The Gambling Commission and DCMS guidance and consultations - recent highlights

United Kingdom

This article was produced by Olswang LLP, which joined with CMS on 1 May 2017.

Fee and Licensing Structure Changes

The Gambling Commission has published changes to its licensing structure and fees, which are relevant to anyone seeking a new or renewed licence. These changes took effect on 1 August 2008, and full details are available here.

In addition to revised licence fees, a new type of licence has been created for "remote betting intermediary – trading rooms", which will be required for trading rooms which provide facilities from licensed premises by a remote link to a betting exchange. Four types of linked licence will also now be available, allowing operators (for example) to manufacture, supply, install or adapt gambling software in support of their licensed gambling activities.

Proposed Gambling Act 2005 (Gaming Machines in Bingo Premises) Order 2008

The DCMS is currently running a consultation proposing an increase in the number of category B3 gaming machines that can be made available in bingo halls.

Currently, the Gambling Act 2005 allows for up to four category B3 gambling machines to be placed in bingo halls - the proposal is to increase the number of machines from four to eight.

The consultation period began on 26 June 2008 and will close on 26 September 2008. The consultation document can be accessed here which also includes an impact assessment document and contact details for providing comments and feedback.

In-running Betting - Issues Paper

On 14 May 2008, the Gambling Commission published a consultation paper on in-running betting. The Commission intends to generate debate and provide information on issues relating to the activity of in-running (in-play) betting, with a view to gathering evidence in order to decide whether any action is required to regulate this activity.

The consultation runs until Wednesday 6 August 2008. Further information on how to respond is contained in the issues paper, which is available from the Commission's website.

Guidance to Licensing Authorities

The Gambling Commission has issued draft revisions to its Guidance to Licensing Authorities (2nd edition). This is published by the Commission and licensing authorities are required to "have regard" to it. The draft revisions deal with how licensing authorities should approach applications for premises licences for premises that are not yet fully ready for operation.

The shorter than usual consultation period ended on 30 May 2008. Click here to access it.

The Gambling Commission also has issued a consultation paper containing proposed additional revisions to its Guidance to Licensing Authorities (2nd edition). Also contained in the consultation are proposals to add operating licence conditions to Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice.

This consultation paper deals with what is meant by a "single premises" and by "primary purpose". This will help to clarify the requirement that the principal activity of premises will be the activity authorised by the premises licence in operation for that premises.

The paper addresses the differences that the Commission says have emerged in its handling of licence applications as well as its concern that statutory provisions are not necessarily being correctly interpreted in this regard.

The consultation started on 16 June 2008 and will end on 8 September 2008 - responses to this consultation are welcomed from all interested parties. Click here to access the full consultation document.

Advice to Police Services

The Gambling Commission has prepared a draft reference document for British police services regarding their role and functions in the regulation of the gambling industry.

The intention of the Commission is to inform police who are looking to identify specific information relating to gambling premises in their local areas. The document summarises police powers under the Gambling Act 2005 and explores the working relationships and exchange of intelligence between the police, licensing authorities and the Commission.

The Commission would like to get feedback on the content of the document before publishing a final version later in autumn 2008.

At the end of the document, the Commission has included six questions for interested parties to answer in order to partake in the consultation process. Responses are requested by 22 August 2008. The draft reference document can be accessed here.