The Gambling Business Group and Business in Licensing recently drafted a proposal which would do away with the requirement that pubs must notify Licensing Authorities when they want to use two gambling machines. This is by the law which states that bars/clubs should inform the authority when they want to make use of the automatic entitlement accorded to them. This proposal has been supported by several stakeholders in the industry including the Gambling Commission, the British Peer, and Pub Association. This is because the pub owners and the suppliers of gaming machines will not have to pay the 50-pound fee for a notification. They will also not have to go to the different levels of administration to file one. It has been estimated and confirmed that this could save the sector more than half a million pounds each year.
Peter Hannibal is the chief executive of the Gambling Business Group. He outlined the process that it takes for a pub to make a notification. He said that one has to write a letter to the authority which is sent together with the £50 fee. The letter is sent to inform the licensing authority that the owner of the business intends to set up two machines on the premises. These machines have to be in category C/D. The owner is entitled to install these machines under the Gambling Act of 2005. Hannibal added that the fee was not enough to meet the cost of enforcing and inspection of the notice that is carried out by the authority. The fee was also too little to cover the cost of the processes implemented administratively at the authority. He said that the payment was unnecessary since it did not guarantee public and regulatory safety by the authority. The Gambling Commission was not able to acquire data on the number of machines from the payment process.
Pub Owners Saving Time & Money
The proposal that was formulated contained three main points to amend the current system. They proposed that operators should inform and pay fifty pounds by their automatic entitlement be removed. This will help the operators since it eliminates the burden of the lengthy process. They also advised that the Gambling Commission should make a change to the Gambling Act 2005 to include that licensing authorities are encouraged to send the Code of practice to operators and owners of premises. This move will help more people to realize their social responsibility and obligations when it comes to dealing with the authority.
They also proposed that the Regulatory returns of gaming machines supplier should be amended. The holders of operating licenses would be required to give information on the number of gaming machines supplied to premises that are licensed to sell alcohol. This will help the Gambling Commission to get correct data on the number of machines supplied to these facilities. Nick Arron is a partner at Poppleston Allen. He is the principal licensing solicitor that was part of the proposal formulation. Nick said that the move would benefit many operators in the industry. He added that it would increase transparency over the presence of machines and also improve the regulation of licensed businesses.