Club Gaming and Club Machine Permits
If you want to operate gambling from your club, it is likely that you will need a permit.
The Gambling Act 2005 has been introduced to regulate gambling, including bingo, gaming machines and card games in order to ensure the 3 following licensing objectives are adhered to: -
- Keep crime out of gambling
- Ensure gambling is conducted in a fair and open way, and
- Protect children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling.
Under the new Act if you operate gambling from your club, it is likely that you will need a permit.
Part II registration is the equivalent of a “Club Gaming Permit” and Part III registration is the equivalent of a “Club Gaming Machine Permit”.
Existing Part II and Part III Gaming Act 12968 registrations, unless expired, will be automatically treated as the relevant permits under the new Act unless:
- Your club no longer meets the statutory requirement (such as having less than the minimum 25 members); and/or
- Your activities change to those that are not permitted under the new Act
Please note: all gambling activities will be subject to any new conditions or restrictions arising from the new Act and regulations made under it.
Under the new Act there are three different types of licences that operators may need. They are:
- Operating licences
- Personal licences; and
- Premises licences
Operating Licences – issue by Gambling Commission
In some circumstances if you plan to provide facilities for gambling in a members’ club, a commercial club, or a miners’ welfare institute you may need an operating licence. You may need an operating licence if you provide bingo or other gambling over set limited (see under specific headings).
Members’ clubs, commercial clubs and miners’ welfare institutes can provide some gambling without an operating licence.
The new Act allows exemptions for clubs so that the officers do not need to hold personal licences.
Premises Licences – issued by local authorities
No premises licence will be needed provided that gambling activities comply with the Act or if the practices are classified as high turnover bingo as explained under ‘Bingo’. If your gambling activities are outside of this you may need to apply for a premises licence and should contact us for more information.
Under the new Act clubs can offer bingo and other equal chance gaming without a permit or a licence provided that:
- the club abides by limits set in regulations for the amounts – see Appendix 1
- the participation fee is no more than £1 per person per day, or £3 where a club gaming permit is held
- games are held on the premises
- games are not linked with games held on other premises
- games are only open to club members and guests (unless your club is a commercial club) and
- the total stakes or prizes for bingo games played in any seven day period does not exceed £2,000 more than one in 12 months.
You will need to apply for a bingo operating licence if you operate bingo on your club premises with total stakes or prizes that go above £2,000 a week and you plan to do so again at any time during the following twelve months. After the first week of high turnover bingo the club will commit an offence if high turnover bingo is played again in the following twelve months, unless a bingo operating licence has been obtained.
If your total stakes or prizes for bingo reach £2,000 in any seven day period without an operating licence you must notify the Gambling Commission.
Provided conditions outlined in the new Act are complied with you do not need a premises licence.
There is a code of practice for gaming in clubs. Under certain conditions, clubs will be entitled to provide equal chance gaming without a permit or licence. This will include poker with restricted stakes and prizes – See Appendix 1.
If you hold a club gaming permit you will also be permitted to offer other specific games.
Clubs will not need an operating licence for card games from the Gambling Commission unless there are exceptional circumstances, i.e. the main purpose of the club is gaming.
Provided conditions outlined in the new Act are complied with you will not need a premises licence.
If you hold a club gaming or club machine permit you will be entitled to have up to three gaming machines. One of these machines may be a lottery machine (B3A) with a maximum payout of £500 (members’ club or a miners’ welfare institute only). The other machines (B4, C or D) can have a maximum jackpot of £250. Again you must abide by the codes of practice issued by the Gambling Commission.
| Category of Machine|| Maximum Stake|| Maximum Prize|
– Lottery Machine
10p or 30p when
£5 cash or £8
Unless there are exceptional circumstances, clubs will not need an operating licence from the Gambling Commission or a premises licence from the Council.
Applying for a Permit
If you are a members’ club or a miners’ welfare Institute with Part II and/or Part III permissions, you must apply to Bournemouth Borough Council for your new permit before your current registration expires.
If you are operating a club for the first time you should apply to Bournemouth Borough Council.