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Premises licence

What is a ‘Premises Licence’ ?

A premises licence is a permit to operate a specific type of entertainment from a physical venue. They are required for venues which serve alcohol, which offer live entertainment and which offer gambling services. A premises licence is required by the Gambling Commission or relevant regulator, but it is approved and issued by the local authorities.

‘Premises Licence’ Explained

If a casino or gambling service plans to operate out of a physical premises rather than on an online website, they will need to hold the correct paperwork. A premises licence is needed wherever a gambling service, or other regulated industry, is trading to the public. Casinos typically offer gambling alongside other forms of entertainment, such as live music, live entertainers and bars which serve alcoholic drinks. The premises licence should cover all aspects of the services being sold, including permitting the sale of drinks and allowing gambling to take place. A premises which is ‘licensed’ must meet certain conditions and if these are broken, the licence might be revoked temporarily as a sanction, or permanently in the case of major breaches.

Premises licences are needed alongside gambling permits and other pieces of legislation – the premises licence does not give the right to offer gambling by itself. Responsibility for premises licences usually falls to the local authority, rather than the Gambling Commission or state gaming board. Local councils and other relevant agencies decide whether to allocate a premises licence when one is requested, and they tend to look at whether the business would help or harm the local area before approving it. Regulators decide whether the gaming licence itself will be approved. Along with the premises licence and the gambling permit, companies offering gambling may also need specific licences for the games they offer – lottery provision is one area regulated by additional licensing, for example.