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All gambling activities are regulated by the Gambling Act 2005. You must ensure that your business has appropriate licences and permits to cover all of the activities you operate.

Most regular operators require an Operating Licence and depending on the size of the business, key personnel will need a Personal Licence. Operating Licences and Personal Licences are issued by the Gambling Commission.

Operating Licences are available for both remote (including online gambling) and non-remote operations and cover:

  • Amusement arcades
  • Betting shops
  • On-course bookmakers
  • Pool promoters
  • Bingo clubs
  • Casinos
  • Society lotteries
  • External lotteries Supply and repair of gaming machines

Operators offering the use of gaming machines should be aware that if they deal with repairs in-house or sell gaming machines from time to time, they are currently required to have an Operating Licence authorising such activities. A permit is available from the Gambling Commission for repairing or selling a single machine.

Operators are required to pay an annual fee to the Gambling Commission and to submit annual Regulatory Returns for each licensed gambling activity.

We can advise you on the right Operating Licence for your business, deal with the detailed application to the Gambling Commission and assist you with annual returns.

As a client, we will also alert you to any further amendments to the gambling laws that may affect your business.

Premises Licences

Most operators offering non-remote gambling also need a Premises Licence, issued by the Local Licensing Authority, for the following operations:

  • Amusement arcade:  Family entertainment centre
  • Adult gaming centre
  • Betting shop
  • Bingo club
  • Casino

Annual fees are payable for each Premises Licence although the fees vary across the country. We can advise you on the right Premises Licence for your business and how to maximise the number and categories of gaming machines you can offer, while reducing your annual fee liability. We can handle applications for new Premises Licenses, variations and transfers on the purchase of new businesses.

Gambling Commission and Local Authority enforcement officers carry out compliance visits and organise test purchases from time to time. We can advise you on any regulatory, compliance or enforcement issues.


Some operators do not require a Licence and instead their operations are regulated by permits issued by the Local Licensing Authority.

Premises with a licence to sell alcohol under the Licensing Act 2003 are automatically entitled to have up to two Category C gaming machines provided that the issuing authority has been notified.

Other types of permit include:

  • Licensed Premises Gaming Machine Permit for more than two gaming machines
  • Club gaming permit
  • Prize gaming permit
  • Family entertainment gaming machine permit where only Category D gaming machines are available