Prize Gaming and Prize Gaming Permits

To offer gaming with prizes on specified premises, you need a permit.

Gaming is prize gaming if the nature and size of the prize is not determined by the number of people playing or the amount paid for or raised by gaming e.g. playing bingo at the seaside.

A prize gaming permit is a permit issued by the licensing authority to authorise the provision of facilities for gaming with prizes on specified premises.

Certain premises can offer prize gaming without a prize gaming permit:

  • Casinos – they can offer any form of prize gaming, other than bingo. A casino operating licence will give the casino the authority to provide all games of chance except any form of bingo. However, a casino could obtain a bingo operating licence if it wished to do so.
  • Bingo – prize gaming can be provided on bingo premises. The bingo operating licence allows bingo operators to provide prize gaming in respect of unequal games of chance as well as equal games of chance.
  • Adult Gaming Centres – any type of prize gaming may be provided in adult gaming centres and licensed family entertainment centres. Unlicensed family entertainment centres may offer equal chance prize gaming under the auspices of their gaming machine permit without the need for a prize gaming permit.
  • Travelling fairs are able to offer equal chance prize gaming without a permit provided that the facilities for gambling, including the category D machines, are an ancillary amusement at the fair.

Children and young persons may participate in equal chance prize gaming only.

Permit holders, adult gaming centres, family entertainment centres and travelling fairs must comply with the following four conditions to lawfully offer prize gaming:

  • They must comply with the level of fees set out in regulations
  • All chances to take part in the gaming must be allocated on the premises on which the gaming is taking place
  • All chances to take part in the gaming must be allocated on the premises on which the gaming is taking place and on one day, the game must be played and completed in the day the chances are allocated and the result of the game must be made public in the premises on the day it is played
  • The prize for which the game is played must not exceed the amount set out in regulations
  • Participation in the gaming must not entitle the player to take part in any other gaming

Prize Gaming Permits

Any other premises that wish to offer prize gaming must apply for a prize gaming permit.

The application can only be made by a person aged 18 or over who occupies or plans to occupy the premises. An application cannot be made for a permit if a premises licence or a club gaming permit is in effect for the same premises.

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