The Gambling Act 2005 repeals the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963, the Gaming Act 1968 and the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976.

The Gambling Act 2005 has three clear objectives:

  • keeping gambling crime free
  • making sure that gambling is fair and open
  • protecting children and vulnerable adults

These are underpinned by:

  • social responsibility and protection of the public, especially children and the vulnerable
  • creating a regime which has at its heart firm but fair regulation, allowing people to enjoy gambling responsibly, encourages an important industry to thrive by behaving responsibly, and protects the vulnerable. A robust regime is good for players, providers and investors
  • close, open and consultative working with all types of organisations connected to gambling, including:
    • the industry
    • faith, belief and community groups
    • researchers
    • those dealing day to day with problem gamblers

The Act covers two main activities:

  • providing facilities for gambling
  • using premises for gambling

In either case, you must hold the appropriate permission. Permission may come from a licence, permit, or registration granted according to the Act, or from an exemption given by the Act. The Gambling Commission has the responsibility for granting the operating and personal licences for commercial gambling operators and personnel working in the industry.

Licensing Authorities have new powers to licence gambling premises within their area, as well as undertaking functions in relation to lower stake gaming machines and clubs and miners’ welfare institutes. The Act also provides for a new system of temporary and occasional use notices. These will authorise premises that are not licensed generally for gambling purposes to be used for certain types of gambling, for limited periods.

North Norfolk District Council has produced a gambling policy (PDF). The transition period for the transfer to local authorities ended in September 2007.