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Gambling

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​Gambling Act 2005

The Gambling Act 2005 created a single regulator for all commercial betting, gaming and lottery operators in Great Britain (except for spread betting and the National Lottery) in the form of the Gambling Commission, which is responsible for issuing operating and personal licences.

The Act also transferred powers from the Court to local authorities, known as 'licensing authorities', making them responsible for issuing premises licences for gambling in their geographical area.

Licensable activities

Two main activities are covered by the Act:

  • Providing facilities for gambling
  • Using premises for gambling

Gambling is defined as:

  • Gaming - playing a game of chance for a prize
  • Betting - making or accepting a bet on the outcome of a race, competition or other event or process
  • Lottery - purchasing a chance to win a prize

The Act empowers the licensing authority to:

  • 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 (FECs) for the use of certain lower stake gaming machines
  • grant permits for prize gaming
  • consider occasional use notices for betting at tracks
  • register small society lotteries

Licensing objectives

The Act sets out three licensing objectives that are fundamental to the legislation. These are:

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

The City of London licensing authority must aim to permit the use of premises for gambling in so far as the authority think fit reasonably consistent with the licensing objectives.

Gambling Policy

The City of London is carrying out a consultation on its new Gambling Policy (158KB) due to be published in 2016. If you have any comments to make about this policy please contact the Licensing Section by 12 January 2016.

The Gambling Act 2005 statutory guidance provides information and guidance for licensing authorities. It is not a legal document but all licensing authorities must have regard to the guidance when carrying out their licensing functions under the Act.

If you would like advice or assistance with an application or licence please contact the licensing team by phone on 020 7332 3406 or send an email to licensing@cityoflondon.gov.uk


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