Gambling Act 2005 - Permits

Under the Gambling Act 2005 permits are issued to premises that either offer very low-stakes and prize gaming, or premises whose primary function is not the provision of gambling facilities.

We issue the following types of permit under the Act:

Family Entertainment Centre Gaming Machine Permit

Where a premises does not hold a premises licence but wishes to provide category D gaming machines, it may apply to the Licensing Authority for an unlicensed family entertainment centre gaming machine permit (uFEC). uFECs are premises which are ‘wholly or mainly’ used for making gaming machines available. The permit cannot therefore by granted for an entire shopping centre, airport, motorway service station, bowling alley etc.

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 over.

How to apply

Applicants for uFEC Permits must return:

  • the completed application form
  • a detailed scale plan showing the layout of the premises;
  • the appropriate fee
  • evidence of suitable public liability insurance
  • evidence that the applicant has no relevant convictions (those that are set out in Schedule 7 of the Act)
  • the applicant must show evidence that they have policies and procedures in place relating to the protection of children from being harmed or exploited by gambling.  Harm in this context is not limited to harm from gambling but includes wider child-protection considerations. A list of measures and policies that the licensing authority require an applicant to demonstrate are contained in the Statement of Principles.

Club Gaming and Club Machine Permits

There are three types of Club recognised under the Act:

  • Members' clubs
    These must have at least 25 members and be established and conducted wholly or mainly for purposes other than gaming (unless gaming is restricted to bridge or whist). The Club should not be established to make a commercial profit and should be controlled by its members for the benefits of its members.  A members' club must be permanent in nature. Examples include working men's clubs, branches of the Royal British Legion and politically affiliated clubs. They may apply for Club Gaming or Club Machine Permits.
     
  • Commercial clubs
    These have the same characteristics as members clubs, except that they are established view a to make a profit. An example of such a club would be a snooker club.  They may only apply for Club Machine Permits.
     
  • Miners' welfare institutes
    They are institutes and associations established for recreational or social purposes. They are managed by representatives of miners or use premises regulated by a charitable trust which has received funds from one of a number of mining organisations. They may apply for Club Gaming or Club Machine Permits.

Club Gaming Permits allow the provision of up to three gaming machines. These may be from Categories B4, C or D.  The Club is permitted to choose the combination of machines on its premises.

If a Club does not wish to have the full range of facilities permitted by a Club Gaming Permit or if they are a commercial club not permitted to provide non-machine gaming (other than exempt gaming under Section 269 of the Act), they may apply to the Authority for a Club Machine Permit. This authorises the holder to have up to three gaming machines of categories B4, C and D however commercial clubs cannot provide B3A gaming machines.

How to apply

The codes of practice issued by the Gambling Commission must be complied with.

Licensed premises gaming machine permit

There is provision in the Act for premises licensed to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises without a requirement that alcohol is served only with food to automatically have 2 gaming machines, of categories C and/or D.  A pub, restaurant or hotel with a bar will be eligible to apply for this type of permit, but hotels and restaurants that serve alcohol only with food will not. The premises merely need to notify the Licensing Authority and pay the prescribed fee.

If a premises licence holder wishes to have more than 2 gaming machines then a Licensed Premises Gaming Machine Permit will be required.   The Licensing Authority must consider the application based upon the licensing objectives, any guidance issued by the Gambling Commission under Section 25 of the Gambling Act 2005, and 'such matter' as they think relevant'. 'Such matters' will be decided on a case by case basis but generally there will be regard to protect children and vulnerable persons from being harmed or being exploited by gambling and will expect the applicant to satisfy the Licensing Authority that they will be sufficient measures to ensure that under 18 year olds do not have access to the adult only gaming machines. 

How to apply

  • Complete the Application Form
  • Submit a scale plan of the premises identifying the location of the proposed gaming machines and any existing gaming machines
  • Pay the appropriate fee

The codes of practice issued by the Gambling Commission must be complied with.

Prize Gaming Permits

Gaming is defined as ‘prize gaming’ if the nature and size of the prize is not determined by the number of people playing or the amount paid for or raised by the 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.

How to apply

  • complete application form
  • enclose a detailed scale plan showing the layout of the premises
  • pay the appropriate fee
  • provide evidence of suitable public liability insurance
  • provide evidence that the applicant has no relevant convictions (those that are set out in Schedule 7 of the Act)
  • show evidence that policies and procedures are in place relating to the protection of children from being harmed or exploited by gambling.  Harm in this context is not limited to harm from gambling but includes wider child-protection considerations. A list of measures and policies that the licensing authority require an applicant to demonstrate are contained in the Statement of Principles.

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).

Categories of gaming machines

contact: licensing@newcastle.gov.uk

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