1. General Principles

1.1 Premises licences are subject to the requirements set out in the 2005 Act including specific mandatory and default conditions which are detailed in Regulations issued by the Secretary of State. We are able to exclude default conditions and also attach others, where it is believed to be appropriate.

2. Location

2.1 We are aware that demand issues cannot be considered with regard to the location of premises but that considerations in terms of the licensing objectives are relevant to its decision making. We will pay particular attention to the protection of children and vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling, as well as issues of crime and disorder.

In deciding whether a licence for a particular premises should be granted, each case will be decided on its merits.

3. Local Risk Assessment

3.1 Gambling operators are required by the Commissions Licence Conditions Code of Practice to assess the local risk to the licensing objectives posed by the provision of gambling facilities at each of their premises.

3.2 In addition to new applications and variations to existing gambling premises licences a local risk assessment is also required to take account of significant changes in local circumstances. The Commission has not set out what a "significant change in local circumstance" is but this Council expects the following as a minimum:

  • Educational facilities/Community Centre increase in the local area
  • The local area is defined as a crime hotspot by the Police and/or Council
  • Any vulnerable group or venues relating to Homeless or rough sleeper shelters and care/support facilities, hospitals, mental health or gambling care providers, Alcohol or drug support facilities and religious establishments
  • Any new pay day loan or pawn brokers open in the local area

3.3 The Council may inform gambling operators when it feels a significant change has occurred in the local area to enable them to take any necessary steps in reviewing their risk assessments.

3.4 From time to time gambling operators will undertake a refresh of the premises layout and d├ęcor which, on its own, is unlikely to prompt a review of the risk assessment of that premises. However, where there is a significant change at the premises that may affect the mitigation of local risks, then a gambling operator must review its risk assessment and, if necessary, update it.

Gambling operators are responsible for identifying when a significant change to the premises has occurred but the Council has provided a list of examples of what could be classified as a significant change to the premises:

  • Any building work or premises refit where gambling facilities are relocated within the premises
  • The premises licence is transferred to a new operator who will operate the premises with its own procedures and policies which are different to those of the previous operator
  • Any changes to the operator's internal policies which as a result requires additional or changes to existing control measures; and/or staff will require retraining on those policy changes
  • The entrance or entrances to the premises are changed, for example, the door materials are changed from metal with glazing to a full glass door or doors are relocated from egress to ingress, or vice versa
  • New gambling facilities are made available on the premises which were not provided previously, for example bet in play, handheld gaming devices for customers, Self Service Betting Terminals, or a different category of gaming machine is provided
  • The premises operator makes an application for a licence at that premises to provide an activity under a different regulatory regime, for example, to permit the sale of alcohol

 3.5 Where concerns do exist, the Council advises that the licence holder considers consulting the most appropriate Responsible Authority for guidance before submitting an application for a licence or a variation of a licence, or where it is believed there has been a significant change in local circumstances.

3.6 When the Licensing Authority officers undertake an inspection of a premises offering gambling facilities it is likely that the Local Risk Assessment will be requested to be seen. It is, therefore, recommended that a copy of the Local Risk Assessment is kept at the premises.

3.7 As a matter of best practice the Licensing Authority recommends that operators establish a regular review regime. This review programme would ensure that these assessments are considered at regular intervals and up-dated if necessary.

4. Decision-making

4.1 We are aware that in making decisions about premises licences it shall aim to permit the use of premises for gambling in so far as we think it is:-

  • In accordance with any relevant code of practice issued by the Commission;
  • In accordance with any relevant guidance issued by the Commission;
  • Reasonably consistent with the licensing objectives; and
  • In accordance with this Policy.

4.2 It is appreciated that as per the Commission's Guidance to Licensing Authorities moral objections to gambling are not a valid reason to reject an application for premises licences and that unmet demand is not a criterion for a Council.

5. Definition of premises

5.1 In the 2005 Act, 'premises' is defined as including "any place". Section 152 of the 2005 Act prevents more than one premises licence applying to any place. However, it is possible for a single building to 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 be reasonably regarded as being different premises.

This approach has been taken to allow large, multiple unit premises such as a pleasure park, pier, track or shopping mall to obtain discrete premises licences, where appropriate safeguards are in place. However, particular attention will be paid where there are issues about sub-divisions of a single building or plot to ensure that mandatory conditions relating to access between premises are observed.

