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CASINO LICENSING

The Gaming Act 1968

Casino licensing changed fundamentally when the Gaming Act 1968 was repealed in 2005. The Gambling Act 2005 limited the number of new casinos in the UK to eight "small" casinos, and eight "large" and one "regional" casino. Before it came into force in 2007, there was something of a scramble to licence new casinos under the 'old' legislation - the Gaming Act 1968. Existing casino operators strenuously objected to every application. Gerald Gouriet was successful in obtaining new casino licences in Great Yarmouth, Birmingham, Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Huddersfield, and London (The Hippodrome).

Here is London's Hippodrome Casino. The successful appeal by the hippodrome Casino was the last throw of casino licensing under the 1968 Act
Members of Parliament were a little out of their depth when it came to casino licensing.

The Gambling Act 2005

For the 2005 Act casinos, a 'Casino Advisory Panel' was set up to determine the areas in which applications could be made; but  not all the areas ultimately recommended by the CAP have been commercially attractive to casino operators. The following are relevant areas (and the subsequent history of casino licensing in them) as at the time of writing:

 

Casino Uptake

Large casino premises licences:

(a) Great Yarmouth Borough Council: awarded, but not developed;

(b) Kingston upon Hull City Council: only one applicant; awarded but not developed;

(c) Leeds City Council: awarded and still in construction;

(d) Middlesbrough Borough Council: awarded, but not developed;

(e) Milton Keynes Borough Council: awarded, opened at the end of 2013;

(f) Newham London Borough Council, awarded, opened 2011;

(g) Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council: awarded, opened end 2015;

(h) Southampton City Council: no award yet made.

 

Small casino premises licences:

(a) Bath and North East Somerset District Council: awarded, but not developed;

(b) East Lindsey District Council: no applications for the licence received from operators;

(c) Luton Borough Council: awarded, opened 2015;

(d) Scarborough Borough Council: awarded, but not developed;

(e) Swansea City and County Council: no applications for the licence received from operators;

(f) Torbay Borough Council: no applications for the licence received from operators;

(g) Wigtown Divisional Licensing Board (Dumfries and Galloway Council): no applications for the licence received from operators;

(h) Wolverhampton City Council: no applications for the licence received from operators.

As can be seen, just four of the GA 2005 casinos have opened, with a fifth (Leeds) in construction at the time of writing. It is widely believed that these casinos are within the only commercially viable locations among the 16 available. Because of the current machine-limits on small casinos it is not thought that there will be much interest taken in them by developers until those restrictions are relaxed. The licences that have been awarded but not developed are understood to have been taken by speculators who have not been able to be able to sell them on to commercial operators. Casino licensing in the UK has stagnated.

 

 

 

Cheating & Dishonesty

The Supreme Court has settled the controversy as to whether dishonesty is an integral part of ‘Cheating’ in the Gambling Act 2005. It is not.

For the full decision: Phillip Ivey v Genting Casinos Uk Limited: [2017] UKSC 67

See also comment:  Cheating and Dishonesty

 

 

Casino clients

Hippodrome Casino

Successfull appeal against refusal of licence

Grosvenor Casinos

Applications for Licence in Edinburgh

The Ritz Casino

Application to change layout

Crockfords

Application to move to Park Lane

Leo Casino Liverpool

New casino licence granted

Genting Casinos

New grant in Middlesbrough

Palace Casino

New Casino licence in Great Yarmouth

Broadway Casino Birmingham

New casino licence granted

Casino Red

New Casino in Huddersfield

Operahouse Casino

New casino licence in Scarborough

Aspinals

Casino licence in Curzon Street, London