In some cases such as gaming machine arcades those build on existing responsibilities. In other major areas, including betting, casino gaming and bingo, they transfer to local authorities responsibilities which previously lay with the local licensing justices. The Act received the Royal Assent on 7th April 2005 and fully came into force in September 2007.
The Act sets out three gambling objectives that we have a duty to promote in carrying out the gambling functions. These are: -
- Preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime and disorder or being used to support crime;
- Ensuring gambling is conducted in a fair and open way; and
- Protecting children and other vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling.
The new licensing system is achieved by issuing authorisations through:-
- Personal licences
- Premises licences
- Operating licences
It should be noted that licensing authorities (local councils) will only be responsible for premises licences, with personal licences and operating licences being the responsibility of the Gambling Commission.
Licensing Authorities are required under the Act to: -
- Be responsible for the licensing of premises where gambling activities are to take place by issuing Premises Licences
- Issue Provisional Statements
- Regulate members’ clubs and miners’ welfare institutes who wish to undertake certain gaming activities via issuing Club Gaming Permits and/or Club Machine Permits
- Issue Club Machine Permits to Commercial Clubs
- Grant permits for the use of certain lower stake gaming machines at unlicensed Family Entertainment Centres
- Receive notifications from alcohol licensed premises (under the Licensing Act 2003) of the use of two or fewer gaming machines
- Grant Licensed Premises Gaming Machine Permits for premises licensed to sell/supply alcohol for consumption on the licensed premises, under the Licensing Act 2003, where more than two machines are required
- Register small society lotteries below prescribed thresholds
- Issue Prize Gaming Permits
- Receive and Endorse Temporary Use Notices
- Receive Occasional Use Notices
- Provide information to the Gambling Commission regarding details of licences issued, suspended or revoked
- Maintain registers of the permits and licences that are issued under these functions.
Premises licences may authorise the provision of facilities on: -
- Casino premises;
- Bingo premises;
- Betting premises, including tracks;
- Adult gaming centres; and
- Family entertainment centres.