Gambling law expert

With Over A Decade Of Knowledge In The Gambling Industry

Debbie Bollard, a gambling law expert, is the owner of Hough & Bollard - a niche consultancy specialising in gambling licensing for land-based Operators in the Gambling Industry. With over ten years’ experience in the gambling licences industry, including as a gambling law solicitor in the UK, Debbie is equipped with the specialist knowledge and expertise to advise on gambling law in the UK. Debbie has extensive experience of dealing with the day-to-day licensing requirements of firms; advising on how to apply for licences successfully and helping to take the strain out of obtaining and maintaining your business licences.

Sound advice on gambling laws in the UK - from on-site operators to gaming machine businesses

Debbie Bollard has been acting for Operators with premises as well as companies manufacturing and supplying gaming machines since the changes to the UK gambling laws. Hough & Bollard works with a variety of clients including start-ups and SMEs and many family businesses that have operated in the industry for several generations. A testament to the businesses gambling law expertise, many clients are recommended from existing clients.

Cost-effective, high-quality services for small, independent operators

Hough & Bollard understands that not all businesses can afford city prices but strive to deliver the same bespoke service for the independent Operators. Hough & Bollard's focus is on achieving a successful outcome for clients; key strengths are pragmatism and hard work to deliver clear, practical and competent advice on gambling law in the UK.

Working in conjunction with the Gambling Commission and Local Authorities

Hough & Bollard routinely acts on behalf of clients in applications to the Gambling Commission and local authorities to secure a successful outcome. A member of the Industry Lawyers Forum, which meets at the Gambling Commission several times a year, enables the company to keep up to speed on developments and potential changes affecting the gambling industry.

Hough & Bollard's licencing Services, take the complexity out of the gambling license process.

Hough & Bollard offers a unique licensing service to the betting and gaming business sectors, guiding clients through the various application processes. It also provides ongoing support after a licence has been granted including in the unfortunate event that a licence is reviewed or subject to any other enforcement action. Services include:

  •    Operating Licence applications
  •    Gambling Commission eServices - reporting key events, filing annual regulatory returns and other compliance matters
  •    Premises Licence applications
  •    Permits applications and temporary event notices
  •    Advice on enforcement issues
  •    Onsite gambling compliance audits

About Gambling Law in the UK

The Gambling Act 2005 is the keystone of the gambling law in the UK and regulates gaming and betting in the UK.  Any business that offers gaming or betting that takes place in the UK will need to hold an appropriate Licence or Permit; that includes online Operators based overseas but providing gambling into the UK.  Without the correct authorisation, any business offering betting and gaming is committing a criminal offence which can result in prosecution.

How do I get a gambling licence?

The Gambling Commission is responsible for issuing Operating Licences to businesses that provide gambling in the UK.  The type of Operating Licence that you will need will depend on the sector you are in. This will also determine the application fee that you will need to pay.

How to apply for an Operating Licence

  •    For arcades, betting, bingo, casinos, software, manufacturing/supply gaming machines, lotteries
  •    Issued by the Gambling Commission
  •    Typically takes four months to process
  •    Inform the Gambling Commission of any changes

An application for an Operating Licence is submitted online and usually takes four months to process.  You need to demonstrate to the Gambling Commission that the business is fit to hold an Operating Licence and it will want to know all about your business and the people who run it, how it is to be financed and operated.   The Commission will want to see copies of all policies and procedures that evidence a business’ commitment to upholding the licensing objectives set out in the Gambling Act and compliance with the Licensing Codes and Conditions of Practice (LCCPs).   If this information is missing or does not stand up to scrutiny, it can result in the application being returned, delayed or even refused.

An Operating Licence is not transferable to another business, and there are some changes of circumstances that the Gambling Commission will require notification of.  This may then require an application to vary the Operating Licence or for permission to continue trading. You should therefore always seek advice as soon as it becomes clear that a change to your business is likely.

Please note: If you are running a small raffle or lottery then you will probably only need to register with your local authority.  The Gambling Commission’s advice note should answer all your questions.

How to apply for Premises Licences & Permits

  •    For arcades, betting, bingo, casinos, pubs and clubs
  •    Issued by the local authorities
  •    Approximately one month to issue

You cannot offer gaming or betting in a premises without the correct Premises Licences or Permit issued by the local authority; a Premises Licence can only be granted to a business holding an operating Licence.  You should also make sure you have the appropriate planning consent. Regulations govern the type and number of gaming machines that are covered by a Permit.

A Premises Licence is transferable upon application, and if you later decide to make changes for example to the layout of the Premises, it is likely that you will need to apply to vary the Premises Licence before making the changes.

Avoiding Regulatory Action

The Gambling Commission and the local authority’s enforcement officers can make site inspections.  If your business is not fully compliant either of the organisations can start regulatory action which may result in the Premises Licence or Permit being reviewed and ultimately revoked.

Contact me today for advice on Gambling law

For advice on Gambling law or to get help with a gambling licence process. Click here


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