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Gambling Act 2005 - gaming licences

Club machine and club gaming permits

Types of permit

Clubs wishing to provide gaming machines or higher-value gaming in their premises, for the exclusive use of members, can apply for one of two types of permit:

  • Club machine permits allow any club, including commercial clubs, to provide up to three gaming machines for use by members only
  • Club gaming permits allow up to three gaming machines to be operated, and also allow the club to offer prize gaming for club members without limits on the stakes and prizes. They are not available to commercial clubs, only to clubs operated by and for the benefit of their members

Permits can be granted in respect of fixed premises only and not vehicles or vessels.

The types of gaming machine that can be made available will depend on the club's status. Gaming machines are categorised according to how much they cost to use and the maximum prize available. Any club, including commercial clubs, with one of these permits may make up to three machines from categories B4, C and D available for use. Non-commercial members clubs may instead choose to offer one machine from category B3A and two other machines from the categories above.

The Gambling Commission (gamblingcommission.gov.uk) provides further information on the categories of gaming machine which may be made available in club premises.

Criteria for clubs applying for permits

Any club applying for a permit must satisfy the following criteria:

  • The club must have at least 25 permanent, individual members
  • The club must not be established only to operate for a limited period
  • The club must not be established and conducted wholly or mainly to provide gambling facilities (except for bridge and whist clubs)

In addition, members' clubs applying for club gaming permits must be established and conducted for the benefit of their members and must not be run as a commercial enterprise.

Miners' welfare institutes are also eligible to apply for permits but are subject to different eligibility criteria.

Maintenance of club permits

Both types of club permits are valid for 10 years (unless issued under fast-track procedures). An application to renew a permit may be made six to 12 weeks before it expires.

An annual fee (currently £50) is payable for all club permits. The first fee is due 30 days after the permit was granted and then on the anniversary of the grant of the permit. Permits may be revoked if the annual fee is not paid.

Permits are not transferrable, and any new occupier of the club's premises must apply for a new permit (if eligible). Permits may be cancelled if the status of the club changes, or if the club is believed to have committed an offence or breach of a condition relating to gambling, or if the premises is used wholly or mainly by children or young persons.

The original permit must be kept on the premises to which it relates and produced for inspection if requested by a police officer or a Gambling Commission enforcement officer. If lost, stolen or damaged, a duplicate permit can be obtained from us, but a fee will be payable. It will also be necessary to report lost or stolen permits to the police.

Permits can be surrendered if no longer required, by returning the original permit to us with a covering note.

Last updated:‎ ‎06‎/‎06‎/‎2023‎ ‎16‎:‎29‎