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Gambling Act 2005 - Statement of Licensing Principals January 2022

Part B Premises Licences

Premises Licences will be subject to the permissions/restrictions set out in the Gambling Act 2005 and regulations, as well as specific mandatory and default conditions which will be detailed in regulations issued by the Secretary of State. Licensing authorities are able to exclude default conditions and also attach others, where it is believed to be appropriate.

This Licensing Authority is aware that in making decisions about premises licences it should aim to permit the use of premises for gambling in so far as it thinks it is:

  • in accordance with any relevant code of practice issued by the Commission
  • in accordance with any relevant guidance issued by the Commission
  • reasonably consistent with the licensing objectives and
  • in accordance with the authority's statement of licensing principles

Primary Gambling Activity - The Commission guidance states that by distinguishing between premises types the Act makes it clear that the primary gambling activity of the premises should be that described. Thus in bingo premises, the primary activity should be bingo, with gaming machines as an ancillary offer on the premises. This principle also applies to existing casino licences (but not 2005 Act Casinos) and betting premises licences.

It is appreciated that as per the Commission's Guidance for licensing authorities "moral objections to gambling are not a valid reason to reject applications for premises licences" (except as regards any 'no casino resolution' - see section on Casinos below) and also that unmet demand is not a criterion for a Licensing Authority.

Definition of 'premises' - Premises is defined in the Act as "any place".  Section 152 therefore prevents more than one premises licence applying to any place. But a single building could be subject to more than one premises licence, provided they are for different parts of the building and the different parts of the building can be reasonably regarded as being different premises.  This  approach  has  been  taken  to  allow  large,  multiple  unit premises such as pleasure park, track or shopping mall to obtain discrete premise licences, where  appropriate safeguards are in place. However, licensing authorities should pay particular attention if there are issues about sub-divisions of a single building or plot and should ensure that mandatory conditions relating to access between premises are observed.

The Commission states in its Guidance to Licensing Authorities that "In most cases the expectation is that a single building/plot will be the subject of an application for a licence, for example, 32 High Street. But that does not mean 32 High Street cannot be the subject of separate premises licences for the basement and ground floor if they are configured acceptably. Whether different parts of a building can properly be regarded as being separate premises will depend on the circumstances. The location of the premises will clearly be an important consideration and the suitability of the division is likely to be a matter for discussion between the operator and the licensing officer. However, the Commission does not consider that areas of a building that are artificially or temporarily separated, for example by ropes or moveable partitions, can properly be regarded as different premises."

This Licensing Authority takes particular note of the Commission's Guidance for local authorities which states that: licensing authorities should take particular care in considering applications for multiple licences for a building and those relating to a discrete part of a building used for other (non-gambling) purposes. In particular they should be aware of the following:

  • The third licensing objective seeks to protect children from being harmed by gambling. In practice that means not only preventing them from being in close proximity to gambling. Therefore 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.
  • Entrances to and exits from parts of a building covered by more one or more premises licences should be separate and identifiable so that separation of different premises is not compromised and people do not "drift" into a gambling area. In this context it should normally be possible to access the premises without going through another licensed premises or premises without a permit.
  • Customers should be able to participate in the activity named on the premise licence.

The Guidance also gives a list of factors, which the Licensing Authority should be aware of, which may include:

  • Do the premises have a separate registration for business rates?
  • Are the premises' neighbouring premises owned by the same person or someone else?
  • Can each of the premises be accessed from the street or a public passageway?
  • Can the premises only be accessed from any other gambling premises?

This authority will consider these and other relevant factors (e.g. division walling would normally be expected to be full floor to ceiling height), in making its decision, depending on all the circumstances of the case.

The Commission's relevant access provisions for each premise type are contained in the guidance.

Premises ready for gambling - The guidance states that a licence to use premises for gambling should only be issued in relation to premises that the Licensing Authority can be satisfied are going to be ready to be used for gambling in the reasonably near future, consistent with the scale of building or alterations required before the premises are brought into use. If the construction of a premises is not yet complete, or if they need alteration, or if the applicant does not yet have a right to occupy them, then they can make an application for a provisional statement.

