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All gambling activities (with the exception of the National Lottery and spread betting) are regulated by the Gambling Act 2005. Gambling is defined in the Act as either gaming, betting or taking part in a lottery.

The type of activities covered by the act includes:

  • Betting. Making or accepting a bet on the outcome of a race, competition, or any other event; the likelihood of anything occurring or not occurring; or whether anything is true or not true
  • Bingo. This includes both cash and prize bingo
  • Casino gaming. Games of chance involving playing or staking against a bank
  • Prize gaming. Low stake and prize gambling where the size of the prize is not determined by the number of persons playing, for example certain types of bingo
  • Use of gaming machines. This includes gaming machines in pubs and private members clubs
  • Lotteries, raffles and other prize draws where persons are required to pay in order to take part in an arrangement, during the course of which one or more prizes are allocated by a process which relies wholly on chance

The Local Authority acting as the Licensing Authority are responsible for licensing premises where gambling takes place and provide authorisations to gamble in premises where gambling is not the main activity (for example gaming machines in pubs).

The Gambling Commission are responsible for licensing operators and individuals involved in providing gambling and betting facilities.

Permissions under the Gambling Act 2005

Three types of licence are required under the Act. The first two licence types are issued by the Gambling Commission

  • An Operating Licence concerned with the management and conduct of gambling
  • Personal Licence with key operational functions connected with the gambling business

The following licenses and permissions are issued by us:

  • Premises Licences. The operators of gambling premises, such as casinos, betting shops, bingo halls and amusement arcades, must hold a premises licence to authorise the gambling activities being carried out there
  • Gaming Machine Permits. Permits are issued to premises that either offer low stake and prize gaming, or premises whose primary function is not the provision of gaming facilities for example gaming machines in pubs and clubs
  • Lotteries. Prize draws that rely on an element of chance to select a winner including lotteries, raffles and tombola's are controlled under the Gambling Act 2005
  • Occasional Gambling Activities. Certain gambling activities can be approved on a short-term, infrequent basis, through a temporary use notice or an occasional use notice

Licensing objectives

In exercising their functions under the Gambling Act 2005, Licensing Authorities must have regard to the Licensing objectives.

The Licensing objectives are:

  • Preventing gambling from being a source of crime and disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime
  • Ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way
  • Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling

As a Licensing Authority, we are required to permit the use of premises for gambling in so far as we think that the use is:

  • In accordance with any relevant codes of practice
  • In accordance with any relevant guidance issued by the Gambling Commission
  • Reasonably consistent with the Licensing Objectives
  • In accordance with the Licensing Authority's Statement of Principles

Statement of Policy and Principles 

Under the Gambling Act 2005 licensing authorities are required to publish a Statement of Policy and Principles (pdf, 942 KB). This statement sets out the general approach to the making of licensing decisions and came into effect on 31 January 2022 following the publication of the Notice of publication - premises licence (pdf, 133 KB).

We have adopted a no casino policy which is included in the statement of policy and principles.

Raising representations or seeking a review

Residents, businesses and legal authorities (for example the police) are able to raise representations in relation to new applications and applications to vary premises licence, but these cannot be on moral grounds or on the grounds of demand or need for the premises. They can also seek the review of a licensed premises if it is causing problems. We will also investigate complaints relating to licensed and unlicensed premises.

How to apply for a review

To apply for a review you must:

Failure to notify the responsible authorities or the licence holder within seven days of submitting the review will make the application invalid.

Public Register

As the licensing authority for the Gambling Act 2005, we are required to maintain a public register of all premises licences, permits and lottery registrations in force in the London Borough of Richmond. To view the register please contact us.

Contact the Licensing Team

If you have any questions or comments please contact the Licensing Team.

Regulatory Services Partnership
Merton Civic Centre
London Road

Telephone: 020 8545 3969

Updated: 31 March 2022

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