The Gambling Act 2005 received Royal Assent on 7 April 2005. The Act repeals the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963, the Gaming Act 1968 and the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976 and sets out that gambling will be unlawful in Great Britain unless permitted by the measures contained in the Act or measures contained in the National Lottery etc. Act 1993 or the financial Services and Markets Act 2000. The Act covers all Great Britain (and where it amends the National Lottery Acts), Northern Ireland too.
The Act contains three licensing objectives that underpin the entire legislation:
- Preventing gambling from being a source of crime and 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 people from being harmed or exploited by gambling.
The Act created a unified regulator for gambling in Great Britain, the Gambling Commission, and a new licensing regime for commercial gambling. The Act transfers all responsibility for granting gaming and betting permissions from licensing justices and grants new powers to licensing authorities in relation to the licensing and regulation of gambling premises.
The Gambling Commission will regulate all commercial gambling in Great Britain, except the National Lottery and Spread Betting, which will continue to be the responsibility of the National Lottery Commission and the Financial Services Authority respectively.
Under the new regime there will be three types of licence:
1. Operating licences (issued to gambling businesses)
2. Personal licences (issued to those who are either in a senior managerial position e.g. directors or those who have an ability to affect the outcome of the gambling e.g. croupiers)
3. Premises licences (issued for gambling establishments)
The Gambling Commission is responsible for issuing operating and personal licences under the Act. An operating licence will be required by anyone wishing to provide facilities for gambling and will be the main form of permission for commercial gambling. Operating licences will be issued for an unlimited period. A maintenance fee will be payable on an annual basis. The Commission also has the power to review a licence, amend licence conditions and, ultimately, revoke a licence if it has reason to do so.
Personal licences will fall into two categories: management and operational. Management functions will include particular, legally defined roles, such as directors or partners of a company. They will also include rules commonly filled by compliance officers and managers or supervisors of those handling significant amounts of money. Operational functions will include posts where the individual has the ability to influence the outcome of gambling, for example bingo callers or croupiers.
Licensing authorities will be responsible for issuing premises licences, a role previously undertaken in part by licensing justices. In addition to licences, there are other forms of authorisation that may permit gambling facilities to be provided on particular premises, for example, temporary and occasional use notices, and a number of different permits. Licensing authorities will be responsible for these additional authorisations and permissions.
Further further information please see below:
Gambling Act Fees 2018 (pdf 832kb)
Department for Culture Media and Sport www.culture.gov.uk
Gambling Commission www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk