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Gambling licences

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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