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Gambling - Premises Licensing

Useful Resources

Premises licences allow an operator who has an operating licence, granted by the Gambling Commission, to open a gambling establishment.

Premises Licence Applications and Provisional Statements

Premises Licence Conditions

Premises Licence Review

Premises Licence - Fees

Premises Licence - Temporary Use Notice

Premises Licence Applications and Provisional Statements

The Gambling Act 2005 gives Scottish Ministers powers to make regulations to prescribe the form and content of premises licences; the form and manner of premises licence applications; and other matters relating to applications under Part 8 of the Act. The Gambling Act 2005 (Premises Licences and Provisional Statements) (Scotland) Regulations 2007 sets out the process that applicants must follow when applying for licences, including the information to be supplied and process for giving notice to the public and responsible authorities. The process requires licensing authorities ( licensing boards in Scotland) to issue licences in a certain form, and provides a standard method for granting and refusing a licence. The regulations govern the form that a premises licence must take and what must be displayed.

Provisional Statements apply in advance of a full premises licence in certain circumstances set out in section 204 of the Act. A minor drafting deficiency in the Act means that Scottish Ministers can only prescribe for where a person expects to acquire a right to occupy the premises. DCMS regulations The Gambling Act 2005 (Premises Licences and Provisional Statements) Regulations 2007 cover the other circumstances for Scotland.

A small drafting error in the premises licence regulations has been remedied by amending regulations. Basically, casinos that had been licensed under the previous gambling legislation were being required (on transition to the new regulatory regime) to provide more details in plans accompanying applications than was actually needed.

Premises Licence Conditions

The Gambling Act gives Scottish Ministers powers to make regulations which provide for conditions to be attached to premises licences under sections 167 and 168 of the Act - 2 types of conditions may be attached. The conditions attached to premises licences under section 168 will attach to all specified types of premises licence, unless they are excluded by the Licensing Board responsible for issuing the premises licence ("default conditions"). The conditions attached to premises licences under section 167 will attach to all specified types of premises licence and can only be amended or excluded by further regulations made by Scottish Ministers ("mandatory conditions").

  • mandatory conditions imposed by Scottish Ministers which may not be changed by the Licensing Boards, e.g. no children allowed to enter the premises;
  • default conditions imposed by Scottish Ministers which may be changed or excluded by the Licensing Board when granting a premises licence, e.g. opening hours;
  • Licensing Board conditions - as well as being able to amend or exclude default conditions, Boards may add conditions to any premises, e.g. to be inspected by Environmental Health Officers at regular intervals.

Scottish Mandatory and Default Conditions Regulations can be viewed.

Premises Licence Review

The premises review procedures are intended as a measure that will give Licensing Boards a key role in managing the Act at a local level, and which will lead to a more accountable and effective process. The review procedures available can be exercised either in response to an application to the Licensing Board by a responsible authority or interested party ( section 197) of the Act) or as a Licensing Board's own instigation (section 200 of the Act).

A minor drafting deficiency in the Gambling Act resulted in Scottish Ministers not being able to prescribe the form and manner of an application for review, and related matters. Those aspects will have to apply on a Great Britain basis and set out in regulations prepared by DCMS. The Scottish regulations set out the form of notices of applications/intentions for a review of a premises licence in Scotland, and the timescales for giving notice to relevant parties. The regulations brought in by Scottish Ministers and the regulation set by DCMS can be viewed.

A small drafting error in the premises review regulations has been remedied by amending regulations. Basically, the Act only requires licensing authorities to notify the premises licence holder of their intention to hold a review, but the regulations also included responsible authorities.

Premises Licence - Fees

The Gambling Act modernises 40-year-old gambling laws and makes licensing authorities (Licensing Boards in Scotland) responsible for the licensing and regulating of gambling premises. The costs of these responsibilities will be met by gambling operators through fees for premises licences and permits. The fees will apply to the various categories of premises, i.e. casinos, bingo etc. and miscellaneous permits, such as gaming machine permissions for pubs and clubs.

DCMS Ministers decided in 2004 that in England and Wales licensing authorities will determine their own fees for gambling premises licences but that the Secretary of State will prescribe the maximum fee payable for each category of licence. When determining the fees they will charge, each licensing authority will be limited to recovery of the costs of carrying out their functions under the Act. Fees for miscellaneous permits will be set centrally by DCMS Ministers. The policy in Scotland is that all fees for Licensing Boards will be set centrally by Scottish Ministers with a flat rate for each premises/permit category, aimed at cost recovery.

The guiding principles when setting the fees payable for gambling premises licences and permit fees are to ensure that fees are set at a level that enables full cost recovery by the licensing authorities and to ensure fairness and value for money for the gambling industry. The fees will include the cost of administration (including hearings and appeals), inspection and enforcement.

Under the Act, each of the following type of gambling premises will require a licence - existing casinos (originally licensed under the 1968 Gaming Act), new small casinos, new large casinos, the new regional casino, bingo clubs, betting offices (i.e. betting premises excluding tracks), race tracks, adult gaming centres and family entertainment centres.

The fee level outlined in regulations for premises licences can be viewed.

Premises Licence - Temporary Use Notice

Part 9 of the Gambling Act enables a person holding an operating licence (granted by the Gambling Commission, the GB-wide regulatory body) to give a temporary use notice in respect of premises. Such notices, authorise the premises to be used for up to 21 days in any 12 month period to provide certain gambling activities, without an offence being committed under section 37 of the Act (which makes it unlawful to use premises for gambling purposes without the appropriate premises licence).

The power to prescribe the procedures for temporary use notices rests with the DCMS Secretary of State. The DCMS regulations will apply on a GB-wide basis, but the power to set fees for such notices has been devolved so regulations have been set by Scottish Ministers.