UK gambling licensing regime
Produced in partnership with Carl Rohsler of Memery Crystal
UK gambling licensing regime

The following Local Government practice note produced in partnership with Carl Rohsler of Memery Crystal provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • UK gambling licensing regime
  • Operating licences
  • Types of licence
  • Combined licences
  • Remote licences
  • Application process
  • Licence conditions
  • Continuing obligations
  • Variation of a licence
  • Termination of a licence
  • More...

UK gambling licensing regime

The three main types of licence available to potential gambling licensees within Great Britain are:

  1. operating licences

  2. personal licences, and

  3. premises licences

Operating licences

An operating licence is required by any person who wishes to provide commercial gambling facilities in the UK. The power to grant operating licences lies exclusively with the Gambling Commission (the Commission), and the provision of gambling facilities without an appropriate operating licence (or other exemption) constitutes unlicensed gambling under the Gambling Act 2005 (GA 2005), which is a criminal offence.

An operating licence may be held by an individual (over the age of 18), a company, partnership or other legal person. The applicant does not need to be a UK citizen or company, provided they have an address for service within the UK.

Types of licence

Section 65 of GA 2005 sets out the different types of operating licence:

  1. casino operating licence (remote or non-remote)

  2. bingo operating licence (remote or non-remote)

  3. general betting operating licence—two sub-categories of licence ('limited' and 'standard') (remote and non-remote)

  4. pool betting operating licence (remote or non-remote)

  5. betting intermediary operating licence (remote or non-remote)

  6. gaming machine general operating licence for an adult gaming centre (non-remote only)

  7. gaming machine general operating licence for a family entertainment centre (non-remote only)

  8. gaming machine technical operating licence—three sub-categories of licence (full/software/supplier)

  9. gambling software operating licence (remote or non-remote)

  10. lottery operating licence—two

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