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Premises Licences

3.1 Introduction


A premises licence is required from the licensing authority where an individual or company with a valid operator's licence, issued by the Gambling Commission, wishes to offer gambling at premises located within the local authority's area.

A premises licence may only authorise one primary gambling activity. The types of gambling premises licences which will be considered by the licensing authority are:

a. Casino
b. Bingo
c. Betting
d. Adult Gaming Centre
e. Family Entertainment Centre

The Licensing Authority's primary obligation is to permit the use of premises in so far it thinks that is:

  • In accordance with the relevant codes of practice issued by the Gambling Commission;
  • In accordance with the guidance issued by the Gambling Commission;
  • Reasonably consistent with the licensing objectives; and
  • In accordance with this Statement of Licensing Policy

Premises licences are subject to the permissions/restrictions set out in the Gambling Act 2005, associated regulations and mandatory and default conditions. Licensing authorities are able to exclude default conditions and attach other conditions if it is believed that they are necessary and proportionate.

Each application will be considered on its own merits. Demand or need for premises of a particular type is not something which the licensing authority can take into account. Other factors that cannot be taken into account are moral/ethical objections, a general dislike of gambling, nuisance issues or the likelihood of planning/building regulation approval.

3.2 Local Risk Assessments


From 6th April 2016 it is a requirement of the Gambling Commission's Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) that all premises licence holders assess local risks to the licensing objectives posed by the provision of gambling facilities at their premises. Premises licence holders must also have procedures and control measures in place to mitigate these risks. When undertaking a risk assessment, the operator must take into account relevant matters identified in this licensing policy.

A risk assessment must be completed when applying for a new premises licence and should be reviewed and updated:

As a minimum, all LRAs must consider:

  • The location of services for children such as schools, playgrounds, leisure/community centres and other areas where children will gather;
  • The demographics of the area in relation to vulnerable groups - for example hospitals, residential care homes, Council housing offices, drug and/or alcohol dependency services, other gambling premises;
  • How vulnerable people, including people with gambling dependencies are protected;
  • "Operating staff (particularly those involved with customer interaction and self-exclusion) should be aware of National and Local Problematic Gambling support systems available and individuals identified as being in need of support should be made aware of the National Problem Gambling Helpline. All operators should be aware of and publicise the local , confidential FREE and immediate service offered through local treatment provider THE BEACON COUNSELLING TRUST , who deliver services across the North West and whose closet location for service provision is Preston www.beaconcounsellingtrust.co.uk telephone 0151 226 0696 who will arrange a local appointment.
  • Whether the premises is in an area subject to high levels of crime and/or disorder;
  • Age verification policies;
  • The proximity of machines to the entrance door;
  • Consideration of line of sight from any staff counter to gambling machines;
  • Details of exclusions, self-exclusions and incidences of underage gambling.

In considering the above matters, the following are examples of operational controls that LRAs may need to consider:

  • CCTV;
  • Door supervisors;
  • Supervision of entrances / machine areas;
  • Physical separation of areas; Location of entry;
  • Notices / signage;
  • Specific opening hours;
  • Self-barring schemes;
  • Provision of information leaflets / helpline numbers for organisations such as GamCare.

Please note that this list is not mandatory, nor exhaustive. 

It is important that if children are allowed to enter licensed premises that they do not participate in gambling - other than category D machines. Where other machines are available in the premises to which children are not permitted to use, LRAs are expected to ensure that:

  • The suitability and layout of the premises promotes restricted access to relevant areas;
  • All such machines are located in an area of the premises separate from the remainder of the premises by a physical barrier which is effective to prevent access other than through a designated entrance;
  • Only adults are admitted to this area where the machines are located;
  • Access to the area where the machines are located is supervised;
  • The area where the machines are located is arranged so that it can be observed by staff of the operator or the licence holder, and At the entrance to, and inside any such area there are prominently displayed notices indicating that access to the area is prohibited to persons under 18.

