1. Unlicensed Family Entertainment Centre gaming machine permits

1.1 Where a premises does not hold a premises licence but wishes to provide category D gaming machines, it may apply to the licensing Authority for an unlicensed family entertainment centre gaming machine permit (uFEC).

1.2 Only premises that are wholly or mainly used for making gaming machines available for use may hold an uFEC gaming machine permit. An uFEC is classified as 'premises'. It is generally not permissible for such premises to relate to an entire shopping centre, airport, motorway service station or similar.

The machines would need to be in a designated, enclosed area. The Gambling Commission considers that it is not permissible and is highly undesirable for uFEC's to be granted for entire venues in that it exposes the public and young people in particular to the 'ambient gambling' that the 2005 Act was designed to prevent.

1.3 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, they must be aged 18 or over.

1.4 An application for a permit may be granted only if we are satisfied that the premises will be used as an unlicensed FEC and, if the Police has been consulted on the application.

1.5 In considering applications we shall have regard to the Guidance to Local Authorities and to the licensing objectives. In particular applicants will be expected to show that they have policies and procedures in place to protect children from harm. Harm in this context is not limited to harm from gambling but includes wider child-protection considerations.

Applications and the efficiency of such policies and procedures will each be considered on its merits. We will require applicants to demonstrate amongst other things:

  • A full understanding of the maximum stakes and prizes of the gambling that is permissible in unlicensed FEC's
  • That the applicant has no relevant convictions (set out in Schedule 7 of the 2005 Act)
  • That staff are suitably trained and have a full understanding of the maximum stakes and prizes (see Guidance to local Authorities)
  • That the applicant has in place a policy regarding the suitability of staff, taking into account convictions
  • Appropriate measures/training for staff as regards suspected truant school children on the premises
  • Measures/training covering how staff would deal with unsupervised young children being on the premises
  • Children causing perceived problems on/around the premises
  • Measures/training covering how staff would deal with vulnerable persons on the premises

1.6 Applicants must complete an application for an uFEC gaming machine permit and provide all of the requested information and documentation.

1.7 It should be noted that we are unable to attach conditions to this type of permit.

1.8 A permit lapses if we inform the permit holder that the premises are not being used an uFEC.

1.9 If the permit holder is convicted of a relevant offence the court may order the forfeiture of the permit.

2. Alcohol Licensed premises gaming machine permits

2.1 There is provision in the 2005 Act for premises licensed to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises without a requirement that the alcohol is served only with food to automatically have two gaming machines, of categories C and/or D. The premises merely needs to notify the Licensing Authority and pay the prescribed fee.

2.2 We can remove the automatic authorisation in respect of any particular premises if:

  • provision of the gaming machines is not reasonably consistent with the pursuit of the licensing objectives;
  • gaming has taken place on the premises that breaches a condition of section 282 of the 2005 Act;
  • the premises are mainly used for gaming; or
  • an offence under the 2005 Act has been committed on the premises

2.3 If a premises wishes to have more than two gaming machines, then it will need to apply for a permit and we will consider the application having regard to the licensing objectives, any guidance issued by the Gambling Commission under section 25 of the 2005 Act, and such other matters that it considers relevant to the application.

2.4 We consider that "such other matters" will be decided on a case by case basis but generally there will be regard to the need to protect children and vulnerable persons from being harmed or being exploited by gambling and will expect the applicant to satisfy the Licensing Authority that there will be sufficient measures in place to ensure that under 18 year olds do not have access to the adult only gaming machines.

2.5 Measures which may satisfy us that children and young persons are prevented from using the adult only gaming machines may include the machines being in sight of the bar or in the sight of staff who can monitor their use. Notices and signage may also help. As regards the protection of vulnerable persons, applicants may wish to consider the provision of information leaflets and helpline numbers for organisations such as GamCare.

2.6 It should be noted that we can decide to grant the application with a smaller number of gaming machines and/or a different category of gaming machines than that applied for. Conditions (other than these) cannot be attached.

2.7 It should also be noted that the holder of a permit must comply with any Code of Practice issued by the Gambling Commission about the location and operation of the machines.

3. Prize Gaming Permits

3.1 Section 288 of the 2005 Act defines gaming as 'prize gaming' if the nature and size of the prize is not determined by the number of the people playing or the amount paid for or raised by the gaming.

3.2 A prize gaming permit issued by us authorises the provision of facilities for gaming with prizes on specified premises.

3.3 An application for a permit can only be made by a person who occupies or plans to occupy the premises and, if the applicant is an individual, they must be aged 18 or over. An application cannot be made if a premises licence or club gaming permit is in effect for the same premises.

3.4 Applicants must complete an application form for a prize gaming permit and provide all of the requested information and documentation.

3.5 We may only grant a permit if we have consulted with the Police about the application. We will take into account 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.

