The Gambling Act 2005 came in to effect on 1 September 2007 and changed the way in which gambling is licensed in this country. Hyndburn Borough Council is the Licensing Authority for the Hyndburn area and works with the national gambling regulator, the Gambling Commission.
The Gambling Commission issues personal licences, operating licences, statutory guidance and codes of practice and investigates illegal gambling and has prosecution powers. More information about these processes can be found on the Gambling Commission web site.
The Council, as Licensing Authority, is responsible for determining applications for premises licences in respect of betting offices, race tracks, bingo clubs, adult gaming centres and family entertainment centres. The Council also issues permits for gaming machines in members clubs, licensed premises and unlicensed family entertainment centres.
The Council is also responsible for administering ‘Temporary Use Notices’ and ‘Occasional Use Notices’ and registering Small Society Lotteries (under £20,000 ticket sales).
The regulatory regime has three licensing objectives:
- 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
The Licensing Authority cannot become involved in the moral issues relating to gambling and must aim to permit the use of premises for gambling in so far as they think it is
- in accordance with any relevant codes of practice;
- in accordance with any relevant Guidance issued by the Gambling Commission;
- reasonably consistent with the Licensing Objectives; and
- in accordance with the Licensing Authority’s Statement of Licensing Policy.
Premises Licence Applications
The operators of gambling premises, such as casinos, betting shops, bingo halls and amusement arcades, must hold a premises licence to authorise the gambling activities being carried out there.
Gaming Machine Permits
Permits are issued to premises that either offer low stake and prize gaming, or premises whose primary function is not the provision of gaming facilities for example gaming machines in pubs and clubs.
Prize draws that rely on an element of chance to select a winner including lotteries, raffles and tombola’s are controlled under the Gambling Act 2005.
Occasional Gambling Activities
Certain gambling activities can be approved on a short-term, infrequent basis, through a temporary use notice or an occasional use notice.
The Act requires Licensing Authorities to produce and publish a Statement of Principles that sets out how the Licensing Authority intends to exercise its functions under the Act and guidance issued by the Gambling Commission.
Hyndburn Council is currently consulting on its Gambling Act 2005 Statement of Policy for 2019-2021