Gambling licences and permits

A premises licence from us is required for

  • Betting Track and Other than a Track
  • Bingo
  • Casino
  • Adult Gaming Centre
  • Family Entertainment Centre

To apply for a Premises Licence for any of the above you must first have obtained a Personal Licence and an Operators Licence from the Gambling Commission.

An application for a premises licence must be advertised in a local newspaper after which follows a 28 day objection period in which members of the public and responsible authorities may object to the application. Notice of the application must be sent to the Responsible Authorities. The application should be accompanied by a plan of the premises and the relevant fee. If representations are received within the objection period, a hearing will be arranged for the Licensing and Safety Panel to consider the application.

Upon grant of a Premises Licence an annual fee is payable within 30 days. The annual fee is then payable annually on the anniversary of the grant of the licence.

A premises licence is for unlimited duration. It can be transferred and / or varied.

Betting Shop

As well as bets being placed at the counter, a betting shop can have up to 4 gaming machines of category B2, B3, B4, C or D.


A bingo hall requires a bingo licence. There are two types of bingo:

  • Cash bingo - stakes make up the cash prizes that can be won
  • Prize bingo - various forms of prizes are won, not directly related to the stakes paid

A bingo premises can also make available for use up to 4 Category B3 or B4 machines and any number of Category C and D machines.

If bingo is provided in a pub the following applies.

  • You can only provide bingo on alcohol-licensed premises.
  • No profit can be made from the bingo itself. This means you cannot charge a fee for participating in bingo - nor can you take a cut from either the money paid to play bingo (stakes), or from the prize amounts awarded.
  • It must be possible for bingo players to gain entry to the premises without paying an admission fee. This is because admission fees to premises where bingo takes place are treated as participation fees i.e. profit.
  • All stakes for bingo games must be returned as prizes. So, if you raise £500 in total from all bingo players, you must return the whole £500 in prizes.
  • The maximum stake you can charge is £5 per person per game.
  • The chances of winning a prize must be equally favourable to all players. 
  • You can't link up the bingo games with other bingo games taking place on a different set of premises.
  • No under 18s can be allowed to play. You must ensure controls are in place to prevent underage gambling.
  • You will need to notify the Commission - and may need to apply for an operating licence - if the bingo involves more than £2,000 in stakes, or you award more than £2,000 in prizes, in any seven-day period.


Section 7(1) of the Gambling Act 2005 states that 'a casino is an arrangement whereby people are given an opportunity to participate in one or more casino games.' Casino games are defined by the Act to mean a game of chance which is not equal chance gaming. Equal chance gaming is gaming which does not involve playing or staking against a bank, and where the chances are equally favourable to all participants. There are 3 categories of casino premises licences that may be issued under the Act, regional, large and small casinos. The numbers and categories of gaming machines permitted in a casino depend on the category of the casino. Please telephone the licensing office for more information.

Adult Gaming Centre

These are amusement arcades that offer the higher payout gaming machines. They are strictly for adults over 18, children are not allowed on the premises. They can offer up to 4 category B3 machines and an unlimited number of Category C and D machines.

Licensed Family Entertainment Centre

Another form of amusement arcade, however children are permitted to enter. They can offer an unlimited number of Category C and D machines. Children can play the Category D machines. Any Category C machines must be in a fenced off area where only over 18s can enter.

Unlicensed Family Entertainment Centre Gaming Machine Permit

These are amusement arcades that only offer Category D machines which are machines that give prizes by tickets etc. that can be saved up and exchanged for bigger prizes. Children will have free access to play on these machines.

To apply for a FEC permit you just need to submit an application form and the fee. The application does not need to be advertised. The permit will last for 10 years and has no annual fee. The permit is non transferable.

Clubs under the Gambling Act 2005

There are 2 types of Club, these are members clubs and commercial clubs. A members club is operated purely for the benefit of its members, is not for profit, and must have at least 25 members. A commercial club must have at least 25 members and can profit.

A members club can apply for a Club Gaming Permit or a Club Machine Permit.

A commercial club can only apply for a Club Machine Permit.

There are no operators, premise or personal licences required just a permit from the licensing authority. To obtain this permit there is an application form which must be completed and returned with the relevant fee. Notice of the application must be given to the Police and Gambling Commission and there follows an objection period in which these authorities may object to the application. Once issued a permit lasts for 10 years (as long as the club is still in operation). The club must apply for a renewal 3 months - 6 weeks before it expires and a renewal fee will be payable. An annual fee is payable on the permit 30 days after it is issued and then annually on the anniversary of the grant of the licence.

Club Gaming Permit

A club gaming permit allows up to 3 gaming machines of category B4, C or D. Only category D machines can be played by children. The machines must be operated and located to comply with the legislation. Only members or signed in guests can play the machines. A club with this permit can also have equal chance gaming e.g. bingo however the stakes or prizes can't exceed £2000 within a 7 day period. Any person participating must be a member of the club or a signed in guest and no children can play. There can be no participation fee and no deduction from stakes or prizes.

Club Machine Permit

A club machine permit allows up to 3 gaming machines of category B4, C or D. Only category D machines can be played by children. The machines must be operated and located to comply with the legislation. Only members or signed in guests can play the machines. Games such as dominoes, cribbage etc can be played in the club but games such as bingo cannot be played.

Alcohol Licensed Premises under the Gambling Act 2005

To qualify to have gaming machines a premise must have a bar at which alcohol is served for consumption on the premises. There are two types of authorisation.

Automatic entitlement - Notification of Gaming Machines (2 or less)

Alcohol licensed premises are automatically entitled to up to two gaming machines of Category C or D.

To apply, they simply need to send us written notification that they intend to have gaming machines together with the relevant fee. There is no annual fee payable and the notification is of unlimited duration for so long as the licence holder stays the same.

Licensed Premises Gaming Machine Permit (more than 2 machines)

If a pub wishes to have more than 2 category C or D machines they must apply for a permit. The permit, once issued, is of unlimited duration but there is an annual fee payable. If any circumstances change the permit must be varied or transferred.

Pubs can also allow equal chance gaming eg bingo as long as the stakes or prizes do not exceed £2000 in any seven day period. Children are not allowed to play and no participation fee can be charged or any amount deducted. The premises must not become a place used mainly for gaming - its main use must still be as a pub.

Prize Gaming

Prize Gaming is equal chance gaming (where players have an equal chance of winning), where the prizes are determined by the proprietor before he knows how many people will be playing.

An example

Bingo taking place on the pier at Blackpool. The proprietor sets the prize at £100 at 9am when he opens the door. On one day he gets 2 people in all day playing. On another day he gets 200 people playing. The prize still has to be £100 on both days.

If a premises holds a premises licence for adult gaming or a family entertainment centre, prize gaming is allowed without a prize gaming permit.

Travelling fairs may offer prize gaming without authorisation.

An application for prize gaming can only be made by the person who occupies the premises.

Any prize gaming must be played entirely in one day and the result of the game must be made public.

To apply for a prize gaming permit, the applicant must complete an application form and send to the licensing authority together with the relevant fee. The permit then lasts for 10 years.

Contact for Bury Licensing Service