail sale of merchandise or services. In effect there cannot be an entrance to a betting shop from a shop of any kind unless that shop is itself a licensed betting premises.
Tracks
  • no customer must be able to access the premises directly from a casino or AGC.
Bingo premises
  • no customer must be able to access the premises directly from a casino, an AGC or a betting premises, other than a track.
FECs
  • no customer must be able to access the premises directly from a casino, an AGC or a betting premises, other than a track.

Access to gambling by children and young people

7.24 The Act contains the objective of ‘protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling’ and sets outs offences at s.46 and s.47 of inviting, causing or permitting a child or young person to gamble, or to enter certain gambling premises. Children are defined in the Act as under-16s and young persons as 16-17 year olds. An adult is defined as 18 and over.

7.25 Children and young persons may take part in private and non-commercial betting and gaming, but the Act restricts the circumstances in which they may participate in gambling or be on premises where gambling is taking place as follows:

7.26 Licensing authorities should take particular care in considering applications for multiple licences for a building and those relating to a discrete part of a building used for other (non-gambling) purposes. In particular, they should be aware that entrances and exits from parts of a building covered by one or more licences should be separate and identifiable so that the separation of different premises is not compromised and that people do not ‘drift’ into a gambling area. The plan of the premises should clearly denote entrances and exits.

7.27 For bingo and FEC premises, it is a mandatory condition that under-18s should not have access to areas where category B and C gaming machines are located and this is achieved through default conditions that require the area to be:

A notice must be displayed in a prominent place at the entrance to the area stating that no person under the age of 18 is permitted to enter the area.

7.28 Products made available for use in gambling premises will often contain imagery that might be of particular appeal to children or young people. For example, cartoon imagery that is ubiquitous on gaming machine livery. Where any such product is sited on age-restricted premises or in the age-restricted area of premises (and in particular, if sited close to the entrance or threshold and therefore visible to children or young people), licensees should consider whether it might risk inviting under 18s to enter the restricted area.

7.29 The LCCP requires licensees to ensure that their policies and procedures for preventing underage gambling take account of the structure and layout of their gambling premises. This therefore requires licensees not only to be able to supervise their premises but also that they should mitigate the risks of under 18s being attracted to enter premises by the products available within them. Where a licensing authority has concerns that such products are visible, they could for example require the licensee to re-site the products out of view.

7.30 There are a range of other conditions which attach to each type of premises which are set out in Part 9 of this guidance and other parts relating to each type of premises.

Multiple activity premises – layout and access

7.31 With the exception of bingo clubs, tracks on race-days and licensed FECs, children will not be permitted to enter licensed gambling premises. Therefore businesses will need to consider carefully how they wish to configure their buildings if they are seeking to develop multi-purpose sites.

7.32 Licensing authorities should take particular care in considering applications for multiple premises licences for a building and those relating to a discrete part of a building used for other (non-gambling) purposes. In particular, they should be aware of the following:

7.33 In determining whether two or more proposed premises are truly separate, the licensing authority should consider factors which could assist them in making their decision, including:

The Commission has published guidance to assist licensing authority officers when considering applications for, and conducting inspections of, multi-activity premises (opens in new tab) (this guide does not form part of the Guidance to licensing authorities).

7.34 Where a building consists of a number of areas which hold separate premises licences, each individual licence must not exceed its permitted gaming machine entitlement. The position is different for tracks, as detailed in Part 20.

7.35 The proper application of s.152 means that different premises licences cannot apply in respect of single premises at different times. There is no temporal element to a premises licence. Therefore, premises could not, for example, be licensed as a bingo club on week days and a betting shop at weekends.

Single and combined licences

7.36 Only one premises licence may be issued for any particular premises at any time although, in some circumstances, the licence may authorise more than one type of gambling. For example, a bingo licence will also authorise the provision of gaming machines. Details of the gambling permissible under each type of licence are set out in the Act and in the premises specific parts of this guidance.

7.37 The exception to this relates to tracks, that is a horse racing course, dog track or other premises where races or sporting events take place, which may be subject to more than one premises licence, provided each licence relates to a specified area of the track.

7.38 The Act sets out that there will be a main (betting premises) licence for the track, and, in addition, subsidiary premises licences for other gambling activities may be issued. The normal limitations in respect of access by children and young persons will apply, although in relation to a premises licence for a track, children and young persons will be permitted to enter track areas where facilities for betting are provided on days when dog racing and/or horse racing takes place. This is subject to the rule that children and young persons may not enter any area where gaming machines (other than category D machines) are provided.

7.39 In principle there is no reason why multiple types of gambling should not co-exist on a track (with the exception of a casino or AGC, because of the access restrictions placed on tracks by Schedule 6, Part 1 of the Gambling Act 2005 (Mandatory and Default Conditions) Regulations, but licensing authorities will want to think about how the third licensing objective is delivered by the co-location of premises. As with the granting of multiple licences in a single building, licensing authorities will need to ensure that entrances to each type of premises are distinct and that under-18s are excluded from gambling areas where they are not permitted to enter.

Applications

7.40 A summary of the application forms and statutory notices is provided at Appendix E.

7.41 An application for a premises licence may only be made by persons (which includes companies or partnerships):

7.42 The exception to this is an applicant for a premises licence to allow a track to be used for betting, as these applicants are not required to hold an operating licence if they are merely providing space for other people to provide betting (and those other people hold valid betting operating licences). However, if a track owner is also acting as a betting operator, for example, running pool betting, they will have to have the relevant type of operating licence.

7.43 An application must be made to the relevant licensing authority in the form prescribed in regulations laid down by the Secretary of State or Scottish Ministers, and must be accompanied by:

Plans of premises

7.44 The licensing of premises is primarily a matter for local determination and is something which the Commission is unlikely to comment on, unless it raises matters of wider or national significance. However, there have been a limited number of occasions in which an operator has applied for a variation to a premises licence in which the accompanying plan of the premises has only contained an outline of the licensed premises and the exit points without, for example, the location of the gaming machines and counter. We therefore consider it beneficial, for both licensing authorities and operators, for us to set out the issues involved and our understanding of the options available.

7.45 The Gambling Act 2005 (Premises Licences and Provisional Statements) Regulation 2007 (opens in new tab) (as amended) states that a plan must show:

7.46 The Regulation states (other than in respect of a track) ‘...the plan must show the location and extent of any part of the premises which will be used to provide facilities for gambling in reliance on the licence’. However licensing authorities may consider that this minimum requirement is not sufficient to satisfy them when determining if the application is in accordance with s.153 principles, namely the licensing objectives, this guidance and the Commissions’ codes of practice – in particular the social responsibility codes – and the licensing authorities’ own policy statement. If the application and accompanying plan are insufficient, the licensing authority should ask for more information from the applicant.

7.47 The premises plan itself is only one means by which the licensing authority may seek reassurance that the requirements will be met. It may be that conditions attached to the premises licence regarding lines of sight between the counter and the gaming machines, staffing arrangements or security devices are a more effective method of doing so. Local circumstances and concerns, and the layout of a particular premises, will determine what is most appropriate for an individual application.

Notice of application

7.48 The Secretary of State and Scottish Ministers have made regulations (SI 2007/459: The Gambling Act 2005 (Premises Licences and Provisional Statements) Regulations 2007 and SSI 2007/196 for Scotland) requiring the applicant to publish notice of their application and to notify responsible authorities and other persons about the application. These also apply, with one or two modifications, in relation to applications for provisional statements and some ancillary applications that can be made in relation to a premises licence.

7.49 Notice must be given in three ways:

7.50 A licence application, and any licence subsequently issued, is not valid if the relevant notifications have not been made.

Application for premises variation (s.187): ‘material change’

7.51 Previous guidance from DCMS (opens in new tab) and the Commission has been that an application for a variation will only be required where there are material changes to the layout of the premises. What constitutes a material change will be a matter for local determination but it is expected that a common sense approach will be adopted. When considering an application for variations, the licensing authority will have regard to the principles to be applied as set out in s.153 of the Act.

Representations

7.52 In dealing with an application, licensing authorities are obliged to consider representations from two categories of person, referred to in the Act as ‘responsible authorities’ and ‘interested parties’. Representations from other parties are inadmissible. Further information on these categories can be found in Part 8 of this guidance.

7.53 Having determined that the representation is admissible, the licensing authority must consider its relevance. Only representations that relate to the licensing objectives, or that raise issues under the licensing authority’s policy statement, or the Commission’s guidance or codes of practice, are likely to be relevant.

7.54 The licensing authority will also need to consider if representations are ‘frivolous’ or ‘vexatious’. This is a question of fact and licensing authorities are advised to seek help from their legal advisers in interpreting these phrases although relevant considerations may include:

7.55 The Commission does not routinely make representations on premises licence applications. However, the fact that the Commission has not made a representation on a particular premises licence application should not be taken as indicating the Commission’s approval of that application. Exceptionally, where an application for a premises licence, or the operation of a current premises licence, raises matters of wider or national significance, the Commission will consider making representations or requesting a review.

Making a decision

7.56 As explained earlier, the licensing authority’s primary obligation under s.153(1) is to permit the use of premises in so far as it thinks that to do so is:

7.57 Further information and guidance as to the meaning and effect of s.153 is set out at paragraph 5.19 above.

Consideration of planning permission and building regulations

7.58 In determining applications, the licensing authority should not take into consideration matters that are not related to gambling and the licensing objectives. One example would be the likelihood of the applicant obtaining planning permission or building regulations approval for their proposal. Licensing authorities should bear in mind that a premises licence, once it comes into effect, authorises premises to be used for gambling. Accordingly, a licence to use premises for gambling should only be issued in relation to premises that the licensing authority can be satisfied are going to be ready to be used for gambling in the reasonably near future, consistent with the scale of building or alterations required before the premises are brought into use. Equally, licences should only be issued where they are expected to be used for the gambling activity named on the licence. This is why the Act allows a potential operator to apply for a provisional statement if construction of the premises is not yet complete, or they need alteration, or he does not yet have a right to occupy them. Part 11 of this guidance gives more information about provisional statements.

7.59 As the Court has held in a 2008 case (The Queen (on the application of) Betting Shop Services Limited –v- Southend-on-Sea Borough Council [2008] EWHC 105 (Admin)), operators can apply for a premises licence in respect of premises which have still to be constructed or altered, and licensing authorities are required to determine any such applications on their merits. Such cases should be considered in a two stage process; first, licensing authorities must decide whether, as a matter of substance after applying the principles in s.153 of the Act, the premises ought to be permitted to be used for gambling; second, in deciding whether or not to grant the application a licensing authority will need to consider if appropriate conditions can be put in place to cater for the situation that the premises are not yet in the state in which they ought to be before gambling takes place.

7.60 For example, where the operator has still to undertake final fitting out of the premises but can give a reasonably accurate statement as to when the necessary works will be completed, it may be sufficient to simply issue the licence with a future effective date, as is possible under the Regulations (SI 2007/459: The Gambling Act 2005 (Premises Licences and Provisional Statements) Regulations 2007 and SSI No 196: for Scotland). The application form allows the applicant to suggest a commencement date and the notice of grant allows the licensing authority to insert a date indicating when the premises licence comes into effect. In other cases, it may be appropriate to issue the licence subject to a condition that trading in reliance on it shall not commence until the premises have been completed in all respects in accordance with the scale plans that accompanied the licence application. If changes to the pre-grant plans are made, then parties who have made representations should be able to comment on the changes made. Part 9 of this guidance gives more information about licence conditions.

7.61 If the plans submitted at the time of the application for a premises licence are changed in any material respect during the fitting out of the premises after the grant of the licence, then the applicant will be in breach of the licence. If the applicant wishes to change the proposed plans after grant then, in order to avoid breaching the licence, it will be necessary for the applicant to either make a fresh application under s.159 or seek an amendment to a detail of the licence under s.187 of the Act. If there are substantive changes to the plans then this may render the premises different to those for which the licence was granted. In such a case, variation of the licence under s.187 is not possible. For this reason, and while this is a matter of judgement for the licensing authority, the Commission considers it would be more appropriate in the case of any material post grant change, for the applicant to make a fresh application under s.159 to preserve the rights of interested parties and responsible authorities to make representations in respect of the application.

7.62 The local authority will need to be satisfied in any individual case that the completed works comply with the original, or changed, plan attached to the premises licence. Depending upon circumstances, this could be achieved either through physical inspection of the premises or written confirmation from the applicant or surveyor that the condition has been satisfied.

7.63 Requiring the building to be complete before trading commences would ensure that the authority could, if considered necessary, inspect it fully, as could other responsible authorities with inspection rights under Part 15 of the Act. Inspection will allow authorities to check that gambling facilities comply with all necessary legal requirements. For example, category C and D machines in a licensed family entertainment centre must be situated so that people under 18 do not have access to the category C machines. The physical location of higher stake gaming machines in premises to which children have access will be an important part of this, and inspection will allow the authority to check that the layout complies with the operator’s proposals and the legal requirements.

7.64 If faced with an application in respect of uncompleted premises which it appears are not going to be ready to be used for gambling for a considerable period of time, a licensing authority ought to consider whether – applying the two stage approach advocated above – it should grant a licence or whether the circumstances are more appropriate to a provisional statement application. For example, the latter would be the case if there was significant potential for circumstances to change before the premises opens for business. In such cases, the provisional statement route would ensure that the limited rights of responsible authorities and interested parties to make representations about matters arising from such changes of circumstance are protected. Licensing authorities may choose to discuss with individual applicants which route is appropriate, to avoid them having to pay a fee for an application that the licensing authority did not think was grantable.

7.65 When dealing with a premises licence application for finished buildings, the licensing authority should not take into account whether those buildings have to comply with the necessary planning or building consents. Nor should fire or health and safety risks be taken into account. Those matters should be dealt with under relevant planning control, building and other regulations, and must not form part of the consideration for the premises licence. S.210 of the Act prevents licensing authorities taking into account the likelihood of the proposal by the applicant obtaining planning or building consent when considering a premises licence application. Equally, the grant of a gambling premises licence does not prejudice or prevent any action that may be appropriate under the law relating to planning or building.

Part 8: Responsible authorities and interested parties definitions

Introduction

8.1 The Act sets out two categories of organisations and individuals that may feature in applications for and reviews of premises licences, responsible authorities and interested parties.

Responsible authorities

8.2 Responsible authorities are public bodies that must be notified of applications and that are entitled to make representations to the licensing authority in relation to applications for, and in relation to, premises licences.

8.3 S.157 of the Act identifies the bodies that are to be treated as responsible authorities. They are:

8.4 S.211(4) of the Act provides that in relation to a vessel, but no other premises, responsible authorities also include navigation authorities, within the meaning of s.221(1) of the Water Resources Act 1991 (opens in new tab), that have statutory functions in relation to the waters where the vessel is usually moored or berthed, or any waters where it is proposed to be navigated at a time when it is used for licensable activities. This would include:

8.5 The Act includes a wide range of responsible authorities to ensure that all relevant regulatory bodies and organisations are made aware of applications for gambling premises licences or other permissions. Equally, a policy of wide dissemination of applications allows responsible authorities to take action under their own legislation and enforcement powers, even if there is no direct role for them in the premises licensing process for gambling.

8.6 The Act contains no obligation on responsible authorities to respond to applications for premises licences. For example, the Commission does not routinely make representations on premises licence applications, although this should not be taken as indicating the Commission’s approval of a particular application. Exceptionally, where an application for a premises licence or the operation of a current premises licence raises matters of wider or national significance, the Commission will consider making representations or requesting a review. The Commission may also comment on an application if it has particular observations about an operator.

8.7 Licensing authorities are required to set out their approach to their functions under the Act in their policy statement. One of those functions is to determine who will be competent to advise them about the protection of children from harm and the principles for determining this must be set out in a separate section in their policy statement. Licensing authorities should engage fully with the relevant designated body and consult with them on the development of the policy statement. Further detail can be found in Part 6 at paragraph 6.15 onwards.

8.8 The Secretary of State and Scottish Ministers may prescribe other responsible authorities by means of regulations.

Interested parties

8.9 S.158 of the Act defines interested parties. To accept a representation from an interested party, the licensing authority must take the view that the person:

8.10 The approach taken by licensing authorities in determining who is an interested party should be dealt with in their policy statement. As with responsible authorities, regulations require this information to be in a separate section of the policy statement, as outlined in Part 6 at paragraph 6.18 onwards.

8.11 The following gives further advice on how licensing authorities can determine whether someone is an interested party.

People living close to the premises

8.12 There are a number of factors that licensing authorities should take into account when determining whether a person ‘lives sufficiently close to the premises’. These might include:

8.13 Relevant factors will depend on the particular application. For example, it is reasonable for a licensing authority to consider that living sufficiently close to premises to likely be affected could have a different meaning for (a) a private resident, (b) a residential school for children with truanting problems and (c) a residential hostel for vulnerable adults.

The nature and scope of business interests that could be affected

8.14 It could be argued that any gambling business could be affected by another gambling business expanding into any part of Great Britain. But that is unlikely to be enough to satisfy the test of being ‘a person with business interests that might be affected by the premises’ under consideration. For example, an operator in a particular sector be it casino, bingo, betting etc, should not be able to lodge representations on every application put in by a rival operator anywhere in the country, simply because they are in competition within the same gambling sector. Specifically, licensing authorities are reminded that the ‘demand test’ from previous gambling legislation does not apply under the Act.

8.15 The licensing authority should be satisfied that the relevant business is likely to be affected. Factors that are likely to be relevant include:

People representing those in the above categories

8.16 Interested parties can be people who are democratically elected such as councillors, MSPs, MSs and MPs, as persons representing individuals in the other categories. This would include county, parish and town councillors. Other representatives might include bodies such as trade associations and trade unions, and residents’ and tenants’ associations. A school head or governor might act in representing the interests of pupils or parents and a community group might represent vulnerable people living near to the proposed premises.

8.17 Save for democratically elected persons, licensing authorities should satisfy themselves on a case by case basis that a person does represent interested parties, and request written evidence where necessary. A letter from the interested person(s) they are representing would be sufficient.

Part 9: Premises licence conditions

Introduction

9.1 The Act provides that licences may be subject to conditions in a number of ways:

9.2 Conditions may sometimes be general in nature attaching to all licences or all licences of a particular class, or they may be specific to a particular licence.

9.3 Conditions on premises licences should relate only to gambling, as considered appropriate in the light of the principles to be applied by licensing authorities under s.153. Accordingly, if the Commission’s Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) or other legislation places particular responsibilities or restrictions on an employer or the operator of premises, it is not appropriate to impose the same through conditions on a premises licence.

Conditions and authorisations by virtue of the Act

9.4 The following paragraphs set out specific sections of the Act that provide for conditions to be attached automatically to premises licences, or for authorisations to be granted automatically. The Secretary of State/Scottish Ministers may make regulations requiring these conditions to be set out on the premises licence, and there is no discretion to decide not to include them or to modify them. The table after paragraph 9.18 summarises which sections of the Act apply to which types of premises licences.

S.172 – number of gaming machines

9.5 S.172 provides for premises licences to permit a specified number of gaming machines of particular categories in each type of gambling premises. These permissions are set out in detail in Part 16 of this guidance.

S.173 – betting on virtual events

9.6 S.173 authorises the holder of a casino premises licence or a betting premises licence to make facilities available for betting on virtual events. This is separate from betting on virtual events by means of a gaming machine. It is intended to cover facilities such as virtual horse and greyhound racing which are person-to-person transactions, involving virtual images that are not displayed on a machine.

S.174 – gambling in addition to casino games

9.7 S.174 authorises the holder of a casino premises licence for a small or large casino to make available the following types of gambling in addition to casino games:

9.8 For the purposes of the Act, equal chance games are ones which do not involve playing or staking against a bank and in which the chances are equally favourable to all players. Licensing authorities must not restrict the equal chance gaming available nor prohibit casino games that have not been prohibited by the Commission. Part 17 of this guidance provides details of the casino games authorised by the Commission.

S.176 – access by children and young persons to casinos

9.9 S.176 requires the Commission to issue at least one code of practice about access to casino premises for children and young persons. In particular, the code must:

9.10 S.176 makes it a condition of the premises licence that the licensee must comply with the code of practice issued by the Commission. Licensing authorities should note that the requirement under s.176 for supervision at each entrance is separate to any other condition that may be attached relating to ‘door supervision’ more generally.

S.177 – giving of credit

9.11 S.177 attaches a condition to casino premises licences and bingo premises licences that prohibits the licensee from:

9.12 However, s.177 does not prevent the licensee from contracting a third party to install cash dispensers (ATMs) on their premises, which may accept both credit and debit cards. Such an arrangement is subject to requirements that the premises licence holder has no other commercial connection in relation to gambling with the provider of the ATMs (aside from the agreement to site the machines), does not profit from the arrangement, and does not make any payment in connection with the machines. All premises licences also include a mandatory condition which requires that any ATM made available for use on the premises must be located in a place that requires any customer who wishes to use it to cease gambling in order to do so (Part 1(5) of The Gambling Act 2005 (Mandatory and Default Conditions) Regulations).

9.13 S.177 deals with the prohibition of credit in respect of casino and bingo premises licences. However equivalent prohibitions are placed on bingo and casino operating licences, as set out in s.81 of the Act, credit and inducements.

S.178 – door supervision

9.14 If a licensing authority attaches a condition relating to door supervision, and the person carrying out those duties are required by the Private Security Industry Act 2001 (opens in new tab) (PSIA) to hold a licence, s. 178 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab) prescribes that the requirement under PSIA will be treated as if it were a condition of the premises licence. There is, however, an exemption from the PSIA licensing requirement for in-house employees working as door supervisors at casino and bingo premises, details of which can be found in Part 33 of this guidance.

9.15 S.178 defines door supervision as requiring someone to be responsible for ‘guarding the premises against unauthorised access or occupation, against outbreaks of disorder or against damage’.

S.179 – pool betting

9.16 S.179 provides that a betting premises licence in respect of a track may not authorise pool betting to take place, other than in respect of dog or horse racing and only where the acceptance of bets is by the holder of the betting premises licence, or in accordance with arrangements made by them. In the case of dog racing, this preserves the existing arrangements at dog tracks where the totalisator is operated by or on behalf of the occupier of the track.

S.182 – access by children and young persons to tracks

9.17 S.182 applies only to a betting premises licences in respect of tracks. It requires the licensee to ensure that children and young persons are excluded from any area in which facilities for betting are provided and from any area where a gaming machine (other than a category D gaming machine) is situated. The exception to this, for betting areas only, is on race days at dog and horse racing tracks, that is on those days when racing occurs or is expected to take place. In those cases, under-18s may have access to betting areas but licensing authorities should note that this exception does not affect the prohibition on betting by children and young persons.

S.183 – Christmas day

9.18 S.183 applies a condition to all premises licences that facilities for gambling must not be provided on Christmas day, namely the period of 00.01 hours on 25 December until 00.00 hours on 26 December.

Section of the Act
Type of premises licences.172s.173s.174s.176s.177s.178s.179s.182s.183
All premises licencesxxx
Bingo premises licencesx
Casino premises licencesxxx
Small casinosx
Large casinosx
Betting premises licencesx
Betting premises licence in respect of a trackxx

Conditions attached through regulations made by the Secretary of State or Scottish Ministers – all premises

9.19 The Secretary of State and Scottish Ministers have set out conditions to be attached to all premises licences in the Gambling Act 2005 (Mandatory and Default Conditions) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab) (SI 2007/1409), and the Gambling Act 2005 (Mandatory and Default Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab) (SSI 2007/266).

9.20 Conditions under these regulations fall into two categories:

9.21 Licensing authorities should note that mandatory conditions made under these regulations are set with the intention that no further regulation in relation to that matter is required. Therefore, it is extremely unlikely that licensing authorities will need to impose individual conditions in relation to matters that are already dealt with by mandatory conditions. Licensing authorities should only consider doing so where there are regulatory concerns of an exceptional nature, and any additional licence conditions must relate to the licensing objectives.

9.22 Mandatory conditions applying to all premises licences are set out at paragraph 9.25 onwards. In addition, there are mandatory conditions that relate to particular category of premises licences. Details of these can be found in Parts 17 to 22 of this guidance.

9.23 Licensing authorities have more flexibility in relation to default conditions and may exclude a default condition and substitute it with one that is either more or less restrictive. Licensing authorities should note, however, that default conditions are intended to reflect normal industry operating practices. In circumstances where default conditions are excluded, the Commission would generally expect them to be replaced by other conditions, given the requirements of s.153. Where the condition is more restrictive, the licensing authority should ensure that they have clear regulatory reasons for doing so.

9.24 Default conditions under the regulations set out above relate to particular categories of premises licence and details can be found in Parts 17 to 22 of this guidance.

Mandatory conditions

9.25 The following mandatory conditions apply to all premises licences:

9.26 There are also mandatory conditions attaching to each type of premises licence controlling access between premises. There can be no direct access between one premises licensed under the Act and another premises licensed under the Act, with the following exceptions:

Default conditions

9.27 S.169 of the Act gives licensing authorities:

9.28 Licensing authorities should make decisions on conditions on a case-by-case basis, and in the context of the principles of s.153. They must aim to permit the use of premises for gambling and so should not attach conditions that limit their use except where it is necessary in accordance with the licensing objectives, the Commission’s codes of practice and this guidance, or their own statement of policy. Conversely, licensing authorities should not turn down applications for premises licences where relevant objections can be dealt with through the use of conditions.

9.29 Licensing authority statements of policy will need to consider the local circumstances which might give rise to the need for conditions. Where there are specific risks associated with a particular locality, the licensing authority might decide to attach conditions to the premises licence to mitigate those risks. For example, local issues associated with a high crime rate may put a premises at risk of not being consistent with the licensing objectives, and specific conditions may be necessary to address the risk.

9.30 Where there are risks associated with a specific premises or class or premises, the licensing authority may consider it necessary to attach conditions to the licence to address those risks, taking account of the local circumstances.

9.31 Conditions imposed by the licensing authority must be proportionate to the circumstances which they are seeking to address. In particular, licensing authorities should ensure that the premises licence conditions are:

Conditions that may not be attached to premises licences by licensing authorities

9.32 The Act sets out certain matters that may not be the subject of conditions:

Part 10: Review of premises licence by licensing authority

Introduction

10.1 A premises licence may be reviewed by the licensing authority of its own volition or following the receipt of an application requesting a review from a responsible authority or an interested party (as defined in s.157 and s.158 of the Act). Licensing authorities should note that reviews cannot be delegated to an officer of the licensing authority – the lowest level of delegation permitted is to a licensing sub-committee.

10.2 The ‘aim to permit’ framework provides wide scope for licensing authorities to review premises licences where there is a potential conflict with the Commission’s Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) and this guidance, the licensing objectives or the licensing authorities own statement of policy. Whilst the Act does not provide a pre-defined list of issues that might prompt a licence review, it is expected that the licensing authority will have set out its view on local issues and priorities that underpin its approach to regulation in its statement of policy in any event, which might then prompt a review.

10.3 Licensing authorities are expected to act in a manner that is in accordance with the powers set out under the Act. This means that licensing authority actions, including reviews, should be in pursuit of the principles set out in s.153 of the Act or underpinned by reasonable concerns, such as changes to the local environment or resident complaints.

10.4 Licensing authorities might consider it prudent to have constructive discussions with operators about any such concerns, prior to discharging its powers. To this end, the operator might be asked to provide the licensing authority with its own local risk assessment (as provided for under ordinary code 10.1.2 of the LCCP which sets out the controls it has put in place to mitigate risks). The licensing authority has the right to exercise its powers under the Act, if the operator does not offer reasonable or practical suggestions for mitigating risks.

Initiation of review by licensing authority

10.5 S.200 of the Act provides that licensing authorities may initiate a review in relation to a particular premises licence or a particular class of premises licence. Licensing authorities may wish to consider in their scheme of delegations who initiates reviews, and any checking system of that to prevent unwarranted reviews from being conducted.

10.6 In relation to a class of premises, the licensing authority may review the use made of premises and, in particular, the arrangements that premises licence holders have made to comply with licence conditions. In relation to these general reviews, it is likely that the licensing authority will be acting as a result of concerns or complaints about particular types of premises, which may result in them looking at, for example, default conditions that apply to that category of licence.

10.7 In relation to particular premises, the licensing authority may review any matter connected with the use made of the premises if:

10.8 A formal review would normally be at the end of a process of ensuring compliance by the operator(s) which might include an initial investigation by a licensing authority officer, informal mediation or dispute resolution. If the concerns are not resolved then, after a formal review, the licensing authority may impose additional conditions or revoke the licence.

10.9 The licensing authority must give written notice to the licence holder and responsible authorities that it intends to undertake a review and must also publish notice of its intention to carry out the review. The Gambling Act 2005 (Premises Licences)(Review) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab)(SI 2007/2258) and the Gambling Act 2005 (Review of Premises Licences)(Scotland) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab) (SSI 2007/394) require the licensing authority to display notice at a place which is as near as reasonably practicable to the relevant premises or where it can be conveniently read by members of the public. The notice must be displayed for no less than 28 consecutive days, starting on the day that the licensing authority gives notice to the holder of the premises licence.

10.10 In addition, the notice must be published either:

Application for a review

10.11 S.197 of the Act provides that an application for review may be made by a responsible authority or an interested party, detailed in Part 8 of this guidance. Such applications must be submitted to the licensing authority in the prescribed form and state the reasons why a review is being requested, together with any supporting information and documents.

10.12 The regulations require the applicant to provide written notice of their application to the premises licence holder and to all responsible authorities, within seven days of making their application. Failure to do so will halt the application process until notice is received by all parties.

10.13 Representations must be made within 28 days, commencing seven days after the date on which the application was received. During these seven days the licensing authority is required to publish notice of the application, as per the process set out in the regulations referred to in paragraph 10.9.

Decision whether to grant an application for a review

10.14 S.199 provides that a licensing authority must grant an application for a review, unless it decides to reject the application under s.198 of the Act. By virtue of s.198, an application may, but need not, be rejected if the licensing authority thinks that the grounds on which the review is sought:

10.15 In the case of e) and f), the licensing authority shall take into account the period of time that has passed since the previous application or representations were made, in deciding whether this is a reasonable basis for not reviewing the licence.

10.16 As licensing authorities are required to permit the use of premises for gambling, in so far as it is in accordance with the s.153 principles, applications that raise general objections to gambling as an activity, that relate to demand for gambling premises, or raise issues relating to planning, public safety, and traffic congestion are unlikely to be considered an appropriate basis for review, leading to rejection under a) above.

10.17 The decision to grant a review must not amount to pre-judging the outcome of a review.

Carrying out a review

10.18 Having given notice of their intention to initiate a review or having decided to grant a review following an application, s.201 of the Act requires the licensing authority to carry out the review as soon as possible after the 28 day period for making representations has passed.

10.19 The purpose of the review will be to determine whether the licensing authority should take any action in relation to the licence, namely:

10.20 In particular, the licensing authority may take the above action on the grounds that a premises licence holder has not provided facilities for gambling at the premises. This is to prevent people from applying for licences in a speculative manner without intending to use them. Equally, the premises licence holder must only offer the type of gambling that they are permitted to.

10.21 The licensing authority must hold a hearing, unless the applicant and any person who has made representations consent to the review being conducted without one. The licensing authority must have regard to any relevant representations when reviewing the matter, and must have regard to the principles in s.153 of the Act.

10.22 Once the review has been completed the licensing authority must notify its decision as soon as possible to:

10.23 Rights of appeal are set out in Part 12 of this guidance.

Part 11: Provisional statements

Introduction

11.1 S.204 of the Act provides for a person to make an application to the licensing authority for a provisional statement in respect of premises that he or she:

11.2 Developers may wish to apply for provisional statements before they enter into a contract to buy or lease property or land, to judge whether a development is worth taking forward in light of the need to obtain a premises licence. It is also possible for an application for a provisional statement to be made for premises that already have a premises licence, either for a different type of gambling or the same type.

11.3 Whilst applicants for premises licences must hold or have applied for an operating licence from the Commission (except in the case of a track), and they must have the right to occupy the premises in respect of which their premises licence application is made, these restrictions do not apply in relation to an application for a provisional statement.

11.4 In circumstances where an applicant has also applied to the Commission for an operating licence, the Commission will not be able to comment on whether the application is likely to be granted. The licensing authority should not speculate on or otherwise take into account the likelihood of an operating licence being granted in its consideration of the application for a provisional statement.

11.5 An application for a provisional statement must be accompanied by plans and the prescribed fee. Licensing authorities in England and Wales set their own provisional statement fees up to a pre-determined maximum, whereas licensing authorities in Scotland must use the provisional statement fees set by Scottish Ministers (SI No. 479: The Gambling (Premises Licence Fees) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 SSI No. 197: The Gambling (Premises Licence Fees) (Scotland) Regulations 2007).

11.6 Subject to any necessary modifications, the process for considering an application for a provisional statement is the same as that for a premises licence application. The applicant is obliged to give notice of the application in the same way as applying for a premises licence. Responsible authorities and interested parties may make representations and there are rights of appeal.

