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Gambling Act 2005

The ability of the council to regulate gambling activities in St Albans provides an opportunity for the council and its partners to have a more direct influence on the determination of licence applications.

Residents who are, or who could be, affected by premises providing gambling now have more an opportunity to influence decisions that affect them. The council also works with others to protect children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling activities.

What is Gambling?

Gambling is not specifically defined but includes gaming, betting or taking part in a lottery.

Gaming means playing a game for the chance to win a prize.

A lottery is where participants are involved in an arrangement where prizes are allocated wholly by a process of chance.
Betting means:

  • making or accepting a bet on the outcome of a race, competition or other event
  • the likelihood of anything occurring or not occurring
  • whether something is true or not


The responsibility for regulating gambling within St Albans is shared between the Gambling Commission and the Council.

The Gambling Commission is responsible for issuing operating licences to organisations and individuals that provide facilities for gambling and personal licences to persons working in the gambling industry.

The Commission takes the lead role for ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way through the administration and enforcement of operating and personal licence requirements. The Commission is also responsible for remote gambling activities such as facilities provided via the Internet, television or radio.

St Albans District Council has responsibility for issuing licences to allow premises to be used for gambling.  The types of premises that require authorisation from the council includes:

  • casinos
  • bingo halls
  • betting shops
  • amusement arcades
  • pubs

The Council also issue permits to pubs/clubs for gaming machines and gaming (clubs only).  The Council regulate small society lotteries.

Statement of Principles/ Gambling Policy Toggle accordion

St Albans District Council is the Licensing Authority under the provisions of the Gambling Act 2005 and responsible for the administration and enforcement of Premises Licences and Permits under the Act.

Under the Gambling Act 2005, the Local Authority must prepare a written Statement of Principles, and have regard to the guidance issued by the Gambling Commission. This Statement of Principles sets out how the council will carry out its licensing functions with a view to promoting the three licensing objectives:

  • Preventing gambling 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

The Gambling Act contains provisions setting out the procedure for the authorisation of the use of premises for any of the following gambling activities:

  • Bingo
  • Betting shop
  • Tracks (Race)
  • Adult Gaming Centre (AGC)
  • Family Entertainment Centre (FEC)
  • Small Society Lotteries
  • Casino Premises Licence
  • Temporary Use Notices

and the use of gaming machines in conjunction the following permits:

  • Club Gaming Permit
  • Club Machine Permit
  • Alcohol Licensed Premises (Gaming Permit)
  • Unlicensed Family Entertainment Centre (uFEC)  

Consultation on Gambling Statement of Principles

The Act requires the Council to publish its Statement of Principles every three years and carry out a consultation on those principles. The policy was last revised in 2022 and should be revised every 3 years.

A copy of the revised statement of principles can be found below.

Gambling Act 2005 - Guidance on Local area profiles for St Albans City & District Council Toggle accordion

The Gambling Commission’s 5th Edition of the Guidance recommends that Licensing Authorities complete their own assessment of local risks and concerns by developing local area profiles (LAPs) to help shape their statements.  Although there is no statutory requirement on the licensing authority to have LAP Guidance it is considered good practice.  Therefore St Albans District Council propose to use LAP Guidance.  This means that anyone wanting to operate in the District will need to consider the local area profile when making their application.
As we have very few gambling premises in the District, we have kept the LAP Guidance simple.  In the two page Guidance (attached) we set out what we expect operators who want to run gambling premises in our District to include in their applications. The Local Area Profile can be found in the policy as appendix A.

Applying For a Licence Toggle accordion

Responsible Authorities Toggle accordion

For a list of Responsible Authorities, please download the document below: 

Gambling Toggle accordion

The Government reformed the law on gambling; under the Gambling Act 2005 local authorities have a range of new responsibilities related to gambling.

These include licensing any premises used for gambling, regulating the use of gaming machines and the playing of games such as poker in pubs and clubs, and granting permits to certain types of amusement arcades.  The Gambling Commission is responsible for advising local authorities on these functions.

Gaming Machine Permits Toggle accordion

The Gambling Act 2005 introduces permits for gambling which are granted by the Council. These permits will be required when premises provide a gambling facility but gambling is not the main function of the premises. These permits regulate the use of gaming machines in specific premises.

Who can apply for a gaming machine permit?

Premises licensed under the Licensing Act 2003 for consumption of alcohol on the premises, which provide alcohol without a condition that alcohol is served only with food can apply for a gaming machine permit.

What am I entitled to?

For these premises there is an automatic entitlement to two machines of category C or D under the Act subject to:

  • notifying the licensing authority in writing of your wish to use this entitlement,
  • paying the prescribed fee of £50
  • complying with any relevant code of practice issued by the Gambling Commission.

There is no annual fee.  However, when the alcohol premises licence is transferred to a new owner, then a new written notification is necessary together with a further £50 fee.

Is there an annual fee?

