Gambling Act 2005

The Gambling Act 2005 governs all gambling in Great Britain except the National Lottery and spread betting, and covers:

The Gambling Commission (opens in a new window) regulates the gambling industry and is responsible for issuing operating licences and personal licences. Local authorities (licensing authorities) are responsible for issuing premises licences, permits and other required authorisation.

The Gambling Act 2005 requires each local authority to publish a statement of principles outlining how the authority will deal with applications, which is reviewed every 3 years. The current statement of principles for gambling licensing came into effect on 31 January 2019. It is valid for three years.

Categories of licence

The Gambling Act 2005 provides for three categories of licence:

  1. Operating licences - Individuals and companies who intend to provide facilities for certain types of gambling. These licences cover the principal commercial forms of gambling operation.
  2. Personal licences - These are granted to individuals. For each operating licence at least one person should hold a specified management office and must hold a personal licence from the commission.
  3. Premises licences - These will be granted by licensing authorities and may authorise facilities in certain types of premises.

Responsibility for administration is shared between local authorities and the Gambling Commission.

Licensing objectives

The Act sets out three gambling objectives that we have a duty to promote. These are:

  1. Preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime and disorder or being used to support crime.
  2. Ensuring gambling is conducted in a fair and open away.
  3. Protecting children and other vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

Licensing authorities' responsibilities

  • licence premises for gambling activities
  • consider notices given for the temporary use of premises for gambling
  • grant permits for gaming and gaming machines in clubs and miners' welfare institutes
  • regulate gaming and gaming machines in alcohol licensed premises
  • grant permits to family entertainment centres for the use of certain lower stake gaming machines
  • grant permits for prize gaming
  • consider occasional use notices for betting at tracks.

We are also responsible for providing information to the Gambling Commission (opens in a new window) about applications, maintain a register of the authorisations we issue and register small societies' lotteries.