The Gambling Commission has responsibility for granting operating and personal licences for commercial gambling operators and personnel working in the industry. Licensing Boards have new powers to license gambling premises within their area, as well as undertaking functions in relation to lower stake gaming machines and clubs and miners welfare institutes.
The Act also provides for a new system of temporary and occasional use notices. These will authorise premises that are not licensed generally for gambling purposes to be used for certain types of gambling, for limited periods.
Revised Statement of Gambling Policy
The Act contains three licensing objectives which underpin the functions that the Gambling Commission and Licensing Boards will perform. These objectives are central to the new regulatory regime created by the Act. These are:
- preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or 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. The Commission has an overriding obligation to pursue and have regard to the objectives, and to permit gambling so far as it thinks is reasonably consistent with them
Functions of The Licensing Board
The Act gives Licensing Boards a number of important regulatory functions in relation to gambling.
Their main functions are to:
- Licence premises for gambling activities
- consider notices given for the temporary use of premises for gambling
- grant permits for gaming and gaming machines in clubs and miners’ welfare institutes
- regulate gaming and gaming machines in Alcohol Licensed Premises
- grant permits to family entertainment centres (FECs) for the use of certain lower stake gaming machines
- grant permits for Prize Gaming
- consider occasional use notices for betting at tracks
- and register small societies' lotteries
In addition Licensing Boards are required to prepare and publish a Statement of Principles which they propose to apply when exercising their functions every three years. The statement, which may also be referred to as a ‘policy’, can be reviewed and re-published during the three-year period in which it has an effect.
You can get into contact with the licensing office on email@example.com or calling 01786 233612.
Family entertainment centres are most commonly located at seaside resorts, in airports, and at motorway service stations. They cater for families, including unaccompanied children and young persons.
Family entertainment centres do not require a premises licence from the Licensing Board.
An unlicensed family entertainment centre will only be able to offer Category D machines (lowest level of charges and prizes).
If the operator of a family entertainment centre wants to make Category C machines available in addition to Category D machines, the operator will need to apply for an operating licence from the Gambling Commission and a Premises Licence from the Licensing Board.
Section 282 of the Gambling Act 2005 provides an automatic entitlement to up to two gaming machines of Category C or D for use in alcohol licensed premises. To take advantage of this entitlement, the person who holds an on-sales licence must give notice to the Licensing Board of their intention to make gaming machines available for use. The fee for this is £50.
The Licensing Board may also issue licensed premises gaming machine permits for any number of Category C or D machines in licensed on-sales premises. Where a permit authorises the making available of a specified number of gaming machines, this will effectively replace, and not be in addition to, any automatic entitlement. Holders of alcohol licensed premises gaming machine permits are required to comply with a code of practice by the Gambling Commission on the location and operation of machines.
You can contact the Licensing Board by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Scottish lotteries are those promoted on behalf of a society which is established and conducted:
- For charitable purposes
- For the purpose of enabling participation in, or supporting of, sport, athletics or a cultural activity
- For any other non-commercial purpose other than that of private gain.
The registration fee is £40 and the annual fee is £20.
It is not permissible to establish a society whose sole purpose is to facilitate lotteries; it must have some other purpose. The promoting society of a small lottery must, throughout the period during which the lottery is promoted, be registered with the Licensing Board or the area in which the principal premises of the society are situated.
The total value of tickets to be put on sale per single lottery must be £20,000 or less, or the aggregate value of tickets to be put on sale for all their lotteries in a calendar year must not exceed £250,000. If the operator plans to exceed either of these values then they will be classed as a large lottery operator and must be licensed with the Gambling Commission.
At least 20% of the proceeds of the lottery must be applied to a purpose for which the society is conducted. Prizes must not exceed £25,000, whether in money, money's worth, or partly the one and partly the other. The arrangements for a small society lottery may include a rollover only if each other lottery which may be affected by the rollover is a small society lottery promoted by or on behalf of the same society (and subject to the terms of the preceding paragraph).
Lotteries may involve the issuing of physical or virtual tickets to participants (a virtual ticket being non-physical, e.g. an email or text message). The purchaser of a small society lottery ticket must receive a document which identifies:
- The name of the promoting society
- The price of the ticket (must be the same for all tickets)
- The name and address of the member of the society who is designated as having responsibility at the society for promoting small lotteries, or the external lottery manager (if there is one)
- Either the date of the draw or enables the date to be determined
However, the requirement to provide this information can be satisfied if the participant can retain the message electronically or print it.
- Lottery tickets may only be sold by persons over the age of 16 to persons over the age of 16
- Tickets should not be sold in a street, where street includes any bridge, road, lane, footway, subway, square, court or passage (including passages through enclosed premises such as shopping malls)
- Tickets may, however, be sold from a kiosk, in a shop, or door-to-door
Prizes awarded in small society lotteries can be either cash or non-monetary.
The promoting society of a small lottery must send to the Licensing Board the following information:
- The arrangements for the lottery - specifically the date on which tickets were available for sale or supply, the dates of any draw and the value of prizes, including any donated prizes and any rollover
- The proceeds of the lottery
- The amounts deducted by the promoters of the lottery in providing prizes, including prizes in accordance with any rollovers
- The amounts deducted by the promoters of the lottery in respect of costs incurred in organising the lottery
- Whether any expenses incurred in connection with the lottery were not paid for by deduction from the proceeds, and, if so, the amount of expenses and the sources from which they were paid
- The amount applied to the purpose for which the promoting society is conducted (this must be at least 20% of the proceeds)
The return must be:
- Sent to the Licensing Board no later than three months after the date of the lottery draw, or in the case of "instant lotteries" (scratch cards), within three months of the last date on which tickets were on sale
- Signed (electronic signatures are acceptable if the return is sent electronically) by two members of the society, who must be aged 18 or older, are appointed for the purpose in writing by the society, or if it has one, its governing body, and accompanied by a copy of their letters of appointment
The Licensing Board is required to retain returns for a minimum period of three years from the date of the lottery draw. The return will also be made available for inspection by the general public for a minimum period of 18 months following the date of the lottery draw.
A return may be submitted either electronically or manually.
There are two types of permits that a club can apply for:
- Club Gaming Permit
- Club Machine Permit
Club Gaming Permit
The Licensing Board may grant a club gaming permit to members' clubs, but not to commercial clubs.
A club gaming permit authorises the provision of:
- Up to 3 gaming machines of Category B, C, or D (in any combination)
- Equal chance gaming
- Prescribed games of chance
The Licensing Board cannot add conditions to the permit but the following will automatically apply:
- Only members or guests of members may participate in the gaming
- Nobody under the age of 18 has access to a Category B or C gaming machine
- The club complies with any codes of practice issued by the Gambling Commission about the location and operation of its gaming machines
A club gaming permit will allow clubs to offer gaming facilities as detailed above in addition to those they are allowed to offer under their exempt gaming allowance (Section 269 and 270 of the Gambling Act 2005).
Club Machine Permit
The Licensing Board may grant a club machine permit to a members' club or commercial club. A club machine permit authorises the provision of up to 3 gaming machines which must be of Category B, C or D (in any combination).
An application for a club gaming permit or club machine permit must:
- Be made on the appropriate application form
- Specify the premises in relation to which the permit is sought
When the application is made by an existing operator the application must also be accompanied by a copy of the applicant's registration certificate.
The fee for existing operators is £100 and for new operators £200.
Within 7 days of making the application the applicant must send a copy of the application and any accompanying documents to The Gambling Commission and Police Scotland.
The Gambling Commission and/or Police Scotland may lodge an objection to the application within the period of 28 days from the date on which the application was made to the Licensing Board.
The objection is made by sending 2 copies of a written statement setting out the reasons for the objection.
A permit lasts 10 years and is due for renewal not earlier than 3 months and not later than 6 weeks before the expiry date. The application fee for renewal is £200.
A permit will lapse if the holder of a permit ceases to be a members' or commercial club, or will cease to have effect if the permit holder surrenders the permit.
The permit holder is required to pay a first annual fee of £50 within 30 days of the issue of the permit and an annual fee of £50 before each anniversary of the issue of the permit.
After granting or refusing an application, the Licensing Board must as soon as reasonably practicable give notice of the decision and, where an objection was made, the reasons for the decision to:
- The applicant
- The Gambling Commission
- Police Scotland.
The Licensing Board may not attach conditions to a permit. A permit can be varied to meet changing circumstances. The application fee is £100 and the application must be accompanied by the permit or a statement explaining why it is not practicable to produce the permit.
A duplicate permit can be provided for £15.
Last updated: Tuesday, May 25, 2021 3:10 PM