Gambling laws: Pubs urged to "act now

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Gaming machines Slot machine Bbpa

Licensees are being urged to "act now" to ensure they are ready for the new laws on gaming machines, which come into effect in less than three weeks....

Licensees are being urged to "act now" to ensure they are ready for the new laws on gaming machines, which come into effect in less than three weeks.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has joined forces with local authority co-ordinating body LACORS to remind pubs of the new legislation, which becomes law on September 1.

The changes will affect pubs in terms of their gaming machine permits (Section 34 permits under the Gaming Act 1968).

Before these permits are due for renewal, pubs with two machines or less will need to notify their licensing authority by sending a written notification and a notification fee.

Licensees that fail to do this will be operating their machines illegally. Councils and trade associations are able to provide forms for notification, which carries a fee of £50.

Mark Hastings, the BBPA's director of communications said: "With these changes in the law from September, it is vital for licensees to ensure that their permits are fully up-to-date.

"Local licensing officers should be able to help with any queries, but the important point is to act now, and if you are not sure, to ask for clarification. It is important that all machines are operating within the law."

For pubs with more than two gaming machines, an application will need to be made to the licensing authority for a conversion to a new permit - before the expiry of their existing Section 34 permit.

Licensing authorities will provide copies of the application form.

A fee of £100 needs to be included in the application and there will also be an annual fee due, of £50.

The new permit must be for the same number of gaming machines - unless a change is requested and granted.

From September 1, all licensed premises will be subject to a code of practice regarding their gaming machines, a code that has been published by the Gambling Commission. This code covers supervision of machines and is, in effect, a condition on a permit.

Licensees with a Section 34 permit that does not provide a date when it expires need to make an application before 31st August 2010.

Chairman of LACORS, Cllr Geoffrey Theobald , said: "Councils are fully up to speed with the new Gambling Act and are working hard to make sure that the pub trade is too.

"Licensing officers are available to provide guidance or advice should publicans find themselves unsure about what the new legislation means. Anyone who has questions about their current permissions, or the expiry of an existing Section 34 permit, should get in touch with their local council's licensing team as soon as possible."

Related topics Legislation

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