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Appendix 2 – Premises Licences

Decision Making - General

Premises Licences will be subject to the requirements set-out in the Gambling Act 2005 and Regulations, as well as specific mandatory and default conditions detailed in regulations issued by the Secretary of State. The Licensing Authority is able to exclude default conditions and also attach others, where it is believed to be appropriate.

The Licensing Authority is aware that in making decisions about premises licences it should aim to permit the use of premises for gambling in so far as it thinks it is:

  • in accordance with any relevant code of practice issued by the Gambling Commission;
  • in accordance with any relevant Guidance issued by the Gambling Commission;
  • reasonably consistent with the Licensing Objectives; and
  • in accordance with the Authority’s Statement of Licensing Policy.

Any conditions attached to licences by the Licensing Authority will be proportionate and will be:

  • relevant to the need to make the proposed building suitable as a gambling facility;
  • directly related to the premises and the type of licence applied for;
  • fairly and reasonably related to the scale and type of premises; and
  • are reasonable in all other respects.

Decisions upon individual conditions will normally be made on a case by case basis relying on mandatory and default conditions, although there will be a number of measures the Licensing Authority may consider utilising the examples above where the local circumstances or specific risks make it appropriate, such as the use of supervisors, appropriate signage for adult only areas etc. There are specific comments made in this regard under some of the licence types below. The Licensing Authority will also expect the licence applicant to offer his/her own suggestions as to the way in which the licensing objectives can be met effectively.

An applicant for a licence will need to specify what supervision is proposed for the area where machines are sited and to clarify how supervisors will be trained to recognise vulnerable adults.

The Licensing Authority will also consider specific measures which may be required for buildings which are subject to multiple premises licences. Such measures may include the supervision of entrances; segregation of gambling from non-gambling areas frequented by children; and the supervision of gaming machines in a non-adult gambling specific premises in order to pursue the licensing objectives. These matters are in accordance with the Gambling Commission’s Guidance.

The Licensing Authority will also ensure that where category C or above machines are on offer in premises to which children are admitted:

  • all such machines are located in an area of the premises which is separated from the remainder of the premises by a physical barrier which is effective to prevent access other than through a designated entrance;
  • only adults are admitted to the area where these machines are located;
  • access to the area where the machines are located is supervised;
  • the area where these machines are located is arranged so that it can be observed by the staff or the licence holder; and
  • at the entrance to and inside any such areas there are prominently displayed notices indicating that access to the area is prohibited to persons less than 18 years of age.

These conditions will apply to premises including buildings where multiple premises licences are applicable.

The Licensing Authority is aware that tracks may be subject to one or more than one premises licence provided each licence relates to a specified area of the track. As per the Gambling Commission’s Guidance, the Licensing Authority will consider the impact upon the third licensing objective and the need to ensure that entrances to each type of premises are distinct and that children are excluded from gambling areas where they are not permitted to enter.

There are also conditions which the Licensing Authority cannot attach to premises licences which are:

  • any condition on the premises licence which makes it impossible to comply with an operating licence condition;
  • conditions relating to gaming machine categories, numbers, or method of operation;
  • conditions which provide that membership of a club or body be required (the Gambling Act 2005 specifically removes the membership requirement for casino and bingo clubs and this provision prevents it being reinstated) and
  • conditions in relation to stakes, fees, winning or prizes.

Premises

Premises are defined in the Act as “any place”. It is for the Licensing Authority to decide whether different parts of a building can be properly regarded as being separate premises and as the Guidance for local authorities’ states, it “will always be a question of fact in the circumstances”. The Gambling Commission does not however consider that areas of a building that are artificially or temporarily separate can be properly regarded as different premises.

The Licensing Authority will have regard to the Commission’s Guidance on the division of premises and access between premises.

The Licensing Authority takes particular note of the Guidance for Local Authorities which states that in considering applications for multiple licences for a building or those for a specific part of the building to be licensed, licensing authorities should be aware that:

  • the third licensing objective seeks to protect children from being harmed by gambling. In practice that means not only preventing them from taking part in gambling but also that they are not permitted to be in proximity to gambling. Therefore premises should be configured so that children are not invited to participate in, have accidental access to, or closely observe gambling where they are prohibited from participating; and
  • entrances and exits from parts of a building covered by one or more premises licences should be separate and identifiable so that the separation of different premises is not compromised and that people do not ‘drift’ into a gambling area.