5.2 The Commission's "Guidance to Licensing Authorities" states that "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 officer. However the Gambling 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."

5.3 We will 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 we will be aware of the following:

  • Entrances to and exits from parts of a building covered by one or more premises licences should be separate and identifiable so that the separation of different premises is not compromised and people do not "drift" into a gambling area. In this context it should normally be possible to access the premises without going through another licensed premises or premises with a permit.
  • Customers should be able to participate in the activity named on the premises licence.

5.4 We will consider the above points and other relevant factors in making our decision, depending on all the circumstances of the case.

5.5 The Gambling Commission's 'Guidance to Licensing Authorities' contains further guidance on this issue for each premises type and is reproduced below:

Casinos

  • the principal access 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

Adult Gaming Centre

  • 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 licensing betting shop

Tracks

no customer should be able to access the premises directly from;

  • a casino
  • an adult gaming centre

Bingo Premises

no customer must be able to access the premises directly from:

  • a casino
  • an adult gaming centre
  • a betting premises, other than a track

Family Entertainment Centre

no customer must be able to access the premises directly from:

  • a casino
  • an adult gaming centre
  • a betting premises, other than a track

5.6 Part 7 of the Gambling Commission's Guidance to Local Authorities contains further guidance on this issue, which this Licensing Authority will also take into account in its decision-making.

6. Premises "ready for gambling"

6.1 The Guidance states that a licence to use a 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.

6.2 In deciding whether a premises licence can be granted where there are outstanding construction or alteration works at a premises, this Authority will determine applications on their merits, applying a two stage consideration process:

  • first, whether the premises ought to be permitted to be used for gambling; and
  • second, whether appropriate conditions can be put in place to cater for the situation when the premises are not yet in the state in which they ought to be before gambling takes place

6.3 Applicants should note that we are entitled to decide that it is appropriate to grant a licence subject to conditions, but it is not obliged to grant such a licence.

7. Provisional Statements

7.1 Developers may wish to apply to this Authority for provisional statements before entering 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.

7.2 Section 204 of the 2005 Act provides for a person to make an application to the licensing Authority for a provisional statement in respect of a premises that they either expect to be constructed or altered or acquire the right to occupy.

7.3 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.

7.4 In contrast to the premises licence application, the applicant does not have to hold or have applied for an Operating Licence from the Gambling Commission and they do not have a right to occupy the premises in respect of which their provisional statement is made.

7.5 The holder of a provisional statement may then apply for a premises licence once the premises have been constructed, altered or acquired. We are then constrained in the matters we can consider when determining the premises licence application and in terms of representations about premises licence applications that follow the grant of a provisional statement, no further representations from Responsible 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.

7.6 In addition we may refuse the premises licence (or grant it on terms different to those attached to the provisional statement) only by reference to matters:

  • which could not have been raised by objectors at the provisional statement stage;
  • which in our opinion reflect a change in the operator's circumstances; or
  • where the premises has not been constructed in accordance with the plan submitted with the provisional statement application. This must be a substantial change to the plan and this Authority notes that it can discuss any concerns it has with the applicant before making a decision.

8. Relationship between Planning and Building Control

8.1 In determining applications we have a duty to take into consideration all relevant matters and not to take into consideration any irrelevant matters, in effect those matters not related to gambling and the licensing objectives. An example of an irrelevant matter would be the likelihood of the applicant of the application obtaining planning permission or building regulation approval. Such matters are for consideration under the relevant planning and building control legislation, and must not form part of the consideration for a premises licence.

8.2 Indeed, section 210 of the 2005 Act prohibits a licensing authority from having regard to whether or not a proposal by an applicant is likely to be permitted in accordance with the law relating to planning or building. Equally, the grant of a premises licence does not prejudice or prevent any action that may be appropriate under the law relating to planning or building control.

9.The Licensing Objectives

9.1 Premises licences granted must be reasonably consistent with the licensing objectives. With regard to these objectives, this Licensing Authority has considered the Gambling Commission's Guidance to Licensing Authorities and some comments are made below.

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

We are aware that the Gambling Commission takes a leading role in preventing gambling from being a source of crime. The Gambling Commission's Guidance does however envisage that we should pay attention to the proposed location of gambling premises in terms of this licensing objective.

