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About the Gambling Act

Information about the Gambling Act including licence types and licensing objectives

Gambling Definition

The Gambling Act defines three types of gambling:

  • gaming
  • betting, and
  • participating in a lottery

The Gambling Act 2005 defines ‘gaming’ as playing a game of chance for a prize. 

‘Betting’ means making or accepting a bet on an outcome of a race, the likelihood of anything occurring (or not occurring) of whether anything is or is not true. 

A lottery is where one pays to enter and the winner is drawn wholly on chance.

Types of licences

Gambling is regulated by three types of licences:

  • premises licences
  • operating licences, and
  • personal licences

Premises licences are issued by us to allow premises to be used for gambling. Operating licences and personal licences are issue by the Gambling Commission and details of these can be found on the Gambling commission website.

In addition to licences, there are other forms of authorisation that may permit gambling facilities to be provided on particular premises. For example, temporary and occasional use notices, and permits. We are responsible for these additional authorisations and permissions.

Licensing objectives

The licensing objectives are at the heart of the legislation. They drive much of the thinking both in our policy and decisions made in relation to gambling. These licensing objectives are:

  • preventing gambling from being a source of crime and 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

Statement of Principles under the Gambling Act 2005

Under the Gambling Act 2005 all licensing authorities throughout England and Wales are required to review their Statement of Principles (gambling policy) every three years.

This document has been reviewed. The new statement of principles, effective from the 31st January 2016 can be found at the bottom of the page.