In deciding whether a premises licence can be granted where there are outstanding construction or alteration works at a premises, this authority will determine applications on their merits, applying a two stage consideration process:-

  • First, whether the premises ought to be used for gambling
  • Second, whether appropriate conditions can be put in place to cater for the situation that the premises are not yet in the state in which they ought to be before gambling takes place.

Applicants should note that this authority is entitled to decide that it is appropriate to grant a licence subject to conditions, but it is not obliged to grant such a licence.

Location- This Licensing Authority is aware that demand issues cannot be considered with regard to the location of premises but that considerations in terms of the licensing objectives are relevant to its decision making. As per the Commission's Guidance for local authorities, this authority will pay particular attention to the protection of children and vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling, as well as issues of crime and disorder.

This Licensing Authority will consider questions raised by the location of gambling premises when:

  • formulating its statement of licensing policy
  • receiving relevant representations to an application
  • dealing with applications as a responsible authority in its own right considering applications before it.

Local Risk Assessments- Under the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) licensees must assess the local risks to the licensing objectives posed by the provision of gambling facilities at each of their premises, and have policies, procedures and control measures to mitigate those risks. In making risk assessments, licensees must take into account relevant matters identified in this policy and also the Local Area Profile.

The LCCP also states that licensees must review (and update as necessary) their local risk assessments:

  • To take account of significant changes in local circumstances, including those identified in this policy;
  • When there are significant changes at a licensee's premises that may affect their mitigation of local risks;
  • When applying for a variation of a premise licence; and
  • In any case, undertake a local risk assessment when applying for a new premise licence.

The Licensing Authority will expect the local risk assessment to consider as a minimum:

  • Whether the premise is in an area with high levels or crime and/or disorder
  • Whether the premise is in an area of high deprivation
  • The demographics of the area in respect of vulnerable groups of people including those with gambling dependencies, where this information is available
  • Location of services and amenities for children in the area such as schools, playgrounds, leisure facilities and other areas where children may gather.

The risk assessment may also include:

  • Procedures in place to ensure staff are adequately trained in how to monitor and deal with customers suspected of excessive gambling (including brief intervention training for staff), vulnerable persons or children and also details and regularity of training given
  • Details of supervisory and management procedures in place including number of staff available and their designated duties and responsibilities
  • Details of any consideration given to the need for CCTV in the premise and if installed how the system will be operated and monitored and what coverage it is designed to give in the premise.

Details of the signage and documents relating to games rules, gambling care providers and other relevant information including a consideration of whether information needs to be provided in another language that may be prevalent in the locality.

Such information may be used to inform the decision the Authority makes about whether to grant a licence, to grant a licence with special conditions or to refuse the application. This does not prevent and application made and each application will be decided on its merits with the onus being on the applicant to show how the concerns can be overcome.

Planning- In determining applications the Licensing Authority has a duty to take into consideration all relevant matters and not to take into consideration any irrelevant matters, i.e. those not related to gambling and the licensing objectives. One example of an irrelevant matter would be the likelihood of the applicant obtaining planning permission or building regulations approval for their proposal. Those matters should be dealt with under relevant planning control and building regulation powers, and not form part of the consideration for the premise licence. The Act prevents licensing authorities taking into account the likelihood of the proposal by the applicant obtaining planning or building consent when considering a premise licence application. Equally the grant of a gambling premises licence does not prejudice or prevent any action that may be appropriate under the law relating to planning or building.

Duplication with other regulatory regimes- This Licensing Authority seeks to avoid any duplication with other statutory/regulatory systems where possible, including planning. This authority will not consider whether a licence application is likely to be awarded planning permission or building regulations approval, in its consideration of it. It will though, listen to, and consider carefully, any concerns about conditions that cannot be met by licensees due to planning restrictions, should such a situation arise.

When dealing with a premises licence application for finished buildings, this authority will not take into account whether those buildings have to comply with the necessary planning or building consents. Fire or health and safety risks will not be taken into account, as these matters are dealt with under relevant planning control, buildings and other regulations and must not form part of the consideration for the premise licence.

Licensing objectives

In exercising their functions under the Act, particularly in relation to premises licences, temporary use notices and some permits, licensing authorities must have regard to the licensing objectives set out in s.1 of the Act, namely:

  • 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.

Premises licences granted must be reasonably consistent with the licensing objectives. With regard to these objectives, this Licensing Authority has considered the Commission's Guidance to local authorities and some comments are made below.

Preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime- This licensing authority will consider the location of premises in the context of this licensing objective. For example, in considering an application for a premises licence or permit that is in an area noted for particular problems with disorder, organised criminal activity etc, consideration will be given what if any, controls might be appropriate to prevent those premises being associated with or used to support crime. That might include conditions on the premises licence, such as a requirement for door supervisors.

In the context of gambling premises licences, this Licensing Authority consider disorder as activity that is more serious and disruptive than mere nuisance. Factors to consider in determining whether a disturbance was serious enough to constitute disorder would include whether police assistance was required and how threatening the behaviour was to those who could see or hear it. There is not a clear line between nuisance and disorder and the Licensing Authority should take the views of its lawyers before determining what action to take in circumstances in which disorder may be a factor.

Regulatory issues arising from the prevention of disorder are likely to focus almost exclusively on premises licensing, rather than on operating licences. If there are persistent or serious disorder problems that an operator could or should do more to prevent, the Licensing Authority will bring this to the attention of the Commission so that it can consider the continuing suitability of the operator to hold an operating licence.

There are a number of voluntary initiatives that the gambling industry participates in to address issues such as underage access, staff safety and security. These change from time to time and this Licensing Authority will check with local operators when conducting inspections, as to which (if any) scheme the operator is a part of. For example, The Safe Bet Alliance's Voluntary Code of Safety and Security National Standards for Bookmakers. Further information can often be found on the websites of industry trade associations.

Licensing authorities do not need to investigate the suitability of an applicant for a premises licence, including in relation to crime. The issue of suitability will already have been considered by the Commission because any applicant (except occupiers of tracks who do not propose to offer gambling themselves) will have to hold an operating licence from the Commission before the premises licence can be issued. However, if this Licensing Authority receives information during the course of considering a premises licence application or at any other time, that causes it to question the suitability of the applicant to hold an operating licence, these concerns will be brought to the attention of the Commission.

Ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way- This Licensing Authority will communicate any concerns to the Commission about misleading advertising or absence of required games rules as set out in the Licensing Conditions and Codes of Practice.

Fairness and openness are likely to be a matter for either the way specific gambling products are provided and therefore subject to the operating licence or will be in relation to the suitability and actions of an individual and therefore subject to the personal licence. However, if this Licensing Authority suspect that gambling is not being conducted in a fair and open way this will be brought to the attention of the Commission so that it can consider the continuing suitability of the operator to hold an operating licence or of an individual to hold a personal licence.

In relation to the licensing of tracks, the track owners will not necessarily have an operating licence. In those circumstances the premises licence may need to contain conditions to ensure that the environment in which betting takes place is suitable.

Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling- This Licensing Authority has noted the Gambling Commission's Guidance states that this objective means preventing children from taking part in gambling (as well as restriction of advertising so that gambling products are not aimed at or are, particularly attractive to children). This Licensing Authority will therefore consider, as suggested in the Commission's Guidance, whether specific measures are required at particular premises, with regard to this licensing objective.

This may include such requirements as:-

  • Supervision of entrances;
  • Segregation of gambling areas from areas frequented by children;
  • Supervision of gaming machines in licensed family entertainment centres

This Licensing Authority is also aware of the Commission's revised Codes of Practice as regards this licensing objective, in relation to specific premises.

In exercising powers under s.153, this Licensing Authority will consider whether staff will be able to adequately supervise the gambling premises, as adequate staffing levels is a factor to consider regarding the prevention of underage gambling and will the operator to consider how any impediments to the supervision of premises might be most appropriately remedied. Supervision also applies to premises that are themselves not age-restricted (e.g. bingo and family entertainment centre (FEC) premises) but which make gambling products and facilities available.

Where the structure or layout of premises is an inhibition or potential inhibition to satisfying this licensing objective, the licensee should consider what changes are required to ensure the risk is mitigated. Such changes might include the positioning of staff or CCTV, the use of floor-walkers and the relocation of the staff counter to enable direct line of sight. Licensing authorities need to consider the proportionality of changes to the physical layout in relation to other measures that could be put in place.

If the operator fails to satisfy the Licensing Authority that the risks are sufficiently mitigated, it may be appropriate to conduct a review of the premises licence.

In relation to casinos, the Commission has issued a code of practice on access to casino premises by children and young persons, as provided for by s.176 of the Act. The code of practice is available as part of the licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) or as Gambling codes of practice. In accordance with s.176 of the Act, adherence to the code will be a condition of the premises licence.

The Act does not seek to prohibit particular groups of adults from gambling in the same way that it prohibits children. The Commission does not seek to define 'vulnerable persons' but it does, for regulatory purposes, assume 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, for example, mental health, a learning disability or substance misuse relating to alcohol or drugs.

This Licensing Authority will consider, in relation to particular premises, whether any special considerations apply in relation to the protection of vulnerable persons. This could be a local risk that is reflected in the Licensing Authority's policy statement. Any such considerations need to be balanced against the authority's objective to aim to permit the use of premises for gambling.

Social responsibility

The Authority is aware of the extensive requirements set out for operators in the Commission's Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) regarding the social responsibility provisions for operators. In this document the Commission clearly describe the policies and procedures that operators should put in place regarding:

  • Combating problem gambling - operators will need to demonstrate increased levels of both induction and refresher training for staff, to ensure effective interaction with customers
  • Access to gambling by children and young persons - operators will need to consider for example the use of CCTV, mirrors , positioning of staff and counters to ensure staff can effectively monitor who is accessing their premises and have policies and procedures in place to deal with problems
  • Information on how to gamble responsibly and help for problem gamblers
  • Customer interaction
  • Self-exclusion - operators will be required to participate in self-exclusion schemes
  • Employment of children and young persons

All applicants should familiarise themselves with the LCCP relating to this objective and determine if these policies and procedures are appropriate in their circumstances. The council will communicate any concerns to the Commission about any absence of this required information.

Contact details for specialised services who offer advice and counselling for problem gamblers are set out in Appendix 3.

Licensing conditions

This Licensing Authority will consider this licensing objective on a case-by-case basis. Any conditions attached to licences will be proportionate and will be:

  • relevant to the need to make the proposed building suitable as a gambling facility
  • directly related to the premises and the type of licence applied for;
  • fairly and reasonably related to the scale and type of premises: and reasonable in all other respects.

Decisions upon individual conditions will be made on a case by case basis, although there will be a number of control measures this Licensing Authority will consider utilising should there be an evidenced need, such as the use of supervisors, appropriate signage for adult only areas etc. There are specific comments made in this regard under some of the licence types below. This Licensing Authority will also expect the licence applicant to offer his/her own suggestions as to the way in which the licensing objectives can be met effectively.

This Licensing Authority will also consider specific measures that may be required for buildings that are subject to multiple premises licenses. Such measures may include the supervision of entrances; segregation of gambling from non-gambling areas frequented by children; and the supervision of gaming machines in non-adult gambling specific premises in order to pursue the licensing objectives. These matters are in accordance with the Commission's Guidance.

  • This authority will also ensure that where category C or above machines are on offer in premises to which children are admitted:
  • all such machines are located in an area of the premises which is separated from the remainder of the premises by a physical barrier which is effective to prevent access other than through a designated entrance;
  • only adults are admitted to the area where these machines are located;
  • access to the area where the machines are located is supervised;
  • the area where these machines are located is arranged so that it can be observed by the staff or the licence holder; and
  • at the entrance to and inside any such areas there are prominently displayed notices indicating that access to the area is prohibited to persons under 18.

These considerations will apply to premises including buildings where multiple premises licences are applicable.

This Licensing Authority is aware that tracks may be subject to one or more premises licence, provided each licence relates to a specified area of the track. As per the Commission's Guidance, this Licensing Authority will consider the impact upon the third licensing objective and the need to ensure that entrances to each type of premises are distinct and that children are excluded from gambling areas where they are not permitted to enter.

It is noted that there are conditions that the Licensing Authority cannot attach to premises licences that are:

  • any condition on the premises licence which makes it impossible to comply with an operating licence condition
  • conditions relating to gaming machine categories, numbers, or method of operation;
  • conditions which provide that membership of a club or body be required (the Gambling Act 2005 specifically removes the membership requirement for casino and bingo clubs and this provision prevents it being reinstated); and
  • conditions in relation to stakes, fees, winning or prizes

Door Supervisors- In relation to preventing disorder, licensing authorities have the ability under s.169 of the Act to attach additional conditions to premises licences and are entitled to include a requirement for door supervision, as provided for in s.178 of the Act. If a person employed on door supervision would be required to hold a licence issued by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), that requirement will have force as though it were a condition on the premises licence.

The Commission advises in its Guidance to Licensing Authorities that if a Licensing Authority is satisfied that a premises may attract disorder or be subject to attempts at unauthorised access (for example by children and young persons) then it may require that the entrances to the premises are controlled by a door supervisor and is entitled to impose a premises licence to this effect.

Where it is decided that supervision of entrances/ machines is appropriate for particular cases, a consideration of whether these need to be SIA licensed or not will be necessary. It will not be automatically assumed that they need to be licensed, as the statutory requirements for different types of premises vary.

CCTV -Where CCTV is installed in a premise the system should:

  • Be maintained in good working order and be correctly time and date stamped.
  • The system will incorporate sufficient built-in hard-drive capacity to suit the number of cameras installed, whilst complying with Data Protection legislation.
  • Be capable of providing pictures of evidential quality in all lighting conditions, particularly facial recognition.
  • Be capable of a minimum of 31 days recording.
  • The system will incorporate a means of transferring images from the hard-drive to a format that can be played back on a desktop computer.
  • Any Digital recorder will have the facility to be password protected to prevent unauthorised access, tampering, or deletion of images.

In addition:

There will be at all times a member of staff on duty (or contactable if part of a centralised system) who is trained in the use of the equipment and upon receipt of a request for footage from a governing body, such as Cleveland Police or any other Responsible Authority, be able to produce the footage within a reasonable time, e.g. 24hrs routine or less if urgently required for investigation of serious crime. Notices should be displayed advising that CCTV is in operation.

Adult Gaming Centres

This Licensing Authority will specifically have regard to the need to protect children and vulnerable persons from harm or being exploited by gambling and will expect the applicant to satisfy the authority that there will be sufficient measures to ensure that under 18 year olds do not have access to the premises.

This Licensing Authority may consider measures to meet the licensing objectives such as:

  • Proof of age schemes
  • CCTV
  • Supervision of entrances / machine areas
  • Physical separation of areas
  • Location of entry
  • Notices / signage
  • Specific opening hours
  • Self-Exclusion schemes
  • Provision of information leaflets/helpline numbers for organisations such as GamCare.

This list is not mandatory, nor exhaustive, and is merely indicative of example measures.

(Licensed) Family entertainment centres (fec):

This Licensing Authority will specifically have regard to the need to protect children and vulnerable persons from harm or being exploited by gambling and will expect the applicant to satisfy the authority, for example that there will be sufficient measures to ensure that under 18 year olds do not have access to the adult only gaming machine areas.

  • This Licensing Authority may consider measures to meet the licensing objectives such as:
  • CCTV ( see guidance for minimum requirements for CCTV in section 14.15)
  •  Supervision of entrances / machine areas
  • Physical separation of areas
  • Location of entry
  • Notices / signage
  • Specific opening hours
  • Self-Exclusion schemes
  • Provision of information leaflets / helpline numbers for organisations such as GamCare.
  • Measures/training for staff on how to deal with suspected truant school children on the premises

This list is not mandatory, nor exhaustive, and is merely indicative of example measures.

This Licensing Authority will, as per the Commission's guidance, refer to the Commission's website to see any conditions that apply to operator licences covering the way in which the area containing the category C machines should be delineated. This Licensing Authority will also make itself aware of any mandatory or default conditions on these premises licences.

Casinos

No Casinos resolution - This Licensing Authority has not passed a 'no casino' resolution under Section 166 of the Gambling Act 2005 but is aware that it has the power to do so. Should this Licensing Authority decide in the future to pass such a resolution, it will update this policy statement with details of that resolution. Any such decision will be made by the Full Council.

Licence considerations/conditions - This Licensing Authority will attach conditions to casino premises licences according to the principles set out in the Commission's guidance and the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice published by the Commission.

Betting machines - This Licensing Authority will, as per the Commission's Guidance, take into account the size of the premises, the number of counter positions available for person-to-person transactions, and the ability of staff to monitor the use of the machines by children and young persons (it is an offence for those under 18 to bet) or by vulnerable people, when considering the number/nature/circumstances of betting machines an operator wants to offer.

Bingo premises

There is no official definition for bingo in the Gambling Act 2005, however, from a licensing point of view there is a category of premises licence specifically for bingo premises which is used by traditional commercial bingo halls for both cash and prize bingo. In addition this premises licence will authorise the provision of a limited number of gaming machines in line with the provisions of the Act. The Commission has provided Guidance for Licensing Authorities and Licence Conditions and Code of Practice which are applied to Operator's Licences. The council will take this into consideration when determining licence applications for bingo premises.

This Licensing Authority notes that the Commission's Guidance states:

Licensing authorities will need to satisfy themselves that bingo can be played in any bingo premises for which they issue a licence. This will be a relevant consideration where the operator of an existing bingo premise licence applies to vary their licence to exclude an area of the existing premises from its ambit and then applies for a new premises licence, or multiple licenses, for that or those excluded areas.

This Licensing Authority notes this Guidance also states that:

in the unusual circumstances in which the splitting of a pre-existing premises into two adjacent premises might be permitted, and in particular that it is not permissible to locate all the gaming machines in one of the resulting premises, as the gaming machine entitlement for that premises would be exceeded.

Children and young people are allowed into bingo premises; however they are not permitted to participate in gambling other than on category D machines. Where category C or above machines are made available for use then the Authority will ensure that:

  • All such machines are located in an area of the premises separate from the remainder of the premises by a physical barrier which is effective to prevent access other than through a designated entrance. For this purpose a rope, floor markings  or similar provision will not suffice and the council may insist on a permanent barrier of at least one meter high
  • Only adults are admitted to the area where the machines are located
  • Access to the area where the machines are located is supervised at all times
  • The area where the machines are located is arranged so that it can be observed by staff
  • At the entrance to, and inside any such area there are prominently displayed notices indicating that access to the area is prohibited to persons under 18
  • Children will not be admitted to bingo premises unless accompanied by an adult.

A summary of gaming machine provisions, categories and entitlements (maximum stakes & prizes) can be found on the Gambling Commission website.

