Generally, gambling is unlawful in Great Britain (other than the National Lottery and spread betting) unless permitted by one or more of the authorisations from the Gambling Act 2005.

If any commercial gambling activities or facilities are undertaken or provided, one or more of the following may be required:

  • an operator licence for provision of facilities for gambling and/or the manufacture, installation, repair or adaptation of gaming machines or gambling software
  • a personal licence for specified staff of those holding an operator licence and/or performing any function which may influence the outcome of gambling, or relating to receipt or payment of money in connection with gambling
  • a premises licence for fixed premises rather than online (remotely) where gambling takes place
  • a permit when providing various types of gaming machines. 

Operator and personal licenses are issued by the Gambling Commission whilst the council issues premises licences and permits. 

Gambling Act 2005

The Act sets out two categories of organisations and individuals that may feature in applications for and reviews of premises licences, responsible authorities and interested parties. Interested parties are as described in the Gambling Act Statement of Principles.

Responsible authorities are public bodies that must be notified of applications and that are entitled to make representations to the licensing authority in relation to applications for, and in relation to, premises licences.

Apply or amend a premises licence - application forms

Apply or amend a permit - application forms

Apply, renew or supply returns for a small society (non-commercial) lottery licence - application forms