So where an area is known to have high levels of organised crime we will consider carefully whether gambling premises are suitable to be located there and whether conditions may be suitable such as the provision of door supervisors.

We are aware of the distinction between disorder and nuisance and will consider factors such as whether police assistance would be required and how threatening the behaviour would be to those who could see it, so as to make that distinction.

9.3 Licensing Objective: Ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way.

We have noted that the Gambling Commission states that it generally does not expect licensing authorities to be concerned with ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way, as this will be addressed by the Gambling Commission through the issue of operating and personal licences.

9.4 Licensing Objective: Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

This objective means preventing children from taking part in gambling (as well as restriction of advertising so that gambling products are not aimed at or are particularly attractive to children).

9.5 We are aware of the Gambling Commission Codes of Practice as regards this licensing objective, in relation to specific premises.

9.6 The 2005 Act does not seek to define the term "vulnerable persons". Neither does the Gambling Commission but in its "Guidance to Licensing Authorities" states that 'it will 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 mental health needs, learning disability or substance misuse relating to alcohol or drugs'. We will consider this licensing objective on a case by case basis.

10.Conditions

10.1 Licences are normally granted subject only to mandatory and default conditions as these are expected to ensure that operators are reasonably consistent with the licensing objectives.

10.2 Decisions on whether to impose additional conditions on a premises licence will be taken on a case by case basis. We will only seek to impose conditions on premises licences that are proportionate and necessary to the circumstance which it is seeking to address, and will be:

  • relevant to the need to make the proposed building suitable as a gambling facility;
  • directly related to the premises and the type of licence applied for;
  • fairly and reasonably related to the scale and type of premises; and
  • reasonable in all other respects.

10.3 We will also consider specific measures which may be required for buildings which are subject to multiple premises licences. Such measures may include the supervision of entrances; segregation of gambling from non-gambling areas frequented by children; and the supervision of gaming machines in non-adult gambling specific premises in order to pursue the licensing objectives.

10.4 In accordance with the mandatory and default conditions, where Category C or above machines are available for use in premises to which children are admitted the Licensing authority will ensure that:

  • All such machines are located in an area of the premises which is separated from the remainder of the premises by a physical barrier which is effective to prevent access other than through a designated entrance
  • Only adults are admitted to the area where these machines are located
  • The area where these machines are located is arranged so that it can be observed by staff.
  • At the entrance to and inside any such areas there are prominently displayed notices indicating that access to the area is prohibited to persons under 18

10.5 We are precluded from imposing conditions on a premises licence which:

  • makes it impossible to comply with an operating licence condition;
  • relates to gaming machine categories, numbers, or method of operation;
  • provide that membership of a club or body is required; and
  • relates to stakes, fees, winning or prizes

11. Door Supervisors

11.1 If we are concerned that a premises may attract disorder or be subject to attempts of unauthorised access (for example by children and young persons) then it may require that the entrances to the premises be supervised, and impose a condition on the premises licence to that effect.

11.2 Where it is decided that supervision of entrances/machines is appropriate, a consideration of whether these need to be Security Industry Authority (SIA) licensed or not will be necessary.

Where contract staff are employed as door supervisors at casino and 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.

12. Adult Gaming Centres

12.1 We will specifically have regard to the need to protect children and vulnerable persons from harm or being exploited by gambling and will expect the applicant to satisfy us that there will be sufficient measures to, for example, ensure that under 18 year olds do not have access to the premises.

12.2 Where certain measures are not already addressed by the mandatory and default conditions or the Gambling Commission Codes of Practice or by the applicant, the Licensing Authority may consider including licence conditions to address such issues to meet the licensing objectives.

13. Licensed Family Entertainment Centres

13.1 A Licensed Family Entertainment Centre (FEC) is classified as a premises, and only premises that are wholly or mainly used for making gaming machines available may hold a FEC premises licence. As a result, it is generally not permissible for such premises to relate to an entire shopping centre, airport, motorway service station or similar. Typically the machines would be located in a designated, enclosed area.

13.2 We will specifically have regard to the need to protect children and vulnerable persons from harm or being exploited by gambling. Children and young persons are permitted to enter a FEC and use category D machines. They are not permitted to use category C machines. We will expect the applicant to satisfy it that there will be sufficient measures in place to support this licensing objective, for example there will be sufficient measures to ensure that under 18 year olds do not have access to the adult only gaming machine areas.

