Gambling Act 2005

Gambling Licences

The Gambling Act 2005 came into force on 1 September 2007. The Act transferred the responsibility for issuing gambling licences from the magistrates' courts to local authority control. It has replaced three previous Acts relating to gambling, namely: the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963, the Gaming Act 1968 and the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976. It has also introduced a unified regulator for gambling; the Gambling Commission which has replaced the Gaming Board for Great Britain.

The Licensing Objectives

The Act contains three licensing objectives which underpin the functions that the Gambling Commission and the Council, as licensing authority will perform. These objectives are central to the new regulatory regime created by the Act. They are:

  • preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder, or being used to support crime;
  • ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way; and
  • protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

Types of Licence

There are three types of licence provided by the Act:

  • An Operating Licence authorises the holder to provide specified gambling facilities. Operating Licences are granted and regulated by the Gambling Commission.
  • A Personal Licence authorises the holder to carry out specified management or operational functions connected with a gambling business. Personal Licences are granted by the Gambling Commission.
  • A Premises Licence is for the property where the gambling takes place and is granted by the Council, as licensing authority.

Statement of Principles

The Borough Council is required to publish a statement of the principles which it proposes to apply when exercising its functions under the Act. The statement must be published every three years. The statement must also be reviewed from time to time and any amended parts re-consulted upon. The statement must then be re-published.

Local Authority responsibilities

Ribble Valley Borough Council is responsible for issuing various permissions, permits and notices relating to the use of premises for gambling activities, including:

  • Premises licences for:
    • Casinos
    • Betting offices
    • Sporting tracks, including horse racing and dog tracks
    • Bingo clubs
    • Adult gaming centres
    • Family Entertainment Centres
  • Permits for:
    • Gaming machines in alcohol-licensed premises, such as pubs
    • Gaming machines for members clubs
    • Gaming in members clubs
    • Unlicensed family entertainment centres (category D machines only i.e. machines that have the lowest level of stakes and prizes)
    • Prize gaming
  • Occasional Use Notices
  • Temporary Use Notices
  • Provisional Statements
  • Small Society Lotteries

Fees

Further information is available from the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) and from the Gambling Commission.