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Gambling Act 2005

Show all parts of this guide

1. Overview

You will need a licence if you want to provide facilities for gambling or the use of a premises for gambling.  The three types of gambling licensable are: 

  • gaming
  • betting
  • participating in a lottery


This means playing a game of chance for a prize


This means making or accepting a bet on:

  • the outcome of a race, competition or other event or process
  • the likelihood of anything happening or not happening
  • whether anything is or is not true

Participating in a lottery

This includes raffles, tombolas and sweepstakes.  Lotteries can't be run for commercial gain and are where:

  • people have to pay to take part
  • prizes are allocated to participants
  • the prizes are either allocated wholly by chance or by a series of processes where the first of those processes relies wholly on chance

Our responsibilities and the licences we issue

Premises licences for:

  • betting offices
  • race tracks
  • bingo clubs
  • adult gaming centres 
  • family entertainment centres

Permits for:

  • gaming machines in members clubs
  • gaming machine permits for alcohol licensed premises
  • gaming machine permits for unlicensed family entertainment centres
  • prize gaming

We are also responsible for administering:

  • temporary use notices for the temporary use of a premises for gambling, and
  • occasional use notices to allow temporary betting on a track

 and registering small society lotteries (under £20,000 ticket sales)