Permit guidance

Family Entertainment Centre permits guidance

A permit is required for gaming in a family entertainment centre under the Gambling Act 2005

Under the Gambling Act 2005 Section 238 specifies that only those premises which are wholly or mainly used for making gaming machines available for use – such as small arcades in holiday parks, theme parks and seaside resorts - may hold a Family Entertainment Centre (“FEC”) Gaming Machine Permit; Permits cannot be issued to vessels or vehicles. Those FECs who do not hold a Gambling Premises Licence will therefore be able to offer Category D machines only under this Permit.

Any number of Category D machines can be made available with the Permit (subject to other considerations, such as fire regulations and health and safety, which will not be issues for the licensing authority under the Act) as these type of machines are the lowest category of gaming machines available, and the only type that children and young people are allowed to play.

If the operator of an FEC wants to make Category C machines available, in addition to Category D machines, then they will need to apply for an Operating Licence from the Gambling Commission and then a Gambling Premises Licence from us. Consequently, holders of a Gambling Premises Licence issued under the Act may not apply for FEC Gaming Machine Permits.

FEC Gaming Machine Permits replace Section 34(1) Permits which were issued under the 1968
Gaming Act.

Applicants will be required to provide the following:

A plan showing the layout of the premises.

Applicants will be required to demonstrate the following.

  • a full understanding of the maximum stakes and prizes of the gambling that is permissible in unlicensed FECs;
  • that the applicant has no relevant convictions (those that are set out in Schedule 7 of the Act); and
  • that staff are trained to have a full understanding of the maximum stakes and prizes. Guidance (24.7)

Welwyn Hatfield Council will expect applicants to show that there are policies and procedures in place to protect children from harm. Harm In this context is not limited to harm from gambling but includes wider child protection considerations. Such policies and procedures will be considered on their merits, however they may include appropriate measures/training for staff as regards suspected truant school children on the premises, measures /training covering how staff would deal with unsupervised very young children being on the premises or children causing perceived problems on or around the premises.

There are fees applicable for this process. Please see our fees list.