The Licensing Authority will pay particular attention to applications where access to the licensed premises is through other premises (which themselves may be licensed or unlicensed). Clearly, there will be specific issues that authorities should consider before granting such applications, for example, whether children can gain access; compatibility of the two establishments; and ability to comply with the requirements of the Act. But, in addition an overriding consideration should be whether, taken as a whole, the co-location of the licensed premises with other facilities has the effect of creating an arrangement that otherwise would, or should, be prohibited under the Act.

It should also be noted that an applicant cannot obtain a full premises licence until the premises in which it is proposed to offer the gambling are constructed. The Gambling Commission has advised that references to “the premises” are to the premises in which gambling may now take place. Thus a licence to use premises for gambling will only be issued in relation to premises that are ready to be used for gambling. The Licensing Authority agrees with the Gambling Commission that it is a question of fact and degree whether premises are finished to a degree that they can be considered for a premises licence. The Gambling Commission emphasises that requiring the building to be complete ensures that the authority can, if necessary, inspect it fully, as can other responsible authorities with inspection rights.

Location

The Licensing Authority is aware that demand issues cannot be considered with regard to the location of premises but that considerations in terms of the licensing objectives can. As per the Gambling Commission’s Guidance for local authorities, the Licensing Authority will pay particular attention to the protection of children and vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling, as well as issues of crime and disorder. Should any specific policy be considered there would be a consultation and any such policy would not preclude any application being made and each application will be decided on its merits, with the onus upon the applicant showing how potential concerns can be overcome.

Planning

Planning and licensing are different regulatory systems and will be dealt with separately. The Gambling Commission’s Guidance states: “When dealing with a premises licence application for finished buildings, the Licensing Authority should not take into account whether those buildings have or comply with the necessary planning or building consents.

Those matters should be dealt with under relevant planning control, building and other regulations and not form part of the consideration for the premises licence. Section 210 of the 2005 Act prevents licensing authorities taking into account the likelihood of the proposal by the applicant obtaining planning or building consent when considering a premises licence application. Equally the grant of a gambling premises licence does not prejudice or prevent any action that may be appropriate under the law relating to planning or building.”

Duplication

As per the Gambling Commission’s Guidance for local authorities the Licensing Authority will seek to avoid duplication with other regulatory regimes so far as possible.

Door Supervisors

The Gambling Commission’s Guidance advises local authorities that licensing authorities may require persons operating premises in which gambling takes place to take measures such as the supervision of entrances; segregation of gambling from non-gambling areas frequented by children (assuming such non-gambling areas are compatible with requirements of the Act); and the supervision of gaming machines in non-adult gambling specific premises in order to pursue the licensing objectives.

Any person employed to fulfil a condition on a premises licence that requires door supervision should hold a relevant licence issued by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

It is to be noted that door supervisors at licensed casino or bingo premises are exempt from the requirements of the Private Security Industry Act 2001. Where an authority imposes door supervision requirements on such licences, the personnel will not need licensing under the 2001 Act.

The Licensing Authority therefore has specific requirements for door supervisors working at casinos or bingo premises, where there are multiple licensable activities and/or the Police Licensing Officer has concerns about the licensing objectives being undermined.

Where the premises are licensed under the Licensing Act 2003 door supervisors will be required to hold a relevant licence issued by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

Reviews

Interested parties or responsible authorities can make requests for a review of a premises licence; however, it is for the Licensing Authority to decide whether the review is to be carried out. This will be on the basis of whether the request for the review is relevant to the following matters:

  • it is in accordance with any relevant code of practice issued by the Gambling Commission;
  • it is in accordance with any relevant Guidance issued by the Gambling Commission;
  • it is reasonably consistent with the licensing objectives; and
  • it is in accordance with the authority’s statement of licensing policy.

Consideration will be given whether the request is frivolous, vexatious, or will certainly not cause the Licensing Authority to wish to alter/revoke/suspend the licence, or whether it is substantially the same as previous representations requests for review.

The Licensing Authority can also initiate a review of a licence on the basis of any reason that it thinks is appropriate.

