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Gambling Act 2005 - Legal advice

Gambling act 2005, legal advice

Premises licence and gambling permit applications

Eversheds Sutherland licensing team has a wealth of experience of acting for clients across the gambling sector and consequently can assist with all premises licence and gambling permit needs. In particular we can assist with obtaining:-

  • premises licence 
  • casinos (with converted and new casinos under gambling act 2005) 
  • betting offices 
  • track betting offices 
  • bingo clubs 
  • adult gaming centres 
  • family entertainment centre permits 
  • licensed premises gaming machine permits 
  • prize gaming permits 
  • club machine/club gaming permits

Our legal experts can deal with your basic licensing applications or more complex contentious matters. We can administer the complete application process for you or work with in-house licensing teams to provide support as and when required.

Gambling commission personal/operators licence applications

The majority of non-remote UK gambling operators (save for a limited number of exceptions) are required to be licensed by the Gambling Commission. Other businesses providing back of house facilities for gambling in the UK will also require Operating Licences from the Gambling Commission such as gaming machines and gambling software, developers manufacturers and suppliers as well as betting intermediaries.

Remote Gambling Operators who have at least one piece of Remote Gambling Equipment located within the UK will also require an Operating Licence. However, the legal framework is expected to change in this regard in 2014. The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill is currently being considered in Parliament and on its implementation any operator who provides gambling facilities or advertises the provision of gambling in Great Britain will need to hold a Remote Gambling Operating Licence from the Gambling Commission. This requirement will be regardless of whether the operator is based in Great Britain or has any equipment based here. Accordingly those operators who are currently licensed in ‘white listed’ states will additionally need to be licensed by the UK Gambling Commission as well as satisfying their local licensing requirements.

The Gambling Act 2005 also requires certain individuals within a licensed business to hold Personal Licences where they for example hold a Key Management Role or perform a Gambling function (e.g. Casino Croupier).

The process for obtaining new licences from the Gambling Commission can be complicated and requires considerable disclosure of information. Our experience of assisting clients with such applications and dealing with the Gambling Commission is extensive. The Eversheds Sutherland Licensing team work hard with our clients to ensure that the application process is kept as straightforward and as painless as possible.

Advocacy and representation

We have experienced advocates who can provide representation for clients before all licensing hearings whether contested premises licences/variations or review proceedings before Local Authority Licensing Committees, or on appeal in the Magistrates Court. Eversheds Sutherland Licensing team can also provide representation at hearings before the Gambling Commission and Gambling Appeals Tribunal.

Gambling Act 2005 Large and Small casino expertise

We are very proud of our expertise in advising clients in respect of the casino industry. Not only do our licensing lawyers have extensive experience of acting for casino operators in respect of applications for the new Large and Small casinos available under the Gambling Act 2005, we have also provided advice to developers and landlords looking to work with operators to accommodate new casinos with development schemes.

Gambling Act 2005 operational compliance

Compliance with the statutory requirement of the Gambling Act 2005 and the requirements of the Gambling Commission and Local Authority Licensing Authorities can be onerous.

We can help gambling operators to ensure that they have the appropriate policies and procedures to comply with the Gambling Commission’s Guide Lines Licensing Conditions and Codes of Practice (“LCCP’s”) which apply to all operating licences. For example, we can help to draft social responsibility policies, self exclusion and customer interaction policies, and procedures to protect minors from accessing gambling premises.

We can also advise on compliance with key event reporting and regulatory returns.

In respect of individual premises Eversheds Sutherland licensing team have experience of advising on conformity of premises layouts and operations in accordance with the requirements of premises licence mandatory conditions. We can also advise in respect of issues raised by local authorities licensing enforcement officers.

We are also able to provide bespoke training to staff on compliance requirements as well as a general overview of the Gambling Act 2005.

Development of gambling products

The gambling industry is continually moving and operators are always looking to develop new and innovative gambling products. We frequently advise clients on new products and concepts and can assist where discussions may be required with the Gambling Commission.

We also have experience of providing written advice on gambling products that may be requested by financial institutions, regulatory bodies and investors.

Online/remote gambling including cross jurisdictional advice

The mobile and internet gambling market has seen significant growth during recent years and much innovation.

Many operators have sort to base their businesses outside of the UK for taxation, licensing and operational reasons, however changes to the Gambling Act 2005 expected during 2014 will require any provider or advertiser of remote gambling in the UK to hold a Gambling Commission Operating Licence.

Our licensing experts can advise you on the licensing requirements under UK legislation in respect of all forms of remote gambling. Furthermore we can provide advice through our international colleague and best friend teams in respect of remote gambling issues in other international jurisdictions.

Lotteries, skills games, and promotional competitions

We have a depth of experience of advising clients in respect of the formation of lotteries, whether they are small event lotteries or more complex regulated society lotteries.

Eversheds Sutherland licensing team frequently advise clients in respect of prize competitions and free prize draws that may be offered for marketing purposes. We have also acted for clients developing skills competition games.

Temporary use notice and occasional use notice

We have experience of applying for Temporary Use Notices for competitive poker competitions. We can also advise in respect of occasional use notices for various events.

Development manufacture and supply of gaming machines and gambling software

Both the manufacturers and suppliers of gambling machines and gambling software are always looking to develop innovative new products. We can provide advice in respect of compliance with the Gambling Act 2005 and Gambling Commission’s guidance and technical standards requirements.

Corporate transactions and issues arising out of insolvency

We have a wealth of experience of acting for the purchasers and seller of gambling businesses. We are able to provide in depth due diligence reporting on licensing and gambling compliance matters. We also frequently provide advice on the licensing implications arising out of transactions including the obligations for notifying the Gambling Commission in respect of change of control and change to key management positions.

We have also advised on licensing issues arising out of insolvency proceedings and financial restructuring.

Contact us

David N Roberts, Lead licensing lawyer