No area of licensing is more heavily regulated than betting & gambling licensing. Not only do we have local licensing authorities with responsibility for the grant, review and revocation of premises licences: in addition, there is the 'Gambling Commission'. The Commission is responsible for the grant of operating licences and personal licences. It also has an overarching supervision of gambling generally. The Gambling Commission issues statutory guidance, which licensing authorities are bound to take into account. Applications for premises licences must be "in accordance" with this guidance.

Greyhounds racing at a dog track

The issues most frequently arising in opposed betting office applications are the numbers and clustering of betting shops, Fixed Odds Betting Machines (FOBTs), children and gambling addiction. Residents' association frequently object on the grounds of nuisance.  Nuisance, however, is not  relevant in an application for a betting premises licence. Nor is "demand".

Smith & Monkcom is the Textbook on the law of Betting & Gambling. Gerald Gouriet is editor.

The Law of Gambling

Gerald Gouriet QC - General Editor

FOBTs are a hybrid between Slot MAchines and Roulette

FOBTs have been controversial since their first appearance in betting shops in the late 1990s. They have become very popular with the betting public at large. The Government is expected to reduce staking limits  in an attempt to prevent large sums of money being lost in a short space of time. Campaigners claim that FOBTs are a particular risk to gambling addicts.


As with alcohol and entertainment licensing, the gambling regime has at its heart 'licensing objectives'. The licensing objectives are designed to ensure that gambling is conducted fairly and openly, and free from crime; and that children and vulnerable people are not harmed by gambling. It is essential that applications for gambling licences address each of the licensing objectives. More is expected than a 'tick box' approach. Applicants should be able to satisfy the Gambling Commission and licensing authorities that their operating model will not undermine the licensing objectives.


   Further reading: William Hill Fined £6 million

   See also: Gambling Commission fine William Hill

Monte Carlo Casino


No UK casinos can match the splendour of Monte Carlo. The restrictions imposed by the Gambling Act make it unlikely they ever will 

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