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Gambling premises

What licence you'll need for a gambling premises

Who needs a premises licence?

Premises that wish to provide the following activities need to have a premises licence under the Gambling Act 2005:

  • Casino
  • Bingo (commercial)
  • Betting (including tracks)
  • Adult Gaming Centre (AGC)
  • Family Entertainment Centre (FEC)

Apply for a premises licence

A premises licence permits a person with a gambling operating licence (issued by the Gambling Commission) to use a premises to provide facilities for gambling. To apply for a premises licence you must have:

  • an operating licence (issued by the Gambling Commission) or an application for an operating licence
  • the right to occupy the premises for which the application is being made

The Licensing Authority in which the premises is wholly or partly situated is responsible for issuing premises licences.

Once granted a premises licence may be varied (for example, to change the lay-out) or transferred to another person. Our application forms are below:

To apply

To vary a licence

To transfer a licence

Provisional statements

You would apply for a provisional statement when:

  • a gambling premises is going to be built
  • a premises is to be altered to use it for the provision of gambling facilities; or
  • you're going to acquire the right to occupy a premises that they wish to use for the provision of gambling facilities

The granting of a provisional statement gives you (in the above situations) a level of assurance of the likely outcome of a premises licence application. Unlike a premises licence application, you can apply for a provisional statement without having an operating licence or a right to occupy the premises.

A provisional statement also provides the holder with some protection against representations when they make an application for a premises licence, in relation to the premises for which they hold a provisional statement.

Review of gambling premises licence

There are two main routes for initiating a review of a premises licence. They are:

  • a responsible authority (including the local police or the Gambling Commission) or an interested party can request that a licensing authority reviews a particular premises licence; or
  • a licensing authority can initiate a review by its own accord (for example, if it received complaints from the public about a particular premises or a class of premises).

A responsible authority or interested party may apply at any time for a review of a licence. An application for a review can be rejected if we think the grounds on which it is made:

  • don't raise an issue relevant to the guidance, code of practice, policy or licensing objectives
  • are frivolous
  • are vexatious
  • won't cause us to wish to take any action in respect of the licence
  • are substantially the same as the grounds specified in an earlier application for a review, or
    substantially the same as representations made in relation to the application for the premises licence

Temporary Use Notices (TUN)

These allow a gambling operator to temporarily use a premises which has no gambling premises licence to provide facilities for gambling. For example, hotels, conference centres and sporting venues might be suitable for temporary use notices. 

Three months and one day before an operator wishes to use a premises for the provision of gambling facilities they must give a Temporary Use Notice to the relevant licensing authority. Copies of the notice must also be given to the Gambling Commission, Police and HMRC. 

A TUN is subject to 14-days consultation period and would be subject to a hearing if objections are received. 

To obtain a temporary use notice, you must have an operator licence. And you must be seeking a temporary use notice to carry on activities for which your operator licence permits you (for example, a bingo operator would not be granted a TUN to run a poker school).

Individual premises can only be subject to Temporary Use Notices for 21 days in a 12 month period.

Occasional Use Notices (OUN)

Occasional Use Notices permit a track to be used for the purpose of betting without a premises licence, providing it is used for betting on no more than eight days in a calendar year. The meaning of "track" in the Gambling Act 2005 is not just limited to racecourses or greyhound tracks. This also comprises any other premises in which a race or sporting event takes place.