Permit guidance

Prize Gaming permit guidance

Prize Gaming Permits can be issued under the Gambling Act 2005

Under the Gambling Act 2005 a Prize Gaming Permit is a Permit issued by this licensing authority to authorise the provision of facilities for gaming with prizes on specified premises. An application for a Permit can only be made by a person who occupies or plans to occupy the relevant premises and if the applicant is an individual, s/he must be aged 18 or over. Holders of Premises Licences under the Act and holders of Club Gaming Permits may not apply for Prize Gaming Permits.

Prize gaming is defined in Section 288 of the Act, as prize gaming if the nature and the size of the prize is not determined by the number of persons playing or the amount paid for or raised by the gaming. It is, therefore, gaming where the organiser puts up the prizes in advance, as distinct from gaming where the stakes of the participants make up the winnings. Prize gaming is intended to permit low level gaming for small participation fees and modest prizes. Bingo played at seaside amusement arcades is typical of this type of gaming.

The following premises are authorised by the Act to offer prize gaming, subject to certain conditions, and do not require a separate Prize Gaming Permit:

  • Holders of Adult Gaming Centre Premises Licences.
  • Holders of Family Entertainment Centre Premises Licences.
  • Holders of Family Entertainment Centre Gaming Machine Permits.
  • Travelling fairs.
  • Bingo halls.

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council has prepared a statement of principles in which the applicant should set out the types of gaming that he or she is intending to offer and that the applicant should be able to demonstrate:

  • that they understand the limits to stakes and prizes that are set out in Regulations;
  • that the gaming offered is within the law
  • clear policies that outline the steps to be taken to protect children from harm.

In making its decision on an application for this permit Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council does not need to (but may) have regard to the licensing objectives but must have regard to any Gambling Commission guidance.

It should be noted that there are conditions in the Gambling Act 2005 by which the permit holder must comply, but that Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council cannot attach conditions. The conditions in the Act are:

  • the limits on participation fees, as set out in regulations, must be complied with;
  • all chances to participate in the gaming must be allocated on the premises on which the gaming is taking place and on one day; the game must be played and completed on the day the chances are allocated; and the result of the game must be made public in the premises on the day that it is played;
  • the prize for which the game is played must not exceed the amount set out in regulations (if a money prize), or the prescribed value (if non-monetary prize); and
  • participation in the gaming must not entitle the player to take part in any other gambling.

Part 13 of the new Act, which concerns Prize Gaming, replaced and updated Section 21 of the Gaming Act 1968 and Section 16 of the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976.

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