11.7 Once the premises are constructed, altered, or acquired the holder of a provisional statement can put in an application for the necessary premises licence. A premises licence application for a premises where the applicant already holds a provisional statement for that premises attracts a lower application fee. S.205 of the Act sets out rules on how the authority must treat this application. Licensing authorities should note that, in the absence of a requirement that an applicant for a provisional licence must have the right to occupy the premises, there may be more than one valid provisional statement in respect of the same premises.

11.8 If a provisional statement has been granted, the licensing authority is constrained in the matters it can consider when an application for a premises licence is made subsequently in relation to the same premises.

11.9 No further representations from relevant authorities or interested parties can be taken into account unless they concern matters which could not have been addressed at the provisional statement stage, or they reflect a change in the applicant’s circumstances.

11.10 In addition the licensing authority may refuse the premises licence, or grant it on terms different to those attached to the provisional statement, only by reference to matters:

11.11 S.210 of the Act, which applies to both premises licences and provisional statements, makes it clear that a licensing authority must not have regard to whether or not a proposal by the applicant is likely to be permitted in accordance with planning or building law.

Part 12: Rights of appeal and judicial review

Introduction

12.1 This part deals with appeals relating to premises licensing and other decisions by licensing authorities. Licensing authority decisions may also be subject to judicial review giving reasons for decisions.

Giving reasons for decisions

12.2 It is a requirement of the Act that a licensing authority gives reasons for a rejection of an application (for example, Schedule 8 of The Gambling Act 2005 (Premises Licences and Provisional Statements) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab) prescribes the form of notice that must be given when an application is rejected, which includes the reasons for rejection) but it is good practice for reasons to be given in relation to all decisions.

12.3 A failure to give reasons may result in an appeal of the decision or the suggestion that the licensing authority did not have regard to all the relevant information when making its decision, in line with its obligation under s.153 of the Act. It is particularly important that reasons should reflect the extent to which the decision has been made with regard to the licensing authority’s statement of policy and this guidance. Reasons for decisions should be made available to all of the parties of any process.

Premises licences

12.4 Details relating to appeals against decisions by a licensing authority are set out in s.206-209 of the Act. These relate to decisions made under Part 8 of the Act, namely:

Who can appeal

12.5 The table below identifies who can appeal different types of premises licence decisions.

Type of decision Section of ActWho may appeal
Decision to reject an application for a premises licence or to vary a premises licence, or an application for a provisional statements.165, s.187 and s.188The applicant
Decision to grant an application for a premises licence or to vary a premises licence, or an application for a provisional statements.164, s.187 and s.188The applicant
Any person who made representations on the application
Decision to take action or to take no action following a reviews.202The applicant
Any person who made representations on the application
The person, if any, who applied for the review
The Commission
A decision to take action or make a determination in relation to a transfer applications.188(4) or (5)The licensee
The applicant for transfer

Who to appeal to

12.6 An appeal against a decision of a licensing authority in England and Wales has to be made to the Magistrates’ Court for the local justice area in which the premises concerned are situated. In Scotland, the appeal is made to the local Sheriff court in the Sheriffdom in which the premises are situated.

12.7 There is a further right of appeal from the Magistrates’ Court to the High Court in England and Wales and from the Sheriff to the Court of Session in Scotland.

How to appeal

12.8 To begin an appeal, the appellant must give notice of their appeal within 21 days of their having received notice of the relevant decision. During that period, and until any appeal that has been brought has been finally determined, a determination or other action by the licensing authority will not have effect unless the licensing authority so directs.

12.9 If the licence holder or the person who made the application appeals, the licensing authority will be the respondent. If the appeal is made by someone else, then the licence holder or applicant will be a respondent to the appeal along with the licensing authority.

Determination and outcome of appeals

12.10 In considering an appeal, the Magistrates’ Court or Sheriff may review the merits of the decision on the facts and consider points of law, in conjunction with the evidence. In making their decision they will have regard to the licensing authority’s statement of policy, this guidance and relevant codes of practice, Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) issued by the Commission and the licensing objectives.

12.11 In deciding the appeal, they may:

12.12 The Court or Sheriff may also make such order for costs, but will consider guidance and legislation about the awarding of costs against a public body.

Implementing the appeal decision

12.13 As soon as the appeal decision has been notified to all parties, licensing authorities should not delay its implementation. Standing orders should, therefore, be put in place that necessary action is taken immediately on receipt of the decision, unless ordered by the Court or Sheriff or a higher court to suspend such action, for example as a result of a judicial review.

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:

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:

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

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:

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.

Temporary use notices

12.31 Appeals in relation to temporary use notices are dealt with in s.226 of the Act, which gives both the applicant and any person entitled to receive a copy of the notice (that is the Commission, local chief of police and HM Revenue & Customs (opens in new tab)), the right of appeal to the Magistrates’ court or Sheriff. Appeals must be made within 21 days of receiving notice of the licensing authority’s decision. If the appeal is against the decision of the authority not to issue a counter-notice, then the person giving notice must be joined with the licensing authority as a respondent in the case.

12.32 The Magistrates’ court or Sheriff may dismiss the appeal, direct the authority to take specified action, remit it back to the authority to decide in accordance with a decision of the court, with the same rights of appeal as applied to the original decision, and may make an order for costs.

12.33 There is no stay of proceedings in relation to temporary use notices, as there is in relation to applications under Part 8 of the Act. However, the Commission would expect an appeal to be heard before the temporary use notice would otherwise take effect.

Judicial review

12.34 Any party to a decision may apply for judicial review if they believe that the decision taken by the licensing authority is:

12.35 For an application to succeed, the application must show that:

However the remedy is a discretionary one and the Court may decline judicial review if, for example, it considers that the applicant has an alternative remedy which is more appropriate to pursue, such as a right of appeal, or has a private law claim against the defendant.

12.36 The applicant can ask the Court to grant a number of orders. A mandatory order compels the reviewed body to do something; a prohibitory order compels it to refrain from doing something; a ‘declaration’ sets out the court’s view on the legality of a particular course of action; and a quashing order nullifies a decision and remits it for reconsideration. In addition, the applicant can seek an injunction (interdict in Scotland) which is, in practice, similar to a mandatory or a prohibitory order.

Part 13: Information exchange

Underlying principles

13.1 Shared regulation depends on effective partnerships and collaboration. The exchange of information between the Commission and licensing authorities is an important aspect of that and to the benefit of both. Licensing authorities play a particular role in sharing information about gambling activity at a local level, which is important for the Commission’s overarching view of gambling activity, not least because that enables the Commission to identify risks and feed information and intelligence back to licensing authorities. It also enables the Commission to fulfil its duty to advise the Secretary of State about the incidence of gambling and the manner in which it is conducted.

13.2 The Commission has access to a wide pool of intelligence which it is able to make available to licensing authorities upon request, to support them in carrying out their regulatory responsibilities under the Act. The Commission understands the importance of this in avoiding the risk of duplication or over-regulation and in maximising the efficient use of resources. In a similar manner, the Commission will draw upon the intelligence and insights of its regulatory partners to resolve specific issues. There have been a number of instances where there has been successful joint working to address concerns linked to a particular operator.

Information licensing authorities provide to the Commission

13.3 S.29 of the Act entitles the Commission to seek information from licensing authorities, and places an obligation on authorities to comply with its information requests, providing the information is:

Premises data

13.4 The Act requires licensing authorities to maintain data on premises licences. As part of the application process for a premises licence, applicants will forward notice of the application to the Commission, and licensing authorities should subsequently notify the Commission of the outcome of each application, whether it is granted or refused. The Act also requires licensing authorities to notify the Commission of other matters such as when a licence has lapsed or been surrendered, and the cancellation of certain permits and registrations. Under s.29 of the Act, the Commission has identified further information requirements that it is necessary for licensing authorities to provide, which form part of the licensing authority return.

13.5 It is important that the Commission’s national data set for premises licences is accurate, as it is used for conducting national compliance work. Accuracy also reduces the need for the Commission to request ad hoc information on particular premises from licensing authorities, which is time consuming and resource intensive. The Commission will ask licensing authorities to periodically review the premises register to ensure it is up-to-date.

13.6 The Commission may make observations and representations on the suitability of the applicant for a premises licence or any other aspect of the application. In such cases, the Commission and licensing authority will discuss matters pertaining to the application and the appropriate action to take. More information on the Commission’s role as a responsible authority and its involvement in individual premises licence applications is given in Part 8 of this guidance.

13.7 If, during the course of considering a premises licence application, or at any other time, the licensing authority receives information that causes it to question the suitability of the applicant to hold an operating licence, these concerns should be brought to the attention of the Commission without delay.

Returns

13.8 All licensing authorities are required to submit returns to the Commission on an annual basis, providing information on licensed gambling activity and details of compliance and regulatory work undertaken. This includes details of permits and notices issued, premises inspections conducted, and reasons for and outcome of licence reviews. The fees that are charged by licensing authorities are intended to cover the costs of administration which includes the costs of collecting, maintaining and providing data.

13.9 The annual return is included in the Single Data List that has been issued by the Department for Housing Communities and Local Government. The List is a catalogue of all the data sets that local government must submit in any given year to central government and such organisations as the Commission.

13.10 The returns are an important source of information and can assist both the Commission and licensing authorities in improving their work as risk-based regulators. The returns provide the Commission with details of licensing authority compliance and regulatory work. The Commission analyses and publishes a licensing authority statistics report (opens in new tab) each year which helps identify risks and prioritise work.

13.11 The Commission will minimise the burden imposed on licensing authorities by keeping its data requests to an absolute minimum. The data requirements will be kept under review to ensure that any data requests have a clear and valid regulatory purpose.

13.12 It is essential that licensing authorities ensure that all returns are completed and submitted to the Commission in a timely manner. The Commission would expect the licensing authority to notify it in the event that it is unable to meet a submission deadline. Failure on behalf of a licensing authority to submit the required information could lead to the escalation of the matter with senior personnel in the licensing authority including the Head of Service and Chief Executive.

Summary of information requirements

Licensing functionEvent requiring information to be sent to Commission
Premises licences and provisional statements
  • Licensing authority has granted / rejected an application for a premises licence or provisional statement
  • A premises licence has lapsed
  • Licensing authority has granted or rejected an application to reinstate a premises licence
  • Licensing authority has granted or rejected an application to transfer or vary a premises licence
  • A review of a premises licence has been completed and a decision made
  • A hearing is to be held where the Commission has made a representation
  • A premises licence has been surrendered / revoked
  • Club permitsA club permit application has been granted / rejected
    Small society lottery registration
  • Licensing authority registers a society to operate small lotteries
  • Licensing authority cancels a society's registration to operate small lotteries
  • Where a society has exceeded the permitted proceeds for small lotteries
  • Issue of permits and temporary permissionsLicensing authority returns
    Inspections and reviewsLicensing authority returns

    Other licensing authority information requirements

    13.13 Licensing authorities are also required to maintain the following information (Schedule 11, Part 5, para 44 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab)):

    13.14 There is a range of statutory application forms and notices that licensing authorities are required to use as part of their gambling licensing responsibilities. A summary list of these can be found in Appendix E.

    13.15 Licensing authorities provide advice to those who make enquiries to them, about the legal responsibilities involved in providing premises or holding permits for gambling, whether or not they currently hold a licence or a permit.

    13.16 Licensing authorities should feel free to signpost enquiries relating to operating or personal licences to the Commission.

    Information the Commission makes available to licensing authorities

    13.17 The Commission is required under s.106 of the Act to maintain a register of operating licence holders and make this publicly available. Where a licensing authority needs to check if an applicant for a premises licence holds an operating licence, verification can be found on the register.

    Local Authority Compliance Events (LACE)

    13.18 In order to make the system of shared regulation as effective and efficient as possible, the Commission notifies licensing authorities of complaints and intelligence received regarding non-compliance and illegality in their geographical area which is primarily of a localised nature. These are referred to as Local Authority Compliance Events (LACE). The responsibility for the LACE referral is then discharged from the Commission to the licensing authority. Licensing authorities are requested to advise the Commission of what, if any, action is taken.

    13.19 The complaints that instigate the LACE referrals come from a variety of sources including licensed operators and members of the public. A number of them are received anonymously via the Commission’s intelligence line.

    Other information

    13.20 The Commission makes other information available to licensing authorities through a range of sources including the LA Bulletin, training events and forums. Further details are set out in Part 3 at paragraphs 3.6 onwards.

    Part 14: Temporary use notices

    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:

    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/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.

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

    Procedure

    14.6 The holder of an operating licence must give notice to the licensing authority in whose area the premises are situated. The Secretary of State has prescribed the form of the notice which must specify information including:

    14.7 A TUN must be lodged with the licensing authority not less than three months and one day before the day on which the gambling event will begin. A fee is payable to the licensing authority to whom the notification is sent. The application must be copied to:

    14.8 The person who is giving the TUN must ensure that the notice and copies are with the recipients within seven days of the date of the notice. If these requirements are not met, then the event will be unlawful. Where the premises are situated in an area covered by more than one authority, the person giving notice must send the notice to one authority and copy to the others. Licensing authorities will have to work closely together in such circumstances to ensure that the 21-day maximum period for TUN is not breached.

    14.9 When the licensing authority receives a notice, it must send a written acknowledgement as soon as is reasonably practicable.

    Meaning of premises

    14.10 S.218 of the Act refers to a ‘set of premises’ and provides that a set of premises is the subject of a TUN if ‘any part’ of the premises is the subject of a notice. The reference to ‘a set of premises’ prevents one large premises from having a TUN in effect for more than 21 days in a year by giving notification in relation to different parts of the premises and re-setting the clock. Note that this definition of a ‘set of premises’ differs to ‘premises’ in Part 8 of the Act (see Part 7 of this guidance).

    14.11 The definition of ‘a set of premises’ will be a question of fact in the particular circumstances of each notice that is given. In considering whether a place falls within the definition, licensing authorities will need to look at, amongst other things, the ownership/occupation and control of the premises. For example, a large exhibition centre with a number of exhibition halls may come within the definition of ‘premises’. A TUN should not then be granted for 21 days in respect of each of its exhibition halls. In relation to other covered areas, such as shopping centres, the licensing authority will need to consider whether different units are in fact different ‘sets of premises’, given that they may be occupied and controlled by different people.

    14.12 A notice maybe given in respect of a vessel, but only if it is a passenger vessel or a vessel that is situated at a fixed place. A vessel at a fixed place would include a structure on water that is not intended to be able to move (such as an oil rig, or an artificially constructed island in the middle of a lake). S.231 lists responsible authorities who must be notified in relation to giving notice in respect of a vessel.

    14.13 A TUN may not be given in respect of a vehicle.

    Objections to TUNs

    14.14 The licensing authority and the other bodies to which the notice is copied should consider whether they wish to give a notice of objection. In considering whether to do so, they must have regard to the licensing objectives and if they consider that the gambling should not take place, or only with modifications, they must give a notice of objection to the person who gave the TUN. Such a notice must be copied to the licensing authority. The notice of objection and the copy to the licensing authority must be given within 14 days, beginning with the date on which the TUN is given. An objection may be withdrawn by giving written notice to those to whom the notice of objection was sent and copied.

    14.15 Licensing authorities should have procedures in place to ensure that such notices are considered without delay so that, where appropriate, the opportunity to lodge an objection is not missed.

    14.16 If objections are received, the licensing authority must hold a hearing to listen to representations from the person who gave the TUN, all the objectors and any person who was entitled to receive a copy of the notice. If all the participants agree that a hearing is unnecessary, it may be dispensed with.

    14.17 Those who raise objections may propose modifications to the notice that will alleviate their concerns. Remedies may include a reduction in the number of days when gambling occurs or a restriction on the type of gambling permitted. If the modifications are accepted by the applicant, a new TUN must be given, incorporating the modifications, and the original notice will be treated as withdrawn. This withdrawal will be without prejudice to the right of any other person other than the objector to give notice of objection in relation to the new notice. The three-month time limit and fee will not apply to the new notice. The person who made the original objection and proposed the modification may not object to the new notice, but others to whom it is copied may object. If there are no new objections, there will be no need for a hearing.

    14.18 If the licensing authority considers that the TUN should not have effect – after a hearing has taken place or has been dispensed with – it must issue a counter-notice which may provide for the TUN:

    14.19 The principles that the authority must apply in issuing a counter-notice are the same as those in determining premises licence applications. In particular, the licensing authority should aim to permit the provision of facilities for gambling under a TUN subject to its view as to whether to do so accords with the Commission’s Licence conditions and codes of practice, this guidance and the licensing authority’s statement of policy, and is reasonably consistent with the licensing objectives.

    14.20 If the licensing authority gives a counter-notice, it must give reasons for doing so and must copy the counter-notice to all those who received copies of the TUN.

    14.21 If the licensing authority decides not to issue a counter-notice, the TUN will take effect. The licensing authority must give notice of its decision to the person who gave the TUN and to others to whom it was copied.

    Appeals

    14.22 An appeal against the licensing authority’s decision may be made by the applicant, or any person entitled to receive a copy of the TUN, to the Magistrates’ court or Sheriff court within 14 days of receiving notice of the authority’s decision. There is a further right of appeal to the High Court or Court of Session on a point of law.

    Endorsement of the notice

    14.23 If no objections are made within 14 days of the date of the notice, the licensing authority must endorse the notice as valid and return it to the person who gave it. If the endorsed copy of the notice is lost, stolen or damaged, the person who gave the notice may request a new endorsed copy from the licensing authority, subject to the payment of a fee.

    14.24 S.228 of the Act sets a time limit for the completion of all proceedings on TUN of 6 weeks beginning with the date on which the TUN is received. This includes considering whether to give a notice of objection; holding a hearing if necessary, giving a counter-notice, or giving a notice of determination.

    14.25 The person who gives a TUN may notify the licensing authority that it is withdrawn at anytime up to and during the time it has effect. In those circumstances the notice will have no effect, and any unlapsed period of time will not count towards the 21-day maximum for a TUN having effect on the premises.

    Displaying the notice

    14.26 While the gambling is taking place, a copy of the TUN must be displayed prominently on the premises. It is an offence not to produce the notice endorsed by the licensing authority when requested to do so by a constable, an officer of HM Revenue & Customs (opens in new tab), an enforcement officer, or an authorised local authority officer.

    Maximum period

    14.27 If the premises have been the subject of one or more TUN for more than a total of 21 days in the past 12 months, the licensing authority must issue a counter-notice that has the effect of stopping the TUN coming into effect. The format of counter notices are prescribed by either the Secretary of State or Scottish Ministers (SI 2007/3157: Gambling Act 2005 (Temporary Use Notices) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab)). Failure to comply with the counter-notice will be an offence. A licensing authority may issue a counter-notice which limits the number of days that the TUN comes into effect, bringing it within the 21-day limit. Such counter-notices require consultation with the applicant to ensure that the restrictions they impose do not result in an unworkable event.

    Large events

    14.28 Licensing authorities may receive TUNs from a high profile operator such as a casino, to hold an event in a larger venue (eg a stadium or an arena). In these circumstances operators may seek to use technology, such as tablet devices, to meet the demands of hosting an event at such a venue. It is possible that operators will need to hold a remote operating licence to operate certain devices and licensing authorities are encouraged to contact the Commission for further advice and guidance.

    Part 15: Occasional use notices

    Introduction

    15.1 S.39 of the Act provides that where there is betting on a track on 8 days or fewer in a calendar year, betting may be permitted by an 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:

    What constitutes a track

    15.2 While tracks are normally thought of as permanent racecourses, authorities should note that the meaning of ‘track’ in the Act covers not just horse racecourses or dog tracks, but also any other premises on any part of which a race or other sporting event takes place, or is intended to take place (s.353(1)). The Commission’s guidance relating to tracks is contained in Part 20 of this guidance.

    15.3 This means that land which has a number of uses, one of which fulfils the definition of track, can qualify for the occasional use notice provisions, for example agricultural land upon which a point-to-point meeting takes place. The point-to-point and hunter race chase calendar (opens in new tab) lists each fixture, and is a useful tool for licensing authorities to check that they are being notified of all possible OUNs. Land used temporarily as a track can qualify, provided races or sporting events take place or will take place there. The track need not be a permanent fixture.

    Use (and misuse) of OUNs

    15.4 Local sporting clubs or other venues seeking to become tracks through a contrived sporting event have utilised OUNs to solely or primarily facilitate betting taking place on events occurring away from the identified venue, examples include the Cheltenham Festival and Grand National meeting. Whilst we have not introduced a new licence condition limiting the betting to the outcomes of a race, competition or other sporting event taking place at the track in question whilst the OUN is in force, the situation is being kept under review.

    15.5 OUNs may not be relied upon for more than eight days in a calendar year, which relates to a calendar year starting 1 January and not to any period of 12 months. The Secretary of State has the power to increase or decrease the number of OUNs that are permitted, but there are currently no plans to use this power.

    15.6 Non-commercial, fundraising race nights can be run as betting events at sporting venues under the authority of an OUN, whether or not the sporting event on which the bets are taken is held at that venue. The sporting event on which the bets are or will be taken also need not be taking place at the same time as the betting under the OUN.

    Procedure

    15.7 Licensing authorities and track operators and occupiers should note that the processes set out in the Act for applying for an OUN are different to those for Temporary Use Notices (TUNs).

    15.8 The notice must be served on the licensing authority and copied to the chief officer of police for the area in which the track is wholly or partly located. The notice must specify the day on which it has effect. Notices may be given in relation to consecutive days, so long as the overall limit of eight days is not exceeded in the calendar year.

    15.9 Provided that the notice will not result in betting facilities being available for more than eight days in a calendar year, there is no provision for counter-notices or objections to be submitted.

    15.10 The Act does not require the applicant or the licensing authority to notify the Commission that an OUN has been given. However the Commission does require licensing authorities to submit returns showing how many OUNs were received during each year (see also Part 13.

    15.11 It should be noted that betting operators cannot provide gaming machines at tracks by virtue of an OUN.

    Part 16: Gaming machines

    Introduction

    16.1 This part of the guidance describes the categories of gaming machine and the number of such machines that may be permitted in each type of gambling premises as set out in the Act. Licensing authorities should note that the term ‘gaming machine’ now covers all machines on which people can gamble – subject to the exceptions below – and the term has been preserved in the Act, because it is one that is readily understood.

    16.2 S.235(1) of the Act sets out the definition of a gaming machine. The definition is wider than those included in previous gambling legislation and covers all types of gambling activity that can take place on a machine, including betting on virtual events. However, the following should be noted:

    16.3 Specific guidance on machines that are exempt is set out later in this part of the guidance, although licensing authorities should take legal advice or contact the Commission directly if they have concerns about the precise legal status of equipment being used on premises.

    16.4 The Commission is responsible for licensing manufacturers and suppliers of gaming machines and advises operators to obtain machines from Commission-licensed suppliers. Similarly, permit holders and those applying for permits for clubs, alcohol-licensed premises or family entertainment centres will also be advised through Commission guidance to obtain gaming machines from Commission-licensed suppliers.

    16.5 The Commission has set gaming machine technical standards relating to the way in which each category of machine will operate. The Commission has also set out a testing strategy that details the testing arrangements for each category of machine. The Commission has the power to test gaming machines, both before they are supplied and when in operation in premises, to ensure that they are operating as advertised.

    16.6 In order for a premises to site gaming machines some form of authorisation is normally required. Typically this is:

    16.7 Depending on the authorisation, there are limits placed on the category of machines that can be sited and, in some cases, on the number of machines that can be made available for use.

    16.8 If a licensing authority has concerns relating to the manufacture, supply, installation, maintenance or repair of gaming machines, or the manner in which they are operating, it should contact the Commission.

    16.9 S.172 of the Act prescribes the number and category of gaming machines that are permitted in each type of gambling premises licensed by authorities. Neither the Commission nor licensing authorities have the power to set different limits or further expand or restrict the categories of machine that are permitted. The exception to this is alcohol-licensed premises that hold gaming machine permits, where licensing authorities have discretion to specify the number of permitted gaming machines. In addition, limits are set separately in the Act for certain types of permit issued by licensing authorities. Machine limits are summarised at Appendix A of this guidance.

    Categories of gaming machine

    16.10 Regulations define four categories of gaming machine (as per s.236 of the Act): categories A, B, C and D, with category B divided into a further five sub-categories. The categories and sub-categories have been defined according to the maximum amount that can be paid for playing the machine and the maximum prize it can deliver. Gaming machines which are capable of being used as a gaming machine, whether or not they are currently operating as a gaming machine, are classified as a gaming machine. For example, a machine fitted with a compensator, which allows it to be converted from a skill machine is classified under s.235 of the Act as a gaming machine. Appendix B provides a breakdown of machine categories and entitlements, and Parts 22 and 24 of this guidance provide further details around machines in licensed and unlicensed family entertainment centres (FECs).

    Age restrictions

    16.11 There is a minimum age of 18 for all players for all category A, B and C machines, including category B3A gaming machines offering lottery style games. However there is no minimum age for players of category D machines. The holder of any permit or premises licence has to comply with the codes of practice issued by the Commission on the location of and access to gaming machines by children and young persons, and the separation from category C and B machines where those are also located on the same premises.

    Maximum number of machines by premises type

    16.12 The maximum number of machines permitted, and in the case of casinos the ratios between tables and machines, is set out by premises type in Appendix A, and includes premises with permit entitlements, as well as licensed premises. Further detail about machine entitlement is also provided in this guidance in the parts relating to each of the individual type of premises.

    Multiple activity premises

    16.13 It is not unusual for different licensed activities to take place within an area, such as a track or holiday park, with those licensed activities attracting different machine entitlements. For example, an area could include FECs, adult gaming centres (AGCs) and bingo, whilst also having an alcohol licence.

    16.14 It is worth checking, from the plans and a site visit, that the gaming machine entitlements are not being exceeded, and that appropriate signage to prevent unlawful entry is in place where applicable.

    16.15 It may be necessary to determine, if an area shown in the plan as part of the ‘club’ premises is separated from another with an alcohol premises licence, that the machines intended to be made available in each part are within the respective, allowable limits. Part 25 of this guidance provides greater detail on the requirements for clubs and Appendix A provides details of the machine entitlements and gaming activities for clubs.

    The meaning of ‘available for use’

    16.16 S.242 of the Act makes it an offence for a person to make a gaming machine available for use, where they do not hold an operating licence or other permission covering gaming machines and where no other exemption applies.

    16.17 The Act does not define what ‘available for use’ means, but the Commission considers that a gaming machine is ‘available for use’ if a person can take steps to play it without the assistance of the operator.

    16.18 More than the permitted number of machines may be physically located on a premises but the onus is on licensees to demonstrate that no more than the permitted number are ‘available for use’ at any one time.

    16.19 A machine that can operate at more than one category, which is operating at a lower category, does not contribute to the number of machines ‘available for use’ at a higher category until it switches to that category. Licensees must ensure no more than the permitted number are ‘available for use’ at any one time.

    16.20 Systems in which a number of machines are networked so that the player can select which game and category they play are permitted but licensees must still adhere to any restrictions on the number of machines at a certain category.

    16.21 Gaming machine entitlements in AGC or bingo premises set out that only 20% of machines can be category B machines in order to ensure a balanced offering of gambling products and restrict harder gambling opportunities.

    16.22 Machine design has changed in recent years and space-saving gaming machines - in the form of tablets, multi-player units and narrow/in-fill machines - have become available. Some of these machines appear to have been designed primarily to maximise category B machine entitlements.

    16.23 We updated our ‘available for use’ guidance11 in 2019 to make it clear that for the purpose of calculating the category B machine entitlement in gambling premises, gaming machines should only be counted if they can be played simultaneously by different players without physical hindrance. For example, the Commission would consider that a multi-position machine that technically allows two or more players to play simultaneously but in reality requires those players to stand very closely together or adopt unnatural participation positions, to the effect that a second player would be discouraged from attempting to use the machine, could not be classed as two or more machines.

    16.24 In relation to tablets, licensees should ensure that there is sufficient floorspace in the premises to permit counted tablets to be used simultaneously.

    16.25 Electronic Bingo Terminals (EBTs) that offer gaming machine content in addition to bingo content are gaming machines and subject to adherence with the above principles. Licensees are reminded however that an EBT must only allow participation in one gambling activity at a time and should not therefore contain functionality which allows participation in bingo and gaming machine activity simultaneously.

    16.26 We have published our ‘available for use’ guidance12 on the Commission website, and provided additional information specifically in relation to when is a gaming machine 'available for use' in AGC or bingo premises under the 20% regulations.

    Machines other than gaming machines in gambling premises

    Automated roulette

    16.27 There are two types of automated casino equipment that are excluded from the definition of a gaming machine in the Act. The first type is those linked to a live game of chance, for example, roulette. These enable the player to gamble on a live game as it happens, without actually being seated at the table, sometimes referred to as ‘electronic roulette’. These are not regulated as gaming machines but as live gaming and there is no limit on the number of items of such equipment.

    16.28 The second type is a machine that plays a live game but is fully automated, that is, it operates without any human intervention. For example, a roulette wheel that is electrically or mechanically operated with an air blower to propel the ball around the wheel. Again, these are not regulated as gaming machines, although casinos are bound by controls on the specification and number of player positions using such equipment. This is only the case where the machine is operated in accordance with a casino operating licence – if operated outside of a casino, the exclusion does not apply and it would be considered a gaming machine. The Act requires that equipment used to play a game of chance, for example, cards, dice and roulette wheels is ‘real’ and not ‘virtual’ if it is not to be classed as a gaming machine. Additionally the game outcome must not be determined by computer as this would normally be considered virtual.

    Self-service betting terminals (SSBTs)

    16.29 S.235(2)(c) provides that a machine is not a gaming machine by reason only of the fact that it is designed or adapted for use to bet on future real events. Some betting premises may make available for use machines that accept bets on live events, such as a sporting event, as a substitute for placing a bet over the counter. These SSBTs are not gaming machines and therefore neither count towards the maximum permitted number of gaming machines, nor have to comply with any stake or prize limits. Such betting machines merely replicate and automate the process that can be conducted in person, and therefore do not require regulation as gaming machines. S.181 of the Act contains an express power for licensing authorities to restrict the number of SSBTs, their nature and the circumstances in which they are made available, by attaching a licence condition to a betting premises licence or to a casino premises licence (where betting is permitted in the casino). Part 19 of this guidance provides further details.

    Skill games

    16.30 The Act does not cover machines that give prizes as a result of the application of skill by players. A skill with prizes machine (SWP) is one in which the winning of a prize is determined only by the player’s skill – any element of chance imparted by the action of the machine would cause it to be a gaming machine. An example of a skill game would be trivia game machines, popular in pubs and clubs, which require the player to answer general knowledge questions to win cash prizes. Many FECs have games that give prizes by redemption of tickets accumulated. Providing these machines give prizes according to the skill of the player, for example getting a high score shooting basketball, they will be exempt.

    16.31 Genuine SWPs can be sited without permissions. However, the Commission considers that the higher the payout offered by this type of machine, the less likely the machine will be viable as a genuine skill machine simply because of the risk that very skilful players will win the top prize too frequently, making the machine commercially unviable. The Commission has published advice on how to distinguish between these machines and gaming machines in Is a prize machine a gaming machine? and a quick guide on illegal gaming machines (the advice note and quick guide do not form part of the Guidance to licensing authorities).

    Lottery ticket vending machines

    16.32 Lottery ticket vending machines are generally used to dispense ‘instant win’ lottery tickets, usually scratch cards or ‘pull tab’ tickets in society lotteries and they are mostly prevalent in private society lotteries. The Act defines a private society as ‘any group or society established for a purpose not connected with gambling’. Typically a private society, such as a sports or social club, will promote a lottery and make lottery tickets available to members of the society or those on the premises of the society as part of a ‘private society lottery’. Some societies buy or rent vending machines to dispense their lottery tickets.

    16.33 Such machines are often supplied by licensed gaming machine suppliers but the operation and/or design of the machine must not constitute a gaming machine. Advice on the distinction between lottery ticket vending machines and gaming machines is available in the Commission’s Comparing lottery ticket dispensers and category B3A gaming machines’ a quick guide for licensing officers (this quick guide does not form part of the Guidance to licensing authorities).

    16.34 Those who supply, manufacture and/or site lottery ticket vending machines are not required to hold an operating or premises licence or any other permission. Where a lottery ticket vending machine is used to dispense society or private society lottery tickets it is the responsibility of the promoter of the lottery to ensure that it is operated lawfully and the required information displayed on the dispensed tickets.

    Other exclusions

    16.35 S.235(2) of the Act sets out a number of exclusions, covering machines that are not considered gaming machines, even though gambling may take place on them, as follows:

    Part 17: Casinos

    Casino premises

    17.1 Under the Act, licensing authorities in England and Wales have the role of issuing premises licences for casinos and monitoring those licences. In Scotland the licensing boards are licensing authorities and continue to have responsibilities for granting permissions for casinos in the form of premises licences.

    17.2 New casino premises licences issued under the Act will fall into one of two categories namely large casino premises licence or small casino premises licence. These are subject to separate regulations, involving a two-stage application process, detailed below.

    17.3 In addition, there is a third category of casino that is permitted through transitional arrangements under Schedule 18 of the Act, which may be referred to as 1968 Act converted casinos. Most of these casinos fall below the size thresholds of the other two categories. Such casinos may operate as card clubs without offering casino games.

