Family entertainment centres (FECs) are commonly located at seaside resorts, in airports and at motorway service stations. These premises are unlicensed by virtue of only providing Category D gaming machines. Any number of Category D machines can be made available with the Permit (subject to other considerations - fire authority, health and safety) as these machines are the lowest category and are the only type that can be played by under 18's. Permits cannot be issued in respect of vessels or vehicles.

An application may be made only by a person who occupies or proposes to occupy the premises and proposes to use the premises as an unlicensed family entertainment centre. The applicant must be 18 years of age or older.

Applicants for FEC Permits must provide the following:

  • A plan showing the layout of the premises;
  • Evidence that appropriate measures/training are in place for staff to enable them to;
  1. deal with suspected truant school children on the premises;
  2. deal with unsupervised very young children on the premises; and
  3. have a full understanding of the maximum stakes and prizes permissible in unlicensed FECs;
  4. deal with vulnerable persons on premises
  • Evidence of how the applicant would deal with children causing perceived problems on or around the premises;
  • Evidence of suitable public liability insurance and
  • Evidence that the applicant has no relevant convictions (those that are set out in Schedule 7 of the Act).

If the operator of an FEC wants to make Category C machines available in addition to Category D machines then they will need to apply for Family Entertainment Centre Premises Licence.

Advisory Notes

Licensed family entertainment centres may offer an unlimited number of category C and D machines. Children are allowed to enter Licensed FEC's and to gamble on category D machines. Any category C machines must be located only in over 18 areas.

If you wish to apply for permission to operate a licensed family entertainment centre you will need to apply to the Gambling Commission for operating and personal licences, and to Newcastle City Council for a premises licence.

It is important to note that you are required to abide by the relevant mandatory and default premises licence conditions (pdf 23kb) and Codes of Practice  issued by the Gambling Commission. 

You are required to pay an annual fee to the Licensing Authority on or before the anniversary of the original grant of your premises licence. 

If you require any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact the Licensing Authority on 0191 211 5079 or e-mail:

Page last updated: 
5 November 2014
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