House of Commons - Explanatory Note
Gambling Bill - continued          House of Commons

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Clause 167: Pool betting on track

399.     Betting premises licences in respect of tracks do not authorise pool betting, except in the case of pool betting on horse-racing or dog-racing. In those cases, pool bets must be accepted either by the holder of the betting premises licence, or in accordance with arrangements made by the licence holder.

400.     The Secretary of State may, by order, change the types of premises on which pool betting may be permitted.

Clause 168: Betting machines

401.     Conditions attached to betting premises licences and casino premises licences may relate to the number of machines on the premises used for making or accepting bets; the nature of those machines and the circumstances of their use.

402.     This provision is relevant to machines used for making or accepting bets on real events. Such machines are excluded from the definition of gaming machine in Part 10 of the Bill. Another clause in this Part imposes restrictions on the number of gaming machines that may be made available for use on licensed premises, and this clause enables similar restrictions to be imposed on machines used for making or accepting bets on real events. Likewise, there is an express regulation making power for controlling the use of gaming machines in Part 10, and this clause enables similar controls to be imposed on real betting machines.

Clause 169: Exclusion of children from track areas

403.     It will be a mandatory condition of premises licences in relation to a track that children and young persons are to be excluded from any area where betting facilities are provided, or category D gaming machines are made available for use. The exclusion from an area where betting facilities are provided is not to apply to a dog-racing track or horse-racing track on a day on which racing takes place or is expected to take place. For the purposes of this clause, an area where facilities are provided or a machine is situated is a place where it is possible to take advantage of the facilities or to use the machine.

404.     The Secretary of State has the power to alter the places that children and young persons are to be excluded from, and the circumstances in which they may be permitted access.

Clause 170: Annual fee

405.     A premises licence holder must pay a fee to the licensing authority upon the grant of the licence, and annually thereafter. The Secretary of State (and, in Scotland, the Scottish Ministers) will prescribe in regulations the amount of the fee, and the period within which the initial fee must be paid. Such regulations may make different provisions for different classes of licences and different circumstances. Further provision for the setting of premises licence fees in England and Wales is made later in this Part.

406.     The clause also makes provision for the Secretary of State, or in Scotland, the Scottish Ministers, to set fees for circumstances where a premises licence is altered (following, for example, a change of circumstances, a variation, transfer or review) and, as a consequence, a new annual fee (either more or less than the original) is applicable.

Clause 171: Availability of licence

407.     Holders of premises licences must keep a copy of their licence on the premises and make it available to a police constable, a Commission enforcement officer or an authorised local authority officer. Failure to present the licence without reasonable excuse when requested by such people is an offence, for which the maximum penalty will be a fine of level 2 on the standard scale (£500).

Clause 172: Change of circumstance

408.     The licence holder commits an offence if he fails to inform the licensing authority if his home or business address (on the licence) changes or in the event that another change of a type specified in regulations by the Secretary of State takes place. If, because of the change, information on the licence is rendered incorrect then the licence holder must also make the licence available when the change is notified, or apply for a copy, so that the licensing authority may alter the details of the licence. The penalty for this offence is a fine not exceeding level 2 (currently (£500).

Clause 173: Application to vary licence

409.     Licensees may apply to the licensing authority for a variation to their licence which will alter the authorised activities, change the conditions of the licence, or alter some other detail of the licence. A licence may not be varied so as to relate to premises to which it did not previously relate.

410.     The procedures in this Part for licence applications will apply to procedures for variation, but the Secretary of State may make regulations providing for different procedures, including different procedures for different types of variation. The application must be accompanied by the licence and a statement of the variation requested. If the licence cannot be provided, a statement explaining why the licence cannot be provided and an application for a copy must accompany the application.

Clauses 174 & 175: Transfer

411.     Unlike operating licences, premises licences can be transferred, provided the transfer is to another operating licence holder (except in the case of betting premises licences in respect of tracks, where the transfer can be to any person). The procedures under this Part for premises licence applications will apply to applications for transfer with any necessary modifications.

412.     Applications for transfer must state when the transfer is to take place and be accompanied by a written statement from the existing licence holder consenting to the transfer. It is possible for a transfer application to proceed without such a statement if the applicant has been unable to contact the existing licence holder, having taken all reasonable steps to do so. In such circumstances the licensing authority may disapply the requirement for consent from the licence holder and take all reasonable steps to notify the existing licence holder of their decision.

413.     The licence or an application for a copy of the licence must accompany the application. Where the existing licensee is not contactable, the licence will be treated as being lost, stolen or damaged and the applicant must apply for a copy.