There is an annual fee of £50 for more than two machines, but not for two or less machines.

Can I have more than two machines?

Applications can be made for a licensed premises gaming machines permit, which allows for further category C or D machines to be made available in alcohol licensed premises.  The limit of additional machines will be determined by the Licensing Team  for up to three machines and a sub committee for more than three machines.

What are the fees for two or more machines?

New applicant 


Variation to a permit




Transfer of a permit


How long does the permit last?

The permit application and notification must be made in the premises licence holders name and last as long as premises licence remains in that name. The permit is subject to an annual fee.

Can I have machines in a takeaway/taxi office/shop/café or similar?

From 1 August 2006, fruit machines began to be phased out from premises whose main purpose is not the sale/supply of alcohol. This is to ensure that children and other vulnerable people are not exposed to gambling in certain non-gambling premises

How do I Apply?

Send a copy of the application form below, along with the fee to the Licensing Team in Regulatory Services.
St Albans District Council, Civic Centre, St Albans, Herts AL1 3JE
Tel: 01727 819454 Email:

Club Gaming Permits and Club Machine Permits Toggle accordion

The following information is relevant to:

  • holders of Club Premises Certificates under the Licensing Act 2003
  • persons who are considering setting up a club and also offering gaming or gaming machines to members of that club

There are two kinds of club permits under the Gambling Act 2005; Club Gaming Permits and Club Machine Permits:

Club Gaming Permits

Club gaming permits may be granted to members' clubs and miners' welfare institutes (but not commercial clubs), to authorise the use of up to 3 machines in total including category B3A, B4, C or D gaming machines.  However they can only include one B3A machine. They can also carry out  equal chance gaming and games of chance as described in the Gambling Commission Guidance.

Applicants must have an operators licence issued by the Gambling Commisson 

The permit costs £200.00 and will have effect for 10 years and may then be renewed. There is an annual fee of £50.
The application form can be downloaded below, a copy of this application must be sent to the Gambling Commission 

Club Machine Permits

If a club does not wish to have a club gaming permit or if they are a commercial club not permitted to provide non-machine gaming, they may apply for a club machine permit.  This authorises the use of up to three category B4, C or D gaming machines.

The permit costs £200.00 and will have effect for 10 years and may then be renewed. There is an annual fee of £50.

Holders of club gaming permits or club machine permits should have regard to the Code of Practice issued by the Gambling Commission. The Code of Practice makes reference to conditions for the location and operation of machines and also best practice for self exclusion and for access to gambling by children and young persons.

How do I apply?

Send a copy of the application form below, along with the fee to the Licensing Team in Regulatory Services.
St Albans District Council, Civic Centre, St Albans, Herts AL1 3JE
Tel: 01727 819454 Email:

Lotteries Toggle accordion

Small Society Lottery Registration - New Registrations

If you wish to apply to operate a Small Society Lottery you must register under the Gambling Act 2005 with the District Council.  The society must pay a fee for any new application of £40 and the annual fee yearly of £20 if you wish the registration to continue.

Society Lottery

Section 19 of the Act defines a society as non-commercial if it is established and conducted

  • for charitable purposes
  • for the purpose of enabling participation in, or in supporting, sport, athletics or a cultural activity, or
  • for any other non-commercial purpose other than that of private gain.

Small Lottery

The proceeds from one lottery must not exceed £20,000 or the total income from all the lotteries run by the organisation must not exceed £250,000 in a calendar year. If the operator plans to exceed these values they will be classified as a large lottery and must be licensed by the Gambling Commission.

Limits placed on small society lotteries

The limits are as follows:

  • at least 20% of the lottery proceeds must be applied to the purposes of the society (schedule 11, paragraph 33)
  • no single prize may be worth more than £25,000 (schedule 11, paragraph 34)
  • rollovers between lotteries are only permitted where every lottery affected is also a small society lottery promoted by the same society, and the maximum single prize is £25,000 (schedule 11, paragraph 35), and
  • every ticket in the lottery must cost the same and the ticket fee must be paid to the society (i.e. the society must take payment) before entry into the draw is allowed. (schedule 11, paragraph 37).


The promoting society of a small society lottery must, throughout the period during which the lottery is promoted, be registered with the local authority. The form to register a non-commercial society is below.


There is a requirement to provide annual returns to the Licensing Team, please see below.

Some other activities such as raffles and sweepstakes are lotteries but they will be exempt providing they comply with the criteria, the links below provide some more information: 

Public Register Toggle accordion

Please visit the Public Register Of Licences And Registrations

If you are unable to find the information you are looking for on the public register please send your request to

Contact Details

Licensing, Regulatory Services, St Albans District Council, Civic Centre, St Albans, Herts AL1 3JE
Tel: 01727 819454 Email:

Gambling Commission, Victoria Square House Victoria Square Birmingham B2 4BP
Tel: 0121 230 6666, Fax: 0121 230 6720 Email:

For further information: