Family entertainment centre gaming machine permits (unlicensed FEC)

FEC gaming machine permits replace Section 34(1) permits which were issued under the 1968 Act.

The Gambling Act 2005 says that premises which are mainly used for people to play on gaming machines, such as small arcades in holiday parks, theme parks and seaside resorts, may hold a family entertainment centre (FEC) gaming machine permit. By holding a permit, a premises will only be able to have Category D machines (see below for stakes and prizes on these machines).

If the FEC permit holder decides that they want to have Category C machines, in addition to Category D machines, they will have to apply for an Operating Licence from the Gambling Commission and then a gambling premises licence from us. A person will not be able to have both a FEC permit and a gambling premises licence so will have to make a choice over which machines they want to make available at their premises.

An application for a permit can only be made by a person who occupies or plans to occupy the premises to be used. Individual people applying for a permit must be aged 18 or older. Applicants are not required to have an Operating Licence issued by the Gambling Commission.

Holders of a gambling premises licence cannot make an application for a permit for the same premises.

Please note - any number of Category D machines can be made available at the premises (subject to other considerations, such as fire regulations and health and safety). These type of machines are the lowest category of gaming machines available, and the only type that children and young people are allowed to play.

How to apply for a FEC Gaming Machine Permit

Please complete the application form (121.4 KB) PDF and return to the Licensing Team (see address in contacts section of this page).

You will need to supply:

  • the appropriate application form
  • the appropriate fee (17.4 KB) PDF for the application being made
  • plan of the premises in question
  • evidence that Disclosure Barring Service checks are carried out on staff
  • evidence that appropriate measures and training are in place to enable staff to be able to -
    • deal with suspected truant school children on the premises
    • deal with unsupervised very young children on the premises
    • have a full understanding of the maximum stakes and prizes permissible in unlicensed FECs
  • evidence of how applicants would deal with children causing perceived problems on or around the premises
  • evidence that applicants have a full understanding of the maximum stakes and prizes of the gambling that is permissible in unlicensed FECs
  • evidence that applicants have no relevant convictions (those that are set out in Schedule 7 of the Act)

 You do not have to send a copy of this application to anyone else. However, we will forward a copy of the application to Thames Valley Police. They will then have 14 days to comment on your application.

After the 14 day consultation period we have with the Police regarding an application, we can either grant or refuse your application. However, we cannot add conditions.

If we refuse your application, we will write to you and give our reasons for refusal. You will be given the opportunity to make representations against our decision.

If you have any queries in relation to completing your application then please refer to the guidance notes (73.1 KB) PDF attached.

Duration of the permit

The permit will remain valid for a period of ten years. An application for renewal should be made no later than two months before the permit is due to expire. You are required to return your original permit along with your renewal forms and fees. A copy of the permit should be kept on the premises at all times and should be available for inspection at all times. It is an offence not to produce it when requested to do so by the police, an enforcement officer, or an authorised local authority officer.

If lost or stolen a replacement permit must be applied for by completing the necessary application form and submitting it along with the replacement fee of £15, to the Licensing Team (see address in the contacts section of this page).

Gaming machines may no longer be provided in places where the provision of gaming machines is not the main purpose, in cafes and minicab offices for example.

Last reviewed: 29 - 06 - 2015

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