Gambling licensing policy

Last updated: 1 April 2022

Gambling premises Licences: what is a premises licence?

Where an individual or company uses a premises to offer gambling activities, they will need to apply for a premises licence.

Premises licences will be subject to the requirements set out in the Gambling Act 2005 and other relevant legislation including specific mandatory and default conditions which are detailed in regulations issued by the Secretary of State.

Licensing authorities are able to exclude default conditions and also attach others where it is appropriate to do so.

Definition of a premises

In the Gambling Act, "premises" is defined as including "any place” and section 152 of the Gambling Act prevents more than one premises licence applying to any place.

A single building could, however, be subject to more than one premises licence, provided they apply to different parts of the building and those parts can be reasonably regarded as being separate premises. In considering whether it is lawful to licence part of a building, the Licensing Authority will take into account national guidance issued by the Gambling Commission.

In deciding whether a proposed licence for part of a premises is consistent with the licensing objectives, the Licensing Authority will pay special attention to the need to protect children.

As advised by the Gambling Commission, children should be protected not only from taking part in gambling, but also from being in close proximity to gambling. Premises should be configured so that children are not invited to participate in, have accidental access to or closely observe gambling where they are prohibited from participating.

Split premises

The council will always give the closest consideration to whether a sub-division has created separate premises meriting a separate machine entitlement.

The council will not automatically grant a licence for sub-divided premises even if the mandatory conditions are met, particularly where the Authority considers that this has been done in order to avoid controls on the number of machines which can be provided in single premises.

The council will consider whether the sub-division conflicts with the licensing objective of protecting the vulnerable. The Authority may also take into account other relevant factors as they arise on a case-by-case basis.