A gaming machine permit is required in respect of premises providing amusements with prizes by way of machines.

The most common types of gaming machines are those referred to as 'fruit machines' and 'one-armed bandits' which make small payments. Typically these machines will be found in amusement arcades, motorway service stations, as well as pubs and clubs.

These permits are now included under the Gambling Act 2005 and applications need to be made to the Licensing Authority.

A licence is not required where a machine is based only on a game of skill (e.g. quiz machines), or is an amusement only machine and, in either case, no money or token is paid out by the machine.

Applications for a permit
The council is able to give preliminary advice about the types of premises where they will allow gaming machines and will, if required, send out the appropriate advisory literature. 

For further information and to view our policy for permits then please see the Gambling Act 2005 page.

Alcohol-licensed premises Automatic entitlement

  • allows certain alcohol licensed premises, such as pubs and bars, to provide two gaming machines (Type C or D) without a permit

The licensing authority must be notified that you wish to use the automatic entitlement.
There will be a one off fee of £50 when you submit your notification

Licensed premises gaming machine permit
For more than two gaming machine (Type C or D) you will need a gaming machine permit.
There is an application fee of £100 for operators who have an existing section 34 permit (£150 for those who do not).
There is  an annual fee. The first annual fee of £50 is to be paid within 30 days of the date your permit takes effect. After that the annual fee will be paid yearly  

Unlicensed Family Entertainment Centres

  • FECs cater for families, including unaccompanied children and young people
  • Unlicensed FECs offer category D machines
  • Any number of category D machines can be made available with such a permit

Prize gaming
Prize gaming is gaming where the nature and size of the prize available is not determined by either:

  • the number of people playing
  • the amount paid for, or raised by the gaming

Prize gaming permits can be issued by licensing authorities. These permits are  for premises the do not already have an existing premises licence or a club gaming permit.

Club gaming permit

  • no more than three gaming machines (these may be from categories B3A, B4, C or D but only one B3A machine)
  • the provision of equal chance gaming  (for example, poker) The provision of games of chance (for example, pontoon, is also allowed

Club machine permit

  • Up to three gaming machines of categories B3 B4, C and D
  • No child or young person can use a category B or C machine on the premises
  • The holder must comply with any relevant code of practice about the location and operation of gaming machines
  • There is an annual fee for this Permit, the first of which must be paid within 30 days of the Permit becoming effective
  • A Permit lasts for 10 years
  • A Permit can be cancelled if the holder fails to pay the annual fee
  • A copy of the permit must be kept on the premises and available for inspection at all times. It is an offence not to produce it when requested to do so by a constable or an enforcement officer
  • If a Permit is lost, stolen or damaged, you may apply for a replacement (such replacement being subject to a fee)
Contact info
Private sector housing enforcement
1st Floor Annexe, Town Hall, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 2BQ
Tel: 01582 546040

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