Gambling Act 2005

Application for a club machine permit

What is a Club Machine Permit?

If a club doesn't want the full range of facilities permitted by a Club Gaming Permit, or it is a commercial club not permitted to provide non-machine gaming (other than exempt gaming under Section 269 of the Gambling Act 2005), then it can apply for a Club Machine Permit. This authorises the holder to have up to three gaming machines of categories B3A (except that category B3A machines may not be made available for use in commercial clubs), B4, C and D (see section 4. below for details). The Permit has certain conditions, including that, in respect of the gaming machines, no child or young person uses a category B or C machine on the premises and that the holder complies with any relevant provision of a Code of Practice about the location and operation of gaming machines.

There are a number of premises that are not licensed to sell alcohol but have been entitled, under Section 31 of the Gaming Act 1968, to have gaming machines, by virtue of being registered under Part II or Part III of that Act. These include works premises which operate membership-based social clubs. The Gambling Act ("the Act") allows these premises to apply for a Club Machine Permit.

Who can apply for a Club Machine Permit?

A Members' Club, Miners' Welfare Institute or a commercial club may apply to us for a Club Machine permit.

Members' Clubs must have at least 25 members and be established and conducted "wholly or mainly" for purposes other than gaming, unless the gaming is permitted by separate regulations. It is anticipated that this will cover bridge and whist clubs, which will replicate the position under the Gaming Act 1968. A members' club must be permanent in nature, not established to make commercial profit, and controlled by its members equally. Examples include working men's clubs, branches of the Royal British Legion and clubs with political affiliations.

With regard to Miners' Welfare Institutes, the definition of this class of club has changed to reflect social and economic changes since their establishment. These are associations established for recreational or social purposes. They are managed by representatives of miners or use premises regulated by a charitable trust which has received funds from one of a number of mining organisations.

Commercial Clubs have the same characteristics as members' clubs, but the key difference is that they are established with a view to making a profit. An example of a commercial club is a snooker club. Applicants are not required to have an Operating Licence issued by the Gambling Commission.

We have members who are under 18, can we still apply?

Yes, providing the majority of the members are over 18. However, if under 18s use the club, for example they are apprentices, then they may only play the category D machines. They are not permitted to play the B3A, B4 or C machines.

What are the categories of machines available?

See What types of gaming machines can I have?

How many machines of this type can I have?

As stated in section 1. above, no more than three gaming machines.

What do I have to produce when making an application?

Documents to produce:

i)   the appropriate completed application form

ii)  the appropriate fee for the application being made

iii) in the case of conversions/renewals/variations- your existing permission

Who do I send my application to?

Pendle Borough Council
Licensing Section
Town Hall
Market Street

Within a period of 7 days (beginning on the date on which the application is made) you must also copy your application (and any accompanying documents) to the following:

The Gambling Commission
Victoria Square House
Victoria Square
B2 4BP

The Licensing Team
Lancashire Constabulary
Pennine Divisional Headquarters
Burnley Police Station
Parker Lane
BB11 2BT      

These bodies have 28 days to make any objections that they may have to the application.

What can you do with my application?

We can either grant or refuse the application, but it cannot add conditions.

We may only refuse an application for a permit on one or more of the following grounds:

(a) that the applicant is not a members' club or a miners' welfare institute

(b) that the premises on which the applicant conducts its activities are used wholly or mainly by children, by young persons or by both

(c) that an offence, or a breach of a condition of a permit, has been committed in the course of gaming activities carried on by the applicant

(d) that a permit held by the applicant has been cancelled during the period of ten years ending with the date of the application, or

(e) that an objection to the application has been received from either the Police or the Gambling Commission

Before refusing an application, we must hold a hearing to consider the application and any objection received from either the Police or the Gambling Commission.

I hold a Club Premises Certificate issued under the Licensing Act 2003. Is there a "fast track" procedure for me?

Yes. In this instance you are not required to send copies of your application to the Police or the Gambling Commission.

We must grant an application made in these circumstances unless:

(a)  the applicant is established or conducted wholly or mainly for the purposes of the provision of facilities for gaming, other than gaming of a prescribed kind

(b)  the applicant is established or conducted wholly or mainly for the purposes of the provision of facilities for gaming of a prescribed kind and also provides facilities for gaming of another kind, or

(c)  a Club Machine Permit issued to the applicant has been cancelled during the period of ten years ending with the date of the application

If such circumstances, we must hold a hearing to consider the application in light of the above.

How long does a Club Machine Permit last?

A permit lasts for 10 years. There is an annual fee for this type of permit, the first of which must be paid within 30 days of the permit becoming effective. A permit can be cancelled if the holder fails to pay the annual fee (unless the failure is the result of an administrative error).

Can my permit lapse before it expires?

A permit will lapse if the holder of the permit stops being a club or miners' welfare institute, or if it no longer qualifies under the fast-track system for a permit. In addition, a permit will cease to have effect upon being surrendered to us. A notice to surrender must be accompanied by the permit or a statement explaining why it cannot be produced. We must inform Lancashire Constabulary and the Gambling Commission when a permit has been surrendered or lapsed.

In addition, we may cancel the permit if:

(i)  premises are used wholly by children and/or young persons; or

(ii) an offence or breach of a permit condition has been committed in the course of gaming activities by the permit holder

Reference here to "a condition" means a condition in the Act or in regulations that the permit is operating under.

However, before cancelling a permit, we must give the permit holder at least 21 days' notice of the intention to cancel and consider any representations that the permit holder may make. We must hold a hearing if the permit holder so requests and must comply with any other procedural requirements set out in regulations. If there is no appeal, the cancellation will take effect 21 days after notice of the intention to cancel was given. We must notify the permit holder, the Gambling Commission and Lancashire Constabulary that the permit has been cancelled and the reasons for the cancellation.

Do I need to keep a copy of my permit on the premises?

Yes. It must be available for inspection at all times. It is an offence not to produce it when requested to do so by a constable or an enforcement officer. If a permit is lost, stolen or damaged, you must apply for a replacement, for which there is a fee.

What if I have a change in circumstances?

If information contained in your permit changes, you need to apply to have your permit varied as soon as possible.

What about renewals?

An application for renewal of a permit must be made during the period beginning three months before it expires and ending six weeks before it expires. The procedure for renewal is the same as for an application (save that you will have to return your original permit along with your application form and fee).

The duration of the permit will not be curtailed while a renewal application is pending, including an appeal against a decision not to renew.