Casinos - definition and restrictions

The Act makes significant changes to the regime for casinos. It removes certain regulatory controls which existed under the Gaming Act 1968 (for example, 'permitted' areas and the demand test). Commercial bingo premises and casinos no longer have to operate as clubs with a 24-hour membership rule (the public now has access to them).

Three categories of casino are introduced:

  • regional
  • large
  • small

These are defined according to a casino's size, and affect what forms of gambling can be provided at the casino. For example, a casino's gaming machine entitlement will depend on its category.

The Act establishes a minimum size limit for new casinos.

The Act imposes an initial limit of one regional casino, and eight small and eight large casinos, to be licensed under the Act. There are powers to amend these limits or remove them entirely, subject to appropriate Parliamentary approval.

Casinos which are in operation, or which can lawfully be operated, immediately before the casino provisions of the Act came into force are allowed to continue to operate. This was provided for by means of transitional provisions.

There are currently no Casinos within the District of Adur or Borough of Worthing. Under Section 166 of the Act that each authority may pass a resolution not to issue any casino premises licences.

Neither Council has passed such a resolution. However should either Council decide to exercise its power in the future, it will embark on public consultation prior to deciding to update its Policy Statement.

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Casino nights

For many years, commercial organisations have offered to provide equipment and gaming staff to persons organising non-commercial casino nights. Organisers will not require a licence or a temporary use notice for these events provided that the event is a non-commercial event as defined in Section 297 of the Gambling Act 2005. The organiser can provide non-commercial prize gaming and non-commercial equal chance gaming provided that the conditions set out in Sections 299 and 300 of the Act are met.

An event is non-commercial when no part of the proceeds are appropriated for private gain.

Proceeds are defined as: The sums raised by the organisers (whether by way of fees for entrance or for participation, by way of sponsorship, by way of commission from traders or otherwise), minus the amounts deducted by the organisers in respect of costs reasonably incurred in organising the event.

If you are unsure about the status of your event please see the guidance on commercial casino nights. If any doubt exists you should seek legal advice.

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Page last updated: 07 September 2021

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