Guide A guide to applying for Gambling Act licences

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1. Section A - a guide to applying for a licence


The Gambling Act has replaced the previous systems of applying for licences and permits for gambling. All premises that require a premises licence will also need an operators licence. Many will also require personal licences although there are some exemptions for small operators. Applications for operator licences and personal licences must be made to the Gambling Commission.

Contact details:

Victoria Square House Victoria Square Birmingham B2 4BP

Tel: 0121 230 6666

Fax: 0121 233 1096



If you have not applied for operators or personal licences it is important that you contact the Gambling Commission or visit their website for advice.

We are the licensing authority for premises located in East Devon and is responsible for premises licences and permits. This document explains the process for new applications for premises licence, permits, notifications, temporary use notices and occasional use notices.  Lotteries are dealt with in a separate guide.

Who needs a premises licence?

Under the Gambling Act 2005 a premises licence is required for the following types of premises:

  • casino (we will not be considering casino licence applications in the near future - they are merely mentioned in this document for explanation purposes only)
  • bingo hall
  • betting shop
  • betting (track) – sporting venues not just tracks
  • amusement arcade (for adults only or where adult machines are provided)

It should be noted that 'premises' includes ‘any place’ in particular vehicles and vessels.

There are five types of premises licences:

  • casino premises licence
  • bingo premises licence
  • betting premises licence including tracks and premises used by betting intermediaries
  • adult gaming centres (for category B3 or B4, C and D gaming machines)
  • family entertainment centres (for category C and D gaming machines)

In addition there are unlicensed family entertainment centres which have only category D machines only need a permit.  See sections C and D.

Who needs a permit?

There are five types of permits and one notification that are relevant to East Devon:

  • (unlicensed) family entertainment centre (uFEC) gaming machine permit
  • club machine permit
  • club gaming permit
  • alcohol licensed premises gaming machine permit
  • prize gaming permit
  • notification of up to two gaming machines in alcohol licensed premises

Unlicensed FEC’s can have unlimited category D machines and would typically be centres catering for families but without the higher gaming machines.

Club machine permits are for social clubs or miner's welfare institutions where they can have up to three machines of B3A, B4, C or D gaming machines.

Club gaming permits are as club machine permits but with the addition of the prize gaming.

Alcohol licensed premises gaming machine permit is for premises where a premises licence issued under the Licensing Act 2003 applies and where there is a bar used ‘wholly or mainly for the sales or consumption of alcohol’.  These premises will have more than two category C or D machines, the maximum number of machines permitted will be shown on the permit.

Prize gaming permit is where there is a prize which is not determined by the number of people participating or the amount paid or raised by the gaming.

Notifications: There is a simple notification process for an entitlement of up to two category C or D machines on premises licensed to sell alcohol.

All these have applications forms and fees, though the length or permit and frequency of the fee vary so please see Section E – Fees.

Summary of machine provisions by premises

Different types of premises can have different categories of machines.  These are all set out in the following link for summary of machine provisions by premises.

Machine category chart

Gaming machines are split up into different categories.  Each category of machines has a different maximum stake and maximum prize.  You can look at these categories by clicking on this link for machine category chart.

Gambling policy statement

We are the licensing authority and we deal with all licensing functions relating to the activities shown above in its area.  We are required to prepare and publish a Gambling Policy every three years which explains the factors that we will consider when examining applications for licences and for monitoring compliance with licence conditions.  This policy also explains how we expect applicants to meet the three national licensing objectives of:

  • Prevent gambling from being a source of crime and disorder, being associated with crime and disorder, or being used to support crime
  • Ensure that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way
  • Protect children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling

When determining applications for licences we can only consider matters that will impact on one or more of these objectives.

Premises licences once granted will last for the life of the business provided that there are no changes applied for, or it is reviewed revoked or surrendered. It will therefore not need to be renewed annually although an annual fee will be payable.

The policy can be viewed on our website or it is available by contacting us on 01395 517411 or email to