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Gambling licences

Gambling Policy consultation 2020

Before Dorset Council was formed, each of the district and borough councils had their own Statement of Gambling Licensing Policy issued under the Gambling Act 2005.

The 2021 to 2024 Draft Gambling Licensing Policy is now available and is being consulted on for a period of 12 weeks.

We invite your comments to make sure we have considered a wide range of views, which will help shape the final Dorset policy.

Submit your comments

Under the Gambling Act 2005 local authorities, licence and permit holders and other agencies must all work to promote the three gambling licensing objectives which are:

  • preventing gambling from being a source of crime and disorder or being used to support crime

  • ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way

  • protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling

Premises licence

You need a premises licence to run a premises-based gambling business, for example a betting shop, bingo hall or arcade.

You need to apply for an operating licence from the Gambling Commission before you can apply for a premises licence.

To apply for a premises licence you must:

Premises will only be granted one licence for a single activity, with the exception of race tracks.

Gambling permits and notifications

Notification of gaming machines for premises licensed to supply alcohol

Where a premises licence has been issued  'wholly or mainly for the sales or consumption of alcohol' a premises licence holder can be authorised to have 1 or 2 machines of category C or D. You must give notification of your intention to have these machines.

Club machine permits and gaming permits

If you run a social club or miner's welfare institutions you can apply for either a club machine permit to have up to 3 machines of category B3A, B4, C or D gaming machines.

Unlicensed Family Entertainment Centre gaming machine permit

Unlicensed Family Entertainment Centres are premises which are wholly or mainly used for making gaming machines available.

You will need a gaming machine permit which allows you to make category D machines available. You don't need a Gambling Commission operating licence. However, the entity supplying machines to the business (the machine supplier) must be licensed by the Gambling Commission. 

Prize gaming permit

A prize gaming permit allows the provision of facilities for gaming with prizes on specified premises.

Temporary use notice (TUN)

A TUN allows the use of a premises for gambling where there is no premises licence in force and a holder of a gambling operator's licence wishes to use the premises temporarily for providing facilities for gambling.

The only activities permitted under a TUN are the provision of facilities for any form of equal chance gaming where those participating in the gaming are taking part in a competition which is intended to produce a single overall winner. This does not include providing such facilities in circumstances where any person participating in the gaming does so by means of a gaming machine.

Occasional use notice (OUN)

An OUN allows licensed betting operators to provide betting facilities at genuine sporting events within the boundaries of the venue on a specific date, without the need for a full betting premises licence.

The 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
  • only be used for 8 days or less in a year (the event can be on consecutive days as long as the limit of 8 days in a year is not exceeded)
  • specify the day on which it has effect

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