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Information for clubs

Club gaming and club machine permit information, under the Gambling Act 2005 ("the Act") there are three types of Club recognised.

Members' clubs

These must have at least 25 members and be established or conducted mainly for purposes other than gaming. The Club should not be established to make a commercial profit and should be controlled by its members. Examples include most sports clubs, working men's clubs, branches of the Royal British Legion and politically affiliated clubs. Although members clubs should generally be established or conducted for purposes other than gaming, regulations may permit certain types of gaming clubs.

Commercial clubs 

These have the same characteristics as members clubs, except that they are established to make a profit. An example of such a club would be a snooker club. Certain bridge and whist clubs may operate as commercial clubs if they are established to make a profit.

Miners' welfare institutes 

The definition of this class of club has changed to reflect social and economic changes since their establishment. These are associations established for recreational or social purposes. They are managed by a charitable trust which has received funds from one of a number of mining organisations.

Under Section 271 of the Act, we may grant members' clubs and miners' welfare institutes (but not commercial clubs) Club Gaming Permits which authorise those establishments to provide gaming machines, equal chance gaming and games of chance as prescribed in regulations. This is in addition to the exempt gaming authorisation under Section 269 of the Act. Club Gaming Permits allow the provision of no more than three gaming machines. These may be from categories B3A, B4, C or D the Club is permitted to choose the combination of machines on its premises.

If a Club does not wish to have the full range of facilities permitted by a Club Gaming Permit or if they are a commercial club not permitted to provide non-machine gaming (other than exempt gaming under Section 269 of the Act), they may apply to the Authority for a Club Machine Permit under Section 273 of the Act. This authorises the holder to have up to three gaming machines of categories B3A (this category is not available for commercial clubs) B4, C and D.

Club Gaming Permits replace the permissions provided by Part II registration under the 1968 Gaming Act, whilst Club Machine Permits replace the permissions provided by Part III registration under the 1968 Act. Permit holders are required to comply with the Gambling Commission gaming machine permits codes of practice. Compliance with these provisions is a condition of the Permit, and failure to do so could result in revocation of the Permit.

Transitional arrangements

After 1st September 2007, the following arrangements will apply:

  • a Club registered under Part II will be treated as if it holds a Club Gaming Permit under the Act
  • a Club registered under Part III will be treated as if it holds a Club Machine Permit under the Act
  • these arrangements will expire on the date on which your current registration is due to expire

You should apply to us for the relevant Club Permit under the Act at least two months before the date on which your registration is due to expire. At that stage the club registration will be converted into an actual Club Gaming or Club Machine Permit.

Useful links

Contact details

For further information and guidance please contact our licensing team.