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Gambling Act 2005 - permits



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Permits

Permits are required when premises provide a gambling facility, but either the stakes and prizes are very low or gambling is not the main function of the premises. The permits regulate gambling and the use of gaming machines in a specified premises.

Permits are issued by the licensing authority with responsibility for the area in which the premises are situated and the permit is either granted without conditions or rejected.

Permit types:
  • unlicensed family entertainment centres (UFEC)
  • club gaming permits
  • club machine permits
  • licensed premises (alcohol) gaming machine permits
  • licensed premises (alcohol) automatic entitlement
  • prize gaming and prize gaming permits.

Unlicensed family entertainment centre



UFEC's are commonly located at seaside resorts, airports and at motorway service stations, and cater for families, including unaccompanied children and young persons.

Only category D machines are permitted and without a limit on number.

Club gaming permits and club machine permits



A licensing authority may grant members clubs and miners welfare institutes (but not commercial clubs) club gaming permits which authorise the establishments to provide gaming machines (as well as equal chance gaming and games of chance).

If a club does not wish to have the full range of facilities permitted by a club gaming permit or if they are a commercial club, they may apply to the licensing authority for a club machine permit. This authorises the holder to have up to three gaming machines of categories B4, C or D (that is three machines in total).

Members clubs and miners welfare institutes (but not commercial clubs) are entitled to site category B3A gaming machines offering lottery games in their clubs. However, the limit of three machines in total remains.

Licensed premises (alcohol) gaming machine permits

Licensing authorities may issue licensed premises gaming machine permits for any number of category C or D machines in alcohol licensed premises.

Licensed premises (alcohol) automatic entitlement



There is an automatic entitlement to make available two gaming machines of category C or D for use in alcohol licensed premises.

To take advantage of this entitlement, the person who holds the on premises licence (under the Licensing Act 2003) must give notice to the licensing authority of their intention to make gaming machines available for use.

Licensing authorities have no discretion to consider the notification or to turn it down, assuming the relevant criteria are met.

Prize gaming and prize gaming permits



Gaming is prize gaming if the nature and size of the prize is not determined by the number of people playing or the amount paid for or raised by the gaming. Normally the prizes are determined by the operator before play commences.

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

Prize gaming can often be seen at seaside resorts in amusement arcades where a form of bingo is offered and the prizes are displayed.

Any non-gambling premises (that is, one that has not got a premises licence under the Gambling Act 2005) that wishes to provide such gambling would need to apply for a prize gaming permit.

Prize gaming permits do not permit the provision of gaming machines and only certain equipment such as mechanised cash bingo equipment for example, may be used for prize gaming and not be treated as a gaming machine.

Some premises are already authorised by the Act to offer prize gaming, without needing a separate prize gaming permit. These are:
  • holders of adult gaming centre premises licences
  • holders of family entertainment centre premises licences
  • holders of bingo premises licences
  • holders of family entertainment centre gaming machine permits
  • travelling fairs.

Categories of gaming machine



The Gambling Act has defined four classes of gaming machine with further subdivisions in category B. Different types of premises are allowed different numbers and types of gaming machine as follows:

Category of Machine Maximum Stake Maximum Prize
A*UnlimitedUnlimited
B1£5£10,000
B2£100 (multiples of £10)£500
B3A£2£500
B3£2£500
B4£2£400
C£1£100
D non-money prize (other than crane grab machine)30p£8
D non-money prize (crane grab machine)£1£50
D money prize10p£5
D combined money and non-money prize (not coin pusher or penny falls machines)10p£8 (of which no more than £5 may be a money prize)
D combined money and non-money prize (coin pusher or penny falls machine)20p£20 (of which no more than £10 may be a money prize)

*only available in regional casinos

The application process



The council's statement of principles (pdf 437 kb) PDF logo provides further information relevant to the application process for the different permit types. This should be read carefully and referred to when making an application.

The information below provides a summary outline only and further information should be sought if required using the contacts section towards the bottom of this web page.

An application for a permit may only be made by persons (which includes companies or partnerships) who have the right to occupy the premises.

An applicant for a permit must be 18 or over.

The application must be made using the prescribed form (see application forms section below) and must be accompanied by:
  • the prescribed fee
  • a plan of the premises - needs to be to scale, although a specific scale is not prescribed (preferred 1:100). Needed for UFEC's, prize gaming and prize gaming permits
  • other supporting documentation as detailed in the council's statement of principles (pdf 437 kB) PDF logo

Responsible authorities



Responsible authorities are public bodies that must be notified of applications and that are entitled to make representations in relation to applications for, and in relation to, permits (excluding alcohol licensed premises automatic entitlement). All representations made by responsible authorities are likely to be relevant representations if they relate to the  three core objectives.

The responsible authorities are listed in Appendix A of the council's statement of principles (pdf 437 kB) PDF logo

The relevant responsible authorities are:
  • Chief Officer of Police
  • The Gambling Commission.

Copies of the application must be sent to the relevant authorities within seven days of the application being received by the licensing authority.

UFEC's - a copy should only be sent to the Chief Officer of Police

Club gaming and club machine permits - a copy should be sent to both of the above authorities.

Licensed premises (alcohol) gaming machine permits - a copy should be sent to the Chief Officer of Police.

This process is not required for the other permit types.

Representations



Responsible authorities have 28 consecutive days from the date of application to make representations to the licensing authority.

The licensing authority will determine the relevance of the representation. To be relevant, they should usually relate to the licensing objectives. Vexatious or frivolous representations will not be considered.

Hearings



A hearing will not be held if all parties have come to an agreement (mediation) or if the authority feels the representation is vexatious or frivolous.

Otherwise a hearing will be held to determine the outcome of the application.

Determination



On considering an application for a permit (whether at a hearing or not), a licensing authority shall:
  • grant it, or
  • reject it.

Grant



On grant of the application, the licensing authority shall as soon as is reasonably practical give notice to:
  • the applicant
  • the Gambling Commission (if applicable)
  • Chief Officer of Police (if applicable)
  • Customs and Excise (if applicable)

Issue the permit to the applicant - no conditions are applicable to permits.

Reject



On rejection of the application, the licensing authority shall as soon as is reasonably practical give notice to:
  • the applicant
  • the Gambling Commission (if applicable)
  • Chief Officer of Police (if applicable)
  • Customs and Excise (if applicable)

A notice will also be given to the above detailing the reasons for rejection.

Not applicable where automatic entitlement applies.

Appeal



An applicant appealing against the rejection or a responsible authority appealing against the grant of a permit has 21 days from receipt of the notice of decision from the licensing authority in which to make an appeal.

The appeal should be lodged with the magistrates court that covers the area in which the premises are situated.


Fees



Application forms



GA05/Permit/PG/01
GA05/Permit/UFEC/01
GA05/Permit/GMP/01
GA05/Permit/CGM

Register

Current applications for the grant of a permit and those previously completed can be viewed on the public register, listed together with other 'events' held against a given premises.

Further information


Contact information



To contact the Customer Service Centre:

Telephone: 01271 388870
For Typetalk: precede with 18001
Text: 07624 804042
Fax: 01271 388451
Email: customerservices@northdevon.gov.uk
Web form: send us a web enquiry
Join the conversation on Twitterexternal website
Compliment, complaint or suggestion? Your feedback

Our office hours are Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Licence applications, notices etc should be sent to:

The Licensing Team
Environmental Health and Housing
North Devon Council
Civic Centre
North Walk
Barnstaple
Devon
EX31 1EA

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