Betting premises

To assist operators of betting premises the Commission has published a document setting out the indicators that are to be used to assess as to whether the requirements for betting being the primary gambling activity in any particular premise are being met:

  • The offer of established core products (including live event pictures and bet range)
  • The provision of information on core products and events
  • The promotion of gambling opportunities and product
  • The provision of sufficient betting facilities
  • The size of the premises
  • The delivering of betting facilities

This authority will consider all of the above factors when determining betting premise licence applications and primary use. Each case will be determined on its own merits to ensure that gaming machines are only made available in suitably licensed premises.

Betting machines - This Licensing Authority will, as per the Commission's Guidance, take into account the size of the premises, the number of counter positions available for person-to-person transactions, and the ability of staff to monitor the use of the machines by children and young persons (it is an offence for those under 18 to bet) or by vulnerable people, when considering the number / nature / circumstances of betting machines an operator wants to offer.

Tracks

This Licensing Authority is aware that tracks may be subject to one or more than one premises licence, provided each licence relates to a specified area of the track. As per the Commission's Guidance, this Licensing Authority will especially consider the impact upon the third licensing objective (i.e. the protection of children and vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling) and the need to ensure that entrances to each type of premises are distinct and that children are excluded from gambling areas where they are not permitted to enter. This authority will therefore expect the premises licence applicant to demonstrate suitable measures to ensure that children do not have access to adult only gaming facilities. It is noted that children and young persons will be permitted to enter track areas where facilities for betting are provided on days when dog-racing and/or horse racing takes place, but that they are still prevented from entering areas where gaming machines (other than category D machines) are provided. This Licensing Authority may consider measures to meet the licensing objectives:

  • Proof of age schemes
  • CCTV
  • Supervision entrances / machine areas
  • Physical separation of areas
  • Location of entry
  • Notices / signage
  • Specific opening hours
  • Self-Exclusion Schemes
  • Provision  of  information  leaflets  /  helpline  numbers  for  organisations  such  as GamCare

This list is not mandatory, nor exhaustive, and is merely indicative of example measures.

Gaming machines - Where the applicant holds a pool betting operating licence and is going to use the entitlement to four gaming machines, machines (other than category D machines) should be located in areas from which children are excluded.

Betting machines - This Licensing Authority will as per Commission's Guidance, take into account the size of the premises and the ability of staff to monitor the use of the machines by children and young persons (it is an offence for those under 18 to bet) or by vulnerable people, when considering the number/nature/circumstances of betting machines an operator wants to offer.

Applications and plans

The Gambling Act (s151) requires applicants to submit plans of the premises with their application, in order to ensure that the Licensing Authority has the necessary information to make an informed judgement about whether the premises are fit for gambling. The plan will also be used for the Licensing Authority to plan future premise inspection activity.

Plans for tracks do not need to be in a particular scale but should be drawn to scale and should be sufficiently detailed to include the information required by the regulations. Some tracks may be situated on agricultural land where the perimeter is not defined by virtue of an outer wall or fence, such as point-to-point racetracks. In such instances, where an entry fee is levied, track premise licence holders may erect temporary structures to restrict access to premises. In the rare cases where the outer perimeter cannot be defined, it is likely that the track in question will not be specifically designed for the frequent holding of sporting events or races. In such cases betting facilities may be better provided through occasional use notices where the boundary of the premises do not need to be defined.

This Authority appreciates that it is sometimes difficult to define the precise location of betting areas on tracks. The precise location of where betting facilities are provided is not required to be shown on track plans, both by virtue of the fact that betting is permitted anywhere on the premises and because of the difficulties associated with pinpointing exact locations for some types of track. Applicants should provide sufficient information that this authority can satisfy itself that the plan indicates the main areas where betting might take place. For racecourses in particular, any betting areas subject to the "five times rule" (commonly known as betting rings) must be indicated on the plan.

Travelling fairs

This Licensing Authority is responsible for deciding whether, where category D machines and / or equal chance prize gaming without a permit is to be made available for use at travelling fairs, the statutory requirement that the facilities for gambling amount to no more than an ancillary amusement at the fair is met. The Licensing Authority will also consider whether the applicant falls within the statutory definition of a travelling fair.

