Club gaming permits and club machine permits
Club gaming permits allow the provision of no more than three gaming machines. These may be from categories B3A, B4, C or D. They also allow equal-chance gaming (e.g. poker) and games of chance (e.g. pontoon, chemin-de-fer) under certain restrictions.
Club machine permits authorises the holder to have up to three gaming machines of categories B3A (except commercial clubs), B4, C and D.
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 bridge or whist clubs.
A club must be permanent in nature, not established to make commercial profit, and controlled by its members equally.
Under the Gambling Act, clubs do not have to have an alcohol licence to apply for a permit, and Licensing Officers should be aware that there are differences in the definitions of clubs between alcohol and gambling legislation. Examples include working men's clubs, branches of the Royal British Legion and clubs with political affiliations.
Commercial clubs have the same characteristics as members' clubs, except that 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.
Licensed premises gaming machine permit
Pubs and other alcohol licensed premises are automatically entitled to two category C or D gaming machines, and may apply for more machines to their licensing authority.
Members of the public wishing to set up poker tournaments are encouraged to seek independent legal advice.
Unlicensed Family Entertainment Centres
Family Entertainment Centres (FECs) will perhaps be most commonly located at seaside resorts, in airports and at motorway service centres, and will cater for families, including unaccompanied children and young persons. Unlicensed FECs will be able to offer only category D machines in reliance on a gaming machine permit. Any number of category D machines can be made available with such a permit (subject to non-gambling considerations, such as fire regulations and health and safety, which will not be issues for the licensing authority under the Gambling Act). Permits cannot be issued to vessels or vehicles.
Prize gaming permits
When an individual adult or group would like to run prize gaming from a premises that does not already have an existing Premises Licence or a Club Gaming Permit, they should apply to the local authority for a prize gaming permit.
Gaming Machine Categories
Gaming machines fall into categories depending on the maximum stake and prize available: Gaming Machine Categories