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Operating Licence

What is an ‘Operating Licence’?

An operating licence (‘operating license’ in US English) is a permit issued by the relevant gambling regulation authority to a company that wishes to offer any form of paid gambling to its customers. Arcades, casinos, betting shops and lottery game companies all need a licence in order to function. Most nations which permit gambling require associated companies to hold some form of licence.

‘Operating Licence’ Explained

If a company wishes to offer gambling games as a sideline or as the main part of their work, they will need to obtain the correct legal permissions. Most countries which allow gambling have some sort of regulatory agency, such as the Gambling Commission in the UK or the state gambling boards across the USA, and it is usually this agency which issues the licences. In addition to holding an operating licence, there are often other associated permissions to secure – such as a licenced premises permit for serving alcohol and offering entertainment. These permits and licences are usually given by local authorities rather than the Gambling Commission.

In addition to the operating licence, the nominated person who will be responsible for the gambling business must hold a personal licence. This is similar to the licences issued to bar and club owners, permitting them to sell alcohol. Indeed, one of these publican licences could also be needed for a casino premises, if it serves drinks. The personal licence is given subject to background checks on the named person. The operating licence depends on many factors including validity of the business and willingness to conform to legal requirements. Regulators have the authority to reject a request for an operating licence if it believes that all conditions are not met. All of the separate permits must be obtained before a gambling premises can open its doors and start taking wagers from the public.