The Gambling Act 2005 came into effect in April 2007. Local councils now have responsibility for some of the functions previously administered by the Magistrates Court.
Under the Gambling Act 2005, The Council is responsible for the granting of premises licences for many different types of premises where gambling can take place including:
- Bingo halls
- Family entertainment centres
- Betting shops.
The Council also has responsibility for premises where gaming machines are located such as public houses and clubs. The Gambling Commission is responsible for issuing operating and personal licences.
Statement of principles
The Gambling Act 2005 requires each local authority to publish a 'Statement of Principles' outlining how the authority will deal with such applications. The current Statement of Principles for gambling licensing (updated 2017) came into effect on 3 January 2016 - it is valid for a period of three years.
The council is responsible for the issuing of permits for Family Entertainment Centres, Licensed Premises Gaming Machine Permit, Prize Gaming Permit, and Small Society Lotteries.
Local Area Profile
Since April 2016 Operators are required to prepare a risk assessment for their business which take into account the nature and characteristics of the locality in which they are situated. To assist in this the Council as provided a Local Area profile which can be found here.
Types of Permits and Licences
Application for a new premises licence
A premises licence may be applied for one of the following types of premises: Casino, bingo hall, adult gaming centre, family entertainment centre, betting shop, or track betting. The person making the application must hold or be in the process of applying to the Gambling Commission for an Operator Licence.
The application form together with the fee, must be submitted to the Council's licensing service. In addition, the applicant must complete Form A or for more than one applicant Form B, and serve this on all of the responsible authorities listed below. The applicant must also publish a notice in a local newspaper and display the notice at the proposed premises during the 28 day objection period. A copy of the notice can be found below.
Application to vary a premises licence
This form should be completed where an existing holder of a premises licence under the Gambling Act 2005 wishes to vary the terms of the licence. The application attracts a fee and the applicant must follow the procedures for a new premises licence as above in relation to notifications and advertising.
Application to transfer a premises licence
This form should be completed where an existing holder of a premises licence under the Gambling Act 2005 wishes to transfer the licence. The application attracts a fee and the applicant must follow the procedures for a new premises licence as above in relation to notifications but no advertising is required.
Application for the reinstatement of a premises licence
This form should be completed where the premises licence under the Gambling Act 2005 has lapsed where the licensee has died or has become incapable of carrying on the licensed activities or bankrupt. The application attracts and the applicant must follow the procedures for a new premises licence as above in relation to notifications but no advertising is required.
Application for a provisional statement
This form should be completed where the premises are not built and at a later stage the applicant intends to apply for a Premises Licence. The person making the application must hold or be in the process of applying to the Gambling Commission for an Operator Licence.
The application form together with the fee must be submitted to the Council's Licensing Service. In addition the applicant must complete Form A or for more than one applicant Form B, and serve this on all of the responsible authorities listed below. The applicant must also publish a notice in a local newspaper and display the notice at the proposed premises during the 28 day objection period. A copy of the notice can be found below.
Club gaming permit
This permit is issued to members’ clubs, commercial clubs and miners’ welfare institutes which already offering gaming machines under Part III of the Gaming Act 1968. This permit will entitle the club to up to three Category B4 machines. The fee payable and should be submitted to The Council with the application form.
Club gaming machine permit
This permit will entitle clubs as listed above to the same gaming machines listed above and in addition the facilities for equal chance gaming subject to certain limits. The fee payable and should be submitted to the Council with the application form.
The procedure for premises which hold a licence under the Licensing Act 2003 and have existing Section 34 permits (amusements with prizes machines) is split into two sections.
Automatic entitlement notification
For premises that have up to TWO gaming machines there will be an automatic entitlement to this number of machines and the procedure is a simple notification when the existing Section 34 permit expires.
Notification of gaming machines in licensed premises and applications to vary/transfer/convert or new applications
Following the introduction of the Gambling Act 2005, gaming machines in places licensed to sell alcohol are dealt with under this act. One application form covers all types of applications and is available below. Licensed premises with no more than two machines simply have to notify The Council they have these facilities when their current permit (AWP) runs out. The cost is a one off payment of £50.
For those licensed premises that require more than two machines they may also apply using the same form, but charges are made for the application together with an annual fee.
For premises that currently have more than two machines when their current permit expires the charge is £100, plus an annual fee of £50 and for new applicants £150 plus an annual fee of £50. The charge to vary the licence is £100 and £25 to transfer the permit to another licence holder.
Prize gaming permit
This permit is issued to premises who require a permit to allow such things as bingo and other premises but not a vessel, and does not fall within one of the above categories of a licensed premises. These premises can best be described as bingo at the seaside.
Family entertainment centre gaming machine permit
This permit is issued to premises who operate gaming machines is such places as seaside resorts, airports, and motorway service areas, that will cater for families including unaccompanied children and young persons. It will only be able to offer category D gaming machines.
Gaming machines in chip shops, taxi offices etc
Under Section 34 of the Gaming Act 1968 permits were available for such premises, but under the Gambling Act 2005 this has been removed, and they will no longer be allowed in such premises at the expiry of the current permit. The permit cannot be renewed after it expires.
Non-commercial society lotteries
With the introduction of the Gambling Act 2005 on 1 September 2007, the small lotteries previously issued by The Council came to an end and were replaced by the above registration. The registration acts in a very similar way to the old permit but it is on unlimited length rather than having to be renewed each year. After initial registration the holder will only be required to pay an annual maintenance fee rather than renewal. If the annual fee is not paid the registration will lapse.
Fee for a new registration is £40, annual fee is £20.
Temporary use notices and occasional use notices
Occasional use notice is made to The Council and is where an applicant requires the benefit of betting etc where no premises licence is in force. These notices are limited to one day only with no more than eight in any calendar year. They would normally be used for such events as point to point meeting etc. The application form together is available on the website and should be submitted to The Council. There is no fee payable but only those persons / companies holding a betting operating licence from the Gambling Commission will be allowed to provide betting facilities during the period of the notice.
Temporary use notices are made to The Council whereby premises may be temporarily used for gambling where no premises licence is in force. These notices must be given by the holder of an operating licence and must be given 3 months in advance of the event and are limited to 21 days per calendar year. A copy of the notice has also to be served on the Gambling Commission Police and HM Revenues and Customs. These notices are to cover premises such as exhibitions centre, hotels etc. The application form together with the fee should be submitted to The Council.
Key dates and information
Applications to convert a premises licences can be must be made between 21 May and 31 August.
Permits already in force will expire when stated on the permit. Renewals should be made in plenty of time prior to the expiry.
Premises licences are not renewable and therefore will continue as long as the premises continue to operate. Permits such as gaming machine permit etc will be valid for ten years.
Where a premises licence is issued an annual charge will be levied in advance, therefore within 30 days of the grant of the licence the first annual charge will be due. If the annual charge is not paid the licence will lapse.
Gaming machines have been split into the following categories, with maximum payouts as follows:
- A. Unlimited
- B1. £4000
- B2. £500
- B3. £500
- B3A £500
- B4. £250
- C. £35
- D. £8 (£5 cash)
Premises such as public houses may only have category C and D machines. Members' clubs may have B3A, B4, C and D machines.