Family Entertainment Centres (FECs)
FEC gaming machine permits
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.
This permit allows the premises to have Category D machines which offer low stakes and low prize value. These are the only type of gaming machines that people under the age of 18 are allowed to play.
If you wish to have higher stakes machines on your premises then you must apply for an FEC premises licence – see below.
For details on how we use data relating to licence holders and applicants, please see our privacy notice for licence holders and applicants.
How to apply for a FEC gaming machine permit
You can only apply for a permit if you are over the age of 18 and you will occupy the premises where the machines will be located.
Before making an application please read the FEC Gaming Machine Permits guidance notes.
To apply for a permit you will need to send the following to us at the below address:
- a completed application form
- the fee
- a plan of the premises
- evidence that Disclosure and Barring Service checks are carried out on staff
- evidence that appropriate measures and training are in place to enable staff to be able to:
- safeguard any children on the premises
- deal with suspected truant school children on the premises
- deal with unsupervised children on the premises
- 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 Gambling Act 2005)
Once we receive all the above information we will forward a copy to Thames Valley Police. They will then have 14 days to comment on your application, after which we can either grant or refuse your application. However, we cannot add conditions.
If we grant a permit it will remain valid for ten years.
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.
Renewing an FEC gaming machine permit
If you need to renew an FEC gaming machine permit then you will need to apply no later than two months before your permit is due to expire.
You will need to return your original permit, along with your renewal forms and fees.
You must keep a copy of the permit on the premises and have it available for inspection at all times. It is an offence not to produce a permit when requested to do so by the police, an enforcement officer, or an authorised local authority officer.
If you need to replace a permit which has been lost or stolen you must complete an application form and submit it along with the fee of £15, to our Licensing team at the address found below.
FEC premises licences
If you wish to have Category C machines on your premises, offering prizes up to £100, then you must first apply for an FEC Operating Licence from the Gambling Commission.
Once your operating licence has been granted, you will then need to apply for a gambling premises licence.
An FEC premises licence allows you to offer an unlimited number of category C and D gaming machines in a premises which is open to all ages. Category C machines must, however, be in a segregated part of the premises that is supervised to prevent children and young people accessing those machines.