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Gambling licensing overview

The Gambling Act 2005 provides three licensing objectives that we and the Gambling Commission are required to promote. These objectives 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
  • Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling

In addition to the act’s three objectives, when receiving applications the Licensing Act 2003 also requires us to consider:

  • the prevention of crime and disorder
  • public safety
  • the prevention of public nuisance
  • the protection of children from harm

We apply these objectives when exercising a number of important regulatory functions when:

  • granting permits
  • regulating gaming and gaming machines in alcohol-licensed premises
  • registering small society lotteries
  • considering occasional use notices
  • licensing premises for gambling activities

Gambling statement of principles

The Gambling Act 2005 requires us to publish a statement of principles under for each successive three-year period. The latest revision was published on 3 January 2019 and takes effect from 31 January 2019.

The statement sets out the principles that we will apply in exercising our functions under the Act.

For a printed copy, call 01223 457888.

Local area profile and assessing local risk

Gambling establishment operators must undertake 'local area risk assessments' for all their premises. They are expected to give due consideration to the information available in our 'local area profile'.

The local area profile will help to inform the local risk assessment process. For example, a gambling outlet located near a school would be expected to have sufficient controls in place to mitigate associated risks. This might include implementing a robust Think 21 policy and ensuring that the premises is designed so children cannot see gambling taking place.

We believe premises risk assessments and being knowledgeable and informed on the local area are necessary to provide sufficient detail within the assessment. Any assessments undertaken need to have an involvement with and an understanding of the local area in which they operate and are licensed.

We expect our local area profile will develop over time, and be influenced by information and intelligence from researchers, key partners and other stakeholders.

We believe the inclusion of a local area profile within the policy will:

  • enable us to better serve our local community, by better reflecting the community and the risks within it
  • enable us to make robust decisions, based on a clear, published set of factors and risks, which are therefore less susceptible to challenge
  • encourage operators and applicants to take a proactive approach to risk that is likely to result in reduced compliance and enforcement action

Licences from the Gambling Commission

Personal and operating licence for gambling applications should be made directly to the  Gambling Commission.

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