    17.4 The gaming machines permitted to be made available in new casinos are related to the number of gaming tables available for use (SI 2009/1970 The Gambling Act 2005 (Gaming Tables in Casinos) (Definitions) Regulations 2009 (opens in new tab)):

    17.5 The Commission has become aware that in some instances, operators who hold a combined non-remote casino licence and betting operating licence, have looked into converting part of their casino premises to betting premises. Licensing authorities are reminded that when considering such applications they must be satisfied that, if granted, the premises in question meets the relevant mandatory and default conditions for the relevant premises licence.

    Casino games

    17.6 S.7(1) of the Act states that ‘a casino is an arrangement whereby people are given an opportunity to participate in one or more casino games’. Casino games are defined by the Act to mean a game of chance which is not equal chance gaming. Equal chance gaming is gaming which does not involve playing or staking against a bank, and where the chances are equally favourable to all participants. The Act gives the Commission power through conditions attached to operating licences to restrict the types of casino games that may be made available.

    17.7 The Commission has the power to prohibit casino games under Licence Condition 9.1.1 of the LCCP. No games are currently prohibited.

    17.8 Player information on the specific rules and odds applied to any games offered by individual operators must be displayed in each casino, as required by Social responsibility code 4.2.1 of the Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) which supplements the mandatory conditions attaching to all casino premises licences.

    17.9 Organisations should seek their own legal advice on any new casino games, side bets or game variations they have developed. Both the game developer, and the casino operator running any trial of that game, should satisfy themselves that the game concept will be compliant before it is made available in the market place . Operators must continue to comply with LCCP requirements to display games rules, house edge in the venue and make information available for the customer.

    Protection of children and young persons

    17.10 No-one under the age of 18 is permitted to enter a casino and operators are required to display notices to this effect at all entrances to a casino. Social responsibility (SR) code 3.2.1(2) states that ‘licensees must ensure that their policies and procedures take account of the structure and layout of their gambling premises’ in order to prevent underage gambling. There must also be a door supervisor at every entrance to a casino to ensure that this restriction is enforced (SR 3.2.1(3)). Children and young persons are not allowed to be employed at premises with a casino premises licence. Licensing authorities are able to find information about the restrictions that apply in the LCCP.

    The process for issuing casino premises licences

    17.11 Licensing authorities whose areas have been chosen for the new casinos should set out the principles they intend to apply when determining the ‘winner’ of a premises licence competition, in their statement of policy so that it is available to potential applicants before the authority invites applications for the available casino premises licences. The unsuccessful applicants must be informed of the result of the competition.

    17.12 The Secretary of State has issued a code of practice (opens in new tab) about the procedure to be followed by licensing authorities in making determinations at both stage one and stage two, and also about the matters authorities are to take into account in making such determinations. The Act requires licensing authorities to comply with any code of practice issued by the Secretary of State.

    17.13 Where an authority invites applications, those applications may be in the form of an application for a provisional statement as well as in the form of an application for the grant of a full casino premises licence. Where an application is made in the form of a provisional statement it is to be treated in the same way as an application for a casino premises licence and included in any two-stage determination process that the authority is required to carry out. If an application for a provisional statement is successful in that process, then it is not necessary for a further two-stage licensing process to be held when a casino premises licence application is eventually made by the operator to whom the statement has been issued.

    17.14 As a first step in licensing a casino, the licensing authority will have to invite applications for any casino premises licences that it may issue. Regulations set out how the process of inviting applications is to be done (SI 2008/469: The Gambling (Inviting Competing Applications for Large and Small Casino Premises Licences) Regulations 2008 (opens in new tab)).

    17.15 It is possible that the number of applications that the relevant licensing authorities will receive will exceed the number of licences available. The Act lays down a framework for a two-stage process for considering applications in these circumstances.

    17.16 As with all deliberations in premises licences, the authority should not confuse planning and building regulation considerations with the matter before it.

    17.17 Authorities should think carefully before entering into any agreements or arrangements with potential casino operators which might be perceived to affect their ability to exercise their stage two functions objectively and without having prejudged any of the issues. If any such agreements or arrangements are entered into, it will be important that authorities are able to demonstrate (for example, through having obtained independent and impartial advice on the competing applications)that any decision they reach is objectively based and is not affected by the arrangements.

    Stage one

    17.18 If more applications are received than the number of available licences, the authority must determine whether each application would be granted a licence if there were no limit on the number of licences that the authority could grant. Each application must be considered separately and no reference made to the other applications received.

    17.19 During this process each of the other applicants will be considered an ‘interested party’ and may make representations. The consideration of representations should be the same as that for normal applications for premises licences, detailed in Part 7 of this guidance.

    17.20 This process will result in one or more provisional decisions to grant a premises licence, which will be disclosed to the applicant and any party that made representations.

    17.21 The provisional decision of the licensing authority at stage one may be appealed. Until any appeal has been determined, the licensing authority may not proceed to stage two.

    Stage two

    17.22 The second stage of the process only applies where the number of applications which the licensing authority would provisionally grant under the stage one process exceeds the number of available casino premises licences.

    17.23 Under the second stage of the process the authority has to decide between the competing applications and grant any available licences to those applications which in their opinion will result in the greatest benefit to its area.

    17.24 There is no right of appeal against the grant or refusal at stage two although an applicant may seek judicial review of a licensing authority’s decision.

    17.25 Where a licensing authority issues a provisional statement following a two-stage determination process, they may limit the period of time for which the statement has effect. This is so that the authority can control the period within which the full casino premises licence application has to be made. Under Schedule 9 to the Act the authority is allowed to extend the period for which the provisional statement has effect if the person to whom it is issued applies to have it extended.

    Resolutions not to issue casino licences

    17.26 S.166(1) of the Act states that a licensing authority may resolve not to issue casino premises licences.

    17.27 The decision to pass such a resolution may only be taken by the authority as a whole and cannot be delegated to the licensing committee. In passing such a resolution the authority may take into account any principle or matter, not just the licensing objectives. Where a resolution is passed, it must be published by the authority in its statement of policy.

    17.28 The resolution must apply to casino premises generally, so that the authority cannot limit its effect to geographic areas or categories of casinos. The resolution must specify the date it comes into effect. The authority may revoke the resolution by passing a counter-resolution (again the whole authority must pass that resolution). The resolution will lapse after three years so, should the licensing authority wish to keep the policy in place, they should pass a resolution every three years.

    17.29 A resolution not to issue casino premises licences will only affect new casinos. It will not have any effect on casino premises licences issued before the resolution takes effect or on provisional statements issued before that date. Similarly a resolution will not affect the ability of existing casinos with preserved entitlements from the Gaming Act 1968 (opens in new tab) from continuing to operate as casinos.

    Converted casinos (with preserved rights under Schedule 18 of the Act)

    17.30 Casino operators with licences granted under the Gaming Act 1968 were eligible to be granted a casino premises licence under ‘grandfathering’ arrangements. Additionally, special provisions apply to enable these operators to relocate premises by way of a variation to a converted casino premises licence providing those premises are wholly or partly situated in the area of the licensing authority which issued the licence (SI 2006/3272: The Gambling Act 2005 (Commencement No. 6 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2006 (opens in new tab); Schedule 4, paragraph 65 (12,13)).

    17.31 These casinos will retain the rights to gaming machines equivalent to their entitlements under previous legislation. That means they are permitted no more than 20 machines of category B to D (except B3A machines), or they may elect to have any number of category C or D machines instead (as was previously the case under s. 32 of the Gaming Act 1968 (opens in new tab) (SI 2006/3272: Commencement No 6 and Transitional Provisions Order (opens in new tab) Schedule 4 paragraph 65(6))). There is no table-to-machine ratio in these casinos.

    17.32 These premises licences are subject to the normal system of review as outlined in Part 10 of this guidance. Where a licensing authority has passed a ‘no casino’ resolution, this may not be taken into account in considering whether to review a premises licence.

    Casino premises licence conditions

    17.33 Part 9 of this guidance discusses the mandatory and default conditions that attach to premises licences.

    Mandatory conditions – all casino premises licences

    17.34 Access to premises is regulated to add additional safeguards for both the public and industry. The principal entrance to the casino should be from a street. A street is defined as including any bridge, road, lane, footway, subway, square, court, alley or passage (including passages through enclosed premises such as shopping centres), whether it is a thoroughfare or not.

    17.35 No customer must be able to enter the casino from any other premises holding a casino, bingo, adult gaming centre (AGC), family entertainment centre (FEC) or betting premises licence, or from premises where a FEC, club gaming and club machine, or licensed premises gaming machine permit, has effect.

    17.36 There should be no access to a casino from premises wholly or mainly used by children and young persons.

    17.37 No other gambling equipment may be situated within two metres of any ordinary gaming table. For the purposes of these conditions an ordinary gaming table means one which is not wholly or partially automated.

    17.38 A maximum of 40 separate player positions may be made available for use in relation to wholly automated gaming tables at any time.

    17.39 All casinos must display the rules of each type of casino game that can be played on the premises in a prominent place within both the table gaming area and other gambling areas to which customers have unrestricted access. Licensees may do this either by displaying clear and legible signs or by making available to customers leaflets or other written material setting out the rules.

    17.40 ATMs must be positioned so that customers must cease to gamble at tables or gaming machines in order to use them.

    Mandatory conditions – large casino premises licences

    17.41 A notice shall be displayed at all entrances to the casino stating that no person under the age of 18 will be admitted.

    17.42 Large casinos must provide a minimum table gaming area of 1000m2. In determining the floor area of the table gaming area, any number of separate areas within the casino may be taken into account. However, no area counting towards the minimum table gaming area may comprise less than 12.5% of the total minimum table gaming area. No gambling shall be permitted in the table gaming area of the premises other than gambling by way of table gaming.

    17.43 Large casinos must offer a non-gambling area of a minimum of 500m2. These areas must be readily available to customers (eg offices, kitchen areas, employee areas will not count). They may include but should not consist exclusively of, lavatories and lobby areas. The area must also include recreational facilities for casino customers that are available for use when the casino is open; where there is more than one area each area must contain recreational facilities. No gambling facilities may be offered in the non-gambling areas. In England and Wales the non-gambling area may consist of one or more areas within the casino.

    17.44 Clear and accessible information about the terms on which a bet may be placed should be displayed in a prominent position on the premises.

    17.45 Any admission charges, the charges for playing bingo games and the rules of bingo must be displayed in a prominent position on the premises. Rules can be displayed on a sign, by making available leaflets or other written materials containing the rules, or running an audio-visual guide to the rules prior to any bingo game being commenced.

    17.46 No more than 40 separate betting positions may be made available for use if betting is provided by means of terminals rather than an over the counter service.

    Mandatory conditions – small casino premises licences

    17.47 A notice shall be displayed at all entrances to the casino stating that no person under the age of 18 will be admitted.

    17.48 Small casinos must provide a minimum table gaming area of 500m2. In determining the floor area of the table gaming area, any number of separate areas within the casino may be taken into account. However, no area counting towards the minimum table gaming area may comprise less than 12.5% of the total minimum table gaming area. No gambling shall be permitted in the table gaming area of the casino other than gambling by way of table gaming.

    17.49 Small casinos must offer a non-gambling area of a minimum of 250m2. These areas must be readily available to customers (eg offices, kitchen areas, employee areas will not count). They may include, but should not consist exclusively of, lavatories and lobby areas. The area must also include recreational facilities for casino customers that are available for use when the casino is open; where there is more than one area each area must contain recreational facilities. No gambling facilities may be offered in the non-gambling areas. In England and Wales the non gambling area may consist of one or more areas within the casino.

    17.50 Clear and accessible information about the terms on which a bet may be placed should be displayed in a prominent position on the premises.

    17.51 No more than 40 separate betting positions may be made available for use if betting is provided by means of terminals rather than an over the counter service.

    Mandatory conditions – converted casino premises licences

    17.52 A notice shall be displayed at all entrances to the casino stating that no person under the age of 18 will be admitted.

    17.53 Casinos with converted licences, and that have a gambling area of over 200m2, must offer a minimum non-gambling area equivalent to at least 10% of its total gambling area. In determining the floor area of the gambling area, all areas in which facilities for gambling are provided should be taken into account. These areas must be readily available to customers (eg offices, kitchen areas, employee areas will not count). They may include, but should not consist exclusively of, lavatories and lobby areas. The area must also include recreational facilities for casino customers that are available for use when the casino is open; where there is more than one area each area must contain recreational facilities. No gambling facilities may be offered in the non-gambling areas.

    Default conditions attaching to all casino premises licences

    17.54 The default opening hours of all casinos are noon to 6am.

    Controlling where gaming machines may be played - casino

    17.55 The following policy objectives summarise the key elements that underpin the approach to controlling where gaming machines may be played.

    17.56 The Act and associated regulations set out a comprehensive regulatory framework for controlling gaming machines. By linking different machine entitlements to different types of premises, the framework seeks to ensure the number and power (in terms of stakes, prizes and speed of play) of machines is proportionate to the premises. For such a framework to have any meaningful effect it must be possible for regulatory authorities and consumers to distinguish between different gambling premises.

    17.57 The LCCP requires (Social Responsibility Code Provision 9) that gaming machines are only made available in combination with the named non-remote activity of the operating licence. So, unless a casino premises operator offers substantive facilities for non-remote casino games and/or games of equal chance it should not make gaming machines available for use on the premises in question. To contain the unavoidable risk to the licensing objectives associated with gaming machines, premises which offer machines must be appropriately supervised.

    17.58 The current regulatory framework prescribes that Category B gaming machines may only be made available in licensed gambling premises and not in locations which may prompt more ambient gambling such as pubs. Maintaining distinctions between different gambling venues allows individuals to make a deliberate choice whether to enter that particular gambling environment. In carrying out their functions under the Act licensing authorities should satisfy themselves that a premises applying for or licensed as a casino is operating or will operate in a manner which a customer would reasonably be expected to recognise as a premises licensed for the purposes of providing facilities for casino games and/or games of equal chance.

    17.59 Licensing authorities are not being asked to impose a ‘one size fits all’ view of how a casino should look and function. Rather they are ensuring that a premises licensed for the purposes of providing facilities for casino and/or games of equal chance is operating as such and is not merely a vehicle to offer higher stake and prize gaming machines.

    17.60 In exercising its functions under the Act a licensing authority should take account of the relevant code of practice on ‘controlling where gaming machines may be played’. It is specifically obliged to do so when exercising functions under section 153 of the Act. In circumstances where a licensing authority considers an existing premises is not compliant with these general requirements they should contact the Commission at the earliest opportunity.

    17.61 Both the Commission and licensing authorities have the power to attach specific conditions to operating or premises licences in circumstances where additional assurance is required. The Commission favours the approach of general conditions for all supplemented by operator specific conditions in cases where novel or contentious operating models are used which include the provision of gaming machines. This is to deliver the policy objectives above and ensure the risk to the licensing objectives is minimised.

    17.62 In the Commission’s view the above approach would ideally be adopted at licensing stage. Licensing authorities should ensure that they request all the information required from an applicant for a new premises or for a variation to an existing premises in order to satisfy themselves as to the matters set out at s153 of the Act. This includes the codes of practice and this guidance. The approach of adding case-specific conditions can equally be deployed in respect of an existing unit where concerns arise or when changes are made to the operating model.

    Self-exclusion

    17.63 Social Responsibility Code Provision 3.5.6 requires that all non-remote casino (and bingo and betting licences except those at a track) and holders of gaming machine general operating licences for adult gaming centres must offer self-exclusion schemes to customers requesting such a facility. There is also an Ordinary Code provision at 3.5.7. The full details can be found within the LCCP13

    Part 18: Bingo

    Introduction

    18.1 Bingo is not given a statutory definition in the Act although two types of bingo are commonly understood:

    18.2 The game and rules of bingo have evolved to the point where, despite the absence of any formal industry standard, the way in which bingo is played is broadly similar throughout Great Britain. Bingo is equal chance gaming. The Commission has published its view of what bingo is and how it differs from other forms of gambling. This can be found in the advice note What constitutes bingo (opens in new tab) (this advice does not form part of the Guidance to licensing authorities).This advice was developed with the support of key stakeholders from the bingo industry.

    18.3 Cash bingo is the main type of bingo played in commercial bingo premises. They also offer prize bingo, largely as games played in the intervals between main stage games. This means that only premises with a bingo premises licence, or a large casino premises licence issued under the Act (where the operator holds a bingo as well as a casino operating licence), will be able to offer bingo in all its forms.

    18.4 As well as commercial bingo premises, bingo can be found in other gambling premises. Prize bingo is traditionally a game played in arcades, especially seaside amusement arcades, or at travelling funfairs. For these operators, prize bingo is subject to the allowances for prize gaming in the Act. This means that, subject to limits on participation fees and prizes, adult gaming centres, licensed and unlicensed family entertainment centres, and travelling fairs, (or any premises with a prize gaming permit) are able to offer prize gaming, which includes prize bingo. In this form of gaming, the nature of the prize must not be determined by reference to the number of people playing the game, and the nature or the size of the prize must not be determined by reference to the amount paid for or raised by the gaming. See Part 27 of this guidance for a fuller discussion of prize gaming.

    18.5 Licensing authorities need to satisfy themselves that bingo can be played in any bingo premises for which they issue a premises licence. An operator may choose to vary their licence to exclude a previously licensed area of that premises, and then apply for a new premises licence, or multiple new premises licences, with the aim of creating separate premises in that area. Essentially providing multiple licensed premises within a single building or site. Before issuing additional bingo premises licences, licensing authorities need to consider whether bingo can be played at each of those new premises.

    Protection of children and young persons

    18.6 Under the Act, children and young persons (anyone up to the age of 18) cannot be employed in providing any facilities for gambling on bingo premises, and children (under 16) cannot be employed, in any capacity, at a time when facilities for playing bingo are being offered. However, young persons, aged 16 and 17, may be employed in bingo premises (while bingo is being played), provided the activities on which they are employed are not connected with the gaming or gaming machines. Licensing authorities are able to find information about the restrictions that apply in Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP).

    18.7 Children and young people are allowed into bingo premises; however they are not permitted to participate in the bingo and if category B or C machines are made available for use these must be separated from areas where children and young people are allowed. Social Responsibility (SR) code 3.2.5(3) states that ‘licensees must ensure that their policies and procedures take account of the structure and layout of their gambling premises’ in order to prevent underage gambling.

    Gaming machines

    18.8 S.172(7), as amended, provides that the holder of a bingo premises licence may make available for use a number of category B gaming machines not exceeding 20% of the total number of gaming machines on the premises. For example, a premises with a total of 25 gaming machines available for use can make five or fewer category B3 gaming machines available on that premises. Premises that were licensed before 13 July 2011 are entitled to make available eight category B gaming machines, or 20% of the total number of gaming machines, whichever is the greater. There are no restrictions on the number of category C or D machines that can be made available. Regulations state that category B machines at bingo premises are restricted to sub-category B3 (SI 2007/2158: Categories of Gaming Machine Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab)) (but not B3A) and B4 machines. Licensing authorities should ensure that gambling machines are made available for use in a manner consistent with our guidance within Part 16. For the purpose of calculating the category B machine entitlement in gambling premises, gaming machines should only be counted if they can be played simultaneously by different players without physical hindrance. This includes tablets.

    18.9 The gaming machines must remain within the licensed area covered by the premises licence. In the unusual circumstance that an existing bingo premises covered by one premises licence applies to vary the licence and acquire additional bingo premises licences (so that the area that was the subject of a single licence will become divided between a number of separate licensed premises) it is not permissible for all of the gaming machines to which each of the licences brings an entitlement to be grouped together within one of the licensed premises.

    18.10 Equipment operated by a bingo operating licence for the purpose of playing bingo, for example what are currently known as mechanised cash bingo, electronic bingo terminal (EBTs) and video bingo terminals (VBTs), will be exempt from controls on gaming machines provided they comply with any conditions set by the Commission and, in the case of EBTs, do not hold gaming machine content.

    18.11 An EBT that offers gaming machine content in addition to bingo content is considered to be a gaming machine and would count towards the total number of gaming machines or towards the offering of bingo. Any EBTs that do not offer gaming machine content would not count towards the number of gaming machines.

    Self-exclusion

    18.12 Social Responsibility Code Provision 3.5.6 requires that all non-remote casino (and bingo and betting licences except those at a track) and holders of gaming machine general operating licences for adult gaming centres must offer self-exclusion schemes to customers requesting such a facility. There is also an Ordinary Code provision at 3.5.7. The full details can be found within the LCCP14

    Bingo in clubs and alcohol-licensed premises

    18.13 Bingo is a class of equal chance gaming permitted on alcohol-licensed premises, and in clubs and miners’ welfare institutes, under the allowances for exempt gaming in Part 12 of the Act. There are regulations setting controls on this form of gaming, to ensure that it remains a low stakes and prizes activity (SI 2007/1940: The Gambling Act 2005 (Exempt Gaming in Alcohol-Licensed Premises) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab) and SI No. 1944; The Gambling Act 2005 (Exempt Gaming in Clubs) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab)).

    18.14 In addition, rules are laid down in the Act about the playing of bingo specifically in alcohol-licensed premises, clubs and miners’ welfare institutes15. Where the level of bingo played in these premises reaches a certain threshold, it will no longer be authorised by these rules and a bingo operating licence will have to be obtained from the Commission for future bingo games. Even in this circumstance, bingo can still only be offered under the rules for exempt gaming. The aim of these provisions is to prevent bingo becoming a predominant commercial activity on such non-gambling premises.

    18.15 The threshold is reached if the bingo played during any seven-day period exceeds £2,000 (either in money taken or prizes awarded) once in a year, referred to as ‘high turnover bingo’. There is a legal duty on the licensee or club to inform the Commission if they offer high turnover bingo in any seven day period. This allows the Commission to monitor the bingo activity on the premises, and discuss with the relevant licensee or club the point at which a bingo operating licence may be needed. A ‘high turnover period’ begins with the first day of the seven day period in which the threshold was exceeded and lasts for a year. If a second period of high turnover bingo occurs within that year, a bingo operating licence will be required. Where bingo is played in a members club under a bingo operating licence no premises licence will be required.

    18.16 If it comes to the attention of licensing authorities that alcohol-licensed premises or clubs or institutes are playing bingo during the course of a week which involves significant stakes and prizes, that makes it possible that the £2,000 in seven days is being exceeded, authorities should inform the Commission. To help clubs and institutes to comply with the full range of statutory requirements for gaming, the Commission has developed a statutory code of practice The Code of Practice for gaming in clubs and premises with an alcohol licence.

    18.17 The eight large casinos will be able to offer bingo. Bingo will be permitted as part of their casino premises licence and they will not require a separate bingo premises licence, though they will need to obtain a bingo operating licence (which may be combined with their casino licence) in order to offer facilities for bingo at a casino. The standards in this respect will be no lower than for operators seeking only to provide facilities for bingo alone.

    Bingo premises licence conditions

    18.18 Part 9 of this guidance discusses the mandatory and default conditions that attach to premises licences.

    Mandatory conditions

    18.19 A notice stating that no person under the age of 18 years is permitted to play bingo on the premises shall be displayed in a prominent place at every entrance to the premises.

    18.20 No customer shall be able to enter bingo premises directly from a casino, an adult gaming centre or betting premises (other than a track).

    18.21 Over 18 areas, within bingo halls that admit under-18s, must be separated by a barrier with prominently displayed notices stating that under-18s are not allowed in that area and with adequate supervision in place to ensure that children and young people are not able to access these areas or the category B or C machines. Supervision may be done either by placing the terminals within the line of sight of an official of the operator or via monitored CCTV.

    18.22 Any admission charges, the charges for playing bingo games and the rules of bingo must be displayed in a prominent position on the premises. Rules can be displayed on a sign, by making available leaflets or other written material containing the rules, or running an audio-visual guide to the rules prior to any bingo game being commenced.

    18.23 Any ATM made available for use on the premises shall be located in a place that requires any customer who wishes to use it to cease gambling in order to do so.

    Default conditions

    18.24 Bingo facilities in bingo premises may not be offered between the hours of midnight and 9am. However, there are no restrictions on access to gaming machines in bingo premises.

    Controlling where gaming machines may be played – bingo

    18.25 The following policy objectives summarise the key elements that underpin the approach to controlling where gaming machines may be played:

    18.26 The Act and associated regulations set out a comprehensive regulatory framework for controlling gaming machines. By linking different machine entitlements to different types of premises, the framework seeks to ensure the number and power (in terms of stakes, prizes and speed of play) of machines is proportionate to the premises. For such a framework to have any meaningful effect it must be possible for regulatory authorities and consumers to distinguish between different gambling premises.

    18.27 The LCCP requires (Social Responsibility Code Provision 9) that gaming machines are only made available in combination with the named non-remote activity of the operating licence. So, unless a bingo premises operator offers substantive facilities for non-remote bingo it should not make gaming machines available for use on the premises in question. To contain the unavoidable risk to the licensing objectives associated with gaming machines, premises which offer machines must be appropriately supervised.

    18.28 The current regulatory framework prescribes that category B gaming machines may only be made available in licensed gambling premises and not in locations which may prompt more ambient gambling such as pubs. Maintaining distinctions between different gambling venues allows individuals to make a deliberate choice whether to enter that particular gambling environment. In carrying out their functions under the Act licensing authorities should satisfy themselves that a premises applying for or licensed for bingo is operating or will operate in a manner which a customer would reasonably be expected to recognise as a premises licensed for the purposes of providing facilities for bingo.

    18.29 Licensing authorities are not being asked to impose a ‘one size fits all’ view of how a bingo premises should look and function. Rather they are ensuring that a premises licensed for the purposes of providing facilities for bingo is operating as such and is not merely a vehicle to offer higher stake and prize gaming machines.

    18.30 In exercising its functions under the Act a licensing authority should take account of the relevant code of practice on ‘controlling where gaming machines may be played’. It is specifically obliged to do so when exercising functions under section 153 of the Act. In circumstances where a licensing authority considers an existing premises is not compliant with these general requirements they should contact the Commission at the earliest opportunity.

    18.31 Both the Commission and licensing authorities have the power to attach specific conditions to operating or premises licences in circumstances where additional assurance is required. The Commission favours the approach of general conditions for all supplemented by operator-specific conditions in cases where novel or contentious operating models are used which include the provision of gaming machines. This is to deliver the policy objectives above and ensure the risk to the licensing objectives is minimised.

    18.32 In the Commission’s view the above approach would ideally be adopted at licensing stage. Licensing authorities should ensure that they request all the information required from an applicant for a new premises or for a variation to an existing premises in order to satisfy themselves as to the matters set out at s153 of the Act. This includes the codes of practice and this guidance. The approach of adding case specific conditions can equally be deployed in respect of an existing unit where concerns arise or when changes are made to the operating model.

    Part 19: Betting premises

    Introduction

    19.1 The Act contains a single class of licence for betting premises although within this, there are different types of premises which require licensing. This part of the guidance discusses off-course betting which is betting that takes place other than at a track in what was previously known as a licensed betting office. Tracks are discussed in Part 20 of this guidance. Please note that there are also betting offices on tracks, that have a separate premises licence from the track licence, which are also discussed in Part 20.

    19.2 The Act also permits betting intermediaries to operate from premises. S.13 of the Act defines a betting intermediary as a person who provides a service designed to facilitate the making or acceptance of bets between others. Although betting intermediaries usually offer their services via remote communication, such as the internet, a betting intermediary can apply for a betting premises licence to offer intermediary services upon the premises, such as a premises based trading room. The Commission has issued an advice note on betting intermediaries (opens in new tab) (this advice note does not form part of the Guidance to licensing authorities).

    19.3 Licensing authorities are responsible for issuing and monitoring premises licences for all betting premises. The issuing of premises licences is discussed in Part 7 of this guidance.

    Protection of children and young persons

    19.4 Children and young persons are not permitted to enter premises with a betting premises licence, although exemptions apply to tracks, as explained in Part 20 of this guidance, and s.46 and s.47 of the Act set out offences of inviting, causing or permitting a child or young person to gamble, or to enter certain gambling premises. Social Responsibility (SR) code 3.2.7(3) in the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) states that ‘licensees must ensure that their policies and procedures take account of the structure and layout of their gambling premises’ in order to prevent underage gambling. Children and young persons are not allowed to be employed at premises with a betting premises licence.

    Gaming machines

    19.5 S.172(8) provides that the holder of a betting premises licence may make available for use up to four gaming machines of category B, C or D. Regulations state that category B machines at betting premises are restricted to sub-category B2, B3 and B4 machines (the terminals commonly in use are able to provide both B2 and B3 content).

    Self-exclusion

    19.6 Social Responsibility Code Provision 3.5.6 requires that all non-remote casino bingo and betting licences (except those at a track) and holders of gaming machine general operating licences for adult gaming centres must offer self-exclusion schemes to customers requesting such a facility. There is also an Ordinary Code provision at 3.5.7. The full details can be found within the LCCP17.

    Self-service betting terminals (SSBTs)

    19.7 S.235(2)(c) provides that a machine is not a gaming machine if it is designed or adapted for use to bet on future real events. Some betting premises may make available machines that accept bets on live events, such as horse racing, as a substitute for placing a bet over the counter. These SSBTs are not gaming machines and therefore neither count towards the maximum permitted number of gaming machines, nor have to comply with any stake or prize limits. SSBTs merely automate the process that can be conducted in person and the Act exempts them from regulation as a gaming machine.

    19.8 However, where a machine is made available to take bets on virtual races (that is, results and/or images generated by computer to resemble races or other events) that machine is a gaming machine and counts towards the maximum permitted number of gaming machines, and must meet the relevant category limitations for the premises.

    19.9 It is the Commission’s view that the use of SSBTs is a form of remote communication and that a remote licence will be required if SSBTs are used to facilitate the making or accepting of bets by others. The advice note Betting: advice for remote, non-remote and betting intermediaries (opens in new tab) (this advice note does not form part of the Guidance to licensing authorities) sets out the framework which the Commission applies when deciding whether it considers that a particular operator is offering betting or is acting as a betting intermediary and whether gambling is remote gambling or non-remote gambling.

    19.10 S.181 contains an express power for licensing authorities to restrict the number of SSBTs, their nature and the circumstances in which they are made available by attaching a licence condition to a betting premises licence or to a casino premises licence (where betting is permitted in the casino). When considering whether to impose a condition to restrict the number of SSBTs in particular premises, the licensing authority, amongst other things, should take into account the ability of employees to monitor the use of the machines by children and young persons or by vulnerable people.

    19.11 Where SSBTs include the functionality to be marketed or presented in foreign languages, licensing authorities may seek to ensure that the operator has considered the ordinary code provision (3.3.2) about making the following information also available in those languages:

    Betting premises licence conditions

    19.12 Part 9 of this guidance discusses the mandatory and default conditions that attach to premises licences.

    Mandatory conditions

    19.13 A notice shall be displayed at all entrances to the betting premises stating that no person under the age of 18 will be admitted. The notice should be clearly visible to people entering the premises.

    19.14 There must be no access to betting premises from other premises that undertake a commercial activity (except from other premises with a betting premises licence including tracks). Except where it is from other licensed betting premises, the entrance to a betting shop should be from a street (defined as including any bridge, road, lane, footway, subway, square, court, alley or passage - including passages through enclosed premises such as shopping centres - whether a thoroughfare or not).

    19.15 Any ATM made available for use on the premises shall be located in a place that requires any customer who wishes to use it to leave any gaming machine or self-service betting terminal (SSBT) in order to do so.

    19.16 No apparatus for making information or any other material available in the form of sounds or visual images may be used on the licensed premises, except where used to communicate:

    Betting operator-owned TV channels are permitted.

    19.17 No music, dancing or other entertainment is permitted on betting premises. This includes any form of entertainment such as apparatus producing sound or visual images which do not fall within paragraph 19.15 or machines which do not come within the categories of machine explicitly allowed in betting premises under s.172(8) of the Act.

    19.18 The consumption of alcohol on the premises is prohibited during any time which facilities for gambling are being provided on the premises. Additionally in Scotland the sale of alcohol on the premises is also specifically prohibited.

    19.19 The only publications that may be sold or made available on the premises are racing periodicals or specialist betting publications.

    19.20 A notice setting out the terms on which a bet may be placed must be displayed in a prominent position on the premises. In Scotland this notice must be displayed at every entrance.

    Default conditions

    19.21 Gambling facilities may not be offered in betting premises between the hours of 10pm on one day and 7am on the next day, on any day.

    Controlling where gaming machines may be played - betting

    19.22 The following policy objectives summarise the key elements that underpin the approach to controlling where gaming machines may be played:

    19.23 The Act and associated regulations set out a comprehensive regulatory framework for controlling gaming machines. By linking different machine entitlements to different types of premises, the framework seeks to ensure the number and power (in terms of stakes, prizes and speed of play) of machines is proportionate to the premises. For such a framework to have any meaningful effect it must be possible for regulatory authorities and consumers to distinguish between different gambling premises.

    19.24 The LCCP requires (Social Responsibility Code Provision 9) that gaming machines are only made available in combination with the named non-remote activity of the operating licence. So, unless a betting premises operator offers substantive facilities for non-remote betting it should not make gaming machines available for use on the premises in question. To contain the unavoidable risk to the licensing objectives associated with gaming machines, premises which offer machines must be appropriately supervised.