414.     If the application for transfer so requests, the applicant will be treated as though he were the licensee from the point that the application is received by the licensing authority to the determination of the application by the licensing authority.

415.     Regulations can be made to require an applicant for transfer to publish or give notice of his application to responsible authorities and other people specified. A responsible authority may make representations about the application to the licensing authority.

416.     A licensing authority will grant an application for transfer, unless they think it would be wrong to do so having regard to any representations that have been made. Decisions made under this clause will be subject to rights of appeal by the licensee or the applicant for transfer.

Clause 176: Copy of licence

417.     Where a premises licence, or summary of the terms and conditions, is lost, stolen or damaged, then the licence holder may apply to the licensing authority for a copy of the licence. The licensing authority must grant a copy if it is satisfied that the licence or summary has been lost, stolen or damaged and that the loss or theft has been reported to the police. A fee is payable, which will be set by the Secretary of State in regulations.

Clause 177: Initial duration

418.     Premises licences are of unlimited duration, unless:

  • the Secretary of State exercises powers under this clause to impose a time limit on premises licences, or a class of premises licences, by secondary legislation. Regulations made by the Secretary of State may have retrospective effect, and can make provision about renewals; or

  • the licence ceases to have effect in accordance with other provisions in this Part.

Clause 178: Surrender

419.     Licensees may surrender their licences by writing to the licensing authority to give notice of their wish to do so, and enclosing the licence, or a written explanation of why it is not possible to provide the licence. The licensing authority must notify the surrender to the Commission, the police, and Customs and Excise.

Clause 179: Revocation for failure to pay fee

420.     A premises licence will be revoked if the licence holder fails to pay the relevant annual fee (required by other provisions in this Part), unless the failure to pay can be explained by an administrative error.

Clause 180: Lapse

421.     Where the licensee dies, becomes (in the opinion of the licensing authority) incapable of carrying out the licensed activities due to physical or mental incapacity; or becomes bankrupt, insolvent, ceases to exist, or goes into liquidation, then the licence will lapse. There are provisions for reinstating a lapsed licence.

422.     When a licensing authority becomes aware of the lapse of a licence, it must, as soon as reasonably practicable, notify the Commission, the police, and Customs and Excise.

Clauses 181 & 182: Reinstatement

423.     For a period of 7 days beginning with the day on which the premises licence lapses, a person may apply for the licence to be reinstated in their name, instead of the person whose name is on the lapsed licence. The licence or a statement of why the licence cannot be provided (along with an application for a copy of the licence), must accompany the application. The person seeking reinstatement must hold a relevant operating licence in order for the licensing authority to be able to grant transfer.

424.     Regulations may be made requiring the applicant for reinstatement to publish or give notice of his application to certain specified (but not all) responsible authorities. A responsible authority may make representations about the application to the licensing authority.

425.     The provisions, in this Part, relating to applications for premises licences apply to applications for reinstatement with any necessary modifications. The licensing authority will grant the application for reinstatement, unless they conclude that it would be wrong to do so, taking account of representations made by responsible authorities. On grant of the application, the licensing authority must alter the licence so that the applicant becomes the licensee; must specify that reinstatement take effect at the time when the application is granted; and must make any other alteration to the licence that they deem necessary.

Clause 183: Application for review

426.     Under this Part, a premises licence may be reviewed:

  • in response to an application to the licensing authority by a responsible authority or interested party; or

  • on the initiation of the licensing authority.

427.     This clause deals with applications by responsible authorities or interested parties. Applications must be in the form and manner prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State. Regulations may also require an applicant to give notice of the application in a prescribed form and manner, to the licensee, and/or the responsible authorities in relation to the premises. In addition, the licensing authority may be required to publish notice of the application. Such notice must specify a period of time within which the licensee, a responsible authority or an interested party can make representations about the application.

Clauses 184 & 185: Consideration of application

428.     These clauses specify the grounds on which a licensing authority may reject an application for a review made by a responsible authority or an interested party. This includes that the application is frivolous or vexatious or that it does not raise any new grounds to those previously raised on an application for review, or during the original determination to grant the relevant premises licence. An application for review can also be rejected because it does not raise any issue which is relevant to the principles which the authority is required to consider in granting a premises licence application.

429.     In determining whether to reject an application for a review, the licensing authority must consider the length of time that has elapsed since the last review and/or the grant of the relevant premises licence.

430.     If the licensing authority thinks that some of the grounds on which an application for a review may be rejected apply, they may reject the relevant parts of the application for the review. To the extent that a licensing authority does not reject an application for review, they must accept it.

Clause 186: Initiation of review by licensing authority

431.     Licensing authorities may also:

  • initiate a review of a particular class of premises licences, to assess the use of those premises or the arrangements made to ensure compliance with licence conditions (subsection (1)); or

  • initiate a review of a particular premises licence, where it suspects that the premises have not been used in accordance with a condition of a licence, or if it thinks that a review would be appropriate for any other reason. Before conducting such a review, the licensing authority must give notice of its intention to review the licence to the affected licensee, and also publish its intention.

Clauses 187 to 189: Review

432.     Where a licensing authority has granted an application for a review, or has given notice of its intention to initiate a review, it must review the licence as soon as reasonably practicable in order to determine what, if any, action should be taken under this Part. In conducting the review, the licensing authority must hold a hearing unless the applicant for the review and any person who made representations has consented to the hearing being waived; or the licensing authority considers that all the representations made following notice of the review are frivolous, vexatious or will not influence their decision.

433.     When determining what, if any, action to take, the licensing authority must take into account representations made before or during the hearing, and the grounds specified in any application for a review made by a responsible authority or an interested party.

434.     Following a review, a licensing authority may:

  • suspend (for a period not exceeding 3 months) or revoke a licence; or

  • amend, add or exclude the conditions attached to the licence.

435.     Any decision of the licensing authority under these clauses must be notified to the licensee, the applicant for a review (if any), the Commission, any person who made representations, the police and Customs and Excise as soon as possible after being made. Notification must give reasons for the decision.

436.     Under this Part, a right of appeal is provided against a determination by the licensing authority to take, or not to take, action under these clauses. An appeal may be made by the licensee; any person who made representations in relation to a review; the person (if any) who applied for the review; and the Commission.

Clauses 190 & 191: Provisional statement

437.     Where a person expects premises to be constructed or altered, or expects to acquire a right to occupy premises, he may apply for a provisional statement from the licensing authority, in advance of a full premises licence.

438.     Subject to any necessary modifications, the provisions relating to applications for premises licences under this Part will apply to applications for provisional statements. A person will not have to have a right to occupy or an operating licence in order to be granted a provisional statement. An application for a provisional statement must include plans, and information in relation to the construction, alteration or acquisition of property as may be prescribed by the Secretary of State in regulations.

439.     Where granted, the provisional statement offers a degree of certainty to the applicant when he comes to apply for a premises licence because, when considering the application for the premises licence:

  • the licensing authority must disregard any representations made, except where they relate to matters that could not have been addressed in relation to the application for a provisional statement; or where they reflect a change of circumstances relating to the premises; and

  • the licensing authority may only refuse the application for the premises licence or impose conditions not included in the provisional statement, by taking into account matters which are valid representations (as defined above) or where there is a change of circumstances.

440.     If the property in respect of which the application has been made has been altered or constructed in a way that is not in accordance with the plans that were submitted with the application for a provisional statement, the licensing authority are not limited in their consideration of the application for the premises licence in the ways outlined above.

Clauses 192 to 195: Rights of Appeal

441.     These clauses set out which licensing authority decisions under this Part may be subject to appeal. They include a decision to reject or grant an application (including rejection or grant of an application to reinstate a licence, and an application for a provisional statement); a decision whether to take action as a result of a review; and a decision whether to transfer a licence.

442.     Appeals under this Part must be made, in England and Wales, to the magistrates' court within 21 days of the relevant decision. Unless he is the appellant, the licence holder or applicant, as the case may be, must be joined as a respondent in addition to the licensing authority.

443.     The magistrates may dismiss the appeal, substitute a new decision that could have been made by the licensing authority, remit the case back to the licensing authority, and also make an order about costs. Where the case is remitted, there is a further right of appeal on the same terms. In Scotland, appeals will be made to the sheriff on the same terms, except that there will be no right for the sheriff to substitute his own decision.

444.     Any determination or action under this Part will be stayed during an appeal, or during the period within which an appeal could have been brought, unless the licensing authority, when making a determination or taking action, directs otherwise (in which case the magistrates' court or sheriff may make any appropriate order). There is a further right of appeal on a point of law to the High Court in England and Wales, or the Court of Session in Scotland.

Clause 196: Vessels and vehicles

445.     This clause provides that premises licences may be granted to passenger vessels, but may not be granted to vehicles. The interpretation clause in Part 18 contains provisions for defining vessels and vehicles, and this clause contains rules for determining where vessels are located for the purpose of applying for a premises licence.

446.     Where an application for a premises licence is made in respect of a vessel, the bodies listed in subsection (3) will be responsible bodies, with the same rights as responsible authorities generally under this Part.

447.     The effect of this clause (together with other provisions in the Bill on vessels and vehicles) is that gaming and betting on vehicles is unlawful under the Bill, unless the gambling constitutes private gaming or betting within the meaning of Part 14 and Schedule 12. Schedule 9 contains rules on the lawful promotion of exempt lotteries on vessels.

Clause 197: Fees

448.     At a number of clauses in this Part, provision is made for fees to be payable to licensing authorities, and for those fees to be set by the Secretary of State, or Scottish ministers. Under this clause, the Secretary of State may devolve to licensing authorities in England and Wales the freedom to set fees for premises licence applications relating to their area, subject to constraints specified in the regulations. For example, the Secretary of State could provide bands of fees for each type of premises licence application, and authorities be given the freedom to determine the exact fee, within this band.

449.     Where licensing authorities are given power to determine a fee:

  • they may set different fees for different classes of case specified in the regulations e.g. for different types of licence (but not otherwise); and

  • they must aim to ensure that the income from the fees they set equals (as nearly as possible) the costs of providing the particular services to which the fee relates.

450.     Regulations under this clause need not apply to all licensing authorities in England and Wales and may, in particular, apply only to categories of authority. In England, such categorisation could be achieved by reference to categories assigned under section 99 of the Local Government Act 2003 (c.26) (Comprehensive Performance Assessment).

451.     This clause does not apply in Scotland.

PART 9: TEMPORARY USE OF PREMISES

Background

452.     Part 9 makes provision for the use of premises for gambling where there is no premises licence in respect of those premises, but an operating licence holder wishes to use the premises, temporarily, for providing facilities for gambling.

453.     Temporary use notices, endorsed by licensing authorities, will authorise the provision of gambling activities temporarily on specific premises. The nature of the gambling activities that can be provided under such notices will be controlled by the Secretary of State by regulation. Examples of premises which could be subject to a temporary use notice are hotels, exhibition centres or entertainment venues.

454.     Part 1 defines the licensing authorities which will consider temporary use notices, and Part 18 requires licensing authorities to make a licensing policy statement in relation to their functions under this Part.

Clauses 199 to 203: Temporary use notice

455.     Where an operating licence holder wishes to provide facilities for gambling temporarily on premises, he may give notice in writing (a "temporary use notice") that he intends to use the premises for the provision of facilities for gambling. This notice must be sent to the relevant licensing authority for the area in which the premises are situated and the authority must take certain steps in relation to the notice.

456.     A temporary use notice cannot authorise any gambling activities. It can only authorise such gambling activities as the Secretary of State may specify in regulations, and which are set out in the notice. These regulations may also specify combinations of activities that may not be provided together under a temporary use notice. For example, if facilities for poker, blackjack and pool betting were to be authorised by the Secretary of State, a temporary use notice could not permit the provision of such facilities at the same time, on the same premises.

457.     These clauses provide that a set of premises cannot be subject to temporary premises notices for more than 21 days in any 12 month period. This means that, while several different temporary use notices may have effect for a set of premises over a period of time, the aggregate period of these notices cannot exceed 21 days in a 12 month period. This is the case even if the gambling activities taking place under the notices are different activities). The maximum period of 21 days applies to all gambling carried on pursuant to notices, not merely one type of gambling.

458.     The clauses set out procedures for the licensing authority to ensure that these time periods are complied with. If any notice is served which is in breach of these requirements, the authority must serve a counter-notice which prevents the temporary use notice authorising gambling for anything over the permitted 21 days.

459.     A valid i.e. endorsed temporary use notice, which complies with the requirements of this Part, will authorise gambling carried on pursuant to it, and no offences under Part 3 of the Bill will be committed.

Clauses 204 & 205: Giving notice: procedure

460.     A temporary use notice must be served upon a licensing authority three months before it is proposed to have effect. There are a number of procedural requirements, including the payment of any fee that is prescribed by the Secretary of in regulations. In England and Wales the powers under Part 8, to devolve fee-setting to licensing authorities, can also be applied to fees for temporary use notices.

461.     The licensing authority receiving a notice must acknowledge its receipt as soon as practicable thereafter. The person giving notice must also give a copy of the notice to the Commission, the police and Customs and Excise. This allows these parties to object to the proposed notice, as outlined below.

 
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Prepared: 19 October 2004