Prize gaming is defined in Section 288 of the Act, and is gaming in which neither the nature nor the size of a prize is determined by the number of persons playing or the amount paid for or raised by the gaming. It is, therefore, gaming where the organiser puts up the prizes in advance, as distinct from gaming where the stakes of the participants make up the winnings. Prize gaming is intended to permit low level gaming for small participation fees and modest prizes. Bingo played at seaside amusement arcades is typical of this type of gaming.

A Prize Gaming Permit is a Permit issued by the licensing authority to authorise the provision of facilities for gaming with prizes on specified premises.

An application for a Permit can only be made by a person who occupies or plans to occupy the relevant premises and if the applicant is an individual, they must be aged 18 or over. Holders of Premises Licences under the Act and holders of Club Gaming Permits may not apply for Prize Gaming Permits.

The following premises are authorised by the Act to offer prize gaming, subject to certain conditions, and do not require a separate Prize Gaming Permit:

  • Holders of Adult Gaming Centre Premises Licences;
  • Holders of Family Entertainment Centre Premises Licences;
  • Holders of Family Entertainment Centre Gaming Machine Permits
  • Travelling fairs
  • Bingo halls

Applicants are required to provide evidence of the following;

  • The types of gaming that they are intending to offer;
  • Clear policies that outline the steps to be taken to protect children from harm;
  • The ability to demonstrate that they understand the limits to stakes and prizes that are set out in Regulations; and,
  • That the gaming offered is within the law.

There are four conditions in the Gambling Act 2005 with which the permit holder must comply.

  • They must comply with such limits as may be prescribed in respect of participation fees (and those limits may, in particular, relate to players, games or combination; and different limits may be prescribed in respect of different classes or description of fees).
  • All the chances to participate in a particular game must be acquired or allocated on one day and in one place where the game is played, the game must be played entirely on that day and the result of the game must be made in public in the place where the game is played and as soon as is reasonably practicable after the game ends, and in any event on the day on which it is played.
  • The prize for which the game is played, or the aggregate of the prizes for which a game is played where a) all the prizes are money, must not exceed the prescribed amount, and b) in any other case, must not exceed the prescribed value.
  • Participation in the game by a person does not entitle him or another person to participate in any other gambling (whether or not he or the other person would also have to pay in order to participate in the gambling).
Page last updated: 
25 June 2015
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