    19.25 The current regulatory framework prescribes that category B gaming machines may only be made available in licensed gambling premises and not in locations which may prompt more ambient gambling such as pubs. Maintaining distinctions between different gambling venues allows individuals to make a deliberate choice whether to enter that particular gambling environment. In carrying out their functions under the Act licensing authorities should satisfy themselves that a premises applying for or licensed for betting is operating or will operate in a manner which a customer would reasonably be expected to recognise as a premises licensed for the purposes of providing facilities for betting.

    19.26 Licensing authorities are not being asked to impose a ‘one size fits all’ view of how a betting premises should look and function. Rather they are ensuring that a premises licensed for the purposes of providing facilities for betting is operating as such and is not merely a vehicle to offer higher stake and prize gaming machines.

    19.27 In exercising its functions under the Act a licensing authority should take account of the relevant code of practice on ‘controlling where gaming machines may be played’. It is specifically obliged to do so when exercising functions under section 153 of the Act. In circumstances where a licensing authority considers an existing premises is not compliant with these general requirements they should contact the Commission at the earliest opportunity.

    19.28 Both the Commission and licensing authorities have the power to attach specific conditions to operating or premises licences in circumstances where additional assurance is required. The Commission favours the approach of general conditions for all supplemented by operator-specific conditions in cases where novel or contentious operating models are used which include the provision of gaming machines. This is to deliver the policy objectives above and ensure the risk to the licensing objectives is minimised.

    19.29 In the Commission’s view the above approach would ideally be adopted at licensing stage. Licensing authorities should ensure that they request all the information required from an applicant for a new premises or for a variation to an existing premises in order to satisfy themselves as to the matters set out at s153 of the Act. This includes the codes of practice and this guidance. The approach in adding case-specific conditions can equally be deployed in respect of an existing unit where concerns arise or when changes are made to the operating model.

    Industry codes

    19.30 The betting industry, in common with other sectors of the gambling industry, has developed a variety of codes, for example through their trade association. Their main focus has been on matters related to social responsibility. Such codes, whilst not having the force of a licence condition or code, can assist officers when conducting premises inspections. Updates are provided in the LA Bulletin and on trade association websites.

    Part 20: Tracks

    Definition of a track

    20.1 S.353 of the Act defines a track as a horse racecourse, greyhound track or other premises on any part of which a race or other sporting event takes place or is intended to take place.

    20.2 The Act does not give a list of premises that are officially recognised as ‘tracks’ but there are a number of venues where sporting events do or could take place, and accordingly could accommodate the provision of betting facilities. Examples of tracks include:

    20.3 This list is not exhaustive as, in theory, betting could take place at any venue where a sporting or competitive event is occurring. While many of these venues are not commonly understood to be ‘tracks’, they fall within the definition of ‘track’ in the Act. Licensing authorities may be of the view that they have few tracks in their area, but the definition in the Act means that most licensing authorities are likely to have venues that could be classified as a track for betting purposes.

    20.4 The Act also provides for tracks which do not currently offer betting facilities, but may elect to do so at some stage in the future. This means that land which has a number of uses, one of which fulfils the definition of a track, could qualify for a premises licence. Examples could include agricultural land upon which a point-to-point meeting takes place or a theatre, arena or exhibition centre where sporting events such as darts or snooker competitions are held. Under the Act, these may all be classified as tracks.

    20.5 The Act does not define what constitutes a sporting event or race and licensing authorities will need to decide this on a case by case basis. The Commission is aware of some instances of the apparent misuse of occasional use notices (OUNs). Local sporting clubs or other venues seeking to become tracks through a contrived sporting event have utilised OUNs to solely or primarily facilitate betting taking place on events occurring away from the identified venue, examples include the Cheltenham Festival and Grand National meeting. Whilst we have not introduced a new licence condition limiting the betting to the outcomes of a race, competition or other sporting event taking place at the track in question whilst the OUN is in force, the situation is being kept under review. Further details can be found in Part 15.

    20.6 If an individual or company wants to offer betting facilities on a sporting event then different forms of ‘approval’ are available, one of which must be obtained if betting is to be provided, irrespective of whether the betting is generally incidental to the main sporting activity. The different types of approval for the provision of betting facilities at premises are:

    Track premises licences – differences from other premises licences

    20.7 There are differences between track premises licences and most other premises licences. In essence, tracks admit third-party operators to provide betting facilities, whereas other premises licence holders – betting shops, bingo clubs and casinos for instance – provide the gambling facilities themselves and are subject to the conditions of the operating licence as well as the premises licence.

    20.8 The Act recognises that tracks are primarily premises intended for entertainment other than gambling and therefore places no restrictions on offering ancillary entertainment including allowing music, dancing or other entertainment on the premises and the sale of alcohol.

    20.9 Tracks are also recognised as multi-purpose venues having a wide range of facilities that enable them to host various other activities, often on non-event days, including:

    20.10 While there is no special class of betting premises licence for a track, the Act does contain rules which apply specifically to premises licences granted in respect of a track.

    20.11 Premises licences in relation to tracks differ from other types of premises licence in a number of ways. Most importantly, the applicant for the licence need not hold an operating licence from the Commission (Section 159 (4) of the Act).

    20.12 Tracks may be subject to more than one premises licence, provided each licence relates to a specified area of the track. For example, a limited number of track premises licences will be held by operators of pool betting licences, who may also have an alcohol licence for the premises. The Act sets out that there can be a primary premises licence for the track and, in addition, subsidiary premises licences for other parts of the track (Section 152 (3) of the Act). This allows track venues to develop leisure facilities such as a casino and apply for a premises licence for that part of the track.

    20.13 The offence of inviting or permitting a child or young person to enter gambling premises under s.47 of the Act, does not apply to tracks (s.47(4)). Children and young persons are allowed to be present on the track while a sporting event is taking place on those licensed premises. Paragraph 20.28 details the position for non-event days.

    20.14 There are also a number of track premises licence holders who have an operating licence because they provide facilities for pool betting. These operators, such as greyhound track owners, in addition to admitting 3rd party betting operators, run their own pool betting facilities as permitted by s.179, and are subject to licence conditions applicable to their status as both betting operators and track premises licence holders.

    20.15 On a limited number of occasions it has been suggested that areas on a track such as a hospitality box have been used as a trading room. Were this to be the case a betting premises licence would be required separate to the overall track premises licence. The Commission’s approach to the subject is detailed in an advice note Is a trading room licence required? (opens in new tab) (this advice note does not form part of the Guidance to licensing authorities). If a licensing authority is in any doubt as to the status of such an operation they should contact the Commission

    Betting on tracks

    20.16 There are various types of betting which take place in relation to tracks.

    On-course betting

    20.17 The on-course betting operator is one who comes onto the track, temporarily, while races or sporting events are taking place. On-course betting operators tend to offer betting only on the events taking place on the track, that day. For example, betting operators attending horserace and greyhound racing meetings will only attend on race days. Similarly, betting operators at cricket and football grounds are only likely to attend on days when matches are taking place.

    20.18 Betting on tracks is organised in different ways and can take place in different parts of the track in many different forms. These include the following:

    Off-course betting

    20.19 Off-course betting operators are typically those who provide betting facilities from betting premises such as those found on the high street. In addition to such premises, betting operators may operate self-contained betting premises or designated areas such as a row of betting kiosks within the track premises. These premises provide facilities for off-course betting (in effect, the opportunity to bet on other events not just those taking place on the track), although they normally operate only on race days.

    20.20 The provision of off-course betting facilities as described above is generally conducted in reliance on the track premises licence held by the occupier of the track and consequently the off-course operator is prohibited from making any gaming machines available for use unless they hold a separate betting premises licence in relation to part of the track. The track premises licence holder will need to vary their existing premises licence so that it does not have effect in relation to the area where the additional betting premises licence is located. The additional betting premises licence would need to be secured by the holder of an appropriate betting operating licence. Such a premises would then be subject to the conditions outlined in Part 19.

    20.21 Licensing authorities are advised to familiarise themselves with the different types of licences that may be available on tracks.

    Licences and other permissions for the provision of betting facilities

    20.22 A track premises licence permits the premises to be used for the provision of facilities for betting, but does not permit the licence holder to provide casino, bingo or other types of gambling on tracks, as these activities must be the subject of separate premises licences.

    20.23 Sporting events and races take place at many different venues including hotels, conference centres, on agricultural land, and at designated sporting venues such as football grounds. In many cases such venues do not hold sporting events all year round and the number of ‘event’ days maybe limited. The Act provides that if certain conditions are met, a premises licence is not always required to permit betting facilities at such events.

    20.24 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 OUN, as described at Part 15 of this guidance. This permits licensed betting operators to provide facilities for betting on tracks for short periods. An OUN may be suitable for a point-to-point track which holds race meetings eight times a year or less. No conditions are attached to an OUN. However, only licensed betting operators may offer betting facilities at such tracks, otherwise an offence would be committed under s.33 of the Act.

    Betting on event and non-event days

    20.25 All track premises licences are subject to a default condition that gambling facilities can only be provided at the track between the hours of 7am and 10pm (SI no 1409: Gambling Act 2005 (Mandatory and Default Conditions) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab) and SSI no 266: Gambling Act 2005 (Mandatory and Default Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab)). Gambling facilities can be provided during this time, regardless of whether or not a sporting event is taking place. The default condition does not apply however on days when a sporting event is taking place on the premises.

    Hours of betting on non-event days

    20.26 On days when no sporting event is taking place, a track premises licence is subject to the default condition on times for op.

    20.27 Some tracks have traditionally offered, and will wish to continue to offer, facilities for gambling outside the proposed gambling hours on non-event days. For example, to screen live televised events from other time-zones (which may take place after 10pm or before 7am) and provide betting facilities during those events. Tracks can apply for the default condition to be amended or removed to address this.

    20.28 Where tracks plan to open and allow provision for betting facilities on non-event days, betting operators will need to either exclude children from the premises on these days or demonstrate that they are able to exclude children and young persons from betting areas (Section 182 (2) of the Act (as amended by SI 2007 – 1410)). In simple terms, on non-event days, tracks become similar to licensed betting offices on the high street. Tracks may achieve this requirement by:

    20.29 Licensing authorities may choose to reduce the default gambling hours, providing any reduction is in line with the principles set out in s.153 of the Act.

    Social responsibility considerations for tracks

    20.30 The achievement of the licensing objectives requires betting operators to adopt socially responsible gambling policies and procedures designed both to ensure that gambling is open and fair and that children and other vulnerable people are not harmed or exploited by gambling.

    20.31 While betting operators must put into effect policies and procedures to promote socially responsible gambling, there is no equivalent requirement on track premises licence holders. However, s.182(1)(a) of the Act places a condition on the track premises licence that the licensee shall ensure that children and young persons are excluded from any area where facilities for betting are provided.

    20.32 As with other aspects of regulation licensing authorities may wish to make clear in their statement of policy any particular concerns or expectations that they have in relation to track premises licence holders and betting operators who provide facilities from the track.

    Gaming machines

    20.33 A track premises licence does not of itself entitle the holder to provide gaming machines, as this type of premises licence can be held without any corresponding operating licence. However, by virtue of s.172(9) of the Act, track owners holding both a track premises licence and a pool betting operating licence issued by the Commission (currently only greyhound tracks), may site up to four gaming machines within categories B2 to D on the track.

    20.34 Some tracks will also hold an alcohol licence and as such they will be automatically entitled under s.282 of the Act to two gaming machines of category C or D. This permission is activated by notifying the licensing authority and paying the required fee. If a track premises licence holder has both an alcohol licence and a pool betting operating licence, then they will be entitled to a total of six gaming machines (two via the alcohol licence and four via the operating licence).

    20.35 Applications for licensed premises gaming machine permits to allow more than two gaming machines are not permitted where the premises are, or are part of, premises already covered by a premises licence including a betting premises licence in respect of a track (Schedule 13(1)(2), of the Act). However, there is a special saving for any alcohol-licensed premises within tracks in England and Wales which already had permission for more than two gaming machines pursuant to permits issued under s.34 of the Gaming Act 1968 (opens in new tab) and made an application for licensed premises gaming machine permits in accordance with transitional provisions (SI 2006/3272 - The Gambling Act 2005 (Commencement No.6 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2006 (opens in new tab) - Schedule 4, paragraphs 27 and 30).

    20.36 Children and young persons can play category D gaming machines on a track, but are not allowed to play other categories of machine.

    20.37 Alcohol premises licence holders who wish to make one or two gaming machines available for use in reliance on s.282 of the Act are required to send the licensing authority written notice of their intention and to pay the prescribed fee (SI 2007/1832 - Gaming Machines in Alcohol Licensed Premises (Notification Fee) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab), Regulation 3). It is also a requirement that any relevant provision of a code of practice under s.24 about the location and operation of a gaming machine is complied with. This includes The gaming machine permits code of practice.

    20.38 The Commission has attached a condition to all pool betting operating licences that the operator must:

    Self-service betting terminals (SSBTs)

    20.39 S.235(2)(c) of the Act provides that a machine is not a gaming machine by reason only of the fact that it is designed or adapted for use to bet on future real events. Betting operators may make available machines that accept bets on live events, such as horseracing, as a substitute for placing a bet with a member of staff. These self-service betting terminals are not gaming machines; they merely automate the process that can be conducted in person and therefore are not regulated as gaming machines.

    20.40 Licensed operators may install SSBTs on tracks. There is no restriction on the number of SSBTs that may be in use but operators must, by virtue of their operating licence conditions, supervise such terminals to prevent them being used by those under 18 years of age.

    20.41 There is no formal requirement on track premises licence holders to involve themselves in the procedures used by betting operators to supervise their SSBTs (unless specific local conditions specifying supervisory arrangements are added to the track premises licence by the licensing authority). Some betting operators may agree supervisory assistance to be provided by employees of the track premises licence holders, but this is a commercial matter between the track owner and betting operators.

    20.42 While track premises licence holders have no formal responsibilities in this regard, the Commission has advised them to inform it of instances where they are aware that betting operators are persistently failing to ensure the adequate supervision of their SSBTs.

    Applications

    Defining the premises

    20.43 S.151 of the Act requires applicants for premises licences to submit plans of the premises with their application. This ensures that licensing authorities have the necessary information to make an informed judgement about whether the premises are fit for gambling. The plan also informs future premises inspection activity.

    20.44 Plans for tracks need not be in a particular scale, but should be drawn to scale and should be sufficiently detailed to include the information required by regulations.

    20.45 In the majority of cases, such as greyhound tracks, racecourses, football stadia and cricket grounds, defining the extent of boundaries may be assisted by reference to existing plans already submitted to obtain other permissions. These could include:

    20.46 It is sometimes difficult to define the precise location of betting areas on tracks. The precise location of where betting facilities are provided is not required to be shown on track plans, both by virtue of the fact that betting is permitted anywhere on the premises and because of the difficulties associated with pin-pointing exact locations for some types of track. Licensing authorities should satisfy themselves that the plan provides sufficient information to enable them to assess an application.

    20.47 As the plan forms part of the licence document, it also needs to be sufficiently flexible to ensure that a relatively small change in the premises layout would not require an operator to submit an application to vary the track premises licence. Only a significant change to the track layout would require a licence variation. For example, moving a category C gaming machine from one end of a bar that had been marked on the plan as a gaming machine area to another may not necessitate a full variation to a tracks premises licence, nor would the establishment of a new betting area at a race track, as neither of these events have any impact on the purpose of the licence or the conditions attached to it. However, relocating category C machines to entirely different parts of a track would generally need to be the subject of an application to vary the premises licence.

    Ensuring that premises are fit for the provision of gambling facilities

    20.48 Licensing authorities are required to ensure that premises are fit for a specific type of gambling. Premises which meet the conditions required to operate as, for example, a casino may not meet the requirements for offering track betting facilities.

    Access to premises and other parts of the track

    20.49 S.152 of the Act provides that premises may not have more than one premises licence authorising a type of activity, with the exception of track premises, whereby a track may be the subject of multiple premises licences.

    20.50 Access between premises licensed for gambling and non-gambling areas is an important local licensing consideration, for reasons such as the following:

    20.51 As tracks may be the subject of multiple premises licences, regulations (SI 2007/1409: Gambling Act 2005 (Mandatory and Default Conditions) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab) and SSI no 266: Gambling Act 2005 (Mandatory and Default Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab)) have been laid to stipulate the access requirements between gambling premises, and when entering or leaving gambling premises. By virtue of the regulations no direct access is allowed from a track to a casino or adult gaming centre. Therefore if, for example, a casino is built on a track premises that is the subject of a track premises licence, clearly defined public thoroughfares should be in place to ensure that customers have to leave one gambling premises, and be aware they have done so, before entering another.

    Access by children – special dispensation for tracks

    20.52 Persons under 18 years old are not permitted to enter premises when betting facilities are being provided, other than at tracks. This dispensation allows families to attend premises such as greyhound tracks or racecourses on event days, and children to be permitted into areas where betting facilities are provided, such as the ‘betting ring’, where betting takes place.

    20.53 Licensing authorities should note however that the exemption allowing children access to betting areas on tracks does not extend to areas within a track where category C or above machines are provided, or other premises to which under 18 year olds are specifically not permitted access. For example, where betting facilities are provided through a self-contained betting office on a track which has a separate betting premises licence, the betting operator of the self-contained premises is required to exclude under-18s from their premises.

    20.54 The Act creates offences relating to gambling by children and young people and the operating licence conditions require operators to have policies and procedures in place to prevent betting from persons who are under 18 years old. As under-18s are permitted to enter betting areas on tracks on event days, this needs to include policies and procedures to mitigate the likelihood of underage betting occurring. The track premises licence holder is also required to display a notice in a prominent place at every public entrance stating that no person under the age of 18 is permitted to bet on the premises.

    20.55 Licensing authorities should be aware that there is an anomaly in the Act, wholly prohibiting the employment of children and young people on tracks.

    Multiple licences

    20.56 S.152(3) of the Act permits the issuance of more than one premises licence for a track provided that each licence relates to a distinct specified area of the track. There cannot be more than one premises licence covering the same area of the track.

    20.57 This enables track owners to extend existing facilities to provide other gambling facilities, such as a casino, on their existing tracks. In such a case, the licensing authority will need to consider access issues as direct access between a track and other betting premises (other than a track betting shop) is not permitted. Access for casino and bingo is dealt with in Parts 17 and 18.

    20.58 Where a particular area of a track is already subject to a premises licence, and a person wishes to apply for a licence to offer another type of activity in that area, an application must be made to the issuing licensing authority to vary the original premises licence, under s.187of the Act. The new track premises licence can only be granted at the same time as, or after, the original licence has been varied.

    20.59 Licensing authorities may receive applications indicating separate betting areas that may not necessarily have clear physical boundaries, such as walls or fencing. Such areas could still be the subject of a separate betting premises licence provided the area is clearly delineated, both in terms of making it clear to the public that they are entering a ‘betting office’, and to keep out persons aged under 18. Customers should be aware that they are entering separate betting premises subject to its own licence conditions in respect of underage access and alcohol for example. The delineation of such an area is best achieved through a physical barrier. A licensing authority concerned that such an area cannot be satisfactorily delineated may wish to refuse an application for a separate betting premises licence.

    20.60 Conditions applicable to off-track betting premises also apply to self-contained betting premises on tracks that are the subject of their own betting premises licence, which entitles the self-contained premises to offer up to four gaming machines (from categories B2 to D).

    20.61 Track owners should decide in conjunction with the betting operators offering facilities at their track which premises licensing arrangement best suits the specific nature and circumstances of their track.

    Licence conditions and requirements

    The role of track premises licence holders

    20.62 Since September 2012 on-course bookmakers have entered into licences with racecourses regarding the allocation of betting positions. The responsibilities of track premises licence holders are established by the mandatory and default licence conditions attaching to their premises licence. The licensed betting operators authorised by track owners to provide betting facilities at tracks must comply with their operating licence conditions and codes of practice issued by the Commission.

    Acceptance of bets

    20.63 Under s.33(2)of the Act, only licensed betting operators may accept bets or provide facilities for gambling. The Commission is responsible for issuing betting operating licences, and each betting operator must comply with the conditions of their operating licence. The Commission can invoke penalties or revoke licences if they fail to do so.

    Pool betting

    20.64 By virtue of s.179 of the Act, a track premises licence may only authorise the acceptance of bets by way of pool betting on horseracing or dog racing, and if the bets are accepted by the holder of the track premises licence or in accordance with arrangements made by him. Additionally, pool betting on a licensed greyhound track will only be permitted while the public are admitted to the track for the purpose of attending greyhound races, and no other sporting events are taking place. A mandatory condition is attached to the premises licence to this effect (SI 2007/1409: Gambling Act 2005 (Mandatory and Default Conditions) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab), Schedule 6(3)(1)).

    Admission of betting operators

    20.65 It is a mandatory premises licence condition of track premises licences that the licence holder makes arrangements to ensure that the betting operators they admit to their track operate under valid operating licences.

    20.66 Track premises licence holders, or their appointees, are therefore responsible for identifying and admitting those providing facilities for betting to operate on-course. This means both betting operating licence holders themselves and persons ‘employed by the licensee under a written contract of employment’ (Section 92 of the Act).

    20.67 Track premises licence holders are responsible for determining their own arrangements for the verification of betting operators. As part of this process, the track premises licence holder should make arrangements for ensuring that the betting operator holds an operating licence.

    20.68 There are special regulatory arrangements in place which mean that not all employees need to be listed on the licence, referred to as Schedule Y arrangements (s Schedule Y operator is an employee whose details have been provided to the Commission as authorised by the licensee to accept bets on their behalf otherwise than under the supervision of a qualified person on the same track). This means that bookmakers’ assistants - such as computer operators and floormen - do not need to appear on the operator’s licence. This light touch regulatory position allows for existing arrangements for supervision.

    20.69 In instances where an operator holds more than one betting position at a track they can staff their subsequent positions with non-licensed employees as long as those betting positions are networked to the first pitch and the operator or a Schedule Y representative is in attendance at the track and operating the primary pitch. In this situation the licensee or Schedule Y representative is responsible for all actions carried out by employees on the pitches that he is not physically standing on.

    20.70 Licensing authorities should be aware that, as track premises licence holders are required through mandatory licence conditions to make arrangements for identifying and admitting only valid betting operating licence holders to offer betting on-track, different arrangements may be in place at different tracks to achieve this. Licensing authorities are advised to make themselves aware of the processes used by tracks that they license in their localities.

    Removal of illegal betting operators

    20.71 Track premises licence holders are required by a mandatory licence condition to take reasonable steps to remove from the racecourse anybody found to be providing facilities for gambling without authorisation - in effect illegal bookmakers. This could include someone claiming to be a representative of a licensed betting operator who has been unable to prove their identity to the track premises licensee. Failure to uphold this requirement could result in action being taken against the premises licence holder.

    20.72 Track premises licence holders should have policies and procedures for identifying illegal gambling in addition to the mandatory requirement to verify that betting operators offering betting facilities on their track hold suitable operating licences.

    Display of rules

    20.73 It is a mandatory condition of premises licences that clear and accessible information about the terms on which a bet may be placed must be displayed at betting premises, including tracks. The terms or rules of betting is a consideration of the Commission in respect of the licensing of betting operators.

    20.74 There are often multiple locations of betting on a track. For instance, on a large racecourse there may be a number of betting rings and pool betting outlets and at least one betting shop, while at a football ground there could be several betting booths located throughout the various stadium concourses.

    20.75 It may be considered disproportionate and unnecessary to insist that betting rules are displayed at each distinct betting location; rather, the rules should be made available at suitable central locations. The track premises licence holder should make the necessary arrangements to ensure that betting rules are accessible to all customers, regardless of which area of the track they are in. If certain areas are restricted to certain customers (such as different stands within a football ground) then rules could be displayed at various parts of the track. Other measures could be taken to ensure that they are made available to the public, such as printing them in the race-card or programme. The requirement could also be met by making a copy of the rules available in leaflet form from the main track office, and customers could be given a copy if they request one.

    20.76 As track premises licence holders do not necessarily provide betting facilities themselves (unless they hold a pool betting licence), they do not have their own set of betting rules to apply. In such cases, the licence holder should make it clear that the operator’s betting rules will apply. At horserace meetings, for example, betting operators generally abide by Tattersall’s Rules on Betting (opens in new tab), and as such the premises licence holder should make this clear to customers. At a sports stadium where betting facilities are provided by a high street operator, the track licence holder may choose to state on the centrally provided notice that the rules followed by the betting operator will apply throughout the track.

    20.77 Betting operators offering betting facilities on racecourses and at greyhound tracks are required through the conditions of their operating licence to clearly display any of their own rules that differ from those that the track premises licence holder elects to display, and their rules concerning voids, late bets, and maximum payouts. Track premises licence holders are expected to refer customers to the rules of individual on-course betting operators who are required to display this information on their stands (often referred to as ‘bookmaker joints’).

    Part 21: Adult gaming centres

    Introduction

    21.1 Persons operating an adult gaming centre (AGC) must hold a gaming machines general operating licence (adult gaming centre) from the Commission and a premises licence from the relevant licensing authority. They are able to make category B, C and D gaming machines available.

    Protection of children and young persons

    21.2 No-one under the age of 18 is permitted to enter an AGC. The Act sets outs offences at s.46 ands.47 of inviting, causing or permitting a child or young person to gamble, or to enter certain gambling premises. In addition, Social Responsibility (SR) code 3.2.3(3) in the Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) states that ‘licensees must ensure that their policies and procedures take account of the structure and layout of their gambling premises in order to prevent underage gambling'.

    21.3 Licensing authorities will wish to have particular regard to the location of and entry to AGCs to minimise the opportunities for under-18s to gain access. This may be of particular importance in areas where young people may be unsupervised for example, where an AGC is in a complex, such as a shopping centre or airport. Licensing authorities should consider whether their statement of policy can be used to reflect such locally based considerations.

    Self-exclusion

    21.4 Social Responsibility Code Provision 3.5.6 requires that all non-remote casino and bingo and betting licences (except those at a track) and holders of gaming machine general operating licences for adult gaming centres must offer self-exclusion schemes to customers requesting such a facility. There is also an Ordinary Code provision at 3.5.7. The full details can be found within the LCCP18.

    Gaming machines

    21.5 Gaming machine provisions by premises are set out at Appendix A. S.172(1) of the Act, as amended, provides that the holder of an AGC premises licence may make available for use a number of category B gaming machines not exceeding 20% of the total number of gaming machines which are available for use on the premises and any number of category C or D machines. For example, a premises with a total of 25 gaming machines available for use can make five or fewer category B3 gaming machines available on those premises.

    21.6 Premises subject to a licence granted before 13 July 2011 are entitled to make available four category B3/B4 gaming machines, or 20% of the total number of gaming machines, whichever is the greater. AGC premises licences granted on or after 13 July 2011 are entitled to 20% of the total number of gaming machines only. Regulations specify that the category B machines should be restricted to sub-category B3 and B4 machines, but not B3A machines (S1 2158 The Categories of Gaming Machine Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab)). Licensing authorities should ensure that gambling machines are made available for use in a manner consistent with our guidance within Part 16. For the purpose of calculating the category B machine entitlement in gambling premises, gaming machines should only be counted if they can be played simultaneously by different players without physical hindrance. This includes tablets.

    21.7 Where the operator of an existing AGC premises licence applies to vary the licence and acquire additional AGC premises licences - so that the area that was the subject of a single licence will become divided between a number of separate licensed premises - each separate licensed premises must only contain the permitted machine entitlement. For example, where two separate AGC premises have been created adjacent to each other by splitting a pre-existing premises, it is not permissible to locate eight category B3 gaming machines in one of the resulting premises and none in the other, as the gaming machine entitlement for that premises would be exceeded. Part 7 explains in greater detail what constitutes premises.

    AGC premises licence conditions

    21.8 Part 9 of this guidance discusses the mandatory and default conditions that attach to premises licences. Currently there are no default conditions specific to AGCs.

    Mandatory conditions

    21.9 A notice must be displayed at all entrances to AGCs stating that no person under the age of 18 years will be admitted to the premises.

    21.10 There can be no direct access between an AGC and any other premises licensed under the Act or premises with a family entertainment centre (FEC), club gaming, club machine or alcohol licensed premises gaming machine permit. (England and Wales only). There is no definition of ‘direct access’ in the Act or regulations, although licensing authorities may consider that there should be an area separating the premises concerned, such as a street or cafe, which the public go to for purposes other than gambling, for there to be no direct access.

    21.11 Any ATM made available for use on the premises shall be located in a place that requires any customer who wishes to use it to cease gambling at any gaming machine in order to do so.

    21.12 The consumption of alcohol in AGCs is prohibited at any time during which facilities for gambling are being provided on the premises. Additionally in Scotland the sale of alcohol on the premises is specifically prohibited. A notice stating this should be displayed in a prominent place at every entrance to the premises.

    Part 22: Licensed family entertainment centres

    Introduction

    22.1 The Act creates two classes of family entertainment centre (FEC). This part of the guidance concerns licensed FECs. Unlicensed FECs are dealt with in Part 24. Persons operating a licensed FEC must hold a gaming machine general operating licence(Family Entertainment Centre) from the Commission and a premises licence from the relevant licensing authority. They will be able to make category C and D gaming machines available.

    Protection of children and young persons

    22.2 FECs are commonly located at seaside resorts, in airports and at motorway service stations, and cater for families, including unaccompanied children and young persons. Licensing authorities should take into account this specific risk when considering applications and when inspecting such premises, and will likely reflect the risks in their statement of policy.

    22.3 Children and young persons are permitted to enter an FEC and may use category D machines. They are not permitted to use category C machines and it is a requirement that there must be clear segregation between the two types of machine, so that under-18s do not have access to them. Social Responsibility (SR) code 3.2.5(3) in the Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) states that ‘licensees must ensure that their policies and procedures take account of the structure and layout of their gambling premises’ in order to prevent underage gambling. Mandatory conditions apply to FEC premises licences regarding the way in which the area containing the category C machines should be set out, detailed below at paragraph 22.9.

    22.4 SR 3.2.5(2) requires operators to ensure that employees prevent access and challenge children or young persons who attempt to use category C machines. It is strongly recommended that licensing authorities ensure that staffing and supervision arrangements are in place to meet this requirement, both at the application stage and during subsequent inspections.

    Meaning of premises

    22.5 A licensed FEC is classified as ‘premises’ and only premises that are wholly or mainly used for making gaming machines available may hold an FEC premises licence (s.238 of the Act). As a result, it is generally not permissible for such premises to correspond to an entire shopping centre, airport, motorway service station or similar. Typically, the machines would be in a designated, enclosed area.

    22.6 The Commission considers that it is not permissible for gaming machines which should be contained within the FEC premises, to be located in corridors and walkways which form part of the larger building. Machines have been found in such venues without the requisite FEC premises licence and as such the machines are being made available unlawfully and are not subject to the controls necessary to minimise gambling-related harm and to protect children and vulnerable people. This exposes young people to ambient gambling that the Act was designed to prevent (through the removal of machines from take-aways, taxi offices etc).

    22.7 In the event that a licensing authority may have granted an FEC premises licence to premises that should not have qualified for one, the procedure for review will apply as set out in Part 10 of this guidance. Depending on circumstances this might include sharing concerns with the premises licence holder (exploring the possibility of them applying to vary the premises licence to render it compliant), seeking a review of the premises licence and/or imposing conditions.

    Licensed FEC premises licence conditions

    22.8 Part 9 of this guidance discusses the mandatory and default conditions that attach to premises licences. Currently there are no default conditions specific to FECs.

    Mandatory conditions

    22.9 The summary of the terms and conditions of the premises licence issued by the licensing authority under s.164(1)(c) of the Act must be displayed in a prominent place within the premises.

    22.10 The layout of the premises must be maintained in accordance with the plan.

    22.11 The premises must not be used for the sale of tickets in a private lottery or customer lottery, or the National Lottery.

    22.12 No customer shall be able to enter the premises directly from a casino, an adult gaming centre or betting premises (other than a track). There is no definition of ‘direct access’ in the Act or regulations, but licensing authorities may consider that there should be an area separating the premises concerned, such as a street or cafe, which the public go to for purposes other than gambling, for there to be no direct access.

    22.13 Any ATM made available for use on the premises must be located in a place that requires any customer who wishes to use it to cease gambling at any gaming machine in order to do so.

    22.14 Over-18 areas within FECs that admit under-18s, must be separated by a barrier with prominently displayed notices at the entrance stating that under-18s are not allowed in that area and with adequate supervision in place to ensure that children and young persons are not able to access these areas or the category C machines. Supervision may be done either by placing the terminals within the line of sight of an official of the operator or via monitored CCTV.

    22.15 The consumption of alcohol in licensed FECs is prohibited at any time during which facilities for gambling are being provided. Additionally in Scotland the sale of alcohol on the premises is specifically prohibited. A notice stating this should be displayed in a prominent position on the premises.

