The operators of gambling premises, such as betting shops, bingo halls and amusement arcades, must hold premises licences to authorise the gambling activities being carried on there.

Casino premises licences are not available for premises in Lambeth.

1. Types of licence

We are able to consider applications for five different categories of Premises Licence:

  • Adult gaming centres - amusement arcade premises making gaming machines available for use by over-18s only
  • Betting (at tracks) - areas at racecourses and sports grounds, at which licensed bookmakers will be taking bets on a race or sporting event happening at that location
  • Betting (at other premises) - premises away from tracks and sports grounds, such as a high street shop, at which a licensed bookmaker will be taking bets on races and sporting events happening elsewhere
  • Bingo - premises at which games of commercial prize bingo are regularly played
  • Family entertainment centres - amusement arcade premises making gaming machines available for use by persons of all ages.

Each type of licence allows a particular combination of gambling activities, including the right to make a certain number of gaming machines available for use. Please see our gaming machine categories information sheet (PDF 89.69 KB) for further details.

With the exception of Betting (track) licences, premises licences may only be granted to persons or organisations that hold an appropriate Operating licence, issued by the Gambling Commission.

2. Application process and fees

The application process differs slightly for each type of application, and full details are given in the guidance notes attached to the application forms. An applicant will always be required to give notice of their application to several 'responsible authorities' (statutory bodies including the Police and the Gambling Commission). For applications for new licences or variations of existing licences, applicants will also be required to advertise the application, both at the premises and in a local newspaper, to alert local residents and businesses.

For details of the application fees payable with Premises Licence applications, please see our Gambling premises licence fees list (PDF 89.69 KB).

From when an application is made, there is a 28-day period during which any representations in respect of the application may be made. Representations may support or oppose the application.

We will usually be able to confirm the grant or refusal of an application shortly after the end of this period. However, in situations where an objection has been made, or where the applicant has requested longer trading hours than would usually be accepted, or where the licensing authority wishes to impose further conditions, the application will usually be referred to a Sub-Committee hearing to be decided.

Any licence granted will automatically be subject to a number of standard mandatory conditions, depending upon the type of licence. Licences may also be subject to a default condition restricting opening hours, unless the applicant requested that this was excluded. The authority can also impose further conditions, in response to any specific concerns.

4. Reviews

The council and other regulatory bodies will use their powers to ensure that gambling premises operate in accordance with the law. However, there may be occasions when a problem exists that cannot be adequately resolved through mediation or enforcement. In these situations, a request may be made to review a licence.

Reviews can be initiated by any responsible authority (PDF 78.83 KB), or by interested parties, such as local residents or businesses. Further information on the review process is available on our Request a review of a licence page.

After considering any representations, action can be taken to amend a licence by imposing further conditions, or to suspend or revoke it.

5. Provisional statements

Provisional Statements are effectively a provisional gambling licence, allowing an operator to assess the likelihood of obtaining a full licence before committing to the costs of developing a site. They can be obtained in situations where the premises have not yet been constructed or refurbished, or where the operator does not yet have a right to occupy the premises.

6. Public register

We are required to maintain a public register giving details of the Premises Licences that we have issued. These details can be viewed at our offices at Blue Star House, during usual office hours.