Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) for 2005 Act casinos. Consultation

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1 Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) for 2005 Act casinos Consultation September 2011

2 Contents 1 Introduction 3 2 Background 4 3 Proposed changes to the licence conditions 6 4 Proposed changes to the code of practice provisions 7 5 Responding to this consultation 10 2

3 1 Introduction 1.1 The Gambling Act 2005 (the Act) created two new models of casino, termed large and small casinos. In these casinos, facilities for gambling can be offered in reliance on more than one type of operating licence but operated under a single premises licence. The Gambling Commission (the Commission) has considered what changes might be required to the licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) applying to these individual operating licence types, in the particular situation where these forms of gambling are offered within the same premises. We concluded that almost all of the provisions will apply in exactly the same way as usual and so this consultation proposes only minor changes to the LCCP, where provisions normally applicable to a betting or bingo operating licence will not apply within a 2005 Act casino. A small modification to the LCCP is also required where a code of practice provision applied to a licensee is derived from a mandatory premises licence condition, in order to include all relevant premises licence types. 1.2 These are technical changes in order to meet the requirