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Arcade licences

Do you need a licence for an arcade, how to apply for licences, how to pay for an arcade licence. Also how to transfer, vary, surrender, reinstate your licence, what documents do you need to submit in application, what to do if your licence is lost or stolen, who regulates the Gambling Act 2005 and what happens if you don't apply for a licence. 

Do I need a licence for an arcade?

There are 3 different types of arcade that require an authorisation issued by the licensing team.

  • unlicensed family entertainment centre (UFEC)
  • licensed family entertainment centre (FEC)
  • adult gaming centre (AGC).

Unlicensed family entertainment centre

This type of arcade can provide unlimited category D machines for use by adults and children.

For information on machine stakes and prizes please refer to the table below.

Applicants must apply for a FEC permit.

Licensed family entertainment centre

This type of arcade can provide unlimited category D machines and unlimited category C machines.

However, all category C machines must be placed in a separate area with restricted access and use to over 18’s. It is the responsibility of the licence holder to ensure that children cannot enter the over 18’s area and access the machines.

Applicants must apply for a premises licence under the Gambling Act 2005.

Adult gaming centre

This type of arcade is restricted to use by over 18’s. It is the responsibility of the licence holder to ensure that anyone under the age of 18 years of age cannot enter or view the inside of the premises.

The following machines can be provided.

  • unlimited C and D machines
  • a number of category B machines totalling no more then 20% of the overall gaming machine available for use.

For information on machine stakes and prizes please refer to the table below.

Applicants must apply for a premises licence under the Gambling Act 2005. 

Machine category  Maximum stake (from January 2014)   Maximum prize (from January 2014)
A Unlimited Unlimited
B1*

£5

£10,000

B2** £100 (in multiples of £10) £500
B3 £2 £500
B3A

£2

£500

B4

£2

£400

C

£1

£100

D non-money prize (other than crane grab machine) 30p £8
D non-money prize (crane grab machine) £1 £50
D money prize 10p £5
D combined money and non-money prize (other than coin pusher or penny falls machines)

10p

£8 (of which no more than £5 may be a money prize)

D combined money and non-money prize (coin pusher or penny falls machine)

 20p

£20 (of which no more than £10 may be a money prize)

* with option of maximum £20,000 linked progressive jackpot on premises basis only.
** Government considers the future of these machines to be unresolved pending further work which is already underway.

Arcades that only provide the following types of machines would not require a licence.

  • quiz machines
  • pin ball machine
  • pac man
  • computer games.

Please note: a machine is not a skill with prizes machine if it is made to look like a game of chance, for example:

  • roulette
  • black jack
  • bingo
  • poker.

In this instance the appropriate authorisation must be obtained from the licensing team. For further advice please contact the licensing team on 01482 396297 or email licensing@eastriding.gov.uk.

The Gambling Commission website can provide further information on gaming machines.

Gambling Commission (external website)

For more information on the taxation of gaming machines you can visit HM Revenue and Customs website.

HM Revenues and Customs (external website)

How do I apply for an unlicensed family entertainment centre permit?

Small arcades for example in holiday parks, theme parks and seaside resorts, may hold an UFEC (unlicensed family entertainment centre) machine permit.

An UFEC can provide unlimited category D machines for use by adults and children.

To apply for a UFEC you must complete the application and submit it to the licensing team along with the fee of £300:

Unlicensed Family Entertainment Centre Application form (pdf 108kb opens in a new window)

Before making an application please read the Statement of Licensing Policy 

Gambling Act 2005 statement of Licensing Policy (word 2.7mb opens in new window) 

The following supporting documents also need to be submitted along with the application:

  • an appropriate plan of the premises guidance on plan requirements
  • evidence that applicants and staff have a full understanding of the maximum stakes and prizes of the gambling that is permissible in unlicensed FECs
  • evidence that applicants have no relevant convictions by way of a basic CRB

Once an application has been submitted the licensing authority will determine the application within 10 working days and notice will be sent out confirming the licensing authority's decision.

Applications can be submitted by post to the Licensing Team, East Riding of Yorkshire Council County Hall Cross Street Beverley HU17 9BA or via email licensing@eastriding.gov.uk or via one of the customer service centres. Please use our customer service centre finder to locate your nearest centre.

The fee can be paid by cheque made payable to East Riding of Yorkshire Council, at a cashiers at a local customer service centre or by credit or debit card over the telephone 01482 396297. Please use our customer service centre finder to locate your nearest centre.

If the application is refused the applicant will receive a written notification of the refusal and the reason for it.

If the permit is granted the applicant will be sent a certificate in the post.

This must be displayed in a prominent position on the premises. The permit will last for 10 years without an annual fee. It is the responsibility of the permit holder to ensure that the FEC conforms with the Gambling Act 2005 regulations.

If the unlicensed FEC permit holder decides that they want to have Category C machines in addition to Category D machines, they will have to apply for an operating licence from the Gambling Commission and a FEC licence. An annual fee will then be payable to the licensing team.

A tacit consent does not apply to this application.

What documents do I need to submit with the application?

The following supporting documents also need to be submitted along with the application:

  • an appropriate plan of the premises guidance on plan requirements
  • evidence that DBS checks are carried out on staff
  • evidence that applicants and staff have a full understanding of the maximum stakes and prizes of the gambling that is permissible in unlicensed FECs
  • evidence that applicants have no relevant convictions.

How do I apply for a premises licence under the Gambling Act 2005?

The applicant will need to apply for an operating licence from the Gambling Commission before they apply.

Depending on the size of your business you may also need to apply for personal licences.

The Gambling Commission website can provide more information on how to obtain the required licences.

Gambling Commission (external website)

You can submit an application to the licensing team for either a provisional statement or a premises licence.

An application for a provisional statement should be made if the premises still needs to be built, needs major alterations or the applicant does not yet have the right to occupy it. A provisional statement is not the same as a premises licence but will offer a degree of certainty to the applicant when they come to apply for a premises licence.

A premise licence application should be made if the applicant has the right to occupy the premises, and has a valid operating licence from the Gambling Commission that allows them to run an arcade as a business.

To apply for a premises licence or a provisional statement you must complete the application and submit it to the licensing team along with the required fee .

Gambling Act 2005 Fee list (word 74kb opens in new window)

Premise Licence Application (pdf 24kb opens in new window)

Provisional Statement Application (pdf 25kb opens in new window)

The following supporting documents also need to be submitted along with the application:

  • copy of operating licence
  • an appropriate plan of the premises

Guidance on plan requirements (pdf 130kb opens in new window)    

  • evidence that DBS checks are carried out on staff
  • evidence that applicants and staff have a full understanding of the maximum stakes and prizes of the gambling that is permissible in FECs
  • evidence that applicants have no relevant convictions
  • proof of planning permission
  • proof of right to occupy the building.

There are 2 different types of conditions which are attached to a premises licence.

These are:

Mandatory conditions

These are attached to certain classes of premise licence automatically and the Council has no discretion to change, exclude or substitute these.

Default conditions:

These are conditions which will be attached to a premises licence automatically unless the applicant states on the application that they wish to exclude or alter a default condition.

Applications can be submitted by post to the Licensing Team East Riding of Yorkshire Council County Hall Cross Street Beverley HU17 9BA or via one of the customer service centres. Please use our customer service centre finder finder to locate your nearest centre.

The applicant must also give notice of their application for a premises licence to the following authorities; Gambling Commission, HMRC, Police Chief, Fire and Rescue, Environmental Health Department, Local Licensing Authority Child Protection Service.

Form of Notice Premises licence (pdf 16kb opens in new window)

Form of Notice Premises licence (pdf 12kb opens in new window)

Form of Notice Provisional statement (pdf 10kb opens in new window)   

Authorities Contact details (pdf 95kb opens in new window)

The applicant must also advertise the application once in a local newspaper or newsletter within 10 working days of submitting the application to the licensing team and by posting a notice in a convenient place outside the premises for a period of 28 days.

Notice Newspaper and Public Premises Licence (pdf 13kb opens in new window) 

Representations may be made against the application in order to be considered valid objections must be based on one of the 3 licensing objectives. These are:

  • preventing gambling for being a source of crime and disorder, being associated with crime and disorder, or being used to support crime.
  • ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way.
  • protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

If a relevant objection is received to an application a sub-committee will be arranged to determine the application. The licensing sub-committee will be made up of 3 councillors. The applicant will be notified not more than 10 working days before the date of the hearing and sent a report with copies of the representations that have been received against the application. Guidance will also be given on the format of the hearing. The sub-committee may make the following outcomes as a result of the hearing:

  • grant the licence/provisional statement as per the application
  • grant the licence/provisional statement subject to additional conditions (this could include a reduction to the hours applied for)
  • refuse the application.

If the applicant is unhappy with the decision made by the sub-committee they have the right of appeal to the magistrates’ court. Information on how to appeal will be included in the decision letter.

When the licence is granted the applicant will be sent the licence and summary in the post. The summary must go on display on a prominent position on the premises.

The premises licence holder must pay the first annual fee within 30 days of the grant of the licence and then an annual fee on or before the anniversary of the grant date each year. If an annual fee is not paid the licence will lapse.

The licence would also lapse if any of the following circumstances occur:

  • the annual fee is not paid
  • the holder is not occupying the premises
  • the holder of the licence is an individual and they die
  • the holder of the licence is an individual that becomes mentally or physically incapacitated
  • the holder becomes bankrupt
  • the holder goes into liquidation
  • notice of surrender of the licence is served on the licensing authority
  • forfeiture by a court.

It is the responsibility of the premises licence holder to ensure that the licence is run in line with the Gambling Act 2005 regulations.

Applicants who have applied for a provisional statement will be notified in writing of the outcome of their application. A grant application for a premises licence must be submitted once they have the right to occupy the premises or the building has been completed. The licensing authority will not accept any representations to the application unless they address matters that could not have been addressed in the application for a provisional statement or they reflect a change in the applicant’s circumstances.

How do I pay for a premises licence?

You can pay using a credit/debit card on (01482) 396297.

How do I transfer a premises licence?

When the control of an existing licensed gambling premise is to change to a different operator, it is necessary to apply to the licensing authority to transfer the licence. Please note, permits cannot be transferred.

Before a transfer application can be made an application for the relevant operators licence and personal licences must be made to the Gambling Commission. A premise licence can not be issued before the appropriate licences have been granted by the Gambling Commission.

The Gambling Commission can be contacted by telephone on 0121 230 6666 or you can visit their website to obtain further information on transferring a premises licence.

Gambling Commission (external website)

To apply to transfer a premises licence the applicant must complete the form below: 

Transfer Application Form (pdf 42kb opens in new window)  

and submit it to the licensing team along with:

  • the existing premises licence - If it is not possible to return the existing premises licence with the application a statement as to why this is the case should be provided and an application must be made for a duplicate copy of the licence
  • written consent to transfer the licence from the existing holder. Please complete the appropriate form below:

Transfer Consent Form (pdf 50kb opens in new window)  

If it is not possible to obtain written consent from the current premises licence holder i.e. they have left the premises and their current whereabouts is unknown. In some circumstances the licensing authority can dis-apply the need for consent. However it is expected that the applicant will have taken all reasonable steps to reach the licence holder and they must supply a statement of these steps to the licensing authority. This does not apply if the previous licence holder has refused to give consent

  • the appropriate application fee

Gambling Act 2005 fee list (word 74kb opens in new window)

Question 17 on the application form allows the applicant to request that they are treated as if they were the licence-holder during the application period. This will allow an established premise to continue operating under the authority of the premises licence while the application is considered. However, the use of this provision does not exempt the applicant from any other requirement under the Act, such as the need to hold a valid operating licence. The effect of this section will commence when the application is received.

Applications can be submitted by post to the Licensing Team, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, County Hall, Cross Street, Beverley, HU17 9BA or via one of the customer service centres. Please use our customer service centrefinder to locate your nearest centre.

The applicant must give notice of the transfer application to the following responsible authorities:

  • The Gambling Commission
  • HM Revenue and Customs
  • East Riding Safe Guarding Children Board
  • Humberside Police.

Gambling Act 2005 List of Responsible Authorities (word 68kb opens in new window)    

The notice must be done on the prescribed form. Form A should be used if an individual of company is making the application. Form B should be used if more than one individual or company is making the application.

Form of Notice Premises licence A (pdf 16kb opens in a new window)   

Form of Notice Premises licence B (pdf 12kb opens in a new window)  

Representations from any of these responsible authorities will be accepted during the period of 28 days starting from when the application has been made. If valid representations are received then a licensing sub-committee will be organised to determine the application.

Representations from any of these responsible authorities will be accepted during the period of 28 days starting from when the application has been made. If valid representations are received then a licensing sub-committee will be organised to determine the application.

How do I vary premises licence?

The holder of a premises licence can apply to the local authority to vary the licence by:

  • adding, amending or removing an authorised activity
  • amending another detail of the licence
  • excluding a default condition
  • adding, amending or removing a discretionary condition.

A premises licence cannot be varied to relate to a premises that it did not previously relate to.

Application to vary your Gambling Act premise Licence (word 131kb opens in a new window)

To vary the premises licence an application must be submitted to the licensing team along with a plan of the premises if applicable and the fee.

The applicant must also give notice of their application to vary a premises licence to the following authorities; Gambling Commission, HMRC, Police Chief, Fire and Rescue, Environmental Health Department, Local Licensing Authority Child Protection Service.

Form of Notice Variation of a Premises licence (pdf 24kb opens in a new window)   

Gambling Act 2005 List of Responsible Authorities (word 68kb opens in a new window) 

The applicant must also advertise the application once in a local newspaper or newsletter within 10 working days of submitting the application to the licensing team and by posting a notice in a convenient place outside the premises for a period of 28 days.

The applicant must also advertise the application once in a local newspaper or newsletter within 10 working days of submitting the application to the licensing team and by posting a notice in a convenient place outside the premises for a period of 28 days.

Notice Newspaper and Public Premises Licence (pdf 13kb opens in a new window)  

Representations may be made against the application in order to be considered valid objections must be based on one of the 3 licensing objectives. These are:

  • preventing gambling for being a source of crime and disorder, being associated with crime and disorder, or being used to support crime
  • ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way
  • protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

If a relevant objection is received to an application a sub-committee will be arranged to determine the application. The licensing sub-committee will be made up of three councillors. The applicant will be notified not more than 10 working days before the date of the hearing and sent a report with copies of the representations that have been received against the application. Guidance will also be given on the format of the hearing. The sub-committee may make the following outcomes as a result of the hearing:

  • grant the licence as per the variation application
  • grant the variation application subject to additional conditions (this could include a reduction to the hours applied for)
  • refuse the application.

If the applicant is unhappy with the decision made by the sub-committee they have the right of appeal to the magistrates’ court. Information on how to appeal will be included in the decision letter.

When the licence is granted the applicant will be sent an amended licence and summary in the post. The summary must go on display on a prominent position on the premises.

How do I surrender my Gambling Act 2005 premises licence?

If you no longer require your permit or licence you must return the original certificate and summary or a statement explaining why they are unable to return the certificate to the licensing team with a statement that you are surrendering it to:

Licensing Team,
East Riding Of Yorkshire Council,
County Hall,
Cross Street,
Beverley,
East Riding Of Yorkshire,
HU17 9BA.

How do I apply to reinstate a Gambling Act 2005 premises licence?

When a premises licence lapses because the licence holder dies, becomes incapable of carrying on licensable activities due to mental or physical incapacity, becomes bankrupt or in the case of an organisation ceases to exist or goes into administration an application can be made to the licensing team to reinstate the licence.

The application must be submitted no later than 6 months after the date the licence has lapsed. The applicant must have the legal right to occupy the premise and have applied for the appropriate operating and personal licences from the Gambling Commission.

The Gambling Commission website can provide further useful information relating to premises licences.

Gambling Commission (external website)

If 6 months have passed then a new application for a premises licence must be made.

The application form must be submitted to the licensing team along with the fee and the original licence or a statement explaining why it has not been possible to return the licence and an application for a replacement licence.

Reinstatement Application (pdf 22kb opens in new window)   

Gambling Act 2005 fee list (word 74kb opens in new window)

The applicant must give notice of the reinstatement application within 7 days to the following responsible authorities:

  • The Gambling Commission
  • HM Revenue and Customs
  • East Riding Safe Guarding Children Board
  • Humberside Police.

Gambling Act 2005 List of Responsible Authorities (word 78kb opens in new window)  

The notice must be done on the prescribed form. Form A should be used if an individual of company is making the application. Form B should be used if more than one individual or company is making the application.

Form of Notice Premises licence A (pdf 16kb opens in new window) 

Form of Notice Premises licence B (pdf 12kb opens in new window)

Representations from any of these responsible authorities will be accepted during the period of 28 days starting from when the application has been made. If valid representations are received then a licensing sub-committee will be organised to determine the application.

Representations from any of these responsible authorities will be accepted during the period of 28 days starting from when the application has been made. If valid representations are received then a licensing sub-committee will be organised to determine the application.

Applications can be submitted by post to the Licensing Team, East Riding Of Yorkshire Council County Hall Cross Street Beverley East Yorkshire HU17 9BA or via one of the local customer service centres. Please use our customer service centre finder to locate your nearest centre.

Payment can be made by cheque made payable to East Riding of Yorkshire Council, by credit or debit card over the telephone 01482 396297 or via a cashiers at one of the customer service centres. Please use our customer service centre finder to locate your nearest centre.

What happens if my permit or licence has been lost or stolen?

If your permit or licence has been lost stolen or damaged you can:

Email: licensing@eastriding.gov.uk

or write to the licensing team with a statement of the reason and pay £25 for a replacement to:

Licensing Team,
East Riding Of Yorkshire Council,
County Hall,
Cross Street,
Beverley,
East Riding of Yorkshire,
HU17 9BA

Payment can be made by cheque made payable to East Riding of Yorkshire Council, by credit or debit or debit card over the telephone 01482 396297 or via a cashiers at one of the local customer service centres. Please use our customer service centrefinder to locate your nearest centre.

How do I renew my licence or permit issued under the Gambling Act 2005?

Licensed Family Entertainment Centres and Adult Gaming Centres (Licensed Premises)

These premises must pay an annual fee on or before 30 days after the grant date and then annually on the anniversary of the grant date. If the annual fee is not paid then the licence will automatically lapse.

An annual fee can be paid by any one of the following methods:

  • by credit or debit card over the telephone 01482 396297
  • at a cashiers at one of the customer service centres. Please use our customer service centrefinder to locate your nearest centre. Please ensure a copy of the receipt is forwarded to the licensing team

The license will not lapse unless any of the following circumstances occur:

  • the annual fee is not paid
  • the holder is not occupying the premises
  • the holder of the licence is an individual and they die
  • the holder of the licence is an individual that becomes mentally or physically incapacitated
  • the holder becomes bankrupt
  • the holder goes into liquidation
  • notice of surrender of the licence is served on the licensing authority
  • forfeiture by a court.

Renewal of Family Entertainment Centre Permit (UFEC)

Family Entertainment Centre (FEC) permits are issued for a period of 10 years. They do not have to pay an annual fee. An application to renew a FEC permit can be made to the licensing team no earlier than the period starting 6 months prior to the expiry date of the permit and no later than the period starting 2 months prior to the expiry date of the licence.

The process to renew a FEC permit is almost identical to the procedure for a grant application. The applicant must complete the application form and submit it to the licensing team along with the required fee and the original licence.

Unlicensed Family Entertainment Centre Application form (pdf 108kb opens in new windows)

The renewal application can only be refused on the following grounds;

  • that an authorised local authority officer has been refused entry without reasonable excuse
  • that the renewal would not be reasonably consistent with the 4 licensing objectives.

Who regulates the Gambling Act 2005?

The Gambling Act 2005 Regulates gaming in the following situations; arcades, bingo, betting, gaming machines, lotteries, race tracks, gaming, casinos and UK based remote gambling. It does not regulate the National Lottery.

The Gambling Act 2005 has 3 objectives these are:

  • preventing gambling for being a source of crime and disorder, being associated with crime and disorder, or being used to support crime
  • ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way
  • protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

The following organisations are responsible for the day to day regulating the Gambling Act 2005:

  • The Gambling Commission
  • The Local Licensing Authority.

The Gambling Commission website can provide more information on their powers.

Gambling Commission (external website)

The Act covers 2 main activities:

  • providing facilities for gambling
  • using premises for gambling.

In either case, you must hold the appropriate permission. Permission may come from a licence, permit, or registration granted according to the Act, or from an exemption given by the Act.

How do I know if a gambling activity is authorised?

The Licensing Team keep a register of all the permits and licences that have been issued for the East Riding of Yorkshire Council area. These can be viewed in our public registers.

How do I report a suspicious gambling activity or make a complaint about an authorised premise?

If you want to report a suspicious gambling activity or make a complaint you can contact the licensing team. Please provide us with as much information as possible so that we can investigate the complaint by:

Email: licensing@eastriding.gov.uk

Post: 

Licensing Team,
East Riding of Yorkshire Council,
County Hall,
Cross Street,
Beverley,
East Riding of Yorkshire,
HU17 9B

You may also want to report the issue to the Gambling Commission via their website.

Gambling Commission (external website)

Offences

There are a number of offences under the Gambling Act 2005. Please refer to the document below:

Gambling Act 2005 offences (pdf 71kb opens in a new window)

Enforcement policy

All enforcement action carried out by the licensing team is done in line with the council’s enforcement policy:

Gambling Act 2005 Statement of Licensing Policy (word 2.7mb opens in a new window) 

Inspections

The Licensing Team carry out regular programmed and un-programmed inspections to ensure that gambling activities are being carried out in line with the Gambling Act 2005 regulations.

Reviews

An application can be made for the review of a premises licence by any of the responsible authorities or an interested party. The licensing authority may also carry out a review of a premise on its own initiative.

The licensing authority will decide whether the review will be carried out, this decision will be made on the basis of whether the request for a review is relevant to the following:

  • the code of practice issued by the licensing authority
  • the guidance issued by the gambling authority
  • the licensing objectives
  • the statement of licensing policy.

Requests for reviews will not be considered where:

  • the request is frivolous or vexatious
  • it will not cause the authority to consider altering, revoking or suspending the licence
  • it is substantially the same as previous representations or requests for a review.

The application for a review must be made using the application form and specify the grounds for which the review is sought. Notice of the application must be served by the applicant on the licence holder and each of the responsible authorities. The local authority must also publish notice of the application. A responsible authority or interested party will have 28 days to make representations about the application.

Application for review of a premises licence (pdf 15kb opens in a new window)

Notice of a review (pdf 16kb opens in a new window)   

Gambling Act 2005 List of Responsible Authorities (word 78kb opens in a new window)   

Where the application for a review is successful a licensing sub-committee will be organised and all interested parties will be invited. As a result of the review the sub-committee can make the following decisions:

  • revoke the licence
  • suspend the licence for a period not exceeding three months
  • exclude a default condition attached to the licence or amend an exclusion
  • add, remove or amend a discretionary condition attached to the licence.

On the completion of a review the licensing authority must give notice of the decision and the reason for the decision to all interested parties.

The holder of the premises licence has the right to appeal the decision of a review to the magistrates' court.

What happens if I do not apply for an arcade licence?

It is an offence under The Gambling Act 2005 to operate a gambling premises without the correct licence or permit in force.

The Licensing Authority, may prosecute you if you operate unlawfully in accordance with our Gambling Act 2005 licensing policy.

Last Updated: Friday, 04 May 2018