3.2.1 LRAS must be kept at the individual premises to which they relate and must be available for inspection by the authority

3.3 Multiple licences


"Premises" is defined in the Act as "any place" and whilst section 152 of the Act prevents more than one premises licence being in force for any place, it does not prohibit a single building being subject to more than one premises licence.

Before the licensing authority will grant multiple licences for a single building it must be satisfied that the places subject to the applications can reasonably be regarded as separate premises. In determining this the licensing authority will consider all information which is relevant which will include but is not limited to:

  • The postal address of the premises;
  • The means of access to the premises i.e. directly from the street;
  • The occupancy and ownership rights of the applicants;
  • The means of assessment for business rates payable for each "premises" and who is liable for such payments;
  • The permanency of any structures used or proposed to be used to separate the premises;
  • Whether other areas within the building are being used for non-gambling activities and their proximity to the proposed premises.

This is particularly persuasive when the non-licensed areas might reasonably be frequented by children or vulnerable people; Whether access to one licensed premises may be gained directly from another licensed premises.

3.4 Specific Types of Licence


The licensing authority will consider access provisions for individual types of licensed premises in line with the latest guidance from the Gambling Commission:

Casinos

  • The principal access to the premises must be from the street
  • No entrance to a casino must be from premises that are used wholly or mainly by children and/or young persons
  • No customer must be able to enter a casino directly from any other premises which holds a gambling premises licence

Adult Gaming Centre

  • No customer must be able to access the premises directly from any other licensed gambling premises

Betting Shops

  • Access must be from a street or from another premises with a betting premises licence
  • No direct access from betting shop to another premises used for the retail sale of merchandise or services.

Tracks

  • No customer should be able to access the premises directly from:
    • A casino
    • An adult gaming centre

Bingo Premises

  • No customer must be able to access the premises directly from:
    • A casino
    • An adult gaming centre
    • A betting premises, other than a track

Family Entertainment Centre

  • No customer must be able to access the premises directly from:
    • A casino
    • An adult gaming centre
    • A betting premises, other than a track

The licensing authority will consider applications for a premises licence in respect of premises if it is satisfied that that it is going to be ready to be used for gambling in the reasonably near future, consistent with the scale of building or alterations required before they can be brought into use.

Where the construction of a premises is not yet complete, they need alteration, or the applicant does not yet have the right to occupy them, an application for a provisional statement should be made instead.

When deciding if a premises licence can be granted in respect of premises that require construction or alteration the licensing authority will apply a two stage consideration process:

  • Whether the premises ought to be permitted to be used for gambling; and Whether appropriate conditions can be put in place to cater for the situation that the premises are not yet in the state in which they ought to be before gambling takes place

3.5 Location


The licensing authority will not consider demand issues when determining an application however it will pay particular attention to the need to protect children and vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling when considering the location of the proposed premises.

It will also consider whether there is evidence that the locality suffers from incidents of crime and disorder and in these circumstances the licensing authority may consider it appropriate to grant a licence subject to conditions in accordance with Section 169 of the Act.

3.6 Planning


The licensing authority will not consider whether the applicant has or is likely to obtain planning permission or building regulations approval for their proposal.

Applicants are advised that when the Council, as the local Planning Authority, considers its position under planning or building legislation it will not be prejudiced by any decision of the licensing authority to grant a premises licence, or otherwise be prevented from taking appropriate action under those areas of legislation.

3.7 Duplication with other regulatory regimes


The licensing authority will not concern itself with matters already provided for in other statutory or regulatory regimes. It will however consider any concerns that gambling conditions are not able to be met by licence holders due to planning restrictions should the situation arise.

Applicants are expected to comply with their duties under the Fire Safety Regulatory Reform Order, which requires that any premises that is subject of a licence must have a documented fire risk assessment.

3.8 The Licensing Objectives


When considering applications the licensing authority must aim to permit the use of premises for gambling in so far as it is, amongst other things, reasonably consistent with the licensing objectives.

Preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime

If there is evidence that the premises is in a locality which suffers from problems with organized crime or general crime and disorder, the licensing authority will consider firstly whether it is appropriate to grant a licence in that location. If it is satisfied that it is, it will then consider whether in the circumstances it should attach conditions to the licence in accordance with Section 169 of the Act.

Ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way

The licensing authority expects that premises licence holders will ensure that all gambling is conducted in a fair and open way. Concerns or complaints that arise under this objective will be referred to the Gambling Commission in their role as the regulators of both operator and personal licences. In the case of tracks, where a premises licence holder is not required to have an operator licence, the licensing authority will consider whether conditions are required on the premises licence to ensure that the environment in which betting takes place is suitable.

Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling

In relation to children this requirement is explicitly to protect them from being harmed or exploited by gambling. In practice that means not just preventing them from taking part in gambling, but restricting advertising so that gambling products are not aimed at children, or advertised in such a way that makes them particularly attractive to children. The licensing authority will consider whether specific measures are required with regard to this objective. Appropriate measures may include supervision of entrances or gaming machines and the segregation of areas.

Accordingly, the Authority expects operators to address safeguarding risks directly in Relevant applications, through their Local Risk Assessments. See Section 13.0.

In order that the Authority can be best placed to address local safeguarding issues, Operators will Provide to the Authority with details (where available) of: Results of any underage testing carried at licensed premises within the Borough; Details of where a child or young person repeatedly attempts to gamble at licensed premises within the Borough. Operators are also encouraged to engage with Lancashire County Council Social Services Safeguarding Children's and Adult's Boards as a means to obtain guidance on identifying vulnerable groups and what can be done to reduce the risks to these groups. 

3.8.1 Inspection and criminal proceedings


The Authority is required by regulation to state the principles to be applied by the Authority in exercising the functions under Part 15 of the Act with respect to the inspection of premises and its powers under Section 346 of the Act to institute criminal proceedings in respect of the offences specified.

In this regard, the Authority will undertake its inspection and enforcement functions in accordance with the relevant legislation, the Guidance and the principles of better regulation in the Regulator's Code. The Authority's principles for enforcement are:

Proportionate:

The Authority will only intervene when necessary: remedies should be appropriate to the risk posed, and costs identified and minimised;

Accountable:

The Authority will justify its decisions, and be subject to public scrutiny; Consistent: The Authority's rules and standards will be joined up and implemented fairly;

Transparent:

The Authority should be open, and keep regulations simple and user friendly; and

Targeted:

The Authority's regulation should be focused on the problem, and minimise side effects.

The main enforcement and compliance role for the Authority will be to ensure compliance with the Premises Licences and other permissions that it authorises. The Commission will be the enforcement body for Operator and Personal Licences. Any concerns about manufacture, supply or repair of gaming machines will not be dealt with by the Authority, but will be notified to the Commission. The Commission will also be responsible for compliance as regards unlicensed premises.

Test purchasing to ensure the protection of children and vulnerable person objective is being properly promoted, visits could include all types of premises which have either gambling notifications, permits, or licences for example AGC's FEC'S and betting shops. Before carrying out any activity, due consideration will be given to information submitted by licence holders who conduct their own test purchasing and these premises will be considered low risk.

3.9 Conditions


Any conditions attached to licences will be proportionate and will be:

  • Relevant to the need to make the proposed building suitable as a gambling facility;
  • Directly related to the premises and the type of licence applied for;
  • Fair and reasonable in relation to the scale and type of premises; and Reasonable in all other respects.

Decisions on individual conditions will be made on a case by case basis. Although there are a number of measures that the licensing authority will consider imposing in appropriate cases, for example the use of supervisors and signage, the authority does expect that the applicant will offer their own suggestions as to the way in which the licensing objectives can be met effectively.

The licensing authority will also consider specific measures which may be required for buildings which are subject to multiple premises licences. Such measures may include the supervision of gaming machines in non-adult specific premises, the supervision of entrances, and segregation of gambling from non-gambling areas in order to pursue the licensing objectives.

