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Gambling Act 2005

The Gambling Act 2005 provides for three categories of licence:

  • Operating licences
  • Personal licences
  • Premises licences

Licence Summary

The licensing authority is responsible for licensing premises that offer facilities for gambling. These gambling facilities are broken down into six premises licence types. These premises licence types are:

  • Casino premises* (converted, small and large)
  • Bingo premises
  • Betting tracks premises
  • Betting (other) premises (e.g. betting shops)
  • Adult gaming centres (AGC's)
  • Family entertainment centres (FEC's)

*The Gambling Act 2005 prevents Carlisle City Council from accepting any applications for new Casino premises licences. Carlisle City Council was not named as an authority that could issue small or large casino premises licences under the Act.

When a licence is issued to premises it permits that premises to be used for that primary gambling activity.

The Gambling Commission is an independent non-department public body who are sponsored by the government. The Gambling Commission was set up under the Gambling Act 2005 to regulate commercial gambling in the Great Britain. The Commission is responsible for issuing and enforcing operators and personal licences that are issued by them. They are also responsible for providing advice and guidance to the trade, local authorities and government on commercial gambling.

As a requirement of the Gambling Act 2005 the Commission must provide Guidance to local authorities. The local authority will consider applications after having regard to this guidance. Applicants should read the relevant parts of the guidance before submitting an application. The licensing authority also issues other forms of authorisation under this legislation, for example:

  • Temporary use of premises
  • Occasional use notice
  • Unlicensed family entertainment centre
  • Prize gaming
  • Gaming machines on alcohol licensed premises
  • Club gaming
  • Club gaming machines
  • Small lottery registration

Licence holders, the Council and other agencies must all work to promote the licensing objectives which are:

  • Preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime,
  • Ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way, and
  • Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling

Eligibility Criteria

To apply for a premises licence you must

  • be 18 years old or older,
  • if applying on behalf of a company or partnership be authorised to make such an application, and
  • hold or has applied for an Operators licence from the Gambling Commission for that gambling activity (unless that occupier of the track who gets the premises licence may not be the person who actually offers the gambling),

Premises Licence

A Premises Licence, issued under the Gambling Act 2005, is required for any premises where an individual or company proposes to offer premises based gambling and are issued in respect of specific premises.

The types of Licence available will be as follows:

  • Casino Premises Licence
  • Bingo Premises Licence
  • Adult Gaming Centre Premises Licence (Category B gaming machines)
  • Family Entertainment Centre Premises Licence (Category C gaming machines)
  • Betting Premises Licence (facilities for betting)

An applicant for a Premises Licence must be over the age of 18.

An application for a Premises Licence may only be made by persons, companies or partnerships who have the right to occupy the premises and who have, or have applied for, an Operating Licence from the Gambling Commission.

Except in the case of a track, each premises may only have one type of licence in effect.

Lottery Returns

After a lottery has been held, the promoter must complete and send a return form to the Council, within three months of the lottery taking place.

The return must be certified by two members of the society, (other than the promoter) who are:

  • persons 18 years old or over
  • appointed in writing by the society's governing body.

Return forms will be sent to each society with their registration certificate.

Further forms may be obtained from the Council and are known as a Statement of Accounts.

The Council's Licensing Officers may require that a society

  • allows them to inspect and take copies of any documents or information, relating to a lottery promoted on behalf of the society and
  • provides assistance as to enable them to inspect and check the operation of any computer and any associated apparatus or material that is or has been used in connection with the keeping of information.

Gambling Permits

Permits are issued to premises that either offer very low-stakes and prizes gambling, or premises whose primary function is not the provision of gambling facilities.
The only premises eligible to apply to us for Permits are:
  • Unlicensed Family Entertainment Centres
  • Alcohol Licensed Premises
  • Clubs, both commercial and non-commercial
  • Premises wishing to offer commercial prize-gaming
We issue the following types of Permit under the Act:
  • Family Entertainment Centre Gaming Machine Permit
  • Club Gaming Permit
  • Club Machine Permit
  • Licensed Premises Gaming Machine - Notification or Permit 
  • Prize Gaming Permit
There are several key differences between a Permit and a Gambling Premises Licence:
  • Permit holders are not required to have an Operating Licence issued by the Gambling Commission
  • There are no responsible authorities or interested parties in relation to Permit applications
  • We can only grant or reject Permits, we can not attach conditions.
  • The Gambling Commission has less power and involvement in relation to Permits than they do with a Gambling Premises Licence.
  • With the exception of Permits relating to alcohol licensed premises, Permits are of limited duration.

  Licensing: Gambling - FAQ

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