Gambling premises licence

Any premises where gambling facilities are provided must have a premises licence, issued under the Gambling Act 2005. A Premises Licence is a permanent licence, granted in respect of a specific location, which authorises the licence holder to carry on licensable activities. As well as the main activity, a premises licence may also allow the use of certain categories of gaming machines.

Under the Gambling Act 2005 we are the licensing authority for:

  • Betting shops: Premises such as high street shops, at which a licensed bookmaker will take bets on races and sporting events happening elsewhere
  • Betting at tracks: Areas at racecourses and other premises where a race or other sporting event takes place (e.g. a venue staging a boxing match), at which licensed bookmakers will be taking bets on a race or sporting event happening at that location
  • Bingo halls: Premises at which games of commercial prize bingo are regularly played
  • Casinos: Premises where people can participate in one or more casino games. Casinos licensed under the previous legislation are able to continue to operate. New casino licences are restricted under the Gambling Act 2005. This authority has resolved not to issue new casino premises licences. Neither are there any casinos in the borough with preserved entitlement.
  • Adult gaming centres: Amusement arcade premises making gaming machines available for use by over-18s only
  • Family entertainment centres: Amusement arcade premises making gaming machine available for use by persons of all ages

Except in the case of betting at tracks, a premises licence cannot allow the use of premises for more than one of the activities listed above. Only one licence can be held.

Once a licence is granted a premises licence will be valid for the life of the business, or until it is surrendered or revoked. A licence holder can apply to vary the terms and conditions of the licence at any time.

Where a premises creates problems which impact on any of the three licensing objectives, a licence can be called in for review by interested parties or responsible authorities.

An annual fee is payable on the anniversary of the grant of the licence.

Gaming machine entitlements

In addition to permitting specific types of gambling activity, Premises Licences also allow a number of gaming machines to be operated within the licensed premises. Under the Act, gaming machines are divided into categories, dependent on their maximum stake and prize amounts, and where they may be provided. More information on gaming machines can be found on the Gambling Commission website.

Who can apply for a premises licence

Only people (and that includes companies or partnerships):

  • Who have the right to occupy the premises
  • Who have an operator's licence or have applied for an operator’s licence from the Gambling Commission
  • Are over the age of 18