Gambling/Gaming in Pubs & Clubs

Alcohol-Licensed Premises (Pubs) - Automatic Entitlement to Two Machines

Section 282 of the Act provides an automatic entitlement to make available two gaming machines (of category C or D) for use in alcohol licensed premises. To take advantage of this entitlement, the person who holds the premises licence (under the Licensing Act 2003) must give notice to the licensing authority of their intention to make gaming machines available for use, and must pay the prescribed fee.

Application Form

Licensed Premises (Pubs) Gaming Machine Permits

The Licensing Authority may issue Licensed Premises Gaming Machine Permits for any number of category C or D machines in licensed premises. Where a permit authorises the making available of a specified number of gaming machines in particular premises, this will effectively replace, and not be in addition to, any Automatic Entitlement to Two Machines.

Applications must be made by a person who holds the premises licence (under the Licensing Act 2003) for the premises for which the application is made. An application may not be made if a premises licence under the Gambling Act is in effect at the premises.

Application Form

Club Gaming Permits

The Licensing Authority may grant members' clubs and miners' welfare institutes (but not commercial clubs) Club Gaming Permits which authorise the establishments to provide gaming machines, equal change gaming (without having to abide by the stake and prise limits which would apply to exempt gaming in the absence of a permit) and games of chance as prescribed in regulations, namely pontoon and chemin de fer. 

Club gaming permits allow the provision of no more than three gaming machines.  These may be from categories B3A, B4, C or D but only one B3A machine can be sited as part of this entitlement.

Application Form

Club Machine Permits

If a members' club or a miners' welfare institute does not wish to have the full range of facilities permitted by a club gaming permit, they may apply to the licensing authority for a club machine permit.  This authorises the holder to have up to three gaming machines of categories B3A, B4, C and D.  Commercial clubs are not permitted to provide non-machine gaming (other than exempt gaming under section 269 of the Act) so they should apply for a club machine permit, however, they will not be able to site category B3A gaming machines offering lottery games in their club.

Application Form

Gaming in Alcohol-Licensed Premises (Pubs)

The Gambling Act 2005 allows certain types of gaming to take place on alcohol-licensed premises without the need to seek approval, but strict conditions apply for any gaming, including limits on stakes and prizes.  The Licensing Authority have powers to take action against individual premises in a range of circumstances. 

Regulations prescribe a fixed limit of £5 per game on the amount that may be staked by a player in any type of equal chance gaming in pubs and other premises with a bar.  The premises limit is £100 in stakes per day and £500 per week.

Bingo in Pubs & Clubs

Pubs & Clubs are able to provide facilities for playing bingo provided that the restrictions are complied with.  These include that, in any seven day period, the aggregate stakes or prizes for bingo must not exceed £2,000.  If that limit is exceeded, the relevant operating and personal licences must be sought. 

Betting in Pubs & Clubs

Commercial betting, regardless of the level of stakes, is not permitted in pubs & clubs.  Those who facilitate such betting in these premises are providing illegal facilities for gambling and are breaking the law.  Even where the publican accepts bets on behalf of licensed bookmakers, or just facilitate betting through their own telephone betting accounts, they are acting as betting intermediaries and could be prosecuted.

Licensed bookmakers who knowingly accept bets from pub/club customers through a single account are encouraging illegal gambling and may be in breach of the Act and could risk losing their licence.

Licensed bookmakers with  remote or ancillary licence can accept telephone bets from a customer watching an event in a pub/club, as long as that customer has an individual account with them.  It is illegal for bookmakers or their agents to sit in the pub/club taking bets themselves.