A premises licence is required to run a premises based gambling business, for example a betting shop, bingo hall or arcade.
Premises licences are issued by us, the licensing authority, which has the responsibility for premises within Woking borough.
It is an offence to provide facilities for gambling unless the required permissions are in place, or an exemption applies.
In accordance with Section 150 of the Gambling Act 2005, premises that can be licensed for gambling include:
- casino premises
- bingo premises
- betting premises including tracks
- adult gaming centres (AGCs)
- family entertainment centres (FECs).
By distinguishing between premises types, the act makes it clear that the gambling activity of the premises should be linked to the premises described. For example, a bingo premises may only provide bingo as a gambling activity. However, gaming machines may be offered as an additional activity on the premises.
Only one licence can be issued to each eligible premises. The duration of a premises licence is not time limited.
Exceptions are made in the case of tracks, for example dog and horse racing tracks. A premises licence may not authorise the use of premises for activities of more than one of the types of gambling listed in the previous section.
Unlike other premises types, tracks are able to hold more than one licence at one time. This is permitted as long as each licence relates to a different, specified area of the track.
A premises licence is subject to an annual fee which is payable to us, the licensing authority.
Who can apply
An application for a premises licence may only be made by the persons, companies or partnerships:
- who have the right to occupy the premises
- who have an operating licence which allows them to carry out the proposed activity, or have applied for an operating licence from the Gambling Commission. (The premises licence may only be issued once the operating licence has been issued.)
An applicant for a premises licence must be over the age of 18.
How to apply
Applications for a gambling premises licence are made direct to the Gambling Commission.
If you are applying for the grant, variation or non fast-track conversion of a premises licence, or for a provisional statement, you must advertise your application on site and in a local newspaper.
Section 161 of the Gambling Act 2005 states that an ‘interested party’ or a ‘responsible authority’ may make representations to us, the licensing authority, regarding an application for a premises licence.
The responsible authorities:
- Woking Borough Council’s relevant departments including licensing, environmental health, health and safety and planning
- Surrey County Council relevant departments such as children and young people’s learning services
- The Gambling Commission
- HM Revenue and Customs
- other persons, such as the Secretary of State, may add regulations.
Interested parties include those who:
- live sufficiently close to the premises and are likely to be affected by the authorised activities
- those who have business interests that might be affected by the authorised activities
- bodies representing these persons are also classed as interested parties.
A ‘responsible authority’ or an ‘interested party’ may apply to us, the licensing authority, for a review of the premises licence.
We can also start a review of a premises licence without the need for representations. Reviews will be conducted if we suspect that the licence conditions are not being complied with, or for other reasons where it believes a review is appropriate.
In England and Wales appeals will be made to the Magistrates' Courts and must be made within 21 days of the relevant decision.
Those with the right to appeal are:
- The applicant who has submitted the gambling premises licence application.
- Any persons who made representations in relation to the application.
When a review has taken place any persons who made representations in relation to the review have the right to appeal against the action taken as a result of the review.
The Gambling Commission can appoint its own enforcement officers. However, we have delegated enforcement powers which are designated to our licensing and environmental health officers.