Provisional Statements

The Licensing Authority notes the Guidance from the Gambling Commission which states:

S.204 of the Act provides for a person to make an application to the Licensing Authority

For a provisional statement in respect of premises that he or she:

  • expects to be constructed
  • expects to be altered
  • expects to acquire a right to occupy.

In terms of representations about premises licence applications, following the grant of a provisional statement, no further representations from relevant authorities or interested parties can be taken into account unless they concern matters which could not have been addressed at the provisional statement stage, or they reflect a change in the applicant’s circumstances.

In addition, the authority may refuse the premises licence (or grant it on terms different to those attached to the provisional statement) only by reference to matters:

  1. which could not have been raised by objectors at the provisional licence stage; or
  2. which in the authority’s opinion reflect a change in the operator’s circumstances.
  3. Where the premises have not been constructed in accordance with the plan and information submitted with the provisional statement application. This must be a substantial change to the plan and licensing authorities should discuss any concerns they have with the applicant before making a decision.

Adult Gaming Centres (AGC)

The Licensing Authority particularly notes the Commission’s Guidance which states:
“No-one under the age of 18 years of age is permitted to enter an AGC. Licensing authorities will wish to have particular regard to the location of an entry to AGCs to minimise the opportunities for children to gain access. This may be of particular importance in areas where young people may be unsupervised and an AGC is in a complex, such as a shopping centre or airport.”

The Licensing Authority will expect applicants to offer their own measures to meet the licensing objectives although appropriate measures/licence conditions may cover issues such as:

  • Proof of age schemes
  • CCTV
  • Supervision of entrances/machine areas
  • Physical separation of areas
  • Location of entry
  • Notices/signage
  • Specific opening hours
  • Self-barring schemes
  • Provision of information leaflets/helpline numbers for organisations such as GamCare

This list is not mandatory, nor exhaustive, and is merely indicative of example measures.

(Licensed) Family Entertainment Centres (FECs)

Family Entertainment Centres are wholly or mainly used for having gaming machines available for use.

The Licensing Authority will, as per the Gambling Commission’s Guidance refer to the Commission’s website to see any conditions that apply to operator licences covering the way in which the area containing the category C machines should be delineated. This Licensing Authority will also make itself aware of any mandatory or default conditions on these premises licences.

The Licensing Authority will expect applicants to offer their own measures to meet the licensing objectives although appropriate measures/licence conditions may cover issues such as:

  • CCTV
  • Supervision of entrances/machine areas
  • Physical separation of areas
  • Location of entry
  • Notices/signage
  • Specific opening hours
  • Self-barring schemes
  • Provision of information leaflets/helpline numbers for organisations such as GamCare
  • Measures/training for staff on how to deal with suspected truant school children on the premises

This list is not mandatory, nor exhaustive, and is merely indicative of example measures.

Tracks

The Licensing Authority is aware that the Gambling Commission may provide specific Guidance as regards tracks. The Licensing Authority shall have regard to this Guidance in the discharge of its functions.

Bingo

The Licensing Authority will have regard to the Gambling Commission’s Guidance.

Temporary Use Notice (TUN)

There are a number of statutory limits as regards Temporary Use Notices. It is noted that it falls to the Licensing Authority to decide what constitutes a ‘set of premises’ where Temporary Use Notices are received relating to the same building/site (see Gambling Commission’s Guidance for Local Authorities).

Occasional Use Notice (OUN)

The Licensing Authority has very little discretion as regards these notices aside from ensuring that the statutory limit of 8 days in a calendar year is not exceeded. The Licensing Authority will need to consider the definition of a ‘track’ and whether the applicant is permitted to avail him/herself of the notice.

Travelling Fairs

It will fall to the Licensing Authority to decide whether, where category D machines and/or equal chance prize gaming without a permit are to be made available for use at travelling fairs, the statutory requirement that the facilities for gambling amount to no more than an ancillary amusement at the fair is met.

The Licensing Authority will also consider whether the applicant falls within the statutory definition of a travelling fair.

It has been noted that the 27-day statutory maximum for the land being used as a fair, is per calendar year and that it applies to the piece of land on which the fairs are held, regardless of whether it is the same or different travelling fairs occupying the land. This Licensing Authority will work with its neighbouring authorities to ensure that land which crosses its boundaries is monitored so that the statutory limits are not exceeded.

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