Gambling Act 2005

Gambling Act 2005

Gambling Act 2005

The Gambling Act 2005, came into effect from April 2007, repeals most of the existing laws relating to gambling in Great Britain and replaces them with an improved, more comprehensive structure of gambling regulation. It transfers the responsibility for the licensing of gaming premises from the Magistrates to Licensing Authorities and introduces for the first time, a unified regulator for gambling, the Gambling Commission. This body replaces the Gaming Board for Great Britain.

Under the new Act Fylde Borough council will be responsible for issuing premises licences for premises such as casinos, bingo halls, betting offices, adult gaming centres and licensed family entertainment centres as well as permits for gaming machines in pubs, clubs and other alcohol licensed premises.

Licensing Objectives

The Act contains three licensing objectives, which underpin the functions that the Gambling Commission and Councils acting in their capacity as licensing authorities will perform. These objectives are central to the new regulatory regime created by the Act and are:

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


Three types of licence are required by the new Act:

  • An operator licence concerned with the management and conduct of gambling.
  • A personal licence for persons with key operational functions connected with the gambling business.
  • A premises licence for the property where the gambling takes place.

Operator's licences and personal licences are issued and regulated by the Gambling Commission, whereas responsibility for the issue and regulation of premises licences will lie with local authorities.


Some existing functions of local authorities and licensing Magistrates are abolished and reintroduced as functions of licensing authorities under the 2005 Act, these are:

  • Betting and Gaming Act 1963
  • Gaming Act 1968
  • Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976

Gambling Policy Statement

Licensing authorities are required to prepare and publish, every three years, a statement of the principles that they propose to apply when exercising their functions. In preparing such a statement, licensing authorities must follow the procedure set out in the Act as well as the accompanying guidance.

Further Information

Publications and other materials related to the Gambling Act 2005, are available from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) web site or the Gambling Commission web site, which can be found as links on the right hand side of this page.