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Any premises where gambling facilities are provided must have a premises licence, issued under the Gambling Act 2005. A Premises Licence is a permanent licence, granted in respect of a specific location, which authorises the licence holder to carry on licensable activities. As well as the main activity, a premises licence may also allow the use of certain categories of gaming machines.

Types of licence

Under the Gambling Act 2005 we are the licensing authority for:

  • Betting shops: Premises such as high street shops, at which a licensed bookmaker will take bets on races and sporting events happening elsewhere
  • Betting at tracks: Areas at racecourses and other premises where a race or other sporting event takes place (e.g. a venue staging a boxing match), at which licensed bookmakers will be taking bets on a race or sporting event happening at that location
  • Bingo halls: Premises at which games of commercial prize bingo are regularly played
  • Casinos: Premises where people can participate in one or more casino games. Casinos licensed under the previous legislation are able to continue to operate. New casino licences are restricted under the Gambling Act 2005. This authority has resolved not to issue new casino premises licences. Neither are there any casinos in the borough with preserved entitlement.
  • Adult gaming centres: Amusement arcade premises making gaming machines available for use by over-18s only
  • Family entertainment centres: Amusement arcade premises making gaming machine available for use by persons of all ages

Except in the case of betting at tracks, a premises licence cannot allow the use of premises for more than one of the activities listed above. Only one licence can be held.

In addition to permitting specific types of gambling activity, Premises Licences also allow a number of gaming machines to be operated within the licensed premises. Under the Act, gaming machines are divided into categories, dependent on their maximum stake and prize amounts, and where they may be provided. More information on gaming machines can be found on the Gambling Commission website.

Once a licence is granted a premises licence will be valid for the life of the business, or until it is surrendered or revoked. A licence holder can apply to vary the terms and conditions of the licence at any time.

Annual fee

An annual fee is payable on the anniversary of the grant of the licence.

How to apply

When making an application, an applicant must give notice of their application to the responsible authorities  and must pay the correct application fee.

Applications forms:

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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