Where Category C machines are on offer in premises to which children are admitted, the licensing authority will ensure:

  • All such machines are located in an area of the premises which is separated from the remainder of the premises by a physical barrier which is effective to prevent access other than through a designated entrance;
  • Only adults are admitted to areas where the machines are located;
  • Access to the area where the machines are located is supervised;
  • The area where the machines are located is arranged so that it can be observed by the staff of the licence holder;
  • At the entrance to and inside any such areas there are prominently displayed notices indicating that access to the area is prohibited to persons under 18.

The following conditions may not be attached to premises licences:

  • Any condition which would make it impossible to comply with an operating licence condition;
  • Any condition relating to gaming machine categories, numbers or method of operation;
  • Any condition which provides that membership of a club or body be required; and
  • Any condition in relation to stakes, fees, winnings or prizes

Door Supervisors

In some cases there may be a need for door supervisors in terms of the protection of children or preventing a premises becoming a source of crime. The licensing authority however cannot impose a condition requiring door supervisors at casino or bingo premises to be licensed by the Security Industry Authority (SIA). For premises other than casinos or bingo premises, door supervisors may be required to be registered with the SIA however it will not automatically be assumed that they need to be.

Whilst there is no evidence to demonstrate that the operation of betting offices ordinarily requires the use of door supervisors to protect the public a condition requiring such supervision may be imposed where there is clear evidence from the history of trading at the premises that the premises cannot be adequately supervised from the counter and that door supervision is both necessary and proportionate.

3.9.1 Adult Gaming Centres


The licensing authority will specifically have regard to the need to protect children and vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling. The applicant will be expected to satisfy the authority that there will be sufficient measures in place to ensure that those under the age of 18 years do not have access to the premises. Appropriate measures/licence conditions may include:

  • Proof of age schemes CCTV Door supervisors
  • Supervision of entrances/machine areas
  • Location of entry Notices/signage
  • Staff training on how to deal with suspected truants
  • Self-exclusion schemes
  • Provision of information leaflets/numbers for organisations such as Gam Care

This list is not mandatory or exhaustive and is merely indicative of example measures.

3.9.2 Licensed Family Entertainment Centres


The licensing authority will specifically have regard to the need to protect children and vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling. The applicant will be expected to satisfy the authority that there will be sufficient measures in place to ensure that those under the age of 18 years do not have access to adult only gaming machine areas. Appropriate measures/licence conditions may include:

  • Proof of age schemes
  • CCTV
  • Door supervisors
  • Supervision of entrances/machine areas
  • Location of entry Notices/signage
  • Staff training on how to deal with suspected truants
  • Self-exclusion schemes
  • Provision of information leaflets/numbers for organisations such as Gam Care

This list is not mandatory or exhaustive and is merely indicative of example measures.

The licensing authority will refer to the Gambling Commission's website to see any conditions that apply to operator licences covering the way in which the area containing the Category C machines should be delineated and will also make itself aware of any mandatory or default conditions on these premises licences where they have been published.

3.9.3 Casinos


The licensing authority has not passed a "no casino" resolution under Section 166 of the Act. Should the licensing authority decide in the future to pass such a resolution this policy will be updated. Conditions will be attached according to the principles set out in the Gambling Commission's guidance. Betting machines - the authority will take into account the size of the premises, the number of counter positions available for person to person transactions, and the ability of staff to monitor the use of machines by children and young persons, or by vulnerable people when considering the number, nature and circumstances of betting machines that an operator may wish to offer.

