In order to operate a business offering gambling an operator will usually require an operating licence.
Operating licences are issued by the Gambling Commission. The application is by way of application form and the provision of supporting evidence. The applicant must specify the type of gambling that they seek to offer and provide extensive details of their suitability as an applicant which will involve identity and ownership, finances, integrity, competence and criminality. This information is required for every person who has a significant involvement in the business, including investors.
The process is very detailed and can take some time to complete. Once granted the licence will specify the type of gambling that is permitted under that licence. The licence may restrict the number of gambling premises to be provided under the licence and there may be conditions added to it. There are also general and specific Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (“LCCP”) which must be complied with.
Variation applications can be made to the operating licence. This may be to add additional types of gambling that may be permitted under the licence, to extend the number of venues permitted to be operated under the licence or to alter conditions. Any significant changes to the operation will also need to be reported to the Gambling Commission.
Annual regulatory returns must be submitted to the Gambling Commission which provides the Commission with a range of information allowing them to monitor compliance of a business. This includes the provision of detailed accounting information.
The Gambling Commission have the right to review a licence if they believe there is non-compliance, the licence holder is unsuitable or because the Commission considers a review appropriate. The powers the Commission have under review range from issuing a warning to revocation of the licence and imposing a financial penalty. In addition criminal proceedings may be taken.
Due to the potential issues relating to gambling the system is heavily regulated and as a result very complex. We would always advise taking legal advice prior to submitting an application.
If we can assist you in any way, or if you simply want to discuss any licensing & gambling issue, please contact us at any time.