13.3 Where certain measures are not already addressed by mandatory and default conditions or the Gambling Commission Codes of Practice or by the applicant, we may consider including licence conditions to address such issues to meet the licensing objectives.

14. Casinos

14.1 No Casinos resolution - We have not passed a 'no casino' resolution under Section 166 of the 2005 Act, but is aware that it has the power to do so. Should we decide in the future to pass such a resolution, it will update this policy statement with details of that resolution.

Any such decision will be made by the Full Council.

14.2 We have no casinos in Preston.

15. Bingo Premises

15.1 The Gambling Commission's Guidance provides that we need to be satisfied that bingo can be played in any bingo premises for which we have issued a premises licence. Should an operator apply for multiple new premises licences, with the aim of creating separate premises in that area we will need to consider whether bingo can be played at each of those new premises.

15.2 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. Licence holders must ensure that their policies and procedures take into account the structure and layout of their gambling premises in order to prevent underage gambling.

15.3 We will have regard to the conditions that apply to operating licences dealing with preventing access to the area containing the category C machines by under 18's. Applicants must satisfy the requirements set out within paragraph 10.2 above.

15.4 Where certain measures are not already addressed by mandatory and default conditions or the Gambling Commission Codes of Practice or by the applicant, we may consider including licence conditions to address such issues to meet the licensing objectives.

16. Betting Premises

16.1 Section 235 of the 2005 Act provides that a machine is not a gaming machine if it is designed or adapted for use to bet on future real events. We are aware that Section 181 contains an express power for licensing authorities to restrict the number of self-service betting terminal's, their nature and circumstances in which they are made available by attaching a licence condition to a betting premises licence.

When considering whether to impose a condition to restrict the number of these machines in a particular premises, we will, amongst other matters, take into account the size of the premises, the number of counter positions available for person to person transactions and the ability of staff to monitor the use of the machines.

16.2 Licence holders must ensure that their policies and procedures take into account the structure and layout of their gambling premises in order to prevent underage gambling.

16.3 Where certain measures are not already addressed by mandatory and default conditions or the Gambling Commission Codes of Practice or by the applicant, we may consider including licence conditions to address such issues to meet the licensing objectives.

16.4 The Authority notes that the 2005 Act prescribes the number and category of gaming machines in betting premises and it has no power to set different limits or to expand or restrict the categories of permitted gaming machines. However, the Authority wishes to consider the possibility of developing a planning policy restricting the numbers of betting premises and details of frontages once developments through the Betting Commission are known.

17. Tracks

17.1 A track is defined under the 2005 Act 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.

17.2 Premises Licences in relation to tracks differ from other types of premises licences in a number of ways, most importantly the applicant for the licence need not hold an operator's licence from the Gambling Commission.

17.3 We are aware that tracks may be subject to more than one premises licence, provided each licence relates to a specific area of the track. We will especially consider the impact upon the licensing objective regarding the protection of children and vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling and the need to ensure that entrances to each type of premises are distinct and that children are excluded from gambling areas where they are not permitted to enter.

17.4 We will, therefore, expect the premises licence to demonstrate suitable measures to ensure that children do not have access to adult only gaming facilities. It is noted that 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, but that they are still prevented from entering areas where gaming machines (other than category D machines) are provided.

17.5 We will consider measures to meet the licensing objectives such as:

  • proof of age schemes
  • CCTV
  • Door Supervisors
  • Supervision of entrances/machine areas
  • Physical separation of areas
  • Location of entry
  • Notices/signage
  • Specific opening hours
  • Self-exclusion schemes
  • Provision of information leaflets/helpline numbers for 
  • Organisations such as GamCare 

17.6 Gaming machines

A track premises licence does not itself entitle the licence holder to provide gaming machines, as this type of Premises Licence can be held without any corresponding operating licence. However, track owners holding both a track premises licence and a pool betting operating licence issued by the Gambling Commission may site up to four gaming machines within categories B2 to D on the track.

Children and young persons can play category D machines on a track, but must be excluded from the areas in which other categories of machines are located.

