Frequently asked questions:
Why do I need a licence?
The Gambling Act 2005 defines three types of gambling namely gaming, betting and participating in a lottery. It does not deal with spread betting or the National Lottery both of which are regulated separately. The provision of facilities for gambling is regulated by the Gambling Commission through the issuing of Personal and Operating Licences and by local authorities through the issuing of Premises Licences and other permissions such as permits for gaming machines on alcohol licensed premises. The Council has published a licensing policy, known as a Statement of Principles, which sets out how the Council undertake its responsibilities under the Act.
What will I have to do?
A Premises Licence is required for premises where gambling facilities are provided such as betting shops, bingo hall, adult gaming centre (providing category B3, B4, C and D gaming machines) and family entertainment centre (providing only category C and D gaming machines). Although none exist in Test Valley, a licence would also be needed for casinos and betting tracks.
What does the application process involve?
Applications need to be submitted to the Council and the Responsible Authorities, advertised and a 28 day period allowed for the submission of representations by these bodies and also anybody living or working in the vicinity of the premises that might be affected by the grant of a licence (known as interested parties).
What does the evaluation process involve?
Applicants can only be submitted if the applicant holds or has applied for an Operating Licence issued by the Gambling Commission. In addition, an application may only be made by a person with a right to occupy the premises. Once the application is submitted there is then a period of 28 days for responsible authorities (e.g. the Police and the Gambling Commission) and interested parties (e.g. those living sufficiently close to or having business interests that might be affected by the activities authorised by the Licence granted) to submit representations. If the representations cannot be resolved then a hearing will be held before a Licensing Sub Committee to determine the application.
Will Tacit Consent apply?
No. However, if no representations are received we will aim to issue the licence as soon as we can after the end of the 28 day consultation period.
Can I make my application online?
Due to the supporting documentation that is needed, e.g. plans of the premises, it is not possible to submit online applications. Application forms and details of the appropriate fee can be obtained by contacting the Council:
Test Valley Borough Council
This is also the address to which completed applications should be submitted. All statutory notices and applications forms are also available from the Gambling Commission.
What can I do if my application fails?
If the Licensing Sub Committee decides to refuse your application, you have the right of appeal to the local Magistrates' Court. The appeal should be lodged within 21 days.
What can I do if I am unhappy about the licence conditions?
Licenses can be subject to mandatory, default and individual conditions. Mandatory conditions deal with matters such as layout of and access to the premises and cannot be appealed. Default conditions also cannot be appealed; they provide standard trading hours and it is possible at the time of the application to ask for these to be altered. The Council may attach individual conditions to the licence and this can be appealed by way of notice to the Magistrates' Court.
How can I make a complaint?
Please contact us in the first instance.
Are there any other types of redress?
If you have a complaint against licensed premises, we would advise you first to contact that person, preferably by letter. If that does not work please contact us.
Are there any trade associations?
See external links on this page.