It is noted that the 27-day statutory maximum for the land being used as a fair, applies on a per calendar year basis, and that it applies to the piece of land on which the fairs are held, regardless  of whether it is the same or different travelling fairs occupying the land. This Licensing Authority will work with its neighbouring authorities to ensure that land that crosses our boundaries is monitored so that the statutory limits are not exceeded.

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 worth taking forward 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.

S204 of the Gambling Act provides for a person to make an application to the Licensing Authority for a provisional statement in respect of premises that he or she:

  • expects to be constructed;
  • expects to be altered; or
  • 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. The applicant is obliged to give notice of the application in the same way as applying for a premises licence. Responsible authorities and interested parties may make representations and there are rights of appeal.

In contrast to the premises licence application, the applicant does not have to hold or have applied for an operating licence from the 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. The Licensing Authority will be constrained in the matters it can consider when determining the premises licence application, and in terms of representations about premises licence applications that follow the grant of a provisional statement, 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; or
  • 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 authority's opinion reflect a change in the operator's circumstances; or
  • where the premise has 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 it has with the applicant before making a decision.

Variations

Should the authority receive an application to vary a premises licence for a bingo or betting in order to extend the opening hours, then in accordance with the Commission Guidance this authority will need to be satisfied that the reason for the application is in line with the requirements on primary gambling activity (i.e. the need for operating licence holders to ensure that the gambling activity is appropriate to the licence type ("the primary activity" or "the principal activity") is actually offered at those premises and not replaced by the making available of gaming machines). Therefore the applicants will be expected to demonstrate that the extension of the opening hours is not designed solely to benefit from the machine entitlement which is an activity ancillary to the primary activity of the premises, namely betting or bingo.

Reviews

Requests for a review of a premises licence can be made by interested parties or responsible authorities; however, it is for the Licensing Authority to decide whether the review is to be carried out. This will be on the basis of whether the request for the review is relevant to the matters listed below:

  • is it in accordance with any relevant code of practice issued by the Commission?
  • is it in accordance with any relevant guidance issued by the Commission?
  • is it reasonably consistent with the licensing objectives? and
  • is it in accordance with the authority's statement of licensing principles?

The request for a review will also be subject to the consideration by the authority as to whether the request is frivolous, vexatious, or whether it will certainly not cause this authority to wish to alter/revoke/suspend the licence, or whether it is substantially the same as previous representations or requests for a review

The Licensing Authority can also initiate a review of a premises licence, or a particular class of premises licence on the basis of any reason which it thinks is appropriate. Once a valid application for a review has been received by the Licensing Authority, representations can be made by responsible authorities and interested parties during a 28 day period. This period begins 7 days after the application is received by the Licensing Authority, who will publish notice of the application within 7 days of receipt.

The Licensing Authority must carry out the review as soon as possible after the 28 day period for making representations has passed. The purpose of the review will be to determine whether the Licensing Authority should take any action in relation to the licence. If action is justified, the options open to the Licensing Authority are:-

  • add, remove or amend a licence condition imposed by the Licensing Authority:
  • exclude a default condition imposed by the Secretary of State or Scottish Ministers (e.g. opening hours) or remove or amend such an exclusion;
  • suspend the premises licence for a period not exceeding three months; and
  • revoke the premises licence.

In determining what action, if any, should be taken following a review, the Licensing Authority must have regard to the principles set out in section 153 of the Act, as well as any relevant representations.

In particular, the Licensing Authority may also initiate a review of a premises licence on the grounds that a premises licence holder has not provided facilities for gambling at the premises. This is to prevent people from applying for licences in a speculative manner without intending to use them.

Once the review has been completed, the Licensing Authority must, as soon as possible, notify its decision to:

  • the licence holder
  • the applicant for review (if any)
  • the Commission
  • any person who made representations
  • the chief officer of police or chief constable; and
  • Her Majesty's Commissioners for Revenue and Customs