17.7 Self Service Betting Terminals (SSBT's)

Section 235 of the 2005 Act provides that a machine is not a gaming machine if it is designed or adapted for use to bet on future real events. Licensed Operators may install SSBT's on tracks. When considering whether to impose a condition to restrict the number of these in particular premises, we will take into account the size of the premises, the number of counter positions available for person to person transactions, the ability of staff to monitor the use of the machines and the ability of the track operator to prevent children and young persons and vulnerable people betting on the machines.

17.8 Applications and plans

Section 151 of the 2005 Act requires applicants to submit plans of the premises with their application to assist us in making an informed judgement about whether the premises are fit for gambling. Plans for tracks do not need to be in a particular scale, but should be drawn to scale and should be sufficiently detailed to include the information required by regulations.

17.9 We appreciate that 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 the track plans, both by virtue of the fact that betting is permitted anywhere on the premises and because of the difficulties associated with pinpointing exact locations for some types of track.

18. Travelling Fairs

18.1 The 2005 Act defines a travelling fair as wholly or principally providing amusements and they must be on a site that has been used for fairs no more than 27 days per calendar year.

18.2 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.

18.3 Higher stake category B and C machines are not permitted. Fairground operators must source their machines from a gambling Commission licensed supplier and employees working with gaming machines must be at least 18 years old.

19. Reviews

19.1 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.

19.2 We may initiate a review of a particular premises licence or a particular class of premises licence if:

  • it has reason to suspect that premises licence conditions are not being observed
  • the premises is operating outside of the principles set out in this policy statement
  • there is evidence to suggest that compliance with the licensing objectives is at risk
  • for any other reason which gives us cause to believe that a review may be appropriate, such as a complaint from a third party

In relation to a class of premises, we may review the use made of premises and, in particular, the arrangements that premises licence holders have made to comply with licence conditions

19.3 When a request for a review of a premise licence is received from a Responsible Authority or an Interested Party it is for the Licensing Authority to decide whether the review is to be carried out. This will be on the basis of whether the request for the review is relevant to the matters listed below:

  • in accordance with any relevant Code of Practice issued by the Gambling Commission;
  • in accordance with any relevant guidance issued by the Gambling Commission;
  • reasonably consistent with the licensing objectives; and
  • in accordance with this policy statement

19.4 We may reject an application for a review of a premises licence if in our opinion the grounds on which the review is being sought:

  • are frivolous;
  • are vexatious;
  • will certainly not cause this Licensing Authority to revoke or suspend the licence or to remove, amend or attach conditions on the premises licence;
  • are substantially the same grounds cited in a previous application for a review relating to the same premises; or
  • is substantially the same as representations made at the time the application was considered 

19.5 The purpose of the review will be to determine whether we should take any action in relation to the licence, namely

  • add, remove or amend a condition imposed by the Licensing Authority;
  • exclude a default condition imposed by the Secretary of State (eg opening hours) or remove or amend such an exclusion;
  • suspend the premises licence for a specified period not exceeding three months;
  • revoke the premises licence.

19.6 We may also 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 offer the type of gambling that they are permitted to.

19.7 We must hold a hearing, unless the applicant and any person who has made representations consent to the review being conducted without one. In determining what action, if any, should be taken following a review we must have regard to any relevant representations and the principles set out in section 153 of the 2005 Act.

19.8 Once the review has been completed we must, as soon as possible, notify its decision to:

  • the licence holder
  • the applicant (if any)
  • the Gambling Commission
  • any person who made representations
  • police
  • HM Revenue and Customs

20. Appeals

20.1 Where a premises licence application is refused the applicant may appeal the decision of the Licensing Authority. In such cases where a Premises Licence is granted an applicant and any person who made relevant representations can appeal to the Magistrates' Court within 21 days of receipt of the decision notice.

20.2 Following a review application, either a licensee, a person who made representations in relation to the review, the person (if any) who applied for the review and the Gambling Commission have a right of appeal to the Magistrates' Court within 21 days of receipt of the decision notice.

20.3 In relation to a decision to take action or make a determination in relation to a transfer application the licensee and the applicant for transfer have a right of appeal to the Magistrates' Court within 21 days of receipt of the decision notice.

20.4 In relation to an application for a Temporary Use Notice either the applicant or person entitled to receive a copy of such notice has a right of appeal to the Magistrates' Court within 14 days beginning with the day on which the appellant receives notice of the action against which the appeal is brought.