Family entertainment centre gaming machine permits
Family entertainment centre gaming machine permits allow operators of family oriented premises to make a number of low-value gaming machines available for use.
They offer an alternative to a premises licence, which would also allow higher value machines to be operated but would be more difficult to obtain, requiring both an operating licence from the Gambling Commission and full public consultation on the premises licence application.
Permits can be granted in respect of fixed premises only, and not vehicles or vessels.
Applicants should read the 'family entertainment centre gaming machine permits' section of our Statement of Principles, for further information on our expectations of permit holders.
Gaming machines are categorised according to how much they cost to use and the maximum prize available, and this type of permit only authorises category D machines. The Gambling Commission provides further information on the categories of gaming machine which may be made available under this type of permit.
Applying for a family entertainment centre gaming machine permit
Applications for permits can be made by the occupier of the premises which will be used as a family entertainment centre. All applicants must be 18 years of age or older.
Family entertainment centre gaming machine permit application form (PDF 89KB)
The completed application form should be sent to us, together with payment of the appropriate fee. We will also require a scale plan showing the internal layout of the premises, with the area(s) where gaming machines will be located highlighted.
When we receive an application we will consult with Hertfordshire Police - however, you do not need to send a copy of your application to them.
If we have concerns about your application, we will let you know and give you an opportunity to make representations. After considering any representations you make, a decision will then be made to either grant or refuse your application. In particular, we will want to be satisfied that you intend to use the premises as a family entertainment centre, and not for any other purpose.
Where applications are refused, there will be a right of appeal to the magistrates' court, within 21 days of notification of the refusal.
No conditions can be attached to a permit.
Maintenance of family entertainment centre gaming machine permits
Family entertainment centre gaming machine permits are valid for 10 years. An application to renew the permit may be made two to six months before it expires.
Permits are not transferable, and will lapse if the holder ceases to occupy the premises. Any new occupier must apply for a new permit. Permits will also lapse if the main use of the premises changes to something other than a family entertainment centre.
The permit will also lapse if the holder dies, is made bankrupt, goes into liquidation, becomes incapable of carrying on the permitted activities, or otherwise ceases to exist. In any of these circumstances, the permit can be used for up to six months by personal representatives, trustees or liquidators. After this time a new permit must be obtained.
The original permit must be kept on the premises to which it relates, and produced for inspection if requested by a police officer, a Gambling Commission enforcement officer, or an authorised council officer. If lost, stolen or damaged, a duplicate permit can be obtained from us, but a fee will be payable for this. It will also be necessary to report lost or stolen permits to the police.
Permits can be surrendered if no longer required, by returning the original permit to us with a covering note.
01442 228470 / 228860