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Betting licence

Four types of betting are covered by the Gambling Act 2005 (the Act):

  • off course (in the premises of a bookmaker or in a betting shop);
  • on course (at a track);
  • pool (which incorporates racecourse, football and other sports pool operators);
  • bets placed remotely (by telephone or over the internet).

The information provided here about applying for a premises licence relates to betting at premises such as a bookmakers' or a betting shop.

How to apply for a Betting Premises Licence

Betting shops need an operating licence and some members of staff need personal licences. These can be obtained from the Gambling Commission. Please apply for these before submitting your application for a Premises Licence.


You will need to submit the following to the Licensing Unit:

You will then need to send a Notice of Application

The person making the application must give notice of it to each of the responsible authorities.

Advertising the application

The applicant must publish notice of their application:

  • in a local newspaper circulating within the licensing authority's area on at least one occasion during the period of 10 working days, starting with the day after the day on which the application is made to the authority and
  • by displaying a notice on the premises to which the application relates in a place where it can conveniently be read by members of the public from the exterior of the premises for a period of no less than 28 consecutive days starting on the day on which the application is made to the licensing authority.

Granting a licence

Once your application has been determined and the council's Licensing Unit determines that it will grant a licence, you will be issued a prescribed form called the "notice of grant of application".

Where, on granting a licence, the council exercises its power to attach one or more conditions to the licence, the notice will include an annex setting out the conditions and its reasons for each condition.

Where, on granting a licence, the council exercises its power to exclude one or more conditions that would otherwise be attached to the licence, the notice will include an annex setting out the conditions to be excluded and its reasons for each condition.

Where representations are made under section 161 of the Act in relation to an application which is granted by the council, the notice will include an annex setting out the representations and giving the council's response to the representations.

Rejection of an application

A notice of rejection of application may be issued by the council's Licensing Unit.

Splitting an existing licensed gambling premises

When submitting an application to split the premises, the following measures must be in place:

  • The primary activity of betting must be available in all the areas proposed. The gaming machines must be an ancillary attraction to the premises. Betting may be provided by way of betting terminals or over a counter (face-to-face). "Betting terminals" means machines that only permit the customer to place bets on future live events. If a machines only allows betting on virtual events, it becomes a gaming machine.
  • The separation of the premises must be clearly defined. The minimum requirement is 5ft (1.524m) high clear Perspex barriers surrounding the premises where there are no fixed walls. Entrances and exits for the separate premises must be clearly marked on the plans and be of a size to comply with fire safety legislation, especially if occupancy levels have already been set for the building. A copy of plans must be submitted to the fire authority.
  • Each separate premises will require a notice (of similar size to the fire exit sign) that clearly defines that they are separate premises, for example by giving them a name such as "Zone 1".
  • The premises must comply with the mandatory conditions and individual conditions relevant to the type of gambling premises.
  • Measures to assist with the supervision of the extra premises: either an increase in staffing levels to monitor these locations permanently or a comprehensive CCTV system which does not block the line of sight and a mixture of static and floating staff covering the whole site.
  • All legal notices should be displayed in each of the separate premises and not just at the entrance to the building.

An application to vary the existing gaming premises licence and the application(s) for new premises must be submitted at the same time.

Gaming machines

Betting establishments that hold a Premises Licence will be entitled to a maximum of four machines in category B2 to D.

Mandatory conditions relevant to betting establishments

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport is empowered to make mandatory conditions by regulation which may apply to all premises licences or specified classes of licence.

The conditions are:

  • a prominent notice must be displayed prohibiting people under the age of 18 years at every entrance;
  • a prominent notice stating that no alcohol may be consumed at any time facilities for gambling are being provided is to be displayed at every entrance;
  • a summary of the licence is to be displayed in prominent place;
  • the betting rules are to be prominently displayed on the premises;
  • access is to be from the street or other betting premises;
  • there must be no direct access to other premises used for the retail sale of merchandise or services;
  • the layout of the premises is to be maintained in accordance with the plan;
  • the premises are not to be used for sale of tickets in a private or customer lottery or the National Lottery;
  • the premises may be used only for betting, unless another use is directly permitted by Gambling Act 2005, except for automatic teller machines (ATMs), the transmission of sound or images of sporting events, betting etc. and the sale of racing periodicals or betting publications;
  • except for the transmission of sound or images mentioned above, there must be no music, dancing or entertainment;
  • ATMs are to be located so that users must cease gambling to use them.

Default conditions relevant to betting establishments

The Secretary of State is empowered to make default conditions by regulation, which may apply to all premises licences or specified classes of licence.

There is one such condition:

  • gambling may take place only from 7am to 10pm.

Individual conditions

The council may attach individual conditions to non-fast track applications, new applications and variation applications. These conditions may apply to all of the premises or to a specified part of them.

The council will ensure that the premises licence conditions are:

  • relevant to the need to make the proposed building suitable as a gambling facility;
  • directly related to the premises and the type of licence applied for;
  • reasonably related to the scale and type of premises; and
  • reasonable in all other respects.


None of the conditions may:

  • require the premises to operate as a club;
  • limit stakes, fees, winnings or prizes;
  • alter the statutory permissions for gaming machines in licensed premises or override provisions of regulations relating to machines.

Christmas Day

All premises licences are subject to a condition that they may not be used to provide gambling facilities on Christmas Day.

Plans to be submitted with an application

All plans have to show:

  • the extent of the boundary or perimeter of the premises;
  • where the premises include or consist of one or more buildings, the location of any external or internal walls of such buildings;
  • where the premises form part of a building, the location of any external or internal walls of the building which are included in the premises;
  • where the premises are a vessel or part of a vessel, the location of any part of the sides of the vessel and of any internal walls of the vessel which are included in the premises;
  • the location of each point of entry to and exit from the premises, including, in each case, a description of the place from which entry is made or to which the exit leads.
  • the location and extent of any part of the premises that will be used to provide facilities for gambling in reliance on the licence.

For more information contact Licensing Unit by telephone: Licensing Services - 01634 337107 or 337108 / Enforcement - 01634 337112 or 337106 or by email: licensing@medway.gov.uk

Write to: Licensing Unit, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TR