3.9.4 Bingo Premises


The licensing authority must be satisfied that bingo will be played in any bingo premises before they issue a premises licence. This will be a relevant consideration where the operator of an existing bingo premises applies for a new premises licence. Where a pre-existing premises is split into two or more adjacent premises, Gambling Commission guidance is that the gaming machines must remain within the licensed area covered by the premises licence. It is important that if children are allowed into premises licensed for bingo that they do not participate in gambling, other than on Category D machines. Where Category c or above machines are available on premises to which children are admitted the licensing authority will ensure that: All such machines are located in an area of the premises separate from the remainder of the premises by a physical barrier which is effective to prevent access other than through a designated entrance; Only adults are admitted to the area where the machines are located; Access to the area where the machines are located is supervised; The area where the machines are located is arranged so that it can be observed by staff of the operator or the licence holder; and At the entrance to, and inside any such area there are prominently displayed notices indicating that access to the area is prohibited to persons under the age of 18.

3.9.5 Betting Premises


Betting machines - the authority will take into account the size of the premises, the number of counter positions available for person to person transactions, and the ability of staff to monitor the use of machines by children and young persons, or by vulnerable people when considering the number, nature and circumstances of betting machines that an operator may wish to offer.

3.9.6 Tracks


Tracks are sites where races or other sporting events take place. All tracks will require a primary "general betting" premises licence that the track operator will hold. Track operators do not require an operating licence from the Gambling Commission although they may apply for one. This is because the various gambling operators offering betting at the track will each hold an operating licence. Tracks may be subject to one or more premises licences, provided each licence relates to a specific area of the track. This may be preferable for self-contained premises providing offcourse betting facilities. The licensing authority will assess each individual case on its merits before deciding if this is necessary. Children and young persons will be permitted to enter track areas where facilities for betting are provided although they are still prohibited from entering areas where gaming and betting machines (other than Category D machines) are provided. Appropriate measures/licence conditions may include:

  • Proof of age schemes
  • CCTV
  • Door supervisors
  • Supervision of entrances/machine areas
  • Location of entry Notices/signage
  • Staff training on how to deal with suspected truants
  • Self-exclusion schemes
  • Provision of information leaflets/numbers for organisations such as Gam Care

This list is not mandatory or exhaustive and is merely indicative of example measures.

3.10 Travelling Fairs


Where Category D machines and/or equal chance prize gaming without a permit are to be made available for use at a travelling fair, it will be for the licensing authority to decide whether the statutory requirement that the facilities for gambling amount to no more than an ancillary amusement at the fair is met. The licensing authority will also consider whether the applicant falls within the statutory definition of a travelling fair. It is noted that the 27 day statutory maximum for land being used as a fair is per calendar year, and that it applies to the piece of land on which the fairs are held regardless of whether it is the same or different travelling fair occupying the land. The licensing authority will work with its neighbouring authorities to ensure that land which crosses our boundaries is monitored so that the statutory limits are not exceeded.

3.11 Provisional Statements


A provisional statement application is a process which allows a developer to discover whether a building which he expects to be constructed, altered, to acquire a right to occupy would be granted a premises licence. A provisional statement is not a licence but it does give some form of guarantee that a licence would be granted. The process for considering an application for a provisional statement is the same as that for a premises licence and the applicant is obliged to give notice of the application in the same way. Responsible authorities and interested parties may make representations and there are rights of appeal. In contrast to a premises licence application the applicant does not have to hold (or have applied for) an operating licence and they do not have to have a right to occupy the premises in respect of which the provisional statement application is made. The holder of a provisional statement may then apply for a premises licence once the premises are constructed, altered or acquired. At this stage no representations can be taken into account from responsible authorities or interested parties unless:

  • They concern matters which could not have been addressed at the provisional statement stage, or
  • They reflect a change in the applicant's circumstances.

The authority may refuse a premises licence (or grant it on terms different to those attached to the provisional statement) only be reference to matters:

  • Which could not have been raised by objectors at the provisional licence stage; or
  • Which in the authority's opinion, reflect a change in the operator's circumstances; or
  • Where the premises has not been constructed in accordance with the plan submitted with the application
  • When determining an application for a provisional statement the licensing authority will not have regard to issues relating to planning consent or building regulations, for example the likelihood that planning consent will be granted.

3.12 Enforcement and compliance


When exercising its functions under Part 15 of the Act in respect of the inspection of premises and its powers under section 346 of the Act to institute criminal proceedings in respect of offences, the Licensing Authority will act in accordance with the following principles: Consistency - to ensure that similar issues are dealt with in the same way whilst taking into account:

  • The attitude and actions of management;
  • The history of previous incidents or breaches;
  • The likely effectiveness of the action taken.
  • Fairness - to ensure a fair and even handed approach that promotes decisions which are not influenced by gender, ethnic origin, religious or political beliefs or sexual preferences or by contractual or other relationships to the Licensing Authority, its Members, or Officers.
  • Transparency - to ensure that any enforcement action taken by the Licensing Authority is easily understood by individuals and that clear distinctions are made between legal requirements and that which is desirable.
  • Targeted - to ensure that any enforcement action taken is focused primarily on those activities which give rise to the most serious risk or where the risks are considered to be inadequately controlled.
  • Proportionality - any actions taken will reflect that seen as necessary to achieve compliance with legislation and relate directly to the actual or potential risk to the consumer or business.

Enforcement activities will be focused on those businesses or activities where:

  • Intelligence indicate concerns, and/or Evidence is found indicating deliberate breaches of the law and/or attempts to mislead officers.
  • Helpfulness - enforcement officers will be courteous and identify themselves by name and if requested will provide a contact telephone number. In most circumstances officers will seek to help businesses and those adversely affected by licensable activities through education in terms of regulatory requirements and procedures.
  • Accountable - the Licensing Authority has responsibility to the public for its actions and will provide clear, accessible policies and affair and efficient complaints procedure.

The Licensing Authority will endeavour to avoid duplication with other regulatory regimes so far as possible, however, it will work in partnership with other regulators when issues with licensed premises are identified, to deliver a multi-agency approach to audit and compliance. The Licensing Authority will adopt a risk-based inspection programme based on: The licensing objectives Relevant codes of practice Guidance issued by the Gambling Commission

The principles set out in this statement of licensing policy Any identified local risks. Test purchasing will be carried out from time to time to ensure the protection of children and vulnerable person objective is being properly promoted, visits could include all types of premises which have either gambling notifications, permits, or licences for example AGC's FEC'S and betting shops. Before carrying out any activity, due consideration will be given to information submitted by licence holders who conduct their own test purchasing and these premises will be considered low risk. 

3.13 Reviews


Requests for the review of a premises licence can be made by responsible authorities or interested parties; however it is for the licensing authority to decide whether the review should be carried out. This will be on the basis of whether the request for the review is relevant to those matters listed below:

  • In accordance with any relevant Code of Practice issued by the Gambling Commission In accordance with any relevant guidance issued by the Gambling Commission Reasonably consistent with the licensing objectives, and In accordance with the authority's statement of principles

The licensing authority will also consider whether such a request for a review is frivolous, vexatious, or whether it is substantially the same as previous representation or requests for a review or where it will certainly not cause the authority to wish to alter, revoke or suspend the licence.

The licensing authority may initiate a review of a particular premises, or a particular class of premises on the basis of any reason which it thinks appropriate. Once a valid application for a review has been received by the licensing authority, representations may be made by responsible authorities and interested parties during a 28 day consultation period. The licensing authority will carry out the review as soon as possible after the 28 day period for making representations has passed.

The purpose of the review is to determine whether the licensing authority should take any action in relation to the licence. If action is deemed necessary, the options available to the licensing authority are:

  • Add, remove or amend a licence condition imposed by the licensing authority;
  • Exclude a default condition imposed by the Secretary of State, or remove/amend such an exclusion;
  • Suspend the premises licence for a period not exceeding three months;
  • Revoke the premises licence In determining what action, if any, should be taken following a review, the licensing authority will have regard to the principles set out in Section 153 Gambling Act 2005 as well as any relevant representations.

The licensing authority may initiate a review of a premises licence on the grounds that the premises licence holder has not provided facilities for gambling at the premises. This is intended to prevent people from applying for licences in a speculative manner without intending to use them.

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