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The Gambling Act 2005 came into force in September 2007. The central government department with responsibility for the legislation is the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. More information can be found on the Gambling Regulation (opens new window).

The Act comprehensively updates existing gambling laws that are several decades old, providing new powers and protections for both new and old forms of gambling. The Act has three clear objectives:

  • keeping gambling crime free
  • making sure that gambling is fair and open
  • protecting children and vulnerable adults.

The Act covers two main activities:

  • providing facilities for gambling
  • using premises for gambling.

In either case, you must hold the appropriate permission. Permission may come from a licence, permit, or registration granted according to the Act, or from an exemption given by the Act.

Local authorities licence gambling premises within their area, as well as undertaking functions in relation to lower stake gaming machines and clubs and miners' welfare institutes. Premises which require a premises licence include; casinos, bingo halls, adult gaming centres and licensed family entertainment centres and betting permits for gaming machines in pubs and other alcohol licensed premises. Licensing authorities will undertake inspections and enforce the conditions on these issued licences, permits and notices.

The Gambling Commission shares with local licensing authorities the responsibility for granting gaming and betting permissions. You will need to contact them for information on operating and personal licence requirements. For further advice and information, please visit the Gambling Commission website (opens new window).

Gambling licence application advice

If you require any further information, please contact us using our online Licensing general enquiry.