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Gambling permits

Gaming machines fall into different categories, depending on the maximum stake and prize available, these are explained on our gaming machine categories web page. We recommended viewing our Icon for pdf code of practice for gaming machines [48.57KB].


Club gaming permits and club machine permits

Club gaming permits allow the provision of no more than three gaming machines. These may be from categories B3A, B4, C or D. They also allow equal-chance gaming, for example poker, and games of chance, for example pontoon or chemin-de-fer, under certain restrictions.

A club machine permit authorises the holder to have up to three gaming machines of categories B3A (except commercial clubs), B4, C and D.

To apply, please complete and return the Icon for pdf club gaming or club machine permit application form [81.9KB] and the appropriate permit fee.

Members' clubs

Members' clubs must have at least 25 members and be established and conducted 'wholly or mainly' for purposes other than gaming, unless the gaming is bridge or whist clubs. 

A club must be permanent in nature, not established to make commercial profit, and controlled by its members equally.

Under the Gambling Act, clubs don't need to have an alcohol licence to apply for a permit. Licensing Officers should be aware that there are differences in the definitions of clubs between alcohol and gambling legislation, examples include:

  • working men's clubs
  • branches of the Royal British Legion
  • clubs with political affiliations.

Commercial clubs

Commercial clubs have the same characteristics as members' clubs, but the key difference is that they are established with a view to making a profit. An example of a commercial club is a snooker club.

Licensed premises gaming machine permit

Pubs and other alcohol licensed premises are automatically entitled to two category C or D gaming machines. Such establishments in the South Holland district can make an application to us to apply for more machines, should they wish. For more information, please view our Icon for pdf guidance of gaming in clubs and alcohol licensed premises [22.88KB].

Members of the public wishing to set up poker tournaments are encouraged to seek independent legal advice.

To apply for a gaming machine permit as a licensed premises, please complete and return our Icon for pdf gaming machines permit at a licensed premises application form [57.96KB], along with the appropriate permit fee.

Unlicensed Family Entertainment Centres

Family Entertainment Centres (FECs) will perhaps be most commonly located at seaside resorts, in airports and at motorway service centres, which cater for families, including unaccompanied children and young people. Unlicensed FECs are able to offer category D machines only, in reliance on a gaming machine permit. Any number of category D machines can be made available with such a permit, subject to non-gambling considerations such as fire regulations and health and safety, which are not issues for us as the licensing authority. Permits cannot be issued to vessels or vehicles.

To apply, please complete and return the Icon for pdf unlicensed family entertainment centre permit application form [54.83KB], along with the appropriate permit fee.

Prize gaming permits

When an individual adult or group would like to run prize gaming from a premises that doesn't have an existing Premises Licence or a Club Gaming Permit, they should apply for a prize gaming permit: