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

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Clause 140: Fees

340.     Through this clause, the Lord Chancellor will have the power to make secondary legislation providing for a fee to be paid by a person when bringing an appeal to the Tribunal. Different fees for different types of case or circumstance may be charged, and the Tribunal may waive a fee where it deems appropriate.

Clause 141: Legal Assistance

341.     This clause gives the Lord Chancellor the power to make secondary legislation establishing a legal assistance scheme to provide financial assistance to appellants who might otherwise be unable to instigate an appeal to the Tribunal. Regulations may specify the kinds of assistance that may be provided and the classes of person by whom assistance may be provided. They may also include provision about applications to the Tribunal for assistance, including a requirement to provide information. Regulations will allow the Lord Chancellor to state criteria to be used by the Tribunal in determining eligibility for legal assistance, and will make provision for an applicant to appeal against a decision to refuse assistance. This clause does not apply to Scotland.

Schedule 7: Gambling Appeals Tribunal

342.     This schedule sets out the provisions for the establishment, constitution, and procedure of the Gambling Appeals Tribunal, and should be read in conjunction with Part 7.

Paragraphs 1 and 2: President, deputy and members

343.     The Lord Chancellor will appoint a President and has the authority to appoint other members to the Tribunal. Only those with appropriate legal qualifications can be appointed. The Lord Chancellor can also appoint a member of the Tribunal to be its deputy President, who will act when the President is absent, and will undertake other duties delegated by the President.

Paragraph 3: Tenure

344.     The duration of post of the President, or other members of the Tribunal is dependent upon the terms and conditions of appointment. Resignation must be in writing to the Lord Chancellor. The Lord Chancellor has the power to dismiss Tribunal members, including the President and deputy President, for misbehaviour, or if they are unable or unwilling to undertake their duties.

Paragraph 4: Staff

345.     The Lord Chancellor can appoint staff for the Tribunal.

Paragraphs 5 to 7: Money

346.     The Lord Chancellor has the power to pay Tribunal members, including the President and deputy President, and staff. He also has the power to pay other expenses of the Tribunal. Money received as appeal fees is to be paid into the Consolidated Fund.

Paragraph 8 to 10: Sittings

347.     The Tribunal President will direct when and where the Tribunal sits and will decide which members are to be present at each sitting. This is in line with general arrangements made by the Lord Chancellor. At each sitting of the Tribunal, the President or a Tribunal member must be present. It will also be possible for the President to sit with two Tribunal members, for example, in a case which is considered to be particularly complex. The arrangements may provide that in some cases, a three member Tribunal may be obliged to continue sitting with only one or two members. In such a case, if sitting with just one other member, the arrangements may include provision for the President to have a casting vote.

348.     The President will determine the constitution of the Tribunal and the times and places at which it will sit, in accordance with the general arrangements made by the Lord Chancellor. The Lord Chancellor must consult the President before making general arrangements. Arrangements made by the Lord Chancellor will be published.

Paragraphs 11 to 13: Procedure

349.     Tribunal decisions are to be taken by a majority vote. The President is empowered to give directions about the practice and procedure of the Tribunal, as long as these do not conflict with the rules made by the Lord Chancellor.

Paragraph 14: Council on Tribunals

350.     The Gambling Appeals Tribunal will be subject to the scrutiny of the Council on Tribunals, which is responsible for the supervision, constitution and working of Tribunals and Inquiries in England, Scotland and Wales, under the Tribunals and Inquiries Act 1992 (c.53).



351.     Part 8 of the Bill describes the new regime for the licensing of premises where facilities for gambling may be provided. Premises licences are the third main category of licence (operating and personal licences being the other two) that will be issued under the Bill. Premises licences will be granted by licensing authorities, not the Commission. In England and Wales licensing authority functions are conferred on local authorities, and in Scotland upon licensing boards, as defined in Part 1 of the Bill.

352.     Premises licences can authorise the provision of facilities on:

  • Casino premises;

  • Bingo premises;

  • Betting premises, including tracks and premises used by betting intermediaries;

  • Adult Gaming Centres (for category B,C and D machines); and

  • Family Entertainment Centres (for category C and D machines)

353.     However, premises licences are not the only form of authorisation for the use of premises for providing gambling facilities. Under the Bill, permission may also be obtained from:

  • Occasional use notices or football pools authorisations under Part 3 of the Bill;

  • Temporary use notices under Part 9 of the Bill;

  • Permits for family entertainment centres (category D machines only) under Part 10 of the Bill;

  • Permissions for prize gaming under Part 13 of the Bill;

  • The lottery permissions under Part 11 of, and Schedule 9, to the Bill;

  • Authorisations for alcohol licensed premises; clubs and miners' welfare institutes and travelling fairs; and

  • Authorisations for private and non-commercial gaming and betting under Part 14 of the Bill.

354.     Applicants for premises licences are required to hold a relevant operating licence before being granted a premises licence under this Part, except in the case of tracks, where an operating licence need not be held. This is to enable trackside betting operators (also known as on-course bookmakers) with operating licences to benefit from the track premises licence. The definition of a "track" is contained in the general interpretation clause of the Bill.

355.     Premises licences, unlike operating licences, are transferable between occupiers (who hold operating licences), on application to the licensing authority. Conditions on premises licences can be set by the licensing authority, and by the Secretary of State, or Scottish Ministers. Licensing authorities have powers to review licences, with associated regulatory powers. A provisional statement may be obtained from a licensing authority, in advance of a premises licence, where premises are to be constructed or altered, or where someone has yet to acquire the right to occupy premises.

356.     Part 8 provides appeals mechanisms for people affected by the decisions of licensing authorities.

357.     Part 18 contains provisions requiring all licensing authorities to set three-year licensing policies in respect of all of their functions under the Bill, including premises licences. It also provides prosecution powers for licensing authorities in relation to their licensing functions.

358.     Part 10 contains provisions concerning gaming machines, and the categorisation of machines by the Secretary of State. A reference to a Commission code of practice in this Part is a reference to a statutory code of practice issued under Part 2 of the Bill.

Clause 142: Nature of licence

359.     This clause describes, in subsection (1), the premises licences that may be issued by a licensing authority. They are:

  • A licence for the operation of a casino;

  • A licence for the provision of facilities for playing bingo;

  • A licence for making category B gaming machines available for use (an adult gaming centre);

  • A licence for making category C gaming machines available for use (a family entertainment centre); and

  • A licence for the provision of facilities for betting, including betting intermediary facilities

360.     Under Part 1, the Secretary of State will make regulations defining classes of casinos. As a result, casino premises licences are divided into three types:

  • Regional casino premises licences;

  • Large casino premises licence;

  • Small casino premises licence

Clause 143: Form of licence

361.     Premises licences must include the information described in this clause. The Secretary of State may make further regulations about the form and content of the licence. These regulations may, in particular, specify how conditions, including mandatory conditions specified by the Secretary of State, are to appear on the licence.

362.     In Scotland, the powers of the Secretary of State in relation to the form of the licence are to be carried out by the Scottish Ministers.

Clause 144: Combined licence

363.     The general position for premises licensing is that premises may only be subject to one premises licence at a time. Subsection (1) provides for this. The effect of this requirement is to limit the principal activity on the premises to the provision of facilities for a particular type of gambling activity.

364.     However, there are some exceptions to this approach. One exception is set out in this clause. Subsections (2) and (3) provide that a betting track may incorporate other licensed areas providing gambling activities other than betting, but in such circumstances, the relevant area of the track must have its own premises licence. Subsection (4) provides rules for applications relating to areas of a track. Other clauses in this Part give permission for particular kinds of premises licence to authorise more than one type of activity.

Clause 145: Principles to be applied

365.     This clause sets out the principles which authorities should apply in relation to their premises licensing functions under this Part. They must to aim to permit the use of premises for gambling, in so far as the authority thinks that permission:

  • accords with relevant Commission codes of practice and guidance;

  • is reasonably consistent with the licensing objectives; and

  • is in accordance with the authority's three-year licensing policy (established by the authority under Part 18 of the Bill).

366.     Under legislation to be repealed by this Bill, it has been a requirement that the grant of certain gambling permissions should take account of whether there is unfulfilled demand for the facilities. This is the case, for example, for a casino licence under Part II of the Gaming Act 1968 or a bookmaker's permit under the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963. Unmet demand is not to be a criterion for a licensing authority in considering an application for a premises licence, and subsection (2) provides for this.

Clause 146: Delegation to licensing committee

367.     With respect to England and Wales, this clause provides that, with three exceptions, the functions of licensing authorities under Part 8 are delegated to the licensing committees established under the Licensing Act 2003 (c.17). The three exceptions are:

  • Resolutions by the licensing authority not to issue casino licences under this Part;

  • Formulation of the three year licensing policy under Part 18; and

  • Determination of premises licence fees under this Part.

  • The first two matters are not, and cannot be, delegated to a licensing committee, and must be taken by the authority as a whole. Decisions on fees are not automatically delegated, but can be.

368.     Section 10(4) of the Licensing Act 2003 limits the matters that may be delegated to an officer of the authority. In relation to gambling functions, under subsection (4) the matters that may not be delegated to an officer are: determinations of applications under this Part (including initial applications, applications for transfer, variation and provisional statements, where representation made by third parties under those sections have not been withdrawn), and the review of a premises licence.

Clause 147: Register

369.     Under this clause, licensing authorities must maintain a register of premises licences they have granted in their area and must make it, and copies of entries to it (for which they may charge a fee), available to the public. The Secretary of State may make regulations to specify the form and manner of the register.

370.     The clause also provides that the Secretary of State may, by regulations, require licensing authorities to give the Commission specified information about premises licenses issued by them; and may also require the Commission to maintain a register and grant public access to it. The Secretary of State may also excuse licensing authorities from part or all of their duties to maintain a register and provide access to it.

Clause 148: Responsible authorities

371.     This clause lists the persons who are to be regarded as responsible authorities for the purposes of this Part. As responsible authorities they have particular rights to be involved and/or consulted in relation to applications for premises licences and other procedures under this Part. The Commission is a responsible authority, as are the police.

Clause 149: Interested party

372.     In addition to responsible authorities, a wider group of people may play a role in the premises licensing process under this Part. These people are called "interested parties", and are defined in this clause. Interested parties are:

  • people who live sufficiently close to premises in respect of which a premises licence has been granted or applied for, that they are likely to be affected by activities authorised by the licence; and

  • those with business interests who might be affected by the authorised activities; or

  • representatives of either of these groups.

Clauses 150 to 152: Applications

373.     These clauses prescribe the procedure for making an application for a premises licence. Only people with a right to occupy premises are eligible to apply for a premises licence. Such people must also have an operating licence, or have made an application for one. The exception to this is an applicant for a premises licence that authorises a track to be used for accepting bets. These applicants do not need to hold, or have applied for, an operating licence. Prior to grant of a premises licence, an applicant must have been granted an operating licence.

374.     Applications for premises licences must be made to the licensing authority in whose area the premises are wholly or partly situated; and must be in the prescribed form and manner, accompanied by the prescribed fee. Other clauses in this Part describe the fee-setting powers relevant to premises licences. The Secretary of State is given the power to make regulations which require an applicant for a premises licence to publish notice of his application, to give notice of it to responsible authorities and other people. Scottish Ministers exercise the powers of the Secretary of State in relation to Scotland.

375.     Responsible authorities and interested parties may make representations in writing to a licensing authority about a particular application. The period of time within which representations must be made will be prescribed in regulations.

Clauses 153 to 156: Determination of application

376.     These clauses set out the procedure for determining an application. The procedures vary, depending on whether representations have been made, and what the licensing authority proposes to do with regard to licence conditions.

377.     Where representations have been made by a responsible authority or an interested party (and not been withdrawn); or the licensing authority proposes to impose conditions on the licence, or exclude default conditions, a licensing authority is required to hold a hearing. The licensing authority may determine the application without a hearing, however, if either the applicant or any interested party has consented; or if the licensing authority considers that the representations made are vexatious, frivolous, or concern matters that will not influence their decision. Where the authority proposes to determine an application without a hearing, it must notify any person who made a representation as soon as reasonably practicable.

378.     Following the grant or rejection of a premises licence, the authority must notify the applicant, the Commission, any person who made representations, the police, and Customs and Excise of their decision as soon as reasonably practicable.

379.     Where the licensing authority determines to grant the licence, they must give reasons for the attachment or exclusion of any conditions. The premises licence issued by the licensing authority must be accompanied by a summary of the terms and conditions attaching to it. Where the licence is refused, the licensing authority must give reasons for their decision.

380.     Other clauses in this Part provide that where the licensing authority rejects an application for a licence, the applicant may appeal. Where the licensing authority grants an application, a person who made representations may appeal.

Clause 157: Resolution not to issue casino licence

381.     Part 8 requires licensing authorities to permit the use of premises for gambling, in so far as the authority thinks that permission accords with relevant Commission codes of practice and guidance, is reasonably consistent with the licensing objectives, and is in accordance with the authority's three-year licensing policy (established by the authority under Part 18 of the Bill).

382.     This clause provides an exception to this requirement. Licensing authorities are given the power to decide not to issue further casino premises licences in their area. This decision is to be taken by the licensing authority as a whole, and may not be delegated to the licensing committee. The licensing authority may take into account any principle or matter in making its decision, and may pass a resolution giving effect to their decision at any time. Such a resolution should be included as part of the authority's licensing policy statement made under Part 18, and lasts for 3 years from the date it takes effect.

383.     There are a number of restrictions on the scope of a resolution, as follows:

  • A resolution can only apply to the grant of future applications for casino premises licences;

  • It cannot have any effect on casino licences that have already been granted, (including licences that have been converted into casino licences or issued under transitional provisions under Part 18);

  • It cannot have effect in relation to a provisional statement that has already been granted for a casino;

  • A resolution must apply to all types of casino premises licence (e.g. regional, large and small); and

  • A resolution may not be taken into account when reviewing a casino licence;

Clauses 158 to 162: Conditions

384.     These clauses provide the Secretary of State, Scottish Ministers and licensing authorities with powers to place conditions on premises licences.

385.     The Secretary of State and the Scottish Ministers have power to issue mandatory conditions on premises licences, for England and Wales, and Scotland respectively. Such conditions will be specified in regulations, and must be included in all premises licence, or classes of premises licence, to which they apply. These powers can apply to all premises licences, or classes of licence or to licences in specified circumstances.

386.     The Secretary of State and Scottish Ministers have further powers to set default conditions by regulations, for England and Wales, and Scotland respectively. These conditions are ones which apply to a licence, unless the licensing authority decides to exclude them (in which case the authority can make an alternative conditions about the same subject). These powers can apply to all premises licences, or classes of licence or to licences in specified circumstances.

387.     In addition, licensing authorities have power to set individual conditions on a premises licence when they grant it. They may exclude default conditions, and, if they wish, impose alternative conditions on the same matter, and they may attach any other condition to the licence, subject to the matters listed below.

388.     A premises licence not may be subject to a condition:

  • that requires the premises, or any part of it, to operate as a club or membership body;

  • that imposes limits on stakes, fees, winnings or prizes;

  • that makes provision about the numbers or categories of gaming machine that may be made available in contradiction of another provision in the Bill.

Clause 163: Gaming machines

389.     Part 10 of the Bill defines a gaming machine, and gives the Secretary of State power to make rules about their categorisation and use or manufacture and supply. This clause contains the gaming machine entitlements which apply to the different types of premises licence issued under this Part. Licensing authorities may not vary these entitlements.

390.     The entitlements are:

  • Adult gaming centres: up to four category B machines and any number of category C and D machines;

  • Licensed family entertainment centres: any number of machines of category C or D;

  • Casino premises:

????????????????     Small casinos: 2 machines per gaming table used in the casino, up to a maximum of 80 machines. Machines may be of category B,C or D;

????????????????     Large casinos: 5 machines per gaming table used in the casino, up to a maximum of 150 machines. Machines may be of category B, C or D;

????????????????     Regional casinos: 25 machines per gaming table used in the casino, provided there are at least 40 tables, and up to a maximum of 1250 machines. Machines may be of category A, B, C or D. If a regional casino has fewer than 40 tables, its entitlement is that of a large casino.

  • Bingo premises: up to 4 category B gaming machines, and any number of machines of category C and D;

  • Betting premises: up to 4 gaming machines of category B, C or D;

  • Tracks: Where the track licensee is permitted to offer pool betting: up to 4 machines of category B, C or D.

391.     The Secretary of State may amend these entitlements in secondary legislation.

392.     In relation to casino entitlements, the Secretary of State can make regulations defining "gaming table", and, in particular may specify when a gaming table is to be treated as being used in a casino. These regulations could cover matters such as whether appropriate numbers of staff are trained to operate the tables, and the extent to which such staff (and therefore tables) are available for use.

393.     These regulations can also specify when tables, which are linked together by electronic means for example, are to count as a single table for the purpose of machine entitlements under this clause. This could be the case where one roulette wheel is operated by a croupier, but a number of associated banks of terminals allow players to take part in the game. The regulations will determine whether the banks of terminals count as a table in their own right. Part 10 of the Bill contains provisions on when such equipment counts as a gaming machine.

Clause 164: Virtual gaming

394.     This clause authorises the provision of facilities for "virtual" betting in casinos and on betting premises. Part 18 contains a definition of "virtual" for these purposes.

Clause 165: Casino premises licence

395.     Casino premises licences will be available for "small", "large" and "regional" casinos and will authorise the playing of casino games and equal chance games on the premises. Relevant definitions of these terms are set out in Part 1.

396.     A casino premises licence will also authorise the provision of facilities for betting, where the licensee or a person authorised in writing by the licensee holds a relevant betting operating licence. Large and regional casino premises licences also authorises the provision of facilities for bingo, again, provided there is a valid bingo operating licence held by the person providing the activity. A small casino may not provide facilities for bingo, but the Secretary of State has power to repeal this restriction by order.

Clause 166: Door supervision

397.     Where the Secretary of State or a licensing authority places a condition for door supervision on a premises licence, this will require entry to the premises to be supervised in order to prevent unauthorised access or occupation; outbreaks of disorder; or damage. Where such a condition is imposed, it a requirement under this clause that the person undertaking the door supervision holds a licence which granted by the Security Industry Authority which authorises him to perform this activity. The Security Industry Authority is the body established under the Private Security Industry Act 2001 (c.12) to regulate these matters.

398.     The Private Security Industry Act only extends to England and Wales, and this clause does not apply in Scotland.

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Prepared: 25 November 2004