3.6 In considering applications we will have regard to the Guidance to Local Authorities and to the licensing objectives. In particular applicants will be expected to show that they have policies and procedures in place to protect children from harm.

Harm in this context is not limited to harm from gambling but includes wider child-protection considerations. Applications and the efficiency of such policies and procedures will each be considered on their merits. We will require applicants to demonstrate amongst other things:

  • that they understand the limits to stakes and prizes that are set out in Regulations
  • that the gaming offered is within the law
  • that the applicant has no relevant convictions
  • that staff are suitably trained and have a full understanding of the maximum stakes and prizes
  • that the applicant has in place a policy regarding the suitability of staff, taking into account any convictions
  • appropriate measures/training for staff as regards suspected truant school children on the premises
  • measures/training covering how staff would deal with unsupervised young children being on the premises
  • children causing perceived problems on/around the premises
  • measures/training covering how staff would deal with vulnerable persons on the premises.

3.7 We can grant or refuse an application for a permit but cannot add conditions.

3.8 It should be noted that there are four statutory conditions with which permit holders must comply with which are:

  • the limits on participation fees, as set out in Regulations, must be complied with;
  • all chances to participate in a particular game must be acquired or allocated on one day and in the place where the game is played; the game must be played entirely on that day; and the result of the game must be made public in the place where the game is played and as soon as is reasonably practicable after the game ends, and in any event on the day on which it is played;
  • the prize or the aggregate of prizes for which a game is played, must not exceed the prescribed amount set out in regulations (if a money prize), or the prescribed value (if non-monetary prize); and
  • participation in the game does not entitle the player or anyone else to participate in any other gambling

3.9 If the permit holder is convicted of a relevant offence the court may order the forfeiture of the permit.

4. Club Gaming and Club Machine Permits

4.1 Members clubs and miners' welfare institutes (but not commercial clubs) may apply to us for a Club Gaming Permit which will enable the premises to provide gaming machines (no more than three machines of categories B3A (only one of this category), B4, C or D), equal chance gaming and games of chance as set out in Regulations.

4.2 Members clubs, miners' welfare institutes and also commercial clubs may apply to the licensing authority for a Club Machine Permit which will enable the premises to provide gaming machines (no more than three machines of categories B3A (only one of this category), B4, C or D). It should be noted that commercial clubs may not site category B3A gaming machines offering lottery games in their club.

4.3 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 permitted in Regulations, (currently bridge and whist). A members' club must be permanent in nature, not established to make commercial profit, and controlled by its members equally. Examples include working men's clubs, branches of Royal British Legion and clubs with political affiliations.

4.4 A Commercial club is a club established for commercial gain, whether or not they actually make a commercial gain.

4.5 When determining whether a club is able to apply for and be issued with a permit, we will consider whether the club is a genuine members' club or a commercial club as defined by the 2005 Act and be satisfied that all the requirements of the legislation are being complied with. In order to determine this issue we will have regard to the matters set out in the Guidance to Local Authorities.

4.6 We may only refuse an application on the grounds that:

  • 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;
  • the applicant's premises are used wholly or mainly by children and/or young persons;
  • an offence under the Act or a breach of a permit has been committed by the applicant in the course of gaming activities carried on by the applicant;
  • a permit held by the applicant has been cancelled during the previous ten years; or
  • an objection has been made by the Gambling Commission or the police.

4.7 There is a 'fast-track' procedure available for premises holding a club premises certificate under the Licensing Act 2003 to apply for either a club gaming permit or a club machine permit. Under the 'fast-track' procedure there is no opportunity for objections to be made by the Gambling Commission or the police, and the Authority will grant the application unless:

  • the club is established primarily for gaming, other than gaming of a prescribed kind;
  • that in addition to the prescribed gaming, the applicant provides facilities for other gaming; or
  • that a club gaming permit or club machine permit issued to the applicant in the last ten years has been cancelled.

4.8 There are statutory conditions on club gaming and club machine permits that no child or young person uses a category B or C machine on the premises and the holder complies with any relevant provision of a code of practice about the location and operation of gaming machines.

5.Temporary Use Notices

5.1 A Temporary Use Notice allows the use of premises on not more than 21 days in any 12 month period for gambling where there is no premises licence but where a gambling operator wishes to use the premises temporarily for providing facilities for gambling.

5.2 We can only grant a Temporary Use Notice (TUN) to a person or company holding a relevant operating licence.

5.3 The Secretary of State has the power to determine what form of gambling can be authorised by TUN's and currently the relevant regulations state that they can only be used to permit the provision of facilities for equal chance gaming, where the gaming is intended to produce a single winner, eg poker tournaments.

5.4 Section 218 of the 2005 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 of more than 21 days in a year. The definition of 'set of premises' will be a question of fact in the particular circumstances of each notice that is given.

5.5 In considering whether a place falls within the definition of a 'set of premises' we will look at, amongst other things, the ownership/occupation and control of the premises.

5.6 We expect to object to notices where it appears that their effect would be to permit regular gambling in a place that could be described as one set of premises, as recommended in the Guidance to local Authorities.

5.7 The applicant must give the TUN to us 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 TUN must be copied to:

  • The Gambling Commission
  • Police
  • HM Revenues and Customs; and if applicable
  • Any other Licensing Authority in whose area the premises are situated.

5.8 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 otherwise the event will be unlawful.

5.9 If there are no objections the Licensing Authority must endorse the Notice whereupon it will become valid.

5.10 Within 14 days of being given a TUN the Licensing Authority and the authorities to which the notice has been copied can give a notice of objection, if they think that having regard to the licensing objectives the notice shall not have effect, or should have effect only with modification.

Any notice of objection (not given by the Licensing Authority) is copied to the Licensing Authority. Upon receipt of any notice of objection there will be a hearing before the Licensing Sub-Committee (unless all relevant parties agree in writing that a hearing is unnecessary).

Following consideration of the objections, we may either give a counter notice that a TUN should not have effect, or should have effect only with specified modifications or dismiss the objections.

If the objections are dismissed we will endorse the TUN.

6.Occasional Use Notices

6.1 An Occasional Use Notice (OUN) permits betting on a track venue for eight days or less in a calendar year without the need for a premises licence.

6.2 A "track" does not just include a horserace course or a dog track, but also any other premises on any part of which a race or any other sporting event takes place, or is intended to take place.

6.3 Any notice 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 notice must be served on the Licensing Authority and copied to the police for the area in which the track is wholly or partially 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 8 days is not exceeded.

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

7. Small Society Lotteries

7.1 A lottery is illegal under the 2005 Act unless it is either a licensed lottery run in accordance with an Operating Licence issued by the Gambling Commission or it is an "exempt" lottery as defined by the 2005 Act. (The 2005 Act does not apply to the National Lottery which is governed separately under the National Lottery Act 1993).

7.2 One of the exemptions provided by the 2005 Act is in respect of "Small Society Lotteries". Societies running such lotteries are required to be registered with the Local Authority in whose area their principal office is situated.

7.3 In determining lottery registration applications and other matters involving lotteries the Licensing Authority will have regard to the 2005 Act, the licensing objectives, Guidance issued by the Gambling Commission, any Code of Practice issued by the Gambling Commission and this Statement of Licensing Principles.

7.4 To qualify for registration a Society must be "non-commercial". To be considered non-commercial the Society must be established and conducted for:

  • Charitable purposes; or
  • The purpose of enabling participation in, or of supporting, sport, athletics or a cultural activity; or
  • Any other non-commercial purpose other than that of private gain.

7.5 If the total value of tickets that a Society puts on sale in any one lottery exceeds £20,000, or the tickets in separate lotteries in one calendar year are to exceed £250,000 in aggregate, the lottery is a large lottery and the Society will require an Operating Licence from the Gambling Commission.

7.6 The promoting society of a small society lottery must, throughout the period during which the lottery is promoted, be registered with a licensing authority.

7.7 We may ask new applicants for a copy of their terms and conditions or their constitution to establish that they are a non-commercial society. It may also request applicants to provide a declaration, stating that they represent a bona-fide non-commercial society.

7.8 An application by a Society to register a small lottery must be refused if in the period of 5 years ending with the date of application;

  • An Operating Licence held by the applicant for registration has been revoked under section 119(1); or
  • An application for an Operating Licence made by the applicant has been refused.

7.9 We may refuse an application for registration if it considers that:

  • The applicant is not a non-commercial society;
  • A person who will or may be connected with the promotion of the lottery has been convicted of a relevant offence; or
  • Information provided with or in the application for registration is false or misleading.

7.10 The Authority may revoke the registration if it considers that it would be obliged or able to refuse an application for registration if it were being made anew. 7.11 An application for registration of a small lottery which is refused, or where revocation takes place, has a right of appeal to the Magistrates' Court within 21 days of the decision. 7.12 The Licensing Authority will maintain a register of small society lotteries that it has registered and will notify the Gambling Commission as soon as practicable of certain prescribed information about the society and the lottery.

7.13 Within three months of any small lottery draw, the promoting Society must send to the Authority a return signed by two members of the Society providing the prescribed information set out in the 2005 Act.

If after receipt it is apparent that the ticket sales are above the permitted limits for a small society lottery we will notify the Gambling Commission. A copy of that notification will be provided to the Society.

7.14 In addition to small society lotteries, there are three other types of lottery " - an incidental non-commercial lottery, a private lottery and a customer lottery. Organisations providing these "exempt" lotteries do not need to register with their local authority.