Gambling licensing policy

Last updated: 1 April 2022

Provisional statements

Developers may wish to apply to this authority for provisional statements before entering into a contract to buy or lease property or land to judge whether a development is viable in light of the need to obtain a premises licence.

There is no need for the applicant to hold an operating licence in order to apply for a provisional statement.

Section 204 of the Act permits an application for a premises licence to be made to licensing authorities for a provisional statement in respect of premises that they:

  • expects to be constructed
  • expects to be altered
  • expects to acquire a right to occupy

The process for considering an application for a provisional statement is the same as that for a premises licence application and the applicant is obliged to give notice of the application in the same way.

Responsible authorities and interested parties may make representations and there is a right of appeal against the decision.

In contrast to the premises licence application, the applicant does not have to hold or have applied for an operating licence from the Gambling Commission (except in the case of a track) and they do not have to have a right to occupy the premises in respect of which their provisional application is made.

The holder of a provisional statement may then apply for a premises licence once the premises are constructed, altered or acquired.

Licensing authorities will be constrained in the matters they can consider when determining any subsequent premises licence application and no further representations from relevant authorities or interested parties can be taken into account unless:

  • they concern matters which could not have been addressed at the provisional statement stage
  • they reflect a change in the applicant’s circumstances

In addition, the authority may refuse the premises licence (or grant it on terms different to those attached to the provisional statement) only by reference to matters:

  • which could not have been raised by objectors at the provisional statement stage
  • which in the licensing authority’s opinion reflect a change in the operator’s circumstances
  • where the premises have not been constructed in accordance with the plan submitted with the application. This must be a substantial change to the plan and this Licensing Authority notes that it can discuss any concerns with the applicant before making a decision