Licenced Premises Gaming Machine Permits, Licences and Notifications
A gaming machine licence or permit is required in respect of premises providing ‘amusements with prizes’ machines that involve an element of chance, for example, fruit machines.
The issue of gaming machine licences is controlled by the Gambling Act 2005 and full details (including categories of machines) can be found on the Gambling Commission website. Only premises licensed to sell alcohol or licensed as entertainment centres are permitted to operate such machines.
Licensed Premises (alcohol etc)
Notification of 2 or fewer Gaming Machines (Gaming Machine Notification)
The holder of a premises licence under the Licensing Act 2003, can obtain an ‘automatic entitlement’ to a maximum of 2 gaming machines (each of which may be category C or D) for use on the premises. The licence holder must notify the Licensing team and a notification fee of £50 is payable.
There is no annual fee and the permit is of unlimited duration, however it will lapse if the premises licence holder ceases to hold the alcohol licence. The new premises licence holder will need to apply for a new notification and pay the fee of £50.
Application for more than 2 Gaming Machines (Gaming Machine Permit)
A premises licence holder may apply for more than 2 gaming machines of category C or D to be available for use on the premises. Once granted the licence is subject to an annual fee. The fee for the initial application is £150. There is an annual fee of £50, the first of which becomes due 30 days after the permit is first issued and on the anniversary thereafter. Permits may be revoked if the annual fee is not paid.
Any variation to the number of machines under the permit, is subject to a variation fee of £100. The permit is of unlimited duration providing the annual fee is paid. It will lapse if the premises licence holder changes, at which time the new premises licence holder must apply to the Licensing Authority for a transfer of the permit and pay a transfer fee of £25.
The location and supervision of the machines is taken into account when granting the licence. For further information please see the code of practice published by The Gambling Commission.
Duplicate permits or notifications, in the event that the original is lost, stolen or damaged may be obtained from the Local Authority and a fee will be charged for this. Lost or stolen permits should be reported to the police.
Clubs (club gaming permits and club machine permits)
Club gaming permits
allow the provision of no more than three gaming machines in total. Each of the three machines must be from categories B3A, B4, C or D but only one B3A machine can be sited, by agreement, as part of this entitlement. Club gaming permits also allow equal-chance gaming (for example, poker) and games of chance (for example, pontoon, chemin-de-fer) under certain restrictions. There is a £200 application fee and an annual fee of £50, the first of which becomes due 30 days after the permit is granted and on the anniversary of issue thereafter. The permit is valid for 10 years.
Club machine permits
allow the holder to have no more than three gaming machines in total. Members' clubs and miners' welfare institutes may site up to three machines from categories B3A, B4, C or D but only one B3A machine can be sited, by agreement, as part of this entitlement. Commercial clubs may site up to three machines from categories B4, C or D (not B3A machines). There is an application fee of £200 and an annual fee of £50, the first of which becomes due 30 days after the permit is granted and on the anniversary of issue thereafter. The permit is valid for 10 years.
Club permits are not transferrable and any new occupier of the club’s premises must apply for a new permit. Permits may be revoked by the Local Authority if the annual fee is not paid. The original permit should be kept on the premises. If lost, stolen or damaged, a duplicate permit must be applied for and a fee of £15 will be charged. In the event that the original is lost of stolen, the police should be notified.
What permits can different types of clubs apply for?
Under the Gambling Act 2005 clubs do not have to have an alcohol licence to apply for a permit.
Members’ clubs must have at least 25 members and be established and conducted ‘wholly or mainly’ for purposes other than gaming (excluding bridge or whist clubs).
A club must be permanent in nature, not established to make commercial profit, and controlled by its members equally. Examples include working men’s clubs, branches of the Royal British Legion and clubs with political affiliations. Members’ clubs can apply to their local licensing authority for either a
Applicants must provide the Local Authority and the police with copies of applications for club gaming permits or club machine permits.
Commercial clubs have the same characteristics as members’ clubs, but they are established with a view to making a profit. An example of a commercial club is a snooker club. Commercial clubs can only apply to their Licensing Authority for a club machine permit. Applicants must provide the Local Authority and the police with copies of applications for club machine permits.
Detailed information about permits is contained on the Gambling Commission website.
N.B. Unlicensed premises
From July 2009, where the main purpose of the premises is not the supply or sale of alcohol, the right to have gambling machines was withdrawn. This relates to premises such as fast food restaurants, cafés, mini cab offices etc.
Last reviewed: 04 - 12 - 2013