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Family entertainment centres

Family entertainment centres are arcades catering for families. Category C machines are for adults only and Category D machines can be played by children. There must be clear segregation between the two types of machines.

How to apply for a Family Entertainment Centre Premises Licence

Family entertainment centres need an operating licence and some members of staff will need a personal licence from the Gambling Commission. Please apply for these before applying for a Premises Licence.

Applicants will then need to send the following to the Licensing Unit:

The person making an application must give notice of the application 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 at which 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 an application has been determined and the Licensing Unit decides that it will grant a licence, the applicant will be issued a prescribed form called the notice of grant of application.

Where, on granting an application, the council exercises its power to attach one or more conditions to the licence, the notice will include an annex setting out the conditions, giving the council's reasons for each one.

Where on granting an application, 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, giving the council's reasons for each one.

Where representations are made under Section 161 of the Gambling Act 2005 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.

Rejecting an application

If the council decides not to grant a licence, a notice of rejection will be issued by the Licensing Unit.

Splitting an existing licensed gambling premises

In submitting an application to split a family entertainment centre, stronger criteria will be expected and the following measures must be in place:

  • Any location that is intended to be licensed under another type of gambling premises licence will require a separate entrance from the outside, with no doors or access to the rest of the building.
  • Walls must be floor to ceiling.
  • Permanent members of staff must be in the new section at all times it is trading.
  • CCTV must be installed.
  • There must be a minimum of 2m (6.56ft) between the new separate building and the licensed Family Entertainment Centre, which will be unlicensed for any forms of gambling activity. A copy of plans must be submitted to the fire authority.

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

Gaming machines

Family entertainment centres that hold a Premises Licence will be entitled to any number of Category C or D machines.

Mandatory conditions relevant to family entertainment centres

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 stating that no alcohol maybe 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;
  • a prominent notice must be displayed at the entrance to any Category C machine area, prohibiting entry to people less than 18 years old;
  • there must be no entrance from a casino, adult gaming centre or betting premises (other than a track);
  • the layout of the premises is to be maintained in accordance with the plan;
  • any Category C gaming area is to be separated by a physical barrier, supervised to prevent entrance by under-18s and arranged to permit surveillance by staff or monitored closed-circuit television (CCTV);
  • the premises are not to be used for sale of tickets in a private or customer lottery or National Lottery;
  • automatic teller machines (ATMs) are to be located so that users must cease gambling to use them.

Default conditions relevant to family entertainment centres

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:

  • gaming machines may be used 24 hours a day.

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 authority 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.

Prohibition

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.

Relevant to family entertainment centres:

  • the location and extent of any part of the premises in which Category C gaming machines will be made available for use in reliance on the licence;
  • the location and extent of any part of the premises in which Category D gaming machines will be made available for use in reliance on the licence;
  • the nature and location of any barrier or other thing separating any part of the premises in which Category C gaming machines will be made available for use from any part of the premises.

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