The Gambling Act 2005 replaces most of the existing laws about gambling in Great Britain and replaces it with an improved, more comprehensive structure of gambling regulation. It transfers the responsibility for gaming premises from the Magistrates to the Licensing Authority and increases the powers of the Gambling Commission.
The Act requires Licensing Authorities to prepare and publish every three years, a Statement of Principles which outlines the principles which they propose to apply when exercising their functions.
The Gambling Policy is similar to that required by the Licensing Act 2003 and must follow procedures set out in the Act, including whom they consult.
The Licensing Authority’s main functions are:
- To issue Premises Licences for Casinos, Betting Offices and Race Tracks, Bingo Clubs, Adult Gaming Centres, and Family Entertainment Centres.
- To grant Permits for Gaming Machines in members’ clubs and licensed premises, Prize Gaming and Unlicensed Family Entertainment Centres.
- To authorise the temporary use of premises for gambling
- To register Small Society Lotteries.
There are three licensing objectives which underpin the Gambling Act:-
- To prevent gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder, or being used to support crime;
- To ensure that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way;
- To protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.