Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council is responsible for certain gambling activities within the Borough.
The Gambling Act 2005 requires that the Council publish a Statement of Gambling Policy that sets out the policies the Council will generally apply to promote the three licensing objectives when making a decision on an application made in accordance with the Act. The Policy was reviewed and published on 31st January 2022.
The three licensing objectives are:-
- to prevent gambling from being a source of crime and disorder, being associated with crime and disorder, or being used to support crime
- to ensure that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way
- to protect children and other vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling.
There are 3 main types of licences issued in accordance with the Act. They are:-
- operator's licence
- personal licence
- premises licence
Operator and personal licences are issued by the Gambling Commission and premises licences are issued by the Council. In addition to licences, a number of permits are available for certain types of gambling.
Premises licences are required to authorise the use of a premises for:
- operation of a casino (Casino Premises Licence)
- providing bingo facilities (Bingo Premises Licence)
- making Category B3 or B4 machines available (Adult Gaming Centre Premises Licence)
- making Category C machines available (Family Entertainment Centre Premises Licence)
- providing facilities for betting (Betting Premises Licence)
Before a premises licence can be granted the applicant must have been granted an appropriate operating licence and, if required, a personal licence by the Gambling Commission.
The following permits are available:-
- unlicensed family entertainment centre permit
- prize gaming permit
- alcohol-licensed premises permit
- club gaming permit
- club machine permit
Unlicensed Family Entertainment Centre
The unlicensed family entertainment centre permit will cater for families, including unaccompanied children and young persons.
Unlicensed FEC’s will be able to offer any number of category D machines (see link below for machine categories). For higher category machines, a licence is required.
The licensing authority and Chief Officer of Police must be consulted upon before a permit will be granted.
The permit will have affect for 10 years and there is no annual fee. Renewal must be made between 2 and 6 months in advance of the permit expiring.
Prize Gaming Permit
Gaming is prize gaming if neither the nature nor the size of a prize played for is determined by reference to, the number of persons playing or the amount paid for or raised by the gaming.
Prize gaming permits can be issued if a premises licence or club gaming permit has effect on the premises.
- Applications are to be consulted on by the Licensing Authority and the Chief Officer of Police.
- A permit will last for 10 years and renewal must be made between 2 and 6 months in advance of the expiry date.
Club Gaming Permits and Club Machine Permits
A member’s club and miners’ welfare institutes (but not commercial clubs) may be granted a club gaming permit which authorises the establishment to provide gaming machines as well as equal chance gaming and of chance as prescribed in regulations.
If a club does not wish to have the full range of facilities permitted by a club gaming permit they may apply to the licensing authority for a club machine permit. This authorises the holder to have up to three gaming machines of categories B4, C or D (i.e. three machines in total). Commercial clubs may also apply for this permit.
Alcohol Licensed Premises
There is an automatic entitlement to make available two gaming machines (of Category C or D) for use in alcohol licensed premises. Notice must be given to the licensing authority of the intention to provide the machines and the prescribed fee must be paid.
Any number of gaming machines may be permitted by the licensing authority, which will replace and not be in addition to, any automatic entitlement.
In alcohol licensed premises, clubs and miners’ welfare institutes, the threshold is that if bingo played during any seven-day period exceeds £2,000 (either in money taken or prizes awarded), all further games of bingo played on those premises for the next 12 months will require an operating licence to be legal. This applies to future games, which are over the threshold of £2,000.
Small Society Lotteries
In addition to licences and permits, the Council has a duty to issue small society lottery registrations as the Gambling Act 2005 repealed the legislation previously regulating lotteries.
A society on behalf of which a lottery is promoted must be established and conducted
- for charitable purposes
- for the purpose of enabling participation in, or in support of, sport, athletics or cultural activities
- for any other purpose other than that of private gain