Gambling Permits

Gambling Permits Steps to Take

1.  Familiarise yourself with Permits - the main differences between a permit and a premises licence are: 

  • There are no responsible authorities or interested parties in relation to permit applications although in some cases (club permits) the Board may consult with the police and/or the Commission;
  • A permit can only be granted or rejected, no conditions can be attached;
  • With the exception of permits relating to alcohol licensed premises, permits are of limited duration. 

2.  Decide whether you need a Permit - Permits are within the sole remit of the Moray Licensing Board. The Gambling Commission does not issue permits and the permit provides the operator with an exemption to the requirement for an operating licence from the Commission. Permits are issued to premises that either offer very low-stakes and prizes gambling, or premises whose primary function is not the provision of gambling facilities. Therefore, the only premises eligible to apply to licensing authorities for permits are: 

  • Unlicensed (in terms of no operating lice) Family Entertainment Centres;
  • Alcohol licensed premises;
  • Clubs, both commercial (e.g. snooker clubs) and non commercial (e.g. private members clubs);
  • Premises wishing to offer commercial prize-gaming.

NB. If you think you need a premises licence then see our separate note on Premises Licences Steps to Take.

3.  Decide what type of Permit you wish to apply for - there are various types of permit available and the operator should choose the most appropriate:

  • Family Entertainment Centre Gaming Machine Permits – allow any number of category D machines;
  • Prize Gaming Permits permit a variety of low stakes and prizes gambling, they do not permit any gaming machines;
  • Licensed Premises Gaming Machine Permits allow any number of category C or D machines – the Board can limit the numbers or categories;
  • Club Gaming Permits allow equal chance gaming, specified bankers games and a total of 3 category B4, C or D machines;
  • Club Machine Permits allow a total of 3 category B4, C or D machines.

Gaming machine categories are explained in detailed guidance and leaflets available on this site and the Gambling Commission’s website.

4.  Familiarise yourself with your entitlements - applicants should make themselves aware of the entitlements conferred by each type of permit. Both alcohol licensed premises and clubs have varying entitlements to offer equal chance gaming under the Act. Individual premises should make themselves aware of these entitlements.

5.  Alcohol licensed premises can decide whether to register for an automatic entitlement to gaming machines instead of a permit – the Moray Licensing Board will also receive notifications of a licensed premises’ intention to exercise its automatic entitlement to two gaming machines. The Gambling Act provides that alcohol licensed premises with an on-licence and a bar have an automatic entitlement to up to 2 gaming machines of category C or D. If children have access to premises then any category C machine will have to be supervised so that children cannot play them. To take advantage of this entitlement the premises must provide written notification to the Board and pay the required fee. There is no set form of notification but for convenience the Moray Licensing Board has provided a pro-forma registration form in the forms section.

6.  Familiarise yourself with relevant codes of practice – ALL operators will be expected to comply with the codes of practice produced by the Gambling Commission and are available on their website.

7.  Apply for the Permit if you need one - application forms will be made available as soon as possible in forms section.

8.  Check the fee required and send the right fee – your application will not be complete unless and until you send the correct fee. 

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