Gambling licensing

Gambling Activities

In the UK, most gambling activities are regulated under the Gambling Act 2005, and licences are required by anyone arranging any of the following activities: 

  • betting - making or accepting a bet on the outcome of a race, competition, or any other event; the likelihood of anything occurring or not occurring; or whether anything is true or not true
  • bingo - this includes both cash and prize bingo
  • casino gaming - Games of chance involving playing or staking against a bank
  • prize gaming (including poker) - Low stake and prize gambling where the size of the prize is not determined by the number of persons playing, for example certain types of bingo
  • use of gaming machines - This includes gaming machines in pubs and private members clubs
  • lotteries, raffles and other prize draws where persons are required to pay in order to take part in an arrangement, during the course of which one or more prizes are allocated by a process which relies wholly on chance.

The exceptions to this are for the National Lottery and spread betting, which are regulated under other laws, and various types of non-commercial gambling, providing they meet certain criteria.

The Licensing Authority

The Local Authority acting as the Licensing Authority are responsible for licensing premises where gambling takes place, and provide authorisations to gamble in premises where gambling is not the main activity (for example gaming machines in pubs).

The Gambling Commission

The Gambling Commission are responsible for licensing operators and individuals involved in providing gambling and betting facilities. 

Our Gambling Policy

Under the Gambling Act 2005 licensing authorities are required to publish a Statement of Policy and Principles. This statement sets out the general approach to the making of licensing decisions. The Council has adopted a no casino policy which is included in the statement of policy and principles. In addition we have published a Local Area Profile highlighting the key characteristics for consideration by operators when completing applications and their local area risk assessments. 

Licensing Objectives

There are 3 licensing objectives that underpin the Gambling Act and all applications must be determined to ensure the objectives are upheld, these are:

  • ensuring gambling is kept free from crime and disorder
  • ensuring gambling is conducted in a fair an open way
  • protection of children and vulnerable adults.

Responsible Authorities

Gambling Act applications, must be served on the responsible authorities. These bodies, together with members of the public, can make a representation/objection to your application.

Getting involved 

Applications for new premises licences or variations to existing premises licences are open for a period of public consultation. We will write to persons within the vicinity (defined within our Statement of Policy) and provide the details of the application. You will then have the opportunity to make a representation to the application (this can be in favour of the application or in objection to the application). If you wish to make a representation in objection to the application, you must ensure that your representation relates directly to one or more of the Licensing Objectives. Objections based on moral objections to gambling, planning concerns or issues such as parking cannot be accepted.

When objections are received

When objections are received, a hearing will be held to determine the outcome of the application. You will be invited to attend the hearing to verbally support your views. Hearings are held on our premises during the day and are attended by 3 elected members of the Council known as a Sub Committee. You may choose to be supported at the hearing by a representative who may be your local ward councillor, legal representative or anyone who will speak on your behalf.

Reviews

The Gambling Act 2005 provides that a responsible authority or an interested party may make an application to review a premises licence. You will need to submit an application form to the Licensing Authority and state the reasons why a review is being requested, together with any supporting information and documents. 

The Gambling Commission and Licensing Authorities have statutory responsibilities in respect of gambling premises within their area. While the regulatory bodies will use their powers to ensure that licensed premises operate in accordance with the provisions of the law and with any conditions attached to their licence(s), there may be occasions when concerns exist over the operation of a premises which cannot be resolved either through mediation or enforcement. In those situations, a responsible authority or an interested party may request that a licence is reviewed.

If you would like to apply for a review of a gambling premises licence, please contact the Licensing Team.

Fees

Details of the fees payable in respect of gambling licences and permits are available on our fees page

Public Register

The Gambling Commission public register holds the details of all operating licence holders, personal licence holders and premises licences.