    Part 23: Introduction to permits

    Introduction

    23.1 The Act introduces a range of permits for gambling which are granted by licensing authorities. Permits are designed as a light-touch approach to low level ancillary gambling - they are used in circumstances where stakes and prizes are subject to very low limits and/or gambling is not the main function of the premises. The permits regulate gambling and the use of gaming machines in specific premises.

    23.2 Holders of alcohol-licensed premises gaming machine permits and club permits are required to comply with codes of practice drawn up by the Commission, on the location and operation of machines, namely The gaming machine permits code of practice.

    23.3 The following parts of this guidance discuss, amongst other things, the various permits that licensing authorities are responsible for issuing:

    23.4 Licensing authorities may only grant or reject an application for a permit. No conditions may be attached to a permit.

    23.5 There are different factors to be taken into account by licensing authorities when considering the different types of permit applications and further information is provided in the relevant parts of this guidance identified above.

    23.6 In addition, licensing authorities are responsible for receiving notifications from holders of alcohol licences under the Licensing Act 2003 (opens in new tab) or the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 (opens in new tab), that they intend to exercise their automatic entitlement to two gaming machines in their premises under s.282 of the Act.

    Part 24: Unlicensed family entertainment centres

    Introduction

    24.1 Unlicensed family entertainment centres (uFEC) are able to offer only category D machines in reliance on a gaming machine permit. Any number of category D machines can be made available with such a permit, although there may be other considerations, such as fire regulations and health and safety, to take into account. Permits cannot be issued in respect of vessels or vehicles.

    24.2 uFECs are premises which are ‘wholly or mainly’ used for making gaming machines available (S238 Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab)). As a result, it is generally not permissible for such premises to correspond to an entire shopping centre, airport, motorway service station or similar. Typically, the machines would be in a designated, enclosed area.

    24.3 A permit lapses if the licensing authority informs the permit holder that the premises are not being used as an FEC (Schedule 10 (14)Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab)). Further guidance is set out at paragraph 22.5.

    24.4 If the operator wishes to make category C machines available in addition to category D machines, the operator will need to apply for a gaming machine general operating licence (Family Entertainment Centre) from the Commission and a premises licence from the licensing authority.

    24.5 Schedule 10 of the Act sets out the application process and regulatory regime for FEC gaming machine permits.

    Applying for a permit

    24.6 The application for a permit can only be made by a person who occupies or plans to occupy the premises to be used as an uFEC and, if the applicant is an individual, he or she must be aged 18 or over. Applications for a permit cannot be made if a premises licence is in effect for the same premises. The application must be made to the licensing authority in whose area the premises are wholly or partly situated.

    24.7 The licensing authority must specify the form and manner in which the application should be made, and specify what other information and documents (such as insurance certificates, plans of building, and so on) they require to accompany the application. Applications must be accompanied by a fee, as prescribed in regulations (SI No 454/2007: The Gambling Act 2005 (Family Entertainment Centre Gaming Machine)(Permits) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab) and SSI No 309/2007: The Gambling Act 2005 (Fees)(Scotland) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab)) set by the Secretary of State for England and Wales and Scottish Ministers for Scotland.

    24.8 In its statement of policy, a licensing authority may include a statement of principles that it proposes to apply when exercising its functions in considering applications for permits. In particular it may want to set out the matters that it will take into account in determining the suitability of the applicant. Given that the premises is likely to appeal particularly to children and young persons, licensing authorities may wish to give weight to matters relating to protection of children from being harmed or exploited by gambling and to ensure that staff supervision adequately reflects the level of risk to this group. Licensing authorities are also encouraged to also specify in their statement of policy that a plan for the uFEC must be submitted.

    Granting or refusing a permit

    24.9 The licensing authority can grant or refuse an application for a permit, but cannot add conditions. An application for a permit may be granted only if the licensing authority is satisfied that the premises will be used as an uFEC, and if the chief officer of police has been consulted on the application. In considering the application, the licensing authority shall have regard to this guidance and may have regard to the licensing objectives (Schedule 10, paragraph 7 of the Act). The licensing authority may also consider asking applicants to demonstrate:

    24.10 The licensing authority may not refuse an application unless it has notified the applicant of the intention to refuse and the reasons for it, and given them an opportunity to make representations orally or in writing or both. The rights of appeal in relation to permits are discussed in Part 12 of this guidance.

    24.11 If a permit is granted, the licensing authority must issue it as soon as is reasonably practicable. The Secretary of State has set out the form of the permit in regulations (SI No 454/2007: The Gambling Act 2005 (Family Entertainment Centre Gaming Machine)(Permits) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab)). The permit must specify the person to whom it is issued, the premises it relates to, the date on which it takes effect, the date on which it expires and the name and address of the licensing authority issuing it.

    24.12 The permit will have effect for ten years, unless it ceases to have effect because it is surrendered or lapses or is renewed. There is no annual fee for FEC gaming machine permits. Permits that were first granted under the Act expired in 2017.

    24.13 If the person to whom the permit is issued changes their name, or wants to be known by another name, they may send the permit to the issuing authority for amendment, together with the appropriate fee. The authority must comply with the request and return the permit to the holder.

    Lapse, surrender and forfeiture

    24.14 The permit may lapse for a number of reasons, namely:

    24.15 The purpose of the second reason listed above is to ensure that there is no erosion of the principle that an uFEC permit should be obtained for premises that are wholly or mainly used for gaming machines. Licensing authorities would need to use this power in circumstances in which, since the grant of the permit, other activities have been introduced in the premises that mean the gaming machines have become ancillary.

    24.16 In the last two circumstances listed above, the Act provides that the personal representative (in the case of death), trustee of the bankrupt estate or liquidator of the company may rely on the permit for a period of six months as though it had effect and was issued to them.

    24.17 The permit may also cease to have effect if the holder surrenders it to the licensing authority. Notice of such surrender must be accompanied by the permit, or by an explanation of why the permit cannot be produced.

    24.18 If the permit holder is convicted of a relevant offence the court may order the forfeiture of the permit. The court may order the holder to deliver the permit to the licensing authority and it must, in any case, notify the licensing authority that it has made a forfeiture order as soon as is reasonably practicable after making the order. Such an order may be suspended by a higher court, pending appeal.

    Renewal

    24.19 In accordance with paragraph 18 of Schedule 10 of the Act, an application for renewal of a permit must be made during the period beginning six months before the permit expires and ending two months before it expires. The procedure for renewal is the same as for an application. The licensing authority may only refuse to renew a permit on the grounds that:

    24.20 The duration of the permit will not be curtailed while a renewal application is pending, including an appeal against a decision not to renew.

    Maintenance

    24.21 The permit must be kept on the premises and it is an offence not to produce it when requested to do so by a constable, an enforcement officer, or an authorised local authority officer.

    24.22 If a permit is lost, stolen or damaged, the holder may apply for a replacement, subject to paying a fee that has been set by the Secretary of State or Scottish Ministers in regulations. The licensing authority must grant the application if it is satisfied that the permit has been lost, stolen or damaged and a report has been made to the police. The licensing authority should issue a copy and certify it as a true copy of the original permit.

    Part 25: Clubs

    Defining clubs

    25.1 The Act creates a separate regime for gaming in clubs from that in other relevant alcohol licensed premises. It defines two types of club for the purposes of gaming:

    This is an important distinction in respect of the gaming that may take place.

    Members’ club

    25.2 A members’ club is a club that is not established as a commercial enterprise and is conducted for the benefit of its members. Examples include working mens' clubs, miners' welfare institutes, branches of the Royal British Legion and clubs with political affiliations. Members’ clubs may apply to their local licensing authority for club gaming permits and club machine permits. Particular care should be taken when assessing applications for gaming permits which have been used for illegal poker clubs under the guise of members’ clubs. Experience very strongly indicates that taking care at the application stage in robustly checking the credentials of the applicant will save a great deal of time and effort afterwards. If a licensing authority is in any doubt as to the suitability of an applicant they should contact the Commission who will offer the appropriate support, advice and any intelligence that may be available.

    25.3 In short, the statutory definition of a members’ club requires that:

    25.4 The Act states that members’ clubs must have at least 25 members and be established and conducted ‘wholly or mainly’ for purposes other than gaming, unless the gaming is restricted to that of a prescribed kind (currently bridge and whist). Members’ clubs must be permanent in nature but there is no need for a club to have an alcohol licence.

    Miners’ welfare institute

    25.5 Miners’ welfare institutes are associations established for recreational or social purposes. They are managed by representatives of miners or use premises regulated by a charitable trust which has received funds from one of a number of mining organisations. Miners’ welfare institutes may also apply for club gaming permits and club machine permits.

    Commercial club

    25.6 A commercial club is a club established for commercial gain, whether or not they are actually making a commercial gain. Examples include commercial snooker clubs, clubs established as private companies and clubs established for personal profit. Commercial clubs may only apply for club machine permits. There are established tests to determine a club’s status (see paragraphs 25.46 to 25.48) but if in doubt, legal advice should be sought.

    Bingo in clubs

    25.7 Clubs and miners’ welfare institutes are able to provide facilities for playing bingo under s.275 of the Act or in accordance with a permit under s.271, provided that the restrictions in s.275 are complied with. These include that in any seven day period the aggregate stakes or prizes for bingo must not exceed £2,000 (Code of practice for equal chance gaming in clubs and premises with an alcohol licence). If that limit is breached the club must hold a bingo operator’s licence and the relevant operating,personal and premises licences must be sought. The bingo must comply with any code issued by the Commission under s.24 of the Act (Code of practice for gaming in clubs and premises with an alcohol licence). Further information about bingo in clubs can be found in paragraphs 18.12 to 18.1519.

    Betting in clubs

    25.8 Commercial betting, regardless of the level of stakes, is not allowed in clubs. Those who facilitate such betting - whether designated premises supervisors or club officials - are providing illegal facilities for gambling and are breaking the law. Even where designated premises supervisors or club officials accept bets on behalf of licensed bookmakers, or just facilitate betting through their own telephone accounts, they are acting as betting intermediaries and could be prosecuted.

    25.9 Licensed bookmakers with a full or ancillary remote licence may accept telephone bets from a customer watching an event in a club, as long as that customer has an individual account with them. It is illegal for bookmakers to sit in the club taking bets themselves. Similarly, it is also illegal for operators to put their agent in clubs, for example, in a working men’s club on a Saturday, to take bets.

    Exempt gaming

    25.10 Exempt gaming is generally permissible in any club. Such gaming must be equal chance gaming and be ancillary to the purposes of the club. This provision is automatically available to all such premises, but is subject to statutory stakes and prize limits determined by the Secretary of State.

    25.11 Equal chance gaming is gaming that does not involve staking against a bank and the chances of winning are equally favourable to all participants. It includes games such as backgammon, mah-jong, rummy, kalooki, dominoes, cribbage, bingo and poker.

    25.12 The Secretary of State has set both daily and weekly prize limits for exempt gaming. Different higher stakes and prizes are allowed for exempt gaming in clubs than are allowed in alcohol-licensed premises (SI No 1944/2007: The Gambling Act 2005 (Exempt Gaming in Clubs) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab)). These limits are set out in Appendix C to this guidance.

    25.13 Exempt gaming should comply with any code of practice issued by the Commission under s.24 of the Act.

    25.14 Clubs may levy a charge for participation in equal chance gaming under the exempt gaming rules. The amount they may charge is as prescribed in regulations (SI No1944/2007: The Gambling Act 2005 (Exempt Gaming in Clubs) Regulations 2007) (opens in new tab). See Appendix C for further details.

    25.15 In order to qualify as exempt gaming, clubs may not charge a rake on games (a commission or fee deducted from the prize fund), or levy or deduct an amount from stakes or winnings.

    25.16 Members’ clubs may only be established wholly or mainly for the purposes of the provision of facilities for gaming, if the gaming is of a prescribed kind. Currently, bridge and whist are the only prescribed kinds of gaming (SI No 1942/2007: The Gambling Act 2005 (Gaming in Clubs) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab)). So long as it does not provide facilities for other types of gaming, a club established wholly or mainly for the purposes of the provision of facilities for gaming (currently bridge and whist) may apply for a club gaming permit. In any other case, if gaming is the main purpose of the club, that gaming cannot be treated as exempt gaming under s.269 of the Act. For example, if poker was the main purpose of the club, it could not be provided as exempt gaming.

    25.17 The gaming offered must not be linked to gaming in other premises and no person under 18 may participate in the gaming.

    25.18 Gaming which meets these conditions needs no permission from the licensing authority. However, if an authority believes that these conditions are being breached, it has a power to remove the exemption and ban gaming in a specific pub or club. Examples of potential breaches include:

    25.19 The Commission has issued a code of practice under s.24 of the Act in respect of exempt equal chance gaming.

    25.20 The code of practice requires owners/licensees to adopt good practice measures for the provision of gaming in general and poker in particular. The code also sets out the stakes and prizes limits and the limits on participation fees laid out in regulations.

    25.21 The emphasis of the regulations and the code of practice is on self-regulation by the management of the premises and licensing authorities should take a strong line in cases where breaches are detected. There are a number of powers available to licensing authorities in circumstances where breaches have been committed including:

    Protection of children and young persons

    25.22 S.273 sets out the conditions that will apply to the club machine permit, including that in respect of gaming machines no child or young person uses a category B or C machine on the premises and that the holder complies with any relevant provision of a code of practice about the location and operation of gaming machines. It should be noted that clubs do not have to have permanent premises or an alcohol licence.

    Permits

    Club gaming permits

    25.23 Schedule 12 of the Act sets out the application process and regulatory regime for club gaming permits and club machine permits. Scottish Ministers may, with the consent of the Secretary of State, make separate regulations in relation to club gaming or club machine permits in place of Schedule 12, if the applicant or the holder of the permit is the holder of a relevant Scottish licence. Scottish Ministers have made regulations in this regard (SSI No 504/2007: The Club Gaming and Club Machine Permits (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab)). In exercising a function under Schedule 12, the licensing authority must have regard to this guidance and, subject to the guidance, the licensing objectives.

    25.24 A club gaming permit or club machine permit may not be issued in respect of a vessel or vehicle.

    25.25 Under s.271 of the Act, the licensing authority may grant members’ clubs and miners’ welfare institutes (but not commercial clubs) club gaming permits which authorise the establishments to provide gaming machines, equal chance gaming(without having to abide by the stake and prize limits which would apply to exempt gaming in the absence of a permit) and games of chance as prescribed in regulations (SI No 1945/2007: The Gambling Act 2005 (Club Gaming Permits) (Authorised Gaming) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab)), namely pontoon and chemin de fer. This is in addition to the exempt gaming authorisation under s.269 of the Act.

    25.26 Club gaming permits allow the provision of no more than three gaming machines. These may be from categories B3A, B4, C or D but only one B3A machine can be sited as part of this entitlement. See Part 16 of this guidance for information on machine categories.

    25.27 Where a club has gaming machines, it is required to comply with the code of practice issued by the Commission on the location and operation of machines.

    25.28 The gaming which a club gaming permit allows is subject to conditions:

    Two games are linked if:

    25.29 There are limits on stakes and prizes for poker played in those clubs and institutes that do not hold a club gaming permit issued by their local licensing authority. The introduction of these limits reflects significant recent growth in the popularity of poker, and the need to address the particular risks associated with such gaming. The regulations (SI No 1944/2007: The Gambling Act 2005 (Exempt Gaming in Clubs) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab)) impose a stakes limit of £10 per person per game, within a premises limit of up to £250 in stakes per day and £1,000 per week. The maximum fees that clubs may charge their members for participating in gaming has been set at £1 per day (or £3 if they hold a club gaming permit). Clubs and institutes holding a club gaming permit are also able to provide facilities for specified banker’s games.

    25.30 To help clubs and institutes to comply with the full range of statutory requirements for gaming, the Commission has issued a statutory code of practice on equal chance gaming in consultation with interested parties. The provisions of the Code of practice for equal chance gaming in clubs and premises with an alcohol licence (which also applies to alcohol-licensed premises) include:

    25.31 A 48-hour rule applies in respect of all three types of gaming, so that the games may only be played by people who have been members of the club for at least 48-hours, or have applied or been nominated for membership or are genuine guests of a member.

    Club machine permits

    25.32 If a members’ club or a miners’ welfare institute does not wish to have the full range of facilities permitted by a club gaming permit, they may apply to the licensing authority for a club machine permit under s.273 of the Act. This authorises the holder to have up to three gaming20 machines of categories B3A, B4, C and D. Commercial clubs are not permitted to provide non-machine gaming other than exempt gaming under s.269 of the Act, so they should apply for a club machine permit (although such a permit does not allow the siting of category B3A gaming machines by commercial clubs).

    25.33 In England and Wales, premises which operate membership-based social clubs (often work premises) are able to apply for a club machine permit. Before granting the permit the licensing authority will need to satisfy itself that the premises meet the requirements of a members’ club and may grant the permit if the majority of members are over 18 years of age. The permit will allow up to three machines of category B3A, B4, C or D but only one B3A machine can be sited as part of this entitlement. If under-18s use the club, for example they are apprentices, they may play the category D, but not the B4 or C machines. This does not apply in Scotland because only a club with a premises licence under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 (opens in new tab) may apply for a club machine permit (See SSI No 504/2007: The Club Gaming and Club Machine Permits (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab) and SSI No 150/2011: The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 (Consequential Provisions) Order 2011 (opens in new tab)).

    25.34 Holders of licensed premises club machine permits are required to comply with the code of practice, which has been issued by the Commission on the location and operation of machines.

    Applications for club gaming permits and club machine permits

    25.35 The Secretary of State has made regulations in relation to applications for these permits, and Scottish Ministers have made separate regulations setting out the fees and applications requirements that apply in Scotland.

    25.36 Applications must be made to the licensing authority in whose area the premises are located, and must be accompanied by the fee and documents prescribed in regulations (SI No 1834/2007: The Gambling Act 2005 (Club Gaming and Club Machine Permits) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab) and SI No 2689/2007: The Gambling Act 2005 (Club Gaming and Club Machine Permits)(Amendments) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab), SSI No 504/2007: The Club Gaming and Club Machine Permits (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab)). Within a time prescribed in the regulations, the applicant must also copy the application to the Commission and to the chief constable. The Commission and the police may object to the permit being granted. The period within which such objections must be lodged and the grounds on which they maybe made are set out in regulations. If any objections are made, the authority must hold a hearing (unless consent has been given to dispense with it), otherwise no hearing is necessary.

    25.37 A licensing authority may grant or refuse a permit, but it may not attach any conditions to a permit. The authority has to inform the applicant, the Commission and the police of the outcome of the application and of any objections made.

    25.38 Licensing authorities may only refuse an application on the grounds that:

    1. the applicant does not fulfil the requirements for a members’ or commercial club or miners’ welfare institute and therefore is not entitled to receive the type of permit for which it has applied
    2. the applicant’s premises are used wholly or mainly by children and/or young persons
    3. an offence under the Act or a breach of a permit has been committed by the applicant while providing gaming facilities
    4. a permit held by the applicant has been cancelled in the previous ten years
    5. an objection has been lodged by the Commission or the police.

    25.39 If the authority is satisfied that (a) or (b) is the case, it must refuse the application. Licensing authorities shall have regard to relevant guidance issued by the Commission and (subject to that guidance), the licensing objectives.

    25.40 In cases where an objection has been lodged by the Commission or the police, the licensing authority is obliged to determine whether the objection is valid.

    Fast-track procedure

    25.41 There is a fast-track procedure for clubs in England and Wales which hold a club premises certificate under s.72 of the Licensing Act 2003 (opens in new tab). Under the fast-track procedure there is no opportunity for objections to be made by the Commission or the police, and the grounds upon which an authority can refuse a permit are reduced. This is because the club or institute will already have been through a licensing process in relation to its club premises certificate under the 2003 Act, and it is therefore unnecessary to impose the full requirements of Schedule 12. Commercial clubs cannot hold club premises certificates under the Licensing Act 2003 (opens in new tab) and so cannot use the fast-track procedure. The fast-track procedure also does not apply in Scotland.

    25.42 Those clubs applying for permits by way of conversion of their pre-existing 1968 Gaming Act (opens in new tab) Part II or Part III club registrations do not have the fast-track procedure available to them, even if they hold club premises certificates. In these instances, the club must still send a copy of the application to the Commission and chief officer of police. However, the Commission (and the police) may not object to the application and the licensing authority is, in fact, obliged to grant the application. However, care should be taken that the emphasis of the club is not being changed, to become a dedicated poker club for example.

    25.43 The grounds on which an application under this process may be refused are that:

    1. the club is established primarily for gaming, other than gaming prescribed by regulations under s.266 of the Act
    2. in addition to the prescribed gaming, the applicant provides facilities for other gaming
    3. a club gaming permit or club machine permit issued to the applicant in the last ten years has been cancelled.
    4. Factors to consider when granting a club gaming permit

    25.44 The licensing authority has to satisfy itself that the club meets the requirements of the Act to obtain a club gaming permit. It is suggested that applicants for permits should be asked to supply sufficient information and documents to enable the licensing authority to take account of the matters discussed in paragraphs 25.46 to 25.46, at the time they submit their applications to the licensing authority. Licensing authorities should be particularly aware that club gaming permits may be misused for illegal poker clubs.

    25.45 In determining whether a club is a genuine members’ club, the licensing authority should take account of a number of matters, such as:

    25.46 The constitution of the club could also indicate whether it is a legitimate members’ club. Amongst the things to consider when examining the constitution are the following:

    25.47 Other than bridge and whist clubs, which are separately catered for in regulations, a club cannot be established wholly or mainly for purposes of gaming. In applying for a club gaming permit, a club must therefore provide substantial evidence of activities other than gaming. Useful questions which a licensing authority should consider include:

    25.48 A visit to the premises before granting of the permit may assist the licensing authority to understand how the club will operate.

    Factors to consider for gaming under a club machine permit

    25.49 The licensing authority should satisfy itself that the gaming on offer meets the conditions set out in the Act and relevant regulations. To do this, the licensing authority may wish to ask questions of the applicant or ensure that the exempt gaming complies with these conditions. The conditions are:

    Factors to consider when monitoring club gaming permits

    25.50 Once the licensing authority has issued a club gaming permit, various aspects need to be considered by licensing authorities in monitoring the club gaming permit. In addition to monitoring whether the club continues to meet the requirements of the Act for a club gaming permit (that is, whether it remains a genuine members’ club) and whether the gaming meets the conditions set out in the Act and the relevant regulations.

    25.51 Where clubs have computers available for use by members, licensing authorities should be aware that these computers may be taken to be gaming machines in certain circumstances. Generally, a computer is not a gaming machine merely because there is a possibility of accessing a gambling website via the internet. However, a computer will be taken to be a gaming machine if it is knowingly adapted or presented to facilitate or draw attention to the possibility of it being used for gambling.

    25.52 Each case will need to be looked at individually and ultimately the decision regarding whether a machine is a gaming machine is one for the courts to make.

    25.53 The precise circumstances in which the facilities are offered - including the environment in which they are offered and the relationship with other gambling facilities provided - will need to be taken into account when assessing the status of those facilities. The following indicators may help in making decisions about whether a computer is knowingly adapted or presented to facilitate or draw attention to the possibility of it being used for gambling. This list is not exhaustive, and the presence or absence of any single factor is not necessarily conclusive:

    25.54 Licensing authorities should note that, as a consequence of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 (opens in new tab), there is a requirement on remote gambling operators selling into the British market, whether based here or abroad, to hold a Commission licence to enable them to transact with British consumers.

    25.55 Any of the factors mentioned in the preceding paragraphs in this section may give rise to the need to review the club gaming permit or take appropriate enforcement action.

    25.56 The Commission provides advice and guidance to licensing authorities on permits and related matters and, on a case-by-case basis, will undertake targeted collaborations with licensing authorities in order to establish principle and precedent, and a clear understanding of the legal requirements.

    25.57 An agency that may also be able to assist licensing authority enquiries is HM Revenue & Customs. If a club is trading under the auspices of a club gaming permit (as a members’ club) but is in fact a commercial club with, for example, their main activity being poker, they would be liable for gaming duty. Licensing authorities should bear in mind that clubs of this nature have premises to maintain, as well as staff and other costs, so the sums involved may be significant.

    25.58 Under the Act, a private club with a club gaming permit cannot run the premises wholly or mainly for the purposes of gaming, nor can the club make a profit as all funds must be applied for the benefit of the member.

    25.59 There have been occasions where club gaming permits have been misused by individuals seeking personal financial gain. One case led to the successful prosecution of a private member’s club owner under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (opens in new tab). The club owner had been granted a club gaming permit but was later charged with money laundering in relation to the running of an illegal poker club. More poker-related case studies are in the LA Toolkit.

    Maintenance of permits

    25.60 The permit will have effect for ten years, unless it ceases to have effect because it is surrendered or lapses or is renewed. However, a permit granted under the fast-track procedure does not expire, unless it ceases to have effect because it is surrendered, cancelled or forfeited or it lapses.

    25.61 The holder of the permit must pay to the licensing authority the first annual fee, and an annual fee before each anniversary of the issue of the permit, in accordance with regulations.

    25.62 Permits may be amended to meet changing circumstances. Licensing authorities may only refuse a variation if on consideration of a completely new application they would refuse the permit.

    25.63 The permit, which is to be kept on the premises it relates to, must be in a form specified by the regulations and, if obtained through the fast-track procedure, must identify the appropriate club premises certificate it relates to. It is an offence not to produce the permit when requested to do so by a constable or an enforcement officer.

    25.64 If a permit is lost, stolen or damaged, the holder may apply for a replacement, subject to payment of a prescribed fee. The licensing authority must grant the application if it is satisfied that the permit has been lost, stolen or damaged and, where the permit is lost or stolen, a report has been made to the police. It should issue a copy and certify it as a true copy.

    25.65 A permit will lapse if the holder of the permit stops being a club or miners’ welfare institute, or if it no longer qualifies under the fast-track system for a permit. In addition, a permit will cease to have effect upon being surrendered to the authority. A notice to surrender must be accompanied by the permit or a statement explaining why it cannot be produced. The authority must inform the police and the Commission when a permit has been surrendered or lapsed.

    Cancellation and forfeiture of permits

    25.66 The licensing authority may cancel the permit if:

    25.67 Reference here to ‘a permit condition’ means a condition in the Act or in regulations that the permit is operating under.

    25.68 Before cancelling a permit, the licensing authority must give the permit holder at least 21 days’ notice of the intention to cancel and consider any representations that they may make. The authority must hold a hearing if the permit holder so requests and must comply with any other procedural requirements set out in regulations. If there is no appeal, the cancellation will take effect 21 days after notice of the intention to cancel was given. The authority must notify the permit holder, the Commission and the police that the permit has been cancelled and the reasons for the cancellation.

    Renewal of permits

    25.69 In England and Wales, in accordance with paragraph 24 of Schedule 12 of the Act, an application for renewal of a permit must be made during the period beginning three months before the licence expires and ending six weeks before it expires. The procedure for renewal is the same as for an application. In Scotland, the Club Gaming and Club Machine Permits (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (SSI No 504/2007) (opens in new tab) apply. Permits granted in terms of these regulations do not expire, although they can cease to have effect in certain circumstances, can be cancelled and can be varied.

    25.70 The duration of the permit will not be curtailed while a renewal application is pending, including an appeal against a decision not to renew.

    25.71 If, at the time a permit is renewed, the applicant holds a club premises certificate, the fast-track procedure will apply as it does when application is first made for the permit. This does not apply in Scotland.

    Appeals

    25.72 The rights of appeal in relation to permits are discussed in Part 12 of this guidance.

    Part 26: Premises licensed to sell alcohol

    Introduction

    26.1 It is important to remember that gambling must remain ancillary to the main purpose of the premises and the exemptions and permits are reliant on the premises holding a valid alcohol licence. Experience indicates that, in circumstances where breaches of gambling regulations occur, licensing authorities have a powerful lever in securing compliance, due to their ability to review the alcohol licence.

    26.2 S.279-284 of the Act only apply to premises in respect of which an on-premises alcohol licence (in England and Wales) or a premises licence under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 (opens in new tab) has been issued - provided that, in the case of Scotland, it is not a licence authorising the sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises only - and that have a bar at which alcohol is served, without a requirement that alcohol is served only with food. So any hotel, restaurant or pub that has a bar can offer gambling under Part 12 of the Act, but hotels and restaurants that serve alcohol only with food cannot.

    26.3 Licensing authorities might seek to reassure themselves that a premises has not applied for an alcohol licence under the Licensing Act 2003 (opens in new tab)/Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 (opens in new tab) with the sole aim of benefiting from the associated machine and exempt gaming entitlements. It is expected that all gambling made available on the premises will remain ancillary to the premises main activity. Where concerns exist that this might not be the case, and the premises is primarily used to make gambling available, the licensing authority might choose to exercise its powers under s.284 of the Act and remove the exemption.

    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/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:

    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.

    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.

    Exempt gaming

    26.23 Exempt gaming is detailed at paragraphs 25.10 to 25.21 in Part 25 of this guidance.

    26.24 A fee may not be levied for participation in the equal chance gaming offered by an alcohol-licensed premises under the exempt gaming rules. A compulsory charge, such as charging for a meal, may constitute a participation fee, depending on the particular circumstances.

    26.25 Information about poker in alcohol licensed premises can be found in Part 29 of this guidance.

    Removal of exemption

    26.26 Licensing authorities can remove the automatic authorisation for exempt gaming in respect of any particular premises by making an order under s.284 of the Act, if:

    26.27 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 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.

    Bingo

    26.28 Alcohol licensed premises are able to provide facilities for bingo21 under s.281 of the Act, provided that the restrictions in s.281 are complied with. These include that, in any seven day period, the aggregate stakes or prizes for bingo must not exceed £2,000. If that limit is exceeded, the relevant operating and personal licences must be sought. It should be noted, however, that the bingo will still be subject to the conditions for exempt gaming prescribed in s.279 of the Act. Further details are provided in Part 18 of this guidance.

    26.29 The bingo must comply with any code issued by the Commission under s.24 of the Act.

    Betting

    26.30 Commercial betting, regardless of the level of stakes, is not permitted in alcohol licensed premises. Those who facilitate such betting in pubs are providing illegal facilities for gambling and are breaking the law. Even where publicans accept bets on behalf of licensed bookmakers, or just facilitate betting through their own telephone betting accounts, they are acting as betting intermediaries and could be prosecuted.

    26.31 Licensed bookmakers who knowingly accept bets from pub customers through a single account are encouraging illegal gambling and may be in breach of the Act and could risk losing their licence.

    26.32 Licensed bookmakers with a remote or ancillary licence can accept telephone bets from a customer watching an event in a pub, as long as that customer has an individual account with them. It is illegal for bookmakers or their agents to sit in the pub taking bets themselves.

    26.33 It should be noted, however, that the prohibition on commercial betting in alcohol licensed premises does not apply in relation to tracks in certain circumstances. Where the betting takes place under the authority of a track premises licence, it can take place in an area on the track licensed for the sale of alcohol, provided that the licensing authority has approved the betting area as part of the track premises licence application. However, this does not apply in relation to separate and discrete premises on the track where betting takes place under the authority of a general betting licence. In this case, the consumption of alcohol on those premises is prohibited.

    Commission codes of practice

    26.34 The Commission has issued a code of practice under s.24 of the Act in respect of exempt equal chance gaming.

    26.35 The code of practice requires owners/licensees to adopt good practice measures for the provision of gaming in general and poker in particular. The code also sets out the stakes and prizes limits laid out in regulations.

    26.36 The emphasis of the regulations and the code of practice is on self-regulation by the management of the premises and licensing authorities should take a strong line in cases where breaches are detected.

    26.37 Under s.310(2) of the Act, an authorised licensing authority officer may enter premises with an alcohol licence for the purpose of:

    1. whether the terms and conditions of any relevant operating licence are being complied with
    2. whether s.281 of the Act applies.

    26.38 Additionally, the Commission’s Code of practice on gaming machines in alcohol-licensed premises includes sections relating to:

    Scotland

    26.39 The provisions of the Act which relate to gaming and gaming machines in licensed premises also apply to Scotland. In Scotland they apply to premises which have a premises licence granted under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 (opens in new tab), provided that it is not a licence authorising the sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises only.

    26.40 The provisions affecting licensed premises gaming machine permits in Scotland have been set out separately. This is because Schedule 13 of the Act does not apply in Scotland. Instead, Scottish Ministers have power under s.285 of the Act to make regulations about the regime in Scotland. The same also applies to gaming and gaming machine permits for clubs in Scotland. Schedule 12 of the Act does not apply in that case and, instead, Scottish Ministers have the power to make provision in regulations about the regime for club gaming and club machine permits. The Scottish Government has made separate regulations in this regard (SSI No 505/2007: The Licensed Premises Gaming Machine Permits (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab) & SSI No 504/2007: The Club Gaming and Club Machine Permits (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab)). It is also important to note that, in Scotland, Schedule 12 does not apply to clubs licensed to sell alcohol (by virtue of s.274(2) of the Act).

    Protection of children and young persons

    26.41 The Commission’s code of practice relating to the location and operation of gaming machines provides that, in respect of gaming machines in alcohol licensed premises, the licence holder or permit holder should put into effect procedures intended to prevent underage gambling. This should include procedures for:

    26.42 The code requires that all gaming machines situated on the premises must be located in a place within the premises where their use can be supervised, either by staff whose duties include such supervision (including bar or floor staff) or by other means. Alcohol premises licence holders or permit holders must have in place arrangements for such supervision.

    26.43 In respect of exempt equal chance gaming, the code requires the gaming supervisor to put into effect procedures designed to prevent underage gambling. These should include:

    26.44 Procedures should be in place for dealing with cases where an underage person repeatedly attempts to gamble, including verbal warnings and reporting the offence to the Commission and the police. The gaming supervisor should also take reasonable steps to ensure that all employees understand their responsibilities under the code of practice.

    Prohibited gaming

    26.45 No bankers' games may be played in alcohol licensed premises, commercial clubs or in members’ clubs and or miners’ welfare institutes unless they have a club gaming permit. With a permit the two bankers’ games of pontoon and chemin de fer may be played. Otherwise, games such as blackjack, roulette and any others which involve staking against the holder of the bank are unlawful on such premises.

    Part 27: Prize gaming and prize gaming permits

    Prize gaming

    27.1 S.288 defines gaming as prize gaming if the nature and size of the prize is not determined by the number of people playing or the amount paid for or raised by the gaming. Normally the prizes are determined by the operator before play commences.

    Prize gaming permits

    27.2 A prize gaming permit is a permit issued by the licensing authority to authorise the provision of facilities for gaming with prizes on specified premises.

    Prize gaming without a prize gaming permit

    27.3 A casino operating licence gives authority to provide all games of chance, except any form of bingo, which is excluded from the scope of the casino licence by s.68(3)(b). If a casino wishes to provide bingo generally, it would need to obtain a bingo operating licence, however, this is subject to the constraint that only one premises licence may be issued for any particular premises at any time (s.152) and so the premises would have to be distinct. Only casino premises licences for 2005 Act large casinos permit bingo to be offered within the casino premises (s.174). If a casino wishes to offer prize bingo, it could obtain a prize gaming permit, however, it is more likely that the casino will apply for an operating licence to cover all forms of bingo (subject to the constraint already mentioned).

    27.4 S.291 enables any form of prize gaming to be provided in premises in reliance on their bingo operating licence. This provision allows bingo operators to provide prize gaming in respect of casino games as well as games of equal chance, which they would not otherwise be able to do under the conditions of their operating licence. In the case of bingo operators, the Commission or Secretary of State could impose conditions preventing specified games from being offered. Additionally, limits have been set on individual and aggregated stakes and prizes for prize gaming in bingo premises, the purpose of which is to ensure that such gaming is restricted to low stakes (SI No 2257/2007: The Gambling Act 2005 (Operating Licence Conditions) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab) and SI No 774/2010: The Gambling Act 2005 (Operating Licence Conditions) (Amendment) Regulations 2010) (opens in new tab).

    27.5 S.290 provides that any type of prize gaming may be provided in adult gaming centres (AGCs) and licensed family entertainment centres (FECs), and that unlicensed FECs may only offer equal chance prize gaming under the auspices of their gaming machine permit, without the need for a prize gaming permit.

    27.6 S.292 provides that travelling fairs are also able to offer equal chance prize gaming without a permit, provided that, taken together, the facilities for gambling are an ancillary amusement at the fair.

    27.7 Children and young persons may participate in equal chance prize gaming only.

    27.8 S.293 sets out four conditions that permit holders, AGCs, FECs and travelling fairs must comply with to lawfully offer prize gaming. These are:

    Application for a prize gaming permits

    27.9 Schedule 14 sets out the application process and regulatory regime for prize gaming permits. In considering an application, the licensing authority shall have regard to this guidance and need not, but may wish, to have regard to the licensing objectives.

    27.10 An application for a permit can only be made by a person who occupies or plans to occupy the relevant premises and if the applicant is an individual, he must be aged 18 or over. An application for a permit cannot be made if a premises licence or club gaming permit is in effect for the same premises. The application must be made to the licensing authority in whose area the premises are wholly or partly situated.

    27.11 The authority must specify the form and manner in which the application should be made, and specify what information and documents (for example, insurance certificates, plans of building) they require to accompany the application. An application must specify the premises and the nature of the gaming for which the permit is sought.

    27.12 In their statement of policy, licensing authorities should include a statement of principles that they propose to apply when exercising their functions in considering applications for permits. In particular, they may want to set out the matters that they will take into account in determining the suitability of the applicant. For example, if the premises will appeal to children and young persons, licensing authorities should think about matters relating to protection of children from being harmed or exploited by gambling and where necessary consult the Safeguarding Children Board or local equivalent. Licensing authorities should ask the applicant to set out the types of gaming that they are intending to offer and the applicant should be able to demonstrate that:

    27.13 The licensing authority can grant or refuse an application for a permit, but cannot add conditions. The licensing authority may grant a permit only if they have consulted the chief officer of police about the application. The licensing authority will want to take account of any objections that the police may wish to make which are relevant to the licensing objectives. Relevant considerations would include the suitability of the applicant in terms of any convictions that they may have that would make them unsuitable to operate prize gaming; and the suitability of the premises in relation to their location and any issues concerning disorder.

    27.14 A permit cannot be issued in respect of a vessel or a vehicle.

    27.15 The licensing authority may not refuse an application unless they have notified the applicant of the intention to refuse and the reasons for it, and given them an opportunity to make representations orally or in writing or both.

    27.16 If a permit is granted, the licensing authority must issue it as soon as is reasonably practicable. The Secretary of State has set out the form of the permit in regulations (SI No 455/2007: The Gambling Act 2005 (Prize Gaming)(Permits) Regulations 2007) (opens in new tab). The permit must specify the person to whom it is issued, the premises to which it relates, the nature of the gaming, the date on which it takes effect, the date on which it expires, and the name and address of the licensing authority issuing the permit. Scottish Ministers have made separate regulations (SSI No 309/2007: The Gambling Act 2005 (Fees)(Scotland) Regulations 2007 (opens in new tab)) in respect of fees associated with prize gaming permits.

    27.17 If the person to whom the permit is issued changes their name, or wants to be known by another name, they may send the permit to the issuing authority for amendment, together with the appropriate fee. The authority must comply with the request and return the permit to the holder.

    Duration, lapse, surrender and forfeiture

    27.18 The permit will have effect for ten years, unless it ceases to have effect, lapses or is renewed. There is no annual fee for prize gaming permits.

    27.19 The permit may lapse for a number of reasons:

    27.20 Where a permit lapses, the Act provides that the permit may be relied upon for a period of six months after it has lapsed, by the following persons:

    27.21 The permit may also cease to have effect if the holder surrenders it to the licensing authority. Notice of such surrender must be accompanied by the permit, or an explanation as to why the permit cannot be produced.

    27.22 If the permit holder is convicted of a relevant offence (that is an offence listed in Schedule 7 of the Act), the court may order the forfeiture of the permit. The court must order the holder to deliver the permit to the licensing authority, or provide a statement explaining why it is not reasonably practicable to produce it. The court must notify the licensing authority that it has made a forfeiture order as soon as is reasonably practicable after making the order. Such an order may be suspended by a higher court pending appeal against conviction of a relevant offence.

    Renewal

    27.23 In accordance with paragraph 18 of Schedule 14, an application for renewal of a permit must be made during the period beginning six months before the permit expires and ending two months before it expires. The procedure for renewal is the same as for an application.

    27.24 A permit will not cease to have effect while a renewal application is pending, including an appeal against a decision not to renew.

    Maintenance

    27.25 The permit must be kept on the premises and it is an offence not to produce it when requested to do so by a constable, an enforcement officer, or an authorised local authority officer.

    27.26 If a permit is lost, stolen or damaged, the holder may apply for a replacement subject to paying the fee set by the Secretary of State and Scottish Ministers. The licensing authority must grant the application if it is satisfied that the permit has been lost, stolen or damaged and a report has been made to the police. It should issue a copy and certify it as a true copy.

    Appeals

    27.27 The rights of appeal in relation to permits are discussed in Part 12 of this guidance.

    Part 28: Non-commercial and private gaming, betting and lotteries

    Introduction

    28.1 The Act permits gambling without any specific permissions under limited circumstances, namely:

    Children and young persons are permitted to participate in all of the above, except for customer lotteries where children are not permitted to participate (S.46 and s.48 of the Act).

    28.2 With regard to exempt lotteries, this part addresses incidental lotteries only. Further information about exempt lotteries in general is available in Organising small lotteries: Advice on lotteries that do not require a licence or registration (opens in new tab).

    Non-commercial gaming

    28.3 The Act permits non-commercial gaming if it takes place at a non-commercial event, either as an incidental or principal activity at the event. Events are non-commercial if no part of the proceeds is for private profit or gain. The proceeds of such events may benefit one or more individuals if the activity is organised:

    28.4 So it would be possible to raise funds providing the proceeds were, for example, to support a local hospital appeal or a charitable sporting endeavour. Additionally, events such as race nights or casino nights may be permitted if they comply with the regulations and profits go to a good cause.

    28.5 S.297(3) of the Act defines proceeds of an event as:

    1. the sums raised by the organisers, whether by way of fees for entrance or for participation, sponsorship, commission from traders, or otherwise minus
    2. amounts deducted by the organisers in respect of costs reasonably incurred in organising the event.

    However, sums raised by other persons will not form part of the proceeds of the event and may be appropriated for private gain. An example would be refreshments provided at the event by an independent third party.

    28.6 If someone uses any profits from non-commercial gaming for something other than the specified purpose, then they commit an offence under s.301 of the Act, which can result in a fine or imprisonment.

    28.7 The Act identifies two types of permissible non-commercial gaming:

    Non-commercial prize gaming

    28.8 An organiser does not need to have an operating or premises licence nor a prize gaming permit, provided that the conditions in s.299 are met, namely:

    28.9 In these circumstances, prize gaming occurs if the nature and size of the prize is not determined by the number of people playing or the amount paid for or raised by the gaming. Normally the prizes will be determined by the operator before play commences.

    Non-commercial equal chance gaming

    28.10 The conditions set out under s.300 are as follows:

    Private gaming

    28.11 Private gaming can take place anywhere to which the public do not have access, for example, a workplace. Domestic and residential gaming are two subsets where non-equal chance gaming is allowed.

    28.12 Private gaming can potentially take place on commercial premises in circumstances where a members’ club hires a room in, for example, a pub or hotel for a private function where equal chance gaming only is played. However, organisers would need to scrutinise very carefully the arrangements put in place to make sure that the particular area of the pub, hotel or other venue in which the gaming takes place is not, on the occasion of the private function, a place to which the public have access and that those participating are not selected by a process which means that, in fact, they are members of the public rather than members of the club. The law in this area is complex and organisers should be advised to seek their own legal advice before organising events of this nature.

    28.13 It is a condition of private gaming that no charge (by whatever name called) is made for participation and Schedule 15 to the Act makes it clear that a deduction from or levy on sums staked or won by participants in gaming is a charge for participation in the gaming. It is irrelevant whether the charge is expressed to be voluntary or compulsory, particularly if customers are prevented from playing if they do not make the ‘voluntary’ donation, or there is strong peer pressure to make the donation. A relevant decided case in another licensing field is that of Cocks v Mayner (1893)58 JP 104, in which it was found that an omnibus, said to be available free of charge but whose passengers were invited to make a voluntary contribution, was ‘plying for hire’ without the appropriate licence.

    28.14 Additionally, the decided cases of Panama (Piccadilly) Ltd v Newberry (1962) 1WLR 610 and Lunn v Colston-Hayter (1991) 155 JP 384 are helpful in guiding licensing authorities in deciding whether a person ceases to be a member of the public merely because they have agreed to become a member of a club.

    28.15 In the first of these cases, which related to a strip show, the Court said that an applicant for membership of the club and admission to the show was and remained a member of the public, as the whole purpose of membership was to get members of the public to see the show and there was no sufficient segregation or selection to cause an applicant to cease to be a member of the public and to acquire a different status as a member of a club on signing his application form and paying the charge. In the second case, which related to an acid house party, the judge said that it was impossible, merely because of the existence of a formal scheme of club membership enforced to the extent of requiring tickets to be obtained 24-hours in advance of the event, to regard those who obtained such membership and tickets as having ceased to be members of the public.

    28.16 This means that people joining a club to attend and take part in a private event are likely to remain members of the public, particularly if club membership is acquired only a short time before, in order to attend the event. The courts will not readily allow membership status to be abused in order to circumvent the law in this way.

    Private betting

    28.17 The Act also says that betting is private if it is domestic betting or workers’ betting. Domestic betting is a betting transaction made on premises in which each party to the transaction habitually resides. Workers’ betting is where a betting transaction is made between persons who are employed by the same employer. A person does not commit an offence under s.33 or s.37 of the Act if he or she provides facilities for private betting.

    Incidental lotteries

    28.18 An incidental lottery is a lottery that is incidental to an event. The lottery must be promoted wholly for a purpose other than that of private gain, that is, the lottery can only be promoted for a charity or other good cause. Examples may include a lottery held at a school fete or at a social event such as a dinner dance.

    Non-commercial ‘casino night’

    28.19 A non-commercial casino night is an event where participants stake money on casino-style games, such as poker or roulette, at a non-commercial event, where none of the money the organisers raise from the event is used for private gain.

    28.20 Apart from reasonable costs, proceeds (including any entrance fees, sponsorship, the difference between stakes placed and payout made):

    Reasonable costs would include costs incurred by providing the prizes. If third parties are selling goods or services at the event, this does not count as money raised for the charity or good cause and can be retained by that third party.

    28.21 A non-commercial casino night can be run without a licence, or any other form of permission, providing the operation of the gaming falls into one of the three categories discussed below.

    28.22 Organisers should note that, under the Act, it is illegal to organise a commercial casino night outside of a licensed casino. However an application can be made for a temporary use notice (TUN) in respect of other premises to offer gaming on a commercial basis, so far as the appropriate operating licence covers the proposed activities in the application, but then only in respect of equal chance gaming organised on a tournament basis with a single overall winner (SI No 3157/2007: The Gambling Act 2005 (Temporary Use Notices) Regulations 2007) (opens in new tab). There can, however, be more than one competition with a single winner held at the individual event covered by a specific TUN.

    Casino night as non-commercial prize gaming

    28.23 Casino nights can be held as non-commercial prize gaming25. The players must be told what good cause will benefit from the profits of the gaming before placing a bet. The prizes must be advertised in advance and must not depend on the number of people playing or the stakes raised. In non-commercial prize gaming, the casino gaming determines the individual winner or winners, for example by counting who has the most casino chips at a set time. The winners are then awarded the prizes that have been advertised in advance.

    Casino night as non-commercial equal chance gaming

    28.24 Casino nights can also be run as non-commercial equal chance gaming26, where the chances are equally favourable to all participants and players are not competing against a bank. In non-commercial equal chance gaming, the charitable funds are usually raised through an entrance fee, participation fee, or through other payments related to the gaming. The maximum amount that a player may be charged is £8 per day which includes entrance or participation fees, stakes and any other payments in relation to the gaming. Organisers must ensure that the total amount paid out in prizes remains below £600 in total across all players. However, where an event is the final one of a series in which all of the players have previously taken part, a higher prize fund of up to £900 is allowed.

    Casino night as private gaming

    28.25 A casino night may also be run under the private gaming provisions in the Act. Private gaming may only occur in a place to which the public does not have access, normally a private dwelling, hostel, hall of residence or similar establishment. No charge may be made for participation in private gaming including an entrance fee or other charge for admission, nor may any amounts be deducted from stakes or prizes. No profits can be made from private gaming, irrespective of how the organiser intended to use those profits and, thus, even if intended for charitable purposes.

    28.26 Private gaming is restricted to equal chance gaming except where it is domestic or residential gaming.

    28.27 Private gaming can potentially take place on commercial premises in circumstances where a members’ club hires a room in, for example, a pub or hotel for a private function where equal chance gaming only is played. However, organisers would need to scrutinise very carefully the arrangements put in place, as detailed at paragraph 28.11 above.

    Non-commercial race night

    28.28 Race nights are permitted for charitable purposes but, in some circumstances, can only be undertaken by a licensed betting operator and after appropriate notification to the licensing authority. Further details are set out at paragraph 28.36 below.

    28.29 A non-commercial race night is an event where participants stake money on the outcome of live, recorded or virtual races.

    28.30 Apart from reasonable costs, proceeds which includes any entrance fees, sponsorship, and the difference between stakes placed and payout made:

    Reasonable costs would include costs reasonably incurred, for example by providing any prizes and for betting slips. If third parties are selling goods or services this does not count as money raised for the charity or good cause and can be retained by that third party.

    Race night as non-commercial gaming

    28.31 A non-commercial type of race night occurs where the selection of a ‘horse’ by a participant is totally dependent on chance, and where no ‘odds’ or ‘form’ are available to assist the gambler’s selection. An example would be the use of archive films of horseracing without revealing the details of each race.

    28.32 Such nights can be run without a licence, or any other form of permission, providing the operation of the gaming falls into one of the three categories discussed below.

    Incidental lottery

    28.33 It is possible to operate a race night as an incidental lottery (incidental lotteries must comply with conditions set out in Schedule 11 of the Act, The Gambling Act 2005 (Incidental Lotteries) Regulations 2016 (opens in new tab) (SI 2016 No 239) and The Legislative Reform (Exempt Lotteries) Order 2016 (opens in new tab) (SI 2016 No124)). An incidental lottery is a lottery that is incidental to an event. The lottery must be promoted wholly for a purpose other than that of private gain, that is, the lottery can only be promoted for a charity or other good cause. The event may last more than a single day.

    28.34 There are no limits on the amount that players may be charged to participate in an incidental lottery, but no more than £500 may be deducted from the proceeds of the lottery for the cost of prizes, which may be in cash or kind. Other prizes may be donated to the lottery and there is no maximum limit on the value of donated prizes. No more than £100 may be deducted from the proceeds in respect of the expenses incurred in organising the lottery, such as the cost of printing tickets, hire of equipment etc.

    28.35 The organisers can only sell tickets at the location (by non remote means)27 and during the event. The results of the lottery can be drawn at the event or after it has finished. It is recommended that the organisers of the lottery make it clear to participants when the result of the lottery will be decided. The lottery cannot involve a rollover of prizes from one lottery to another.

    28.36 An example of a race night run as an incidental lottery is where a ‘horse’ is picked at random for each paying customer, who is then awarded a prize if the horse ‘wins’ the race.

    Non-commercial prize gaming

    28.37 Race nights can be held as non-commercial prize gaming. The players must be told what good cause will benefit from the profits of the gaming. The prizes must be advertised in advance and must not depend on the number of people playing or the stakes raised. In non-commercial prize gaming, the ‘race’ determines the individual winner or winners, for example, those who have paid are allocated or select a named horse in the race. The winners are then awarded the prizes that had been advertised in advance.

    Non-commercial equal chance gaming

    28.38 Race nights can also be run as non-commercial equal chance gaming, where the chances are equally favourable to all participants and players are not competing against a bank.

    28.39 The maximum amount that a player may be charged is £8 per day which includes entrance or participation fees, betting stakes and any other payments in relation to the gaming. Organisers must ensure that the total amount paid out in prizes remains below £600 in total across all players. However, where an event is the final one of a series in which all of the players have previously taken part, a higher prize fund of up to £900 is allowed. This could take place, for example, where each participant pays a fee for a randomly selected ‘horse’ in each ‘race’ and the participant with the winning horse or chooser of the winning horse receives a prize commensurate with the stakes placed.

    Race night as private gaming

    28.40 A non-commercial race night may also be run under the private gaming provisions in the Act. Private gaming may only occur in a place to which the public does not have access, such as a private dwelling, hostel, hall of residence or similar establishment. No charge may be made for participation in private gaming including an entrance fee or other charge for admission, nor may any amounts be deducted from stakes or prizes. Thus, no profits can be made from private gaming, irrespective of how the organiser intended to use those profits, and not even for charitable purposes.

    Race night as a betting event

    28.41 A fundraising race night can be run as a betting event at a track where there is a track premises licence in place. Where there is no track premises licence in place for the track, the organiser of such an event will need to give notice under the occasional use notice (OUN) procedure. Licensing authorities are reminded that a track is defined by s.353 of the Act as a horse racecourse, greyhound track or other premises on any part of which a race or other sporting event takes places, such as a football ground, golf course or an athletics stadium. The person responsible for the administration of events on the track must serve notice on the licensing authority and copy it to the chief officer of police for the area. Further details on the procedure for OUNs can be found in Part 15. At such an event, the person administering the betting must be a licensed bookmaker.

    Part 29: Poker

    Introduction

    29.1 Poker is a card game which involves elements of both chance and skill and is therefore classified as a game of chance under the Act by virtue of s.6(2). There are many variations on the game of poker, but this part deals primarily with equal chance poker where players compete against each other on equal terms.

    29.2 In most forms of equal chance poker, players bet or stake progressively into a communal pot or kitty, with the player holding the best hand at the end of the game winning the accumulated stakes.

    29.3 Non-equal chance poker, on the other hand, is where the banker or dealer participates in the game and holds a mathematical edge over the other players. Unequal chance poker may only be played in licensed casinos or, if it is ‘domestic’ or ‘residential’ gaming, under the private gaming provisions in the Act.

    29.4 This part sets out all the circumstances in which poker can be legally provided. These circumstances include poker:

    Poker in casinos

    29.5 Poker can be played in casinos licensed by the Commission. Casinos can also run poker tournaments at temporary venues, for a limited amount of time, under temporary use notices (TUNs). Further information in relation to TUNs is at Part 14.

    29.6 Casinos can offer both equal chance and unequal chance poker, except where the poker is provided under a TUN, in which case it can only be equal chance poker.

    29.7 Where a third party organisation is involved in a poker competition held in a licensed casino, the casino operator must bear full responsibility for that competition.

    29.8 Where an online competition culminates in live competition in a casino, the online partner may provide systems and staff for the event but responsibility lies with the operator whose premises are being used.

    29.9 A casino may have a commercial relationship with an agent to promote poker in the casino, but the poker games that result are the responsibility of the casino and not of the agent. Further information on poker in a licensed casino can be found in the Commission’s Advice on poker played in non-remote casinos (opens in new tab).

    Poker as exempt gaming in clubs and alcohol licensed premises

    29.10 Exempt gaming is equal chance gaming generally permissible in any club or alcohol licensed premises. Such gaming should be ancillary to the purposes of the premises. This provision is automatically available to all such premises, but is subject to statutory stakes and prize limits determined by the Secretary of State.

    29.11 A fee may not be levied for participation in poker offered by alcohol-licensed premises under the exempt gaming rules. A compulsory charge, such as charging for a meal, may constitute a participation fee, depending on the particular circumstances. However, clubs may charge a participation fee. The amount they may charge is as prescribed in regulations (SI No 1944/2007: The Gambling Act 2005 (Exempt Gaming in Clubs) Regulations 2007) (opens in new tab). See Appendix C for further details.

    29.12 In order for the poker to qualify as exempt gaming, clubs and alcohol licensed premises may not charge a fee on games or levy or deduct an amount from stakes or winnings. The gaming should also be supervised by a nominated gaming supervisor and comply with any code of practice issued by the Commission under s.24 of the Act.

    29.13 Poker clubs established primarily for the purpose of providing poker or other gaming require Commission operating licences and premises licences. Further information is available in the Commission’s quick guides Poker in pubs (opens in new tab) and Poker in clubs (opens in new tab).

    Removal of exemption for alcohol licensed premises

    29.14 Licensing authorities can remove the automatic authorisation for exempt gaming in respect of any particular alcohol licensed premises by making an order under s.284 of the Act (see also Part 26). That section provides for the licensing authority to make such an order if:

    29.15 Such an order could be used by a licensing authorities where, for example, they discover that poker is being offered in alcohol licensed premises that consistently breaches the prescribed limits on stakes and prizes, participation fees are being charged for the poker, amounts are deducted from stakes or winnings, or poker (and other gaming) is the main activity offered on the premises.

    Code of practice for exempt equal chance gaming

    29.16 The Commission has issued a code of practice under s.24 of the Act in respect of exempt equal chance gaming.

    29.17 The code of practice requires owners/licensees/clubs/welfare institutes to adopt good practice measures for the provision of gaming in general, and poker in particular. The code also sets out the stakes and prizes limits and the limits on participation fees (for clubs) laid out in regulations.

    Poker in alcohol licensed premises

    29.18 The Commission actively engages with the larger national and regional organisers of poker leagues to remind them of the limited exemptions that apply to poker being offered in pubs. Infringements of such requirements as stake and prize limits which are localised are normally best managed by the local authority responsible for issuing the alcohol premises licence. Template letters published on the Commission’s website have proved effective in assisting management of such cases.

    29.19 Gaming is only covered by the Act if it is played for prizes of money or money’s worth. A number of poker tournaments and leagues have been established in alcohol licensed premises based on playing for points. In some leagues the organisers offer ‘prizes’ at the end of a series of weekly games for the players with the most points.

    29.20 It is likely that the association of a prize with a monetary value with a game or series of games constitutes gaming, certainly by the latter stages of the competition. If the eventual prize is worth more than the maximum prize set out in regulations then it could be unlawful gaming. For example, if a tournament simply involves a series of straightforward ‘knockout’ qualifying rounds, culminating in a 'final’ game, then the winner’s prize in the final - whether it comprises the stakes laid in that game, a separate prize provided by the organiser, or a combination of the two - must not exceed £100. The regulations set a limit of £100 on a prize that may be won in any game of poker (in a pub). In a knockout tournament, the overall prize is clearly winnable in a single game (the ‘final’) and is therefore won in a game of poker and subject to the prize limit. The stake and prize limits must also, of course, be applied to each game in the tournament.

    29.21 Alternatively the prize competed for may be the opportunity to play in ‘invitational cash tournaments’. Notwithstanding that these ‘prizes’ may be of an uncertain value, and are likely to be held in mainstream gaming venues under regulated conditions, usually a casino, the Act prohibits gaming in alcohol licensed premises being linked to gaming in any other premises. Players competing across premises for a ‘prize’ are likely to be engaged in linked gaming, which is unlawful (s.269(5) of the Act). Consequently, organisers should not host events where players are competing against players in other premises for a prize.

    29.22 In some types of tournaments there will be no single ‘final’ game in which it can be said with certainty that the player won the overall prize. In such circumstances, one should look to the individual games played by the overall winner and ensure that the overall prize does not cause any of those individual games to exceed the maximum £100 prize limit per game and the maximum stake of £100 per day.

    29.23 For examples of poker tournament, league and competitions games and prize and stake examples see Appendix H.

    Poker under a club gaming permit

    29.24 A club gaming permit can only be granted to a members’ club (including a miners’ welfare institute), but cannot be granted to a commercial club or other alcohol licensed premises.

    29.25 Other than in the case of clubs established to provide facilities for gaming of a prescribed kind (currently bridge and whist), clubs seeking club gaming permits must be established ‘wholly or mainly’ for purposes other than gaming. When a club gaming permit is granted there are no limits on the stakes and prizes associated with poker.

    29.26 If a club established to provide facilities for gaming of a prescribed kind (currently bridge and whist) has a club gaming permit, it may not offer any other gaming besides bridge and whist. If such a club does not have a permit, it may provide exempt gaming provided it is not established to function for a limited period of time and it has at least 25 members. If it wishes to offer other non-exempt gaming it will require a Commission casino operating licence and any relevant personal licences.

    29.27 The poker which a club gaming permit allows is subject to conditions:

    (a) in respect of equal chance gaming:

    Two games are linked if:

    (b) in respect of other games of chance:

    29.28 A 48-hour rule applies in respect of all three types of gaming, so that the games may only be played by people who have been members of the club for at least 48-hours, or have applied or been nominated for membership or are genuine guests of a member.

    29.29 More information about club gaming permits can be found in Part 25.

    29.30 Private clubs with a club gaming permit cannot run the premises wholly or mainly for the purposes of gaming, nor can the club make a profit as all funds must be applied for the benefit of members. Experience indicates that illegal clubs will go to considerable lengths to disguise the true nature of their activities. Consequently building the evidence required to review and rescind the permit can be time consuming and resource intensive. It is therefore essential that licensing authorities scrutinise applications for club gaming permits carefully. The applicant should be asked for as much information as required (such as a business plan) in order to satisfy the licensing authority that it is a bone fide club whose main activity will not be gambling. The Commission are in a position to assist in sharing intelligence on individuals or organisations in circumstances where a licensing authority has doubts as to the credentials of an applicant.

    29.31 There is now a considerable body of knowledge and experience as to how a gaming permit can be withdrawn. This may include using other legislation such as the Proceeds of Crime Act (opens in new tab) which was used by a licensing authority to prosecute and imprison one club owner.

    29.32 On occasion licensing authorities may consider that, as they have not received complaints about a club, there is no requirement for them to act. In these circumstances it is worth bearing in mind that they are very unlikely to receive complaints about such clubs, unless it is issues such as local noise and nuisance. The people attending the club do so from choice. Secondly, the club is effectively operating as an illegal casino and none of the protections afforded in a casino are in place, such as personal licence holders and anti-money laundering safeguards.

    Poker as non-commercial gaming

    29.33 The Act permits non-commercial gaming if it takes place at a non-commercial event, either as an incidental or principal activity at the event. Events are non-commercial if no part of the proceeds is for private profit or gain. The proceeds of such events may benefit one or more individuals if the activity is organised:

    So it would be possible to raise funds for an individual providing the proceeds were, for example, for a wheelchair or to support a sporting endeavour. Additionally, events such as casino nights or poker nights may be permitted if they comply with the regulations and are run on a non-commercial basis.

    29.34 S.297(3) of the Act defines proceeds as:

    1. the sums raised by the organisers, whether by way of fees for entrance or for participation, by way of sponsorship, by way of commission from traders, or otherwise, minus
    2. amounts deducted by the organisers in respect of costs reasonably incurred in organising the event.

    However, sums raised by other persons will not form part of the proceeds of the event and may be appropriated for private gain. An example would be refreshments provided at the event by an independent third party.

    29.35 If someone uses any profits from non-commercial gaming for something other than the specified purpose, then they commit an offence under s.301 of the Act. The maximum penalty, upon conviction for such an offence, is a term of imprisonment not exceeding 51 weeks for England and Wales (six months in Scotland), and/or a level five fine.

    29.36 The Act identifies two types of permissible non-commercial gaming:

    Non-commercial prize gaming

    29.37 Provided that the conditions set out in s.299 are met, poker can be offered as non-commercial prize gaming without the need to have an operating or premises licence, nor a prize gaming permit. Paragraphs 28.7 onwards set out detail on s.299 of the Act.

    29.38 Poker as prize gaming occurs if the nature and size of the prize is not determined by the number of people playing or the amount paid for or raised by the gaming. Normally the prizes will be determined by the organiser before play commences.

    Non-commercial equal chance gaming

    29.39 Provided that the conditions set out under s.300 are met, poker can be offered as non-commercial equal chance gaming without the need to have an operating or premises licence. Paragraphs 28.9 onwards set out detail on s.300 of the Act.

    Non-commercial casino night or poker night

    29.40 A non-commercial casino night or poker night is an event where participants stake money on casino-style games, such as poker, at a non-commercial event, where none of the money the organisers raise from the event is used for private gain.

    29.41 Apart from reasonable costs, proceeds (including any entrance fees, sponsorship, the difference between stakes placed and payout made):

    Reasonable costs would include costs incurred by providing the prizes. If third parties are selling goods or services at the event, for example if someone is selling refreshments, this does not count as money raised for the charity or good cause and can be retained by that third party.

    29.42 A non-commercial casino night or poker night can be run without a licence, or any other form of permission, providing the operation of the gaming falls into one of the three categories discussed below.

    29.43 Organisers should note that, under the Act, it is illegal to organise a commercial casino night or poker night outside of a licensed casino. As the law stands, only the holder of a valid non-remote casino operating licence can apply to a licensing authority for a temporary use notice (TUN) in respect of other premises to offer gaming on a commercial basis, and then only in respect of equal chance gaming organised on a tournament basis with a single overall winner (SI No 3157/2007: The Gambling Act 2005 (Temporary Use Notices) Regulations 2007) (opens in new tab).

    Casino night or poker night as non-commercial prize gaming

    29.44 Casino nights or poker nights can be held as non-commercial prize gaming. The players must be told what good cause will benefit from the profits of the gaming before placing a bet. The prizes must be advertised in advance and must not depend on the number of people playing or the stakes raised. For example, the individual winner or winners could be determined by counting who has the most casino chips after the game or tournament ends. The winners are then awarded the prizes that have been advertised in advance.

    Casino night or poker night as non-commercial equal chance gaming

    29.45 Casino nights or poker nights can also be run as non-commercial equal chance gaming. In non-commercial equal chance gaming, the charitable funds are usually raised through an entrance fee, participation fee, or through other payments related to the gaming. The maximum amount that a player may be charged is £8 per day (this includes entrance or participation fees, stakes and any other payments in relation to the gaming). Organisers must ensure that the total amount paid out in prizes remains below £600 in total across all players. However, where an event is the final one of a series in which all of the players have previously taken part, a higher prize fund of up to £900 is allowed.

    Poker as private gaming

    29.46 Poker offered as private gaming can take place anywhere to which the public do not have access and this would include a workplace. Domestic and residential gaming are two subsets where non-equal chance gaming is allowed:

    29.47 Private gaming can potentially take place on commercial premises in circumstances where a members’ club hires a room in, for example, a pub or hotel for a private function where equal chance gaming only is played. However, organisers would need to scrutinise very carefully the arrangements put in place to make sure that the particular area of the pub, hotel or other venue in which the gaming takes place is not, on the occasion of the private function, a place to which the public have access and that those participating are not selected by a process which means that, in fact, they are members of the public rather than members of the club. The law in this area is complex and organisers should be advised to seek their own legal advice before proceeding with the event.

    29.48 It is a condition of private gaming that no charge (by whatever name called) is made for participation and Schedule 15 to the Act makes it clear that a deduction from or levy on sums staked or won by participants in gaming is a charge for participation in the gaming. It is irrelevant whether the charge is expressed to be voluntary or compulsory, particularly if customers are prevented from playing if they do not make the ‘voluntary’ donation, or there is strong peer pressure to make the donation. A relevant decided case in another licensing field is that of Cocks v Mayner (1893) 58 JP 104, in which it was found that an omnibus said to be available free of charge but whose passengers who were invited to (and in some cases did) make a voluntary contribution was ‘plying for hire’ without the appropriate licence.

    29.49 Additionally, the decided cases of Panama (Piccadilly) Ltd v Newberry (1962) 1WLR 610 and Lunn v Colston-Hayter (1991) 155 JP 384 are helpful in guiding local authorities in deciding whether a person ceases to be a member of the public merely because they have agreed to become a member of a club.

    29.50 In the first of these cases (which related to a strip show), the court said that an applicant for membership of the club and admission to the show was and remained a member of the public, as the whole purpose (of membership) was to get members of the public to see the show and there was no sufficient segregation or selection to cause an applicant to cease to be a member of the public and to acquire a different status as a member of a club on signing his application form and paying the charge. In the second (which related to an acid house party), the judge said that it was impossible, merely because of the existence of a formal scheme of club membership enforced to the extent of requiring tickets to be obtained 24-hours in advance of the event, to regard those who obtained such membership and tickets as having ceased to be members of the public.

    29.51 This means that people joining a club to attend and take part in a ‘private’ event are likely to remain members of the public, particularly if ‘club membership’ is acquired only a short time before, and in order to attend the event.

    Advertising

    29.52 The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 (opens in new tab) amended the Act so that from 1 November 2014, gambling operators that provide facilities for remote gambling gambling requires remote gambling operators selling into the British market, whether based here or abroad, to hold a Commission licence to enable them to transact with British consumers.

    Part 30: Travelling fairs

    Introduction

    30.1 The Act defines a travelling fair as ‘wholly or principally’ providing amusements and they must be on a site that has been used for fairs for no more than 27 days per calendar year. The Act does not change the principles on which travelling fairs have been regulated under previous legislation.

    30.2 Travelling fairs may provide an unlimited number of category D gaming machines provided that facilities for gambling amount to no more than an ancillary amusement at the fair. They do not require a permit to provide these gaming machines but must comply with legal requirements about how the machine operates. Current stakes and prizes can be found at Appendix B of this guidance.

    30.3 Higher stake category B and C fruit machines, like those typically played in arcades and pubs, are not permitted. Fairground operators must source their machines from a Commission licensed supplier and employees working with gaming machines must be at least 18 years old.

    30.4 Part 27 of the guidance discusses the prize gaming that may be provided at travelling fairs.

    30.5 Licensing authorities should note that the 27-day maximum is during a calendar year and not in any 12-month period, and applies to the piece of land on which fairs are held, regardless of whether it is the same or different travelling fairs occupying the land. Authorities should therefore monitor the use of land and maintain a record of the dates on which it is used. If the land straddles licensing authority areas, the authorities concerned will need to work together to maintain a central log.

    30.6 Local authorities in England and Wales may adopt by laws to control travelling fairs under a discretionary power set out in s.75 of the Public Health Act 1961 (opens in new tab), as amended. In Scotland travelling fairs are licensed by the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (opens in new tab).

    Part 31: Crown immunity and excluded premises

    Crown immunity and excluded premises

    31.1 With the exception mentioned below, the Act applies to the Crown. This includes government departments and therefore there is no immunity for establishments such as civil service social clubs, which must apply for club machine permits or other permissions in the normal way.

    31.2 However the Act has no effect in relation to anything done on premises occupied, either on a permanent or temporary basis, by the armed forces namely Her Majesty’s naval, military or air forces.

    31.3 The Act enables the Secretary of State to classify a premises as exempt from the Act on the grounds of national security.

    Part 32: Territorial application of the Gambling Act 2005

    Territorial application of the Gambling Act 2005

    32.1 By virtue of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 (opens in new tab), the Act applies to all operators who provide facilities for gambling to consumers in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) except for two areas which also apply to Northern Ireland. These are:

    The offence of advertising unlicensed remote gambling is also applicable to Northern Ireland (see section 5 of the 2014 Act).

    Vessels

    32.2 Vessels such as cruise ships, ferries, boats and hovercrafts are required to have a premises licence if commercial gambling is provided at them. However if a vessel is engaged on a journey into or from international waters then no premises licence is required. Further information is available at Part 7 paragraphs 7.12 to 7.17.

    Vehicles

    32.3 No premises licences can be issued in respect of a vehicle. In addition to a car, lorry or coach, the Act also provides that ‘vehicle’ includes a train, aircraft, seaplane and any amphibious vehicle other than a hovercraft. There is no exemption for international travel. Whilst this is ultimately a matter for the courts it is the Commission’s view that a vehicle remains a vehicle not only when stationary but also if located permanently at a particular site, perhaps with its wheels removed but capable of being re-instated.

    Aircraft

    32.4 No offence occurs if gambling is conducted on an aircraft which is in international space. As an aircraft is a vehicle, no premises licences can be granted to aircraft for gambling in domestic airspace.

    Part 33: Door supervision

    Door supervision

    33.1 If a licensing authority is concerned that a premises may attract disorder or be subject to attempts at unauthorised access, for example, by children and young persons, then it may require that the entrances to the premises are controlled by a door supervisor. The licensing authority is able to impose a condition on the premises licence to this effect.

    33.2 S.178 of the Act sets out a definition of ‘door supervisor’ and provides that where a person employed in such a role is required to hold a licence issued by the Security Industry Authority (opens in new tab) (SIA), that requirement will have force as though it were a condition on the premises licence.

    33.3 The SIA regulates the private security industry in England, Wales and Scotland, and is responsible for licensing individuals working within the various industry sectors, by virtue of the Private Security Industry Act 2001 (opens in new tab) (PSIA). The majority of persons employed to work as door supervisors at premises licensed for gambling, and carrying out the functions listed under Schedule 2 Part 1 of the PSIA, will need to be licensed by the SIA. There are, however, exceptions to this requirement.

    33.4 The PSIA requires that all contract staff (those employed under a contract for services) carrying out the functions set out under Schedule 2 Part 1 of the PSIA must be licensed by the SIA. However, certain premises also need to have their in-house employees (those employed under a contract of service) who carry out these functions, licensed. These premises include those holding a premises licence for the supply of alcohol or regulated entertainment under the Licensing Act 2003 (opens in new tab).

    33.5 This requirement is relaxed when applied to door supervisors at casino and bingo premises. Where contract staff are employed as door supervisors at casino or bingo premises, such staff will need to be licensed by the SIA. However, in-house employees working as door supervisors at casino and bingo premises are exempt from these requirements.

    33.6 In Scotland, the PSIA currently applies in respect of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 (opens in new tab) by virtue of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 (Consequential provisions) Order 2009 (opens in new tab), SSI No. 2009/248. This ensures that the same requirements in relation to the licensing of staff by the SIA in England and Wales also apply in Scotland.

    33.7 Licensing authorities are encouraged to set out the circumstances in which such matters as door supervision may be required in their statement of policy.

    Part 34: Small society lotteries

    Small society lotteries

    34.1 The Act denotes ‘local authorities’ as being responsible for registering societies to run small society lotteries, as opposed to licensing authorities. S.2 of the Act defines licensing authorities and s.25 defines local authorities, with both given the same definition. The Commission considers therefore that for the purposes of the Act both terms are broadly the same, and in the interests of consistency with the other areas of this guidance, we refer throughout this part to licensing authorities, as opposed to local authorities, except when referring to lottery licences that local authorities can apply for themselves.

    The status of lotteries under the Act

    34.2 The Gambling Commission and the National Lottery Commission merged on 1 October 2013. No change has been made to the legislation which governs how commercial gambling and the National Lottery are regulated. The Commission licenses and regulates all commercial gambling and the National Lottery in Great Britain.

    34.3 The Act sets out a definition of a lottery, detailed below, and provides that promoting or facilitating a lottery is illegal, unless it falls into one of two categories of permitted lottery28, namely:

    Definition of lottery

    34.4 A lottery is any arrangement that satisfies all of the criteria contained within the statutory description of either a simple lottery or a complex lottery, under s.14 of the Act.

    34.5 An arrangement is a simple lottery if:

    34.6 An arrangement is a complex lottery if:

    Definition of society

    34.7 Licensing authorities should define ‘society’ as the society, or any separate branch of such a society, on whose behalf a lottery is to be promoted, and need to understand the purposes for which a society has been established in ensuring that it is a non-commercial organisation. Further information about establishing non-commercial societies can be found in paragraph 34.29. S.19 of the Act defines a society as such if it is established and conducted:

    34.8 It is inherent in this definition that the society must have been established for one of the permitted purposes as set out in s.19 of the Act, and that the proceeds of any lottery must be devoted to those purposes. It is not permissible to establish a society whose sole purpose is to facilitate lotteries.

    Local authority lotteries

    34.9 Local authorities are entitled to operate their own lotteries, but may only do so if licensed by the Commission. Local authorities must commit a minimum of 20% of the proceeds from such lotteries for a purpose for which they have power to incur expenditure, and must also adhere to the other relevant provisions in the Act. They may also need to hold a remote gambling operating licence, in the event that they wish to sell lottery tickets via electronic or other remote technological methods such as over the telephone, email or via the internet.

    Licensing authority guidance

    34.10 Licensing authorities may consider producing their own guidance for organisations and individuals seeking to operate small society lotteries. If so, the Commission’s advice note Promoting society and local authority lotteries advice note (opens in new tab) (This advice note does not form part of the Guidance to Licensing Authorities) may provide a useful starting point.

    Social responsibility

    34.11 Participation in a lottery is a form of gambling, and as such licensing authorities must be aware that the societies they register are required to conduct their lotteries in a socially responsible manner and in accordance with the Act.

    34.12 The minimum age for participation in a lottery is 16 and Social Responsibility (SR) code 3.2.9 in the Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) requires lottery licences to have effective procedures to minimise the risk of lottery tickets being sold to children, including procedures for:

    34.13 The licensee must take reasonable steps to ensure that all those engaged in the promotion of lotteries understand their responsibilities for preventing underage gambling, returning stakes and not paying prizes to underage customers.

    34.14 As with other aspects of local gambling regulation, licensing authorities are encouraged to use their statement of policy as a means of making clear their expectations of lottery operators and particular risks that may exist.

    External lottery managers’ licence status

    34.15 External lottery managers (ELMs) are required to hold a lottery operator’s licence issued by the Commission to promote a lottery on behalf of a licensed society.

    34.16 However, individuals or firms can and do provide services to a society or local authority lottery without assuming the role of an ELM. When determining whether a third party is a ‘service provider’ only, or has assumed the role of an ELM, the degree of management undertaken by both the promoter and the sub-contractor will be crucial factors. Key indicators will include:

    34.17 Societies employing an unlicensed ELM may be committing an offence and they will need to satisfy themselves that any ELM they employ holds the relevant operator’s licence issued by the Commission. The Commission publishes a register of operating licences.

    34.18 Licensing authorities can refer those seeking further information on ELMs to the Commission’s website or its publication Promoting society and local authority lotteries advice note (opens in new tab) (the advice note does not form part of the Guidance to licensing authorities).

    Lottery tickets

    34.19 Lotteries may involve the issuing of physical or virtual tickets to participants (a virtual ticket being non-physical, for example in the form of an email or text message). All tickets must state:

    The requirement to provide this information can be satisfied by providing an opportunity for the participant to retain the message electronically or print it.

    34.20 The Commission recommends that licensing authorities require all registered small society lottery operators to maintain written records of any unsold and returned tickets for a period of one year from the date of the lottery draw. The licensing authority is permitted to inspect the records of the lottery for any purpose related to the lottery.

    34.21 The Act requires that lottery tickets may only be sold by persons that are aged 16 or over to persons that are aged 16 or over.

    34.22 With regards to where small society lottery tickets may be sold, the Commission recommends that licensing authorities should apply the following criteria to all small society lottery operators:

    This approach is consistent with the operating licence conditions imposed upon operators of large society lotteries and local authority lotteries.

    Prizes

    34.23 Prizes awarded in small society lotteries can be either cash or non-monetary. Licensing authorities need to be aware that the value of prizes declared on returns must not exceed the limits on prizes set out by the Act - in effect that combined with any expenses incurred with the running of the lottery, such as managers’ fees, they must not comprise more than 80% of the total proceeds of the lottery. Donated prizes would not be counted as part of this 80% (as no money would be withdrawn from the proceeds to cover their purchase) but are still subject to the limit on a single maximum prize of £25,000 and should be declared on the return following the lottery draw.

    34.24 The Commission recommends that licensing authorities should advise small society lottery operators to check with local police if they wish to award items containing alcohol as prizes. This is in order to ensure that licensing law is not breached.

    Specific offences in relation to lotteries

    34.25 The Act sets out a number of offences that apply to lotteries, as follows:

    Section of the ActOffence
    s. 258Promoting a non-exempt lottery without a licence
    s. 259Facilitating a non-exempt lottery without a licence
    s. 260Misusing the profits of a lottery
    s. 261Misusing the profits of an exempt lottery
    s. 262Purporting to operate a small society lottery when not registered, or failing to make the required, or making false or misleading, returns in respect of such lotteries
    s. 326Without reasonable excuse, obstructing or failing to co-operate with an authorised person exercising his/her powers
    s. 342Without reasonable excuse, giving false or misleading information to the Commission or a licensing authority

    34.26 If a society running small lotteries fails to comply with any of the conditions of running such lotteries specified in Part 4 of Schedule 11 of the Act, it will be operating in an illegal manner, irrespective of whether it is registered with a licensing authority or not. In these circumstances, small society lottery operators may face prosecution by the Commission, a licensing authority, or the police. The lead organisation for initiating prosecutions will vary depending upon the specific circumstances of the case, but it is expected that licensing authorities will investigate offences in respect of small society lotteries. If necessary, licensing authorities can ask for advice from the Gambling Commission, but the Commission is unlikely to investigate a case unless it has national or regional significance.

    34.27 Licensing authorities in Scotland should refer cases where there has been a breach of the Act to the police for investigation, in line with Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (opens in new tab) guidance on reporting practices for non-police agencies.

    Application and registration process for small society lotteries

    34.28 When licensing authorities are approached by societies who want to register with them to operate lotteries, they will need to refer to the Act’s definition of a small society lottery, which falls into two distinct areas:

    34.29 Additional information is available to assist licensing authorities with society lottery applications. This can be found within our Feature article: Small society lottery applications – things to consider. Please note this article does not form part of the Guidance to licensing authorities.

    34.30 The Commission has published a series of advisory documents as well as a toolkit29 which licensing authorities may wish to refer applicants or potential applicants to, to enable them to establish which type of lottery they plan to operate. Promoting society and local authority lotteries advice note provides information for those seeking to run small and large society lotteries and local authority lotteries. Organising small lotteries provides advice on exempt lotteries that do not require a licence or registration. The Commission has also published Running a lottery, a quick guide for fundraisers, to help them identify what types of lottery they can run (the advice note/leaflet/quick guide do not form part of the Guidance to licensing authorities).

    34.31 The promoting society of a small society lottery must, throughout the period during which the lottery is promoted, be registered with a licensing authority. Parts 4 and 5 of Schedule 11 of the Act set out the requirements on both societies and licensing authorities with respect to the registration of small society lotteries.

    34.32 The licensing authority with which a small society lottery is required to register must be in the area where their principal office is located. If a licensing authority believes that a society’s principal office is situated in another area, it should inform the society and the other licensing authority as soon as possible.

    34.33 Applications for small society lottery registrations must be in the form prescribed by the Secretary of State and be accompanied by both the required registration fee and all necessary documents required by the licensing authority to assess the application. Licensing authorities are encouraged to ask applicants for a copy of their terms and conditions and their constitution to establish that they are a non-commercial society. They may also choose to require applicants to provide a declaration, stating that they represent a bona fide non-commercial society.

    34.34 The Commission has been made aware that some small society lotteries may be avoiding applying for a society lottery operating licence from the Commission by obtaining two or more registrations with the same or different licensing authorities. Asset out previously, the Act states that a society lottery is a large lottery if the arrangements for it are such that its proceeds may exceed £20,000 in a single lottery, or if the aggregate proceeds in a calendar year exceed £250,000.

    34.35 In cases where a society has separate branches with different aims and objectives, it is acceptable for them to hold more than one licence or registration. However, in cases where a society holds more than one registration and the aims and objectives of those societies are the same, this may constitute a breach of the threshold limits for small society lotteries set out in Schedule 11 of the Act.

    34.36 Licensing authorities are advised to carefully consider any application by a society who is applying for or already holds more than one registration, including through another society with the same purposes. If the aims and objectives are the same and therefore the threshold limits for small society lotteries are likely to be exceeded, the applicant should be advised to apply to the Commission for a society lottery operating licence.

    34.37 By virtue of Schedule 11 paragraph 31(5), societies may not hold an operating licence and a local authority registration with the same aims and objectives at the same time. This paragraph also provides for a statutory period of three years during which a large society cannot convert to small society status. Licensing authorities should check that applicants for registration do not hold (and have not held in the preceding three years) a society lottery operating licence granted by the Commission.

    34.38 Licensing authorities may also wish to check with the society at the time the annual fee is paid to renew the registration, to ensure that a society does not hold a duplicate registration with them or another licensing authority where the aims and objectives of the societies are the same. If that is the case and the combined proceeds exceed or are likely to exceed the threshold limits for small society lotteries, the society should be advised to apply to the Commission for a society lottery operating licence. The licensing authority should also notify the Commission.

    34.39 Licensing authorities may delegate the registration of small societies to licensing officers, subject to each authority’s own specific process of delegations.

    34.40 Licensing authorities are required by paragraph 44 of Schedule 11 of the Act to record details of the society on a register. While it does not have to be a public register, the Commission recommends that licensing authorities make the register available to the public on request.

    34.41 Once the application for registration has been accepted and entered on the local register, the licensing authority must then notify both the applicant and the Commission of this registration as soon as practicable.

    34.42 Registrations run for an unlimited period, unless the registration is cancelled. If a licensing authority cancels the registration of a society, due to non-payment of their annual fee, the licensing authority are required by paragraph 54 of Schedule 11 of the Act to notify the Commission and the formerly registered society.

    If a licensing authority cancels the registration of a society they are required by paragraph 53 of Schedule 11 of the Act to notify the Commission. An annual fee is payable to maintain the registration.

    Refusal of an application

    34.43 Paragraphs 47 and 48 of Schedule 11 of the Act set out the grounds for licensing authorities to refuse a small society lottery registration application. In summary, licensing authorities may propose to refuse an application for any of the following reasons:

    34.44 A licensing authority may only refuse an application for registration after the society has had the opportunity to make representations. These can be taken at a formal hearing or via correspondence. Licensing authorities should inform the society of the reasons why it is minded to refuse registration and provide it with at least an outline of the evidence on which it has reached that preliminary conclusion, in order to enable representations to be made.

    34.45 Representations, and any objections that may result after such a decision, should be handled in accordance with local procedures, and in the same way that the licensing authority would deal with any other licensing matters. The Commission considers that, as a matter of good practice, licensing authorities should set out the principles they will apply in such circumstances. This could be in their statement of policy or on their website.

    Revocation of a small society’s registered status

    34.46 A licensing authority may determine to revoke the registration of a society if it thinks that they would have had to, or would be entitled to, refuse an application for registration if it were being made at that time. Revocations cannot take place unless the society has been given an opportunity to make representations at a hearing or via correspondence. In preparation for this, licensing authorities should inform the society of the reasons why it is minded to revoke the registration and provide them with the evidence on which it has reached that preliminary conclusion. Representations that may result after such a decision should be handled in accordance with local procedures.

    Appeals

    34.47 Following the conclusion of any hearings and receipt of representations, paragraph 51 of Schedule 11 of the Act then requires the authority to notify the applicant or the society as soon as possible if their registration is still to be revoked,or if their application for registration has still been rejected.

    34.48 The applicant or society may decide to make an appeal against the decision, and has 21 days following receipt of the notice of the decision to lodge an appeal, which must be made directly to the local Magistrates’ court if in England or Wales, or the Sheriff court in Scotland. On appeal they may choose to affirm the decision of the licensing authority, reverse the decision, or make any other order.

    Administration and returns

    34.49 As the purpose of permitted lotteries is to raise money for non-commercial causes, the Act requires that a minimum proportion of the money raised by the lottery is channelled to the goals of the society that promoted the lottery. If a small society lottery does not comply with these limits it will be in breach of the Act’s provisions, and consequently be liable to prosecution.

    34.50 The limits are as follows:

    34.51 Paragraph 39 of Schedule 11 in the Act sets out the information that the promoting society of a small society lottery must send as returns to the licensing authority with which it is registered, following each lottery held. This information allows licensing authorities to assess whether financial limits are being adhered to and to ensure that any money raised is applied for the proper purpose.

    34.52 The following information must be submitted:

    34.53 Paragraph 39 of Schedule 11 in the Act also requires that returns must:

    34.54 The Commission may inspect a society’s returns, although it will not routinely do so. As such, licensing authorities are required to retain returns for a minimum period of three years from the date of the lottery draw. They should also make them available for inspection by the general public for a minimum period of 18 months following the date of the lottery draw. Licensing authorities should ensure that information is made available to the public regarding the location of statements, when they can be viewed and the cost of obtaining copies.

    34.55 Licensing authorities should allow for returns to be sent to them both electronically and manually. The Commission recommends that each licensing authority should make details concerning the form of returns required available through appropriate media, such as licensing authority websites and leaflets.

    34.56 Where societies run more than one lottery in a calendar year, licensing authorities must monitor the cumulative totals of returns to ensure that societies do not breach the annual monetary limit of £250,000 on ticket sales. Licensing authorities must notify the Commission if returns reveal that a society’s lotteries have exceeded the values permissible, and such notifications should be copied to the society in question. The Commission will contact the society to determine if they are going to apply for a lottery operator’s licence, thereby enabling them to run large society lotteries lawfully, and will inform the licensing authority of the outcome of its exchanges with the society.

    34.57 Licensing authorities will also need to be aware of the status of external lottery managers, when monitoring returns. They are an individual, a firm or a company appointed by a society to manage a lottery or lotteries on behalf of the society, and are generally consultants that take their fees from the expenses of the lottery. A maximum of 80% of a lottery’s proceeds may be attributed to expenses and prizes, and managers’ fees must be included within this total.

    Part 35: Chain gift schemes

    Introduction

    35.1 S.43 of the Act makes it an offence to invite others to join a chain gift scheme or to participate knowingly in the promotion or administration of a scheme. These schemes have many of the features of pyramid selling schemes, but escape the ban on them because they do not involve the sale of any product. A person found guilty of the offence could be liable to a fine or imprisonment.

    35.2 The Commission is aware that local authority trading standards officers have considerable relevant experience in dealing with chain gift schemes and are well placed to deal with schemes that arise from time to time. The Commission will keep its role in tackling chain gift schemes, where there is a gambling issue related to the scheme, under review so that if more concerted action is required centrally it can liaise with other bodies to determine what action maybe taken.

    35.3 The chain gifting offence is part of a suite of consumer protections set out in the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (opens in new tab). The main element of consumer protection against these schemes is publicity to prevent people becoming involved in them. Local authorities may wish to use their websites and other publicity tools to educate consumers against participation in such schemes.

    35.4 If licensing authorities are contacted by members of the public regarding schemes of this nature they should, in the first instance, refer to their trading standards department as they are likely to have relevant experience of dealing with chain gift schemes, lottery-style scams and similar arrangements.

    Street collectors selling game cards

    35.5 Licensing authorities may also be aware of street sellers in their areas approaching the public to sell them game cards, often saying that the cards are being sold to raise money for good causes. If such cards require an element of skill on the part of the player, such as completing a tiebreak question, they may be genuinely distinguishable from a lottery.

    35.6 It will be unlikely that the product being sold is a legal lottery. This is because societies running large lotteries are not permitted to sell lottery tickets in the street by virtue of a condition on their operating licence, and the Commission recommends in this guidance that those running small lotteries have a similar restriction imposed upon them by the local authority that registers them.

    35.7 The Commission has no comment on products that are not classed as gambling under the Act, but would advise authorities with concerns over street sales of such products to contact the trading standards department. They will be able to advise on whether the product being sold amounts to a gambling product and agree on the best course of action, which may include relying on relevant legislation such as street trading regulations.

    Part 36: Compliance and enforcement matters

    Fees

    36.1 Licensing authorities’ compliance and enforcement work and the costs of dealing with illegal gambling is covered by fees from premises licences and permits.

    36.2 Licensing authorities in England and Wales will be aware that section 212(2)(d) of the Act specifically states that local authorities ‘shall aim to ensure that the income from fees… as nearly as possible equates to the costs of providing the service to which the fees relates’.

    36.3 Furthermore DCMS (opens in new tab) Guidance to licensing authorities on setting premises licence fees states ‘The annual fee will cover the reasonable costs of compliance and enforcement work, including the cost of dealing with illegal gambling in a licensing authority’s area’.

    36.4 Fee setting must be transparent and licensing authorities should closely track their costs and be able to evidence how they arrived at the fee levels in order to demonstrate that they have been calculated on a cost recovery basis only. Fees should be reviewed annually.

    36.5 In Scotland all fees for gambling licences and permits are set centrally by Scottish Ministers at a flat rate but again are designed to cover the costs of compliance and enforcement work.

    Enforcement officers and authorised persons

    36.6 S.303 of the Act enables the Commission to designate employees of the Commission and to appoint persons other than employees, as enforcement officers for the purpose of the Act.

    36.7 An officer of a licensing authority can be an authorised local authority person (authorised person) under s.304 of the Act, if the conditions in s.304(2) of the Act are met, namely if:

    36.8 Designation of someone as an authorised person for the purposes of s.304(2) is likely to be carried out by the local authority’s licensing committee.

    36.9 In England and Wales, s.101(1) of the Local Government Act 1972 (opens in new tab) provides that ‘a local authority may arrange for the discharge of any of its functions by a committee, sub-committee or officer of the authority'. Delegations are set out in tables at Appendix G.

    36.10 In Scotland, a Council’s internal functions are laid down in the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 (opens in new tab) as amended, principally by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1994 (opens in new tab) and the Local Government in Scotland Act 2003 (opens in new tab). S.56 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 (opens in new tab) provides that ‘a local authority may arrange for the discharge of any of their functions by a committee of the authority, a sub-committee, an officer of the authority or by any other local authority in Scotland’.

    36.11 Authorised persons of the licensing authority exercise their inspection powers in accordance with the principles set out in the licensing authority’s statement of policy.

    36.12 S.304(3) and (4) set out the circumstances in which officers of local authorities that are not licensing authorities, and certain other persons, can be authorised persons for the purposes of Part 15 of the Act. One example is Trading Standards officers who can be authorised by licensing authorities under s.304(3)(b) of the Act for the purposes of conducting test purchasing exercises.

    Powers of entry – England and Wales

    36.13 The Act states that authorised persons, constables and enforcement officers may:

    36.14 Where an application for a club gaming permit or club machine permit has been made, authorised persons, constables and enforcement officers may also enter a members’ club, a commercial club or miners’ welfare institute under s.312 of the Act, for a purpose connected with consideration of the application, to:

    It should be noted that only police officers and enforcement officers can enter the premises that have been granted a permit to determine if the things being done are in accordance with that permit (and not primarily because they suspect a crime is taking place/has taken place). Therefore, if an authorised person was to accompany a police officer or enforcement officer (under s.324, see below), they would not then be able to exercise any powers whilst on the premises such as the seizure of evidence.

    36.15 Under s.318 of the Act a constable, enforcement officer or authorised person can only enter a dwelling under a warrant issued by a justice of the peace.

    36.16 S.324 of the Act allows a constable, enforcement officer, or authorised person who is exercising a power under Part 15 of the Act, to take one or more persons with him. It should be noted that the Act would not permit an authorised person to exercise any powers on premises such as the seizure of evidence, unless they had entered under a power of entry under the Act that is applicable to their status as an authorised person. This section of the Act seeks to provide access to premises for those assisting a constable, enforcement officer or authorised person in carrying out duties, such as photographers, forensic examiners and note takers.

    36.17 Further detail about powers of entry and inspection are set out in Appendix F.

    Powers of entry in Scotland

    36.18 In Scotland, the relevant licensing authority is called a licensing board. The powers of licensing boards are the same as to those of licensing authorities in England and Wales.

    36.19 However, the wording of s.304(2) of the Act has created an anomaly in Scotland where the equivalent of a licensing officer is a licensing standards officer (LSO). Although s.304(2) of the Act was intended to provide licensing authorities with the opportunity to empower licensing authority staff already involved in licensing, it does not specifically apply to licensing standards officers in Scotland who are not directly employed as officers of the licensing authority but rather by the local authority. The licensing boards are separate and LSOs are deliberately legally separated from the boards.

    36.20 S.304(3) and (4) of the Act provide licensing authorities in Scotland with the opportunity to empower LSOs and council staff involved in other regulatory roles, such as trading standards officers and environmental health officers, to exercise the powers of authorised persons under the legislation. Indeed, council staff like environmental health officers are already authorised persons under the Act by virtue of the legislation they enforce.

    36.21 The Commission encourages local authorities to deploy suitably trained authorised persons under the Act to ensure that gambling is regulated effectively and that the public are afforded the protections set out in the three licensing objectives. The advice note The role of authorised persons in Scotland (opens in new tab) (this advice does not form part of the Guidance to licensing authorities) sets out the Commission’s understanding of the powers of authorised persons in Scotland. The note also offers guidance to licensing authorities and others about how they might contribute to effective co-regulation of the gambling industry in Scotland.

    Illegal gambling

    36.22 The Commission views the prevention of illegal gambling as an enforcement priority. Combating illegal gambling is of significant benefit to the licensed community as the provision of illegal unregulated gambling impacts upon the reputation of the industry as a whole. The persistent and widespread existence of illegal gambling also reduces the incentive on operators to be correctly licensed. Those engaged in illegal gambling should expect to be subject to the criminal investigation and prosecution process.

    36.23 The Commission will generally take the lead in prosecuting the offence of providing facilities for gambling where it is committed in the context of illegal gambling which appears organised and has a potentially national or regional impact, or where there are deliberate, reckless or significant breaches by a licensed operator.

    36.24 In England and Wales, the expectation is that licensing authorities will take prosecutions against those providing or facilitating illegal gambling - in effect gambling without a licence or permit - where the criminality is contained in one premises. In Scotland, the expectation is that licensing authorities will work with the police to address this criminality.

    36.25 Dealing with illegal poker or illegal/illegally sited machines in a specific premises often lends itself to a multi-agency coordinated approach with licensing authority officers leading the operation and the police and sometimes HMRC (opens in new tab) providing support, advice and expertise. Licensing officers should contact the Commission in the first instance to agree if such a multi-agency approach would be appropriate.

    36.26 As stated in paragraph 36.1, the annual premises licence fee is set to cover the costs of compliance and enforcement work undertaken by licensing authorities, including the cost of dealing with illegal gambling in a licensing authority’s area.

    Test purchasing and age verification

    36.27 Test purchasing is one method by which the Commission or licensing authorities may, in England and Wales, measure the compliance of licensed operators or groups of licensed operators, with aspects of the Act subject to Primary Authority (PA) arrangements, detailed in paragraph 36.36 below. Test purchasing in Scotland is the subject of an Enforcement Protocol with offences prosecuted by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (opens in new tab).

    36.28 Licensing authorities are familiar with the methodology in relation to the sale of age restricted products and are aware of the importance of following current guidance in this area, in order to ensure that tests are carried out in a manner that is risk-based and fair, with due regard to the welfare of young people involved in the test purchasing.

    36.29 As noted above, in the first instance it is up to operators to ensure they are compliant with the Act and the associated regulations. The Commission’s approach in relation to test purchasing in general and age verification in particular is set out in our Advice note on test purchasing in England and Wales (opens in new tab) (this advice note does not form part of the Guidance to licensing authorities).This approach is in line with the responsibilities set out for regulators and enforcers in the Code of Practice: age restricted products and services published by the Better Regulation Delivery Office30 (opens in new tab) (Age Restricted Products and Services: A Code of Practice for Regulatory Delivery), which applies to England and Wales.

    36.30 The Commission encourages operators to manage the business risk associated with both underage access to premises and permitting a young person to gamble. Where an operator is required to commission a third party to test the effectiveness of their policies and procedures or put its own testing in place as required by the Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) and where the results of the tests are shared with us, we are less inclined to conduct our own test purchasing.

    36.31 Local authorities, whether acting as a licensing authority or through another function such as trading standards, should consult with operators in the first instance where they have concerns about the underage access and age verification policies or whose premises they plan to test purchase. This will enable them to identify what programmes are in place to manage the business risk and take these into account in planning a test purchase exercise.

    36.32 Local authorities should also consult with the Commission before planning such exercises in order to ensure that there is no conflict between any ongoing investigation or enforcement activity related to either the premises or the operator that we have initiated and the test purchase operation. Local authorities in England and Wales are also subject to PA arrangements.

    36.33 Local authorities undertaking their own test purchase operations are requested to share any test purchasing results with the Commission.

    36.34 However, local authorities will have in place democratically determined priorities and resource allocations as well as the ability to respond to complaints and intelligence related to specific premises. As a result, irrespective of the actions of an operator on their overall estate, test purchasing may be deemed to be an appropriate course of action.

    Primary Authority

    36.35 The PA scheme, previously administered by the Better Regulation Delivery Office (opens in new tab) (BRDO), now the Office for Product Safety and Standards (opens in new tab), provides for a statutory partnership to be formed between a business and a single authority, eg a local authority. That single authority, the PA, can provide a national inspection strategy within which other local regulators can operate (Primary Authority statutory guidance), to improve the effectiveness of visits by local regulators and enable better sharing of information between them. The PA scheme therefore aims to ensure that local regulation is consistent at the national level.

    36.36 Since October 2013, the PA has been extended to include age-restricted sales of gambling in England and Wales (it currently does not apply in Scotland). It does not apply to any other aspect of the Act. This means local authorities in England and Wales must follow any age restricted sales of gambling national inspection plans and strategies that are published on the PA register when considering proactive age restricted sales (gambling) activity including testing. PA plans do not prohibit licensing authorities undertaking reactive test purchasing. PA does not apply to the police or the Commission.

    36.37 The Commission fully supports the development of PA schemes between gambling operators and local authorities, and has already worked closely with PAs in the development of their national inspection strategies for the some larger non remote licensed operators with whom they have entered into partnerships. The inspection plans are designed to be largely uniform and to bring consistency to proactive test purchasing in those betting shops.

    36.38 The PA scheme, does not, of course, transfer responsibility for the regulation of age restricted sales of gambling to PAs. The PA inspection plans have the potential to help gambling businesses achieve high standards while also providing for more efficient and consistent regulation. These arrangements underpin the primary objectives of the Act in relation to protecting children from gambling-related harm and preventing them from accessing gambling facilities. The regulatory frameworks for gambling and for PA are therefore complementary.

    Prosecutions

    36.39 The Act gives licensing authorities in England and Wales, the police and the Commission the power to prosecute the offence of using premises for gambling without the requisite permissions. In exceptional circumstances, such as repeated deliberate breaches of premises licence conditions, licensed operators or permit holders may be prosecuted without any prior regulatory action, such as warnings, suspension or revocation of licence or removal of permit. Most prosecutions will be against those illegally providing gambling without a licence or permit.

    36.40 In Scotland, licensing authorities are not able to institute criminal proceedings themselves, but are to refer cases where there has been a breach of the Act to the police for further consideration by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (opens in new tab).

    36.41 Normally the Commission or the licensing authority would decide when to involve the police, rather than the police initiating any action. The Commission considers that examples of scenarios where the police should be involved include:

    36.42 There is a distinction between those who conduct gambling operations under a licence or permit but breach the conditions of that, and those who seek to profit from providing facilities for gambling without a licence or permit. While both situations result in unlawful gambling, the latter situation is generally considered by the Commission to be more serious.

    Other powers

    36.43 Licensing authorities may want to consider whether their officers have powers under other relevant legislation, such as the Licensing Act 2003 (opens in new tab) or Local Government Act 1972 (opens in new tab). For example, s.87, s.88 ands.89 of the Licensing Act 2003 (opens in new tab) give licensing authorities the ability to review club premises certificates, including suspending and withdrawing certificates, and s.90 allows licensing authorities to withdraw certificates where it appears to the licensing authority that the club does not satisfy the conditions for being a qualifying club.

    36.44 There are various local authority and police powers to manage issues such as street drinking and anti-social behaviour, and licensing authorities should look to these powers in the first instance as being more appropriate remedies than the Act.

    36.45 Whilst of limited use due to the absence of a central database and the ability to share information with other authorities, licensing authorities may wish to consider the use of police cautions as a deterrent.

    Case law, templates and case studies

    36.46 Supplementary enforcement and compliance materials are available on the Commission’s website including case law, sample conditions, letter templates and examples of circumstances in which LAs have made effective use of their powers under the Act in the LA Toolkit.

    Appendix A: Summary of machine provisions by premises

    Machine category
    Premises typeAB1B2B3B4CD
    Large casino(machine/table ratio of 5-1 up to maximum)Maximum of 150 machines
    Any combination of machines in categories B to D (except B3A machines), within the total limit of 150 (subject to machine/table ratio)
    Maximum of 150 machines
    Any combination of machines in categories B to D (except B3A machines), within the total limit of 150 (subject to machine/table ratio)
    Any combination of machines in categories B to D (except B3A machines), within the total limit of 150 (subject to machine/table ratio)Any combination of machines in categories B to D (except B3A machines), within the total limit of 150 (subject to machine/table ratio)Any combination of machines in categories B to D (except B3A machines), within the total limit of 150 (subject to machine/table ratio)Any combination of machines in categories B to D (except B3A machines), within the total limit of 150 (subject to machine/table ratio)
    Small casino (machine/table ratio of 2-1 up to maximum)Maximum of 80 machines
    Any combination of machines in categories B to D (except B3A machines), within the total limit of 80 (subject to machine/table ratio)
    Maximum of 80 machines
    Any combination of machines in categories B to D (except B3A machines), within the total limit of 80 (subject to machine/table ratio)
    Maximum of 80 machines
    Any combination of machines in categories B to D (except B3A machines), within the total limit of 80 (subject to machine/table ratio)
    Any combination of machines in categories B to D (except B3A machines), within the total limit of 80 (subject to machine/table ratio)Any combination of machines in categories B to D (except B3A machines), within the total limit of 80 (subject to machine/table ratio)Any combination of machines in categories B to D (except B3A machines), within the total limit of 80 (subject to machine/table ratio)
    Pre-2005 Act casino(no machine/table ratio)Maximum of 20 machines categories B to D (except B3A machines), or any number of C or D machines insteadMaximum of 20 machines categories B to D (except B3A machines), or any number of C or D machines insteadMaximum of 20 machines categories B to D (except B3A machines), or any number of C or D machines insteadMaximum of 20 machines categories B to D (except B3A machines), or any number of C or D machines insteadMaximum of 20 machines categories B to D (except B3A machines), or any number of C or D machines insteadMaximum of 20 machines categories B to D (except B3A machines), or any number of C or D machines instead
    Betting premises and tracks occupied by pool bettingMaximum of 4 machines categories B2 to D (except B3A machines)Maximum of 4 machines categories B2 to D (except B3A machines)Maximum of 4 machines categories B2 to D (except B3A machines)Maximum of 4 machines categories B2 to D (except B3A machines)Maximum of 4 machines categories B2 to D (except B3A machines)
    Bingo premises1Maximum of 20% of the total number of gaming machines which are available for use on the premises categories B3 or B4Maximum of 20% of the total number of gaming machines which are available for use on the premises categories B3 or B4Maximum of 20% of the total number of gaming machines which are available for use on the premises categories B3 or B4No limit on category C or D machines
    Adult gaming centre2Maximum of 20% of the total number of gaming machines which are available for use on the premises categories B3 or B4Maximum of 20% of the total number of gaming machines which are available for use on the premises categories B3 or B4Maximum of 20% of the total number of gaming machines which are available for use on the premises categories B3 or B4No limit on category C or D machines
    Licensed family entertainment centre3No limit on category C or D machines
    Family entertainment centre (with permit)3No limit on category D machines
    Clubs or miners’ welfare institute (with permits)4Maximum of 3 machines in categories B3A or B4 to DMaximum of 3 machines in categories B3A or B4 to DMaximum of 3 machines in categories B3A or B4 to DMaximum of 3 machines in categories B3A or B4 to D
    Qualifying alcohol-licensed premises1 or 2 machines of category C or D automatic upon notification1 or 2 machines of category C or D automatic upon notification
    Qualifying alcohol-licensed premises (with licensed premises gaming machine permit)Number of category C-D machines as specified on permitNumber of category C-D machines as specified on permit
    Travelling fairNo limit on category D machines

    Appendix B: Summary of gaming machine categories and entitlements

    Category of machineMaximum stake (from April 2019)Maximum prize (from Jan 2014)
    AUnlimited – No category A gaming machines are currently permittedUnlimited – No category A gaming machines are currently permitted
    B1£5£10,000
    B2£2£500
    B3A£2£500
    B3£2£500
    B4£2£400
    C£1£100
    D – non-money prize30p£8
    D – non-money prize (crane grab machines only)£1£50
    D – money prize10p£5
    D – combined money and non-money prize10p£8 (of which no more than £5 may be a money prize)
    D – combined money and non-money prize (coin pusher or penny falls machines only)20p£20 (of which no more than £10 may be a money prize)

    Appendix C: Summary of gaming entitlements for clubs and alcohol-licensed premises

    Members’ club or MW institute with club gaming permitClubs established to provide facilities for gaming of a prescribed kind (currently bridge or whist clubs)Members’ club or commercial club with club machine permitMembers’ club, commercial club or MW institute without a club gaming permit or club machine permitPubs and other alcohol-licensed premises
    Equal chance gamingYesBridge and/or Whist onlyYesYesYes
    Limits on stakesNo limitNo limitPoker
    £1000 / week
    £250 / day
    £10 /person per game

    Other gaming
    No limit
    Poker
    £1000 / week
    £250 / day
    £10 /person per game

    Other gaming
    No limit
    Poker
    £100 / premises per day

    Other gaming
    £5 / person per game

    Cribbage & dominoes
    No limit
    Limits on prizesNo limitNo limitPoker
    £250 / game

    Other gaming
    No limit
    Poker
    £250 / game

    Other gaming
    No limit
    Poker
    £100 / game

    Other gaming
    No limit
    Max participation fees – per person per dayBridge/whist
    £20

    Other gaming
    £3

    £18 (without club gaming permit)
    £20 (with club gaming permit
    Bridge/whist
    £18

    Other gaming
    £3 (for a commercial club)
    £1 (members’ club)
    Bridge/whist
    £18

    Other gaming
    £1
    None permitted
    Bankers/unequal chance gamingPontoon
    Chemin de fer
    None permittedNone permittedNone permittedNone permitted
    Limits on bingo††Maximum of £2,000 / week in stakes or prizes.No bingo permittedMaximum of £2,000 / week in stakes or prizes.Maximum of £2,000 / week in stakes or prizes.Maximum of £2,000 / week in stakes or prizes.

    Appendix D: Summary of offences under the Gambling Act 2005

    General offences regarding the provision of gambling facilities

    Providing gambling facilities in Great Britain without a relevant licence, permit, notice, or exemption included under the Act.S.33
    Using premises to provide gambling facilities from, or causing them to be provided, without a relevant licence, permit, notice or exemption under the Act.S.37

    Offence regarding cheating at gambling

    Cheating, attempting to cheat, or assisting another person to cheat at gambling.S.42

    Offences committed towards or by under-18s

    Inviting, causing or permitting a child (under 16) or young person (16 – 17) to gamble, with the exception of:
    • private / non-commercial gaming and betting
    • participating in lotteries
    • participating in football pools
    • using a category D gaming machine
    • participating in equal chance gaming at premises subject of a prize gaming permit or an FEC premises licence
    • participating in prize gaming at a fair or an unlicensed FEC
    This offence includes intentional distribution of advertising to under-18s where the intent is to encourage gambling.

    It is also an offence on the part of a young person to gamble with the exception of situations listed above.
    S.46
    S.48
    Inviting or permitting a child or young person to enter:
    • a casino
    • a betting premises (except for betting areas of horse and greyhound tracks on race days)
    • an adult gaming centre
    • areas of a family entertainment centre where category C gaming machines are situated.
    This offence is committed at all times when the premises listed above are being used in reliance on the premises licence.

    It is also an offence on the part of a young person to enter the premises listed above.
    S.47
    S.49
    Young person providing facilities for gambling, with the exception of:
    • private / non-commercial gaming and betting
    • a lottery
    • football pools
    • prize gaming at a travelling fair.
    S.50
    Employing a child or young person to provide gambling facilities, with the exception of providing the following facilities:
    • private / non-commercial gaming and betting
    • prize gaming at a travelling fair.

    Employing a child to provide facilities in connection with:
    • a lottery
    • football pools.
    S.51
    S.52
    Employing a child for any purposes when bingo is provided or gambling provided in accordance with a club gaming permit or club machine permit.S.53
    Employing a child or young person to perform any function connected to a gaming machine.
    It is also an offence on the part of a young person if they are employed in such a role
    S.54
    Employing a child or young person in a casino, an adult gaming centre, or at a betting premises, unless it is at a time when no activity is being carried on in reliance on the premises licence.
    It is also an offence on the part of a young person if they are employed in such a role.
    S.55
    Inviting, causing or permitting a child to take part in football pools or a lottery with the exception of:
    • an incidental lottery
    • an private lottery
    • part of the National Lottery.
    Sections 56 and 57
    Failure to comply with an operating licence condition to return stake to a child or young person.S.58

    Offence regarding cheating at gambling

    Failure to comply with an operating licence condition to return stake to a child or young person.S.58
    Failing without reasonable excuse to notify the Commission of change in circumstances.S.101
    Licensee failing without reasonable excuse to produce their operating licence when requested by a police officer or enforcement officer.S.108
    Licensee failing to notify the Commission without reasonable excuse and as soon as reasonably practicable about conviction of an offence.S.109
    Licensee failing to notify the court upon conviction of a relevant offence that they are an operating licence holder.S.109
    Licensee failing without reasonable excuse to produce records for the Commission relating to operating licensed activities or information about licensed activities.S.122
    Operating licence holder fails without reasonable excuse to produce the authorisation they have given to someone to accept bets on their behalf, when asked to do so by a police officer or enforcement officer.
    This offence can also apply to the person that has been authorised to accept bets.
    S.316

    Offences connected to personal licences

    Failure without reasonable excuse to produce a personal licence to a police officer or enforcement officer.S.134
    Licensee failing to notify the Commission as soon as reasonably practicable about a conviction of offence.S.138
    Licensee failing to act within the terms and conditions of their licence/S.139

    General offences connected to all premises licences

    Licensee failing without reasonable excuse to keep premises licence on premises and make available for inspection to a police officer, enforcement officer or authorised person.S.185
    Licensee failing to notify without reasonable excuse the licensing authority about change of residential address or other details on the licence.S.186

    Offences connected to temporary use notices

    Failure of premises licence holder to without reasonable excuse prominently display or make available their temporary use notice to a police officer, customs and excise officer, enforcement officer or licensing authority officer.S.229

    Offences connected to lotteries

    Making a gaming machine available for use without a relevant licence or permit, or in contravention of regulations made under s.240 of the Act (SI No 2007/2319).S.242
    Manufacturing, supplying, installing, adapting, maintaining, or repairing a gaming machine without a suitable operating licence, unless:
    • the gaming machine is scrap with no commercial value
    • the gaming machine is incidental to the sale/letting of previously-licensed property.
    S.243
    Supplying, installing, adapting, maintaining or repairing a gaming machine (or part of) without complying with regulations made under s.241 of the Act (SI: No. 2007/2320), unless
    • the gaming machine is scrap with no commercial value
    • the gaming machine is incidental to the sale/letting of previously-licensed property.
    S.243
    Supplying, installing or making available for use a gaming machine allowing payment by credit card.S.245

    Offences connected to lotteries

    The offences listed here do not apply to lotteries or products forming part of the National Lottery, which are dealt with under the National Lottery etc. Act 1998 (opens in new tab) rather than the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab). Police enquiries regarding offences connected to the National Lottery should be directed to the Commission.

    Promoting a non-exempt lottery without a suitable operating licence or on behalf of someone with a suitable operating licence.S.258
    Facilitating a non-exempt lottery without holding a suitable operating licence (where facilitating includes functions such as advertising and printing tickets and promotional materials).S.259
    Misusing profits from a lottery, ie using them or causing them to be used for purposes other than the advertised purpose of the lottery.S.260
    Misusing profits from an incidental lottery, a private society lottery, a work lottery, a residents’ lottery or a small society lottery.S.261
    A non-commercial society promoting a lottery without being registered with a licensing authority, or failing to provide the licensing authority with returns (or providing false returns) following a small society lottery.S.261

    Offence connected to bingo played in clubs and institutes

    Failing without reasonable excuse to inform the Commission of periods of high turnover bingo if the club or institute does not hold an operating licence (high turnover bingo being where the stakes or prizes of all games of bingo played in a seven day period exceed £2,000).S.275

    Offence connected to use of proceeds from gaming at non-commercial events

    Using the profits (or permitting them to be used) from non-commercial prize gaming or equal chance gaming for a purpose other than that specified as the fund-raising purpose of the gaming.S.301

    Offence connected to casino premises licences

    Failure on the part of the casino premises licence holder to produce upon demand (by a police officer or enforcement officer) the authorisation they have given to someone to provide bingo or betting facilities at the casino in question.
    This offence can also be committed by the individual or organisation authorised by the casino premises licence holder if they fail to produce the authorisation.
    S.316

    Offence of obstructing or failing to co-operate during an inspection

    Obstructing or failing to cooperate without reasonable excuse with a police officer, enforcement officer or authorised person carrying out inspection activity under Part 15 of the Act.S.326

    Offence of providing false or misleading information

    Providing false or misleading information to the Commission or a licensing authority regarding any provision of the Act.S.342

    Offences connected to advertising of gambling facilities

    Contravention of any regulations relating to gambling advertising. (Nb the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has chosen not to exercise their reserve powers to make such secondary legislation at this time).S.328
    Knowingly advertising unlawful gambling without reasonable belief otherwise.S.330
    Advertising foreign gambling facilities other than lotteries (in accordance with regulations SI: 2007/2329).S.331

    Offence of failing to comply with a forfeiture order

    Failure to comply with a court’s forfeiture order to surrender named materials to a police officer, or co-operate with steps to comply with the order.S.345

    Offence connected to unlicensed family entertainment centres

    Occupier of premises failing without reasonable excuse to produce their family entertainment centre gaming machine permit for a police officer, enforcement officer or authorised officer.Schedule 10(20)

    Offences connected to club gaming and club machine permits

    Failing without reasonable excuse to produce a club gaming permit or club machine permit for a police officer or enforcement officer.Schedule 12(13)
    Failure without reasonable excuse to have club gaming or club machine permits varied by the licensing authority as soon as practicable upon a change of circumstances.Schedule 12(15)

    Offence connected to alcohol licensed premises gaming machine permits

    Failure without reasonable excuse to produce a licensed premises gaming machine permit upon the request of a police officer, enforcement officer or authorised person.Schedule 13(10)

    Offence connected to prize gaming permits

    Failure without reasonable excuse to produce a prize gaming permit upon the request of a police officer, enforcement officer or authorised person.Schedule 14(20)

    Offence connected to gambling software

    Manufacturing, supplying, installing or adapting gambling software without holding a relevant operating licence.S.41

    Offence connected to chain-gift schemes

    Inviting another person to join chain-gift schemes or participating in the promotion of chain-gift schemes.S.43

    Appendix E: Summary of statutory application forms and notices

    These forms are available in the forms section of the website.

    List of prescribed forms

    Application

    Application for a premises licence under the Gambling Act 2005 (standard form)
    Application for a premises licence under the Gambling Act 2005 (vessel)
    Notice of application for a premises licence under the Gambling Act 2005 (to be published)
    Notice of application for a premises licence (Form A) (for responsible authorities)
    Notice of application for a premises licence (Form B) (for responsible authorities)
    Summary of the Terms and Conditions of a premises licence
    Premises licence
    Notice of a grant of an application for a premises licence
    Annex A – form to accompany notice of grant (conditions to be attached)
    Annex B – form to accompany notice of grant (conditions to be excluded)
    Annex C – form to accompany notice of grant (representations)
    Notice of rejection of an application for a premises licence

    Variation

    Application to vary a premises licence under the Gambling Act 2005
    Notice of Application to vary a premises licence under the Gambling Act 2005 (to be published)
    Notice of Application to vary a premises licence (Form A) (for responsible authorities)
    Notice of Application to vary a premises licence (Form B) (for responsible authorities)
    Notice of grant of an application to vary a premises licence
    Annex A – form to accompany notice of grant (conditions to be attached)
    Annex B – form to accompany notice of grant (conditions to be excluded)
    Annex C – form to accompany notice of grant (representations)
    Notice of rejection of an application to vary a premises licence

    Review

    Application for a review of a premises licence under the Gambling Act 2005
    Notice of application for a review of a premises licence under the Gambling Act 2005
    Notice of application for a review of a premises licence (to the premises licence holder and responsible authorities)
    Notice of intention to hold a review of a premises licence under the Gambling Act 2005
    Notice of intention to hold a review of a premises licence (to the premises licence holder)
    Notice of the decision on a review of a premises licence

    Provisional

    Application for a provisional statement under the Gambling Act 2005 (standard form)
    Notice of application for a provisional statement under the Gambling Act 2005
    Application for a provisional statement under the Gambling Act 2005 (vessel)
    Notice of application for a provisional statement (Form A) (for responsible authorities)
    Notice of application for a provisional statement (Form B) (for responsible authorities)
    Provisional statement
    Notice of grant of an application for a provisional statement
    Annex A – form to accompany notice of grant (conditions to be attached)
    Annex B – form to accompany notice of grant (conditions to be excluded)
    Annex C – form to accompany notice of grant (representations)
    Notice of rejection of an application for a provisional statement

    Transfer

    Application to transfer a premises licence under the Gambling Act 2005
    Notice of application to transfer a premises licence (Form A ) (for responsible authorities)
    Notice of application to transfer a premises licence (Form B ) (for responsible authorities)
    Summary of terms and conditions of a premise licence
    Premises Licence
    Notice of grant of an application to transfer a premises licence
    Annex A – form to accompany notice of grant (conditions to be attached)
    Annex B – form to accompany notice of grant (conditions to be excluded)
    Annex C – form to accompany notice of grant (representations)
    Notice of rejection of an application to transfer a premises licence

    Reinstatement

    Application for the reinstatement of a premises licence under the Gambling Act 2005
    Notice of application of the reinstatement of a premises licence (Form A)
    Notice of application of the reinstatement of a premises licence (Form B)
    Summary of terms and conditions of a premise licence
    Premises Licence
    Notice of grant of an application for the reinstatement of a premises licence
    Annex A – form to accompany notice of grant (conditions to be attached)
    Annex B – form to accompany notice of grant (conditions to be excluded)
    Annex C – form to accompany notice of grant (representations)
    Notice of the rejection of an application for the reinstatement of a premises licence

    Temporary Use Notices

    Gambling Act 2005 – Temporary Use Notice (for premises other than vessels)
    Gambling Act 2005 – Temporary Use Notice (vessel)
    Counter Notice (given in response to a temporary use notice)

    Permits /lottery

    Application Form for Club Gaming Permit or Club Machine Permit
    Registration of Small Society Lotteries (Application form for registration of non commercial society)
    Club Gaming Permit
    Club Machine Permit
    Prize Gaming Permit
    Family Entertainment Centre Gaming Machine Permit
    Licensed Premises Gaming Machine Permit

    Appendix F: Inspection powers

    Section of ActClasses of personPremises to which the inspection power appliesPurpose for which inspection power is available
    S.307
    Inspection of gambling
    PO, EO, APReasonable suspicion of provision at premises of gambling other than private and non-commercial gaming or betting
    1. Whether gambling facilities are/have been provided
    2. Whether there is an operating licence or premises licence
    3. Whether there is compliance with licence conditions
    S.308
    Operating licence holders
    PO, EOReasonable belief premises used by operating licensed holder for purpose connected with licensed activitiesWhether there is compliance with licence conditions
    S.309
    Family Entertainment Centres
    PO, EO, LAAPPremises for which an application for a family entertainment centre gaming machine permit has been made
    1. A purpose connected with consideration of the application
    2. For determining whether gaming machines comply with the Act and the Regulations
    S.310(1)
    Premises licensed for alcohol
    EO, LAAPPremises licensed for the supply of alcoholA purpose connected with consideration of the application
    S.310(2)
    Premises licensed for alcohol
    PO, EO, LAAPPremises licensed for alcohol for consumption on the premises
    1. whether gaming satisfies conditions under S179 for exempt gaming
    2. whether there is compliance with any operating licence conditions where bingo is played
    3. whether high turnover bingo is played under s181
    4. the number and category of gaming machines available for use
    S.311
    Prize gaming permits
    PO, EO, LAAPPremises for which an application for a prize gaming permit has been made
    1. A purpose connected with consideration of the application
    2. For determining whether gaming machines comply with the Act and the Regulations
    S.312(1)-(3)
    Clubs
    PO, EOPremises reasonably believed to be a members’ club , commercial club or miners welfare institute
    1. whether gaming is or is about to take place
    2. whether any gaming accords with a club gaming permit, club machine permit or exempt gaming provision under s169
    S.312(4)
    Clubs
    LAAPPremises for which an application for a club gaming permit or club machine permit has been madeA purpose connected with consideration of the application
    S.313(1)
    Licensed premises
    PO, EO, APPremises for which an application for a premises licence has been madeAssess likely effects of activities on licensing objectives
    S.313(2)
    Licensed premises
    PO, EO, APPremises for which a premises licence is in forceA purpose connected with a premises licence review under s201
    S.314
    Registered society lotteries
    EO, LAAPPremises owned or used by a (non-commercial) society registered with a local authority for exempt lotteriesEnquiries in connected with a lottery promoted on behalf of the society
    S.315(1)
    Temporary use notice
    PO, EO, APPremises for which a temporary use notice has effectAssess likely effectives of activities on licensing objectives
    S.315(2)
    Temporary use notice
    PO, EO, APPremises for which a temporary use notice has effectWhether activities accord with the temporary use notice

    Appendix G: Licensing authority delegations

    Summary of licensing authority delegations permitted under the Gambling Act, applicable to England and Wales only

    Matter to be dealt withFull CouncilSub-committee of licensing committeeOfficers
    Final approval of the Licensing Authority statement of policyX
    Policy not to permit casinosX
    Fee setting
    (when appropriate)
    X
    (if delegated by full council)
    Application for premises licencesX
    Where representations have been received and not withdrawn
    X
    Where no representations received/representations have been withdrawn
    Application for a variation to a licenceX
    Where representations have been received and not withdrawn
    X
    Where no representations received/representations have been withdrawn
    Application for a transfer of a licenceX
    Where representations have been received from the Commission or responsible authority
    X
    Where no representations have been received from the Commission or responsible authority
    Application for a provisional statementXX
    Review of a premises licenceX
    Application for club gaming/club machine permitsX
    Where objections have been made and not withdrawn
    X
    Where no objections have been made and not withdrawn
    Cancellation of club gaming/club machine permitsX
    Applications for other permitsX
    Cancellation of licensed premises gaming machine permitsX
    Consideration of temporary use noticeX
    Decision to give a counter notice to a temporary use noticeX

    X indicates the lowest level to which decisions can be delegated

    Appendix H: Poker games and prizes

    The overall winner wins the pot in each game and wins an overall prize based on points

    If the tournament winner played three games in the whole tournament, and his winnings (from the pot) in each of these games were £100, £70 and £60 respectively, each game would fall under the £100 prize limit. This would leave £0 from the first game, £30 from the second game and £40 from the third game, which could be put towards the winner’s overall tournament prize. In these circumstances, the tournament prize could be up to £70 (£0 + £30 + £40). Thus where the pot in individual games is under £100, the tournament winner’s overall prize must not exceed the aggregate of the shortfall in each of the games he plays.

    The overall winner is only awarded points in each game and wins an overall prize based on points

    Let’s still assume that the tournament winner plays three games in the whole tournament. If there is no individual prize in any of the three games, then the overall prize can be up to £300 (£100 for each game the winner has played). If, on the other hand, the winner played in only two games, then his overall prize may not exceed £200, and so on. Please note that the relevant number of games is the games in which the winning player participated, and not only the games that they won.

    Organisers of such competitions will therefore need to work out the total value of any overall prize with reference to the number of games to be played by the overall winner and the total pot (if any) in each game.

    While ‘non-cash’ poker for points leagues can provide harmless and legal entertainment, those promoting such leagues should be aware of the Commission’s code of practice on equal chance gaming, and take steps to prevent individual stakes limits being exceeded through side bets or illegal activity such as agreements to ‘settle’ games outside the gaming area. Where illegal activity is detected, licensing authorities should consider the removal of the alcohol licensed premises’ exemption, which allows poker and other exempt gaming to be played.

    The overall winner is only awarded points in each game and wins an overall prize such as the opportunity to participate in a major poker tournament, casino vouchers, holidays etc

    In these circumstances, tournament organisers must ensure that the statutory limits for poker in alcohol licensed premises and clubs are complied with. In particular, they must carefully consider the value of the prizes offered for games leading up to the tournament final (including money’s worth or non-monetary prizes such as holidays, cars, casino vouchers, or buy-ins or seats at the final). In addition, organisers should take into account that where players are competing across premises for an overall prize, they are likely to be engaged in linked gaming, which is not permitted.

    Free or donated prizes are awarded to players in addition to the maximum prize pools for poker in clubs and alcohol licensed premises

    The Act refers to money or money’s worth in respect of prizes. This would include free or donated prizes which have an intrinsic value. Any prizes offered in addition to the prize pool must remain within the limits for prizes in games of poker in clubs and alcohol licensed premises. The prize limit is £250 per game in a club and £100 per game in a pub. Therefore, for example, if the prize pool available for a particular game is £80, then any non-monetary prizes must not have a value exceeding £20.

    Poker is offered in a members’ club or miners’ welfare institute with a club gaming permit

    Members’ clubs or miners’ welfare institutes with club gaming permits may offer poker with unlimited stakes and prizes, but the only persons who may participate in such gaming are club members and their genuine guests. In this regard, the club must be able to demonstrate that it has a genuine and legitimate club membership scheme. Clubs must also ensure that the statutory limits on participation fees are not exceeded. The limit for bridge and whist is £20 and for other gaming is £3. In addition, there is a limit of a maximum of £2,000 per week in stakes and prizes for bingo in a members’ club or welfare institute. If it is the intention of the club or institute to exceed these limits, it will be necessary for them to apply for an operating licence.

    What constitutes ‘money’s worth’?

    Money’s worth relates to the realistic value of the prize offered. It includes emoluments, vouchers, goods or other items which have a value. A prize such as a ‘goody bag’ would be considered money’s worth and is, therefore, subject to the statutory limits for exempt gaming. Donated prizes would also be considered money’s worth. This would include prizes such as the buy-ins at major poker tournaments or the opportunity to participate in poker tournaments at venues such as Monte Carlo, especially as this type of prize is likely to include the cost of the airfare and accommodation.

    Appendix I: Glossary of terms

    TermMeaning
    The ActThe Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab)
    AGCsAdult Gaming Centres
    ATMAutomated telling machine
    AWPAmusement with prizes
    CCTVClosed Circuit Television
    The CommissionThe Gambling Commission
    COSLAConvention of Scottish Local Authorities
    DCLGDepartment of Communities and Local Government
    DCMSDigital Culture Media and Sport (opens in new tab)
    EBTElectronic Bingo Terminal
    ELMExternal lottery manager
    FCAFinancial Conduct Authority (opens in new tab)
    FECsFamily Entertainment Centres
    GuidanceGuidance to Licensing Authorities,issued by the Commission under S.25 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab)
    HRA 1998Human Rights Act 1998 (opens in new tab)
    IOLInstitute of Licensing (opens in new tab)
    LACELocal Authority Compliance Events
    LBOLicensed betting office
    LCCPLicence Conditions and Codes of Practice
    LGALocal Government Association
    LSOLicensing Standards Officer
    OCOrdinary Code
    OPSSOffice for Product Safety and Standards (opens in new tab)
    OUNOccasional use notices
    Statement of policyLicensing Authority’s statement of licensing policy published under S.349 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab)
    PAPrimary Authority
    SIASecurity Industry Authority
    SOLARSociety of Local Authority Lawyers and Administrators
    SR codeSocial Responsibility code
    SSBTSelf-service betting terminal
    SSLSmall society lotteries
    SWP machinesSkill with prizes machines
    TUNTemporary use notices
    uFECsUnlicensed Family Entertainment Centres
    VBTVideo bingo terminals
    WLGAWelsh Local Government Association (opens in new tab)