Gambling Act 2005

If you own or run a premises that is used for betting, gaming and other types of gambling, you need a licence from the council.

The Gambling Act 2005 provides the regulatory regime. The licensing objectives are :

  • Preventing gambling from being a source of crime and disorder.
  • Ensuring gambling is conducted in a fair and open way.
  • Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

The Gambling Commission regulates commercial gambling in Great Britain, other than spread betting or the National Lottery. It issues personal and operating licences.

The Council is the licensing authority and you can get the following types of licence from us:

  • Casinos
  • Bingo
  • Betting premises
  • Tracks
  • Adult Gaming Centres
  • Family Entertainment Centres
  • The Council also issue permits for :
  • Unlicensed family entertainment centres
  • Club gaming permits and club machine permits
  • Alcohol licensed premises machine permits
  • Prize gaming
  • Local Authorities administer :
  • Temporary use notices (non-remote casino activity)
  • Occasional use notices (track betting like point to point)

For more information about types of licence, go to the Gambling Commission website.

Gambling Statement

View the Gambling Policy (Statement of Principles) 2016 - 2018 (PDF 558KB)

Background information

Q. Why do we need a Gambling Statement?

A. The Government reformed the law on gambling. Under the Gambling Act 2005, local authorities have a range of responsibilities related to gambling. These include licensing any premises used for gambling, regulating the use of gaming machines and the playing of games such as poker in pubs and clubs, and granting permits to certain types of amusement arcades. The Gambling Commission is responsible for advising local authorities on these functions.

Q. Who does the act apply to?

A.The act applies to casinos, bingo clubs, lotteries and gaming machines, as well as betting and online gambling which were brought under the Gambling Commission’s jurisdiction for the first time in 2006. The act contains three licensing objectives which underpin the functions of the commission and the licensing authority. These objectives are central to the regulatory regime created by the Act. They 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; and
  • Protecting children and other vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

Q. How will children and the vulnerable be protected?

A. With limited exceptions, the intention of the Gambling Act is that children and young persons should not be permitted to gamble and should be prevented from entering those gambling premises which are adult-only environments.

Children must be protected from being “harmed or exploited by gambling” which in practice means preventing them from taking part in or being in close proximity to gambling and for there to be restrictions on advertising so that gambling products are not aimed at children or advertised in such a way that makes them particularly attractive to children.

“Vulnerable persons” will not be defined but the assumption is that this group includes people who gamble more than they want to, people who gamble beyond their means, and people who may not be able to make informed or balanced decisions about gambling due to a mental impairment, alcohol or drugs.

Q. What can the city council do and what can it not do?

A. Moral objections to gambling are not a valid reason to reject applications for premises licences. This is because such objections do not relate to the licensing objectives. 

The authority’s decision cannot be based on dislike of gambling, or a general notion that it is undesirable to allow gambling premises in an area. In deciding to reject an application, a licensing authority should rely on reasons that demonstrate that the licensing objectives are not being met.

Q. How is the suitability of licensees checked?

A. Key staff such as managing and finance directors must be licensed by the commission, as must casino employees such as dealers and cashiers. The application process for those licences is an important step to keeping crime out of gambling.

Application forms

Application forms and further information is available via links to our Gambling Act 2005 - Premises Licence page and to the DCMS (Department for Culture Media and Sport) at the DCMS website.

Further guidance

The Gambling Commission has also produced some information booklets/factsheets on the following topics:

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport have published some guidance leaflets for Arcades (PDF 155KB) and for Betting Premises (PDF 152KB)

Premises licences for gambling will be in addition to other licensing regimes, like alcohol and regulated entertainment. Visit our premises licence application forms page to download licence application forms and guidance notes.

If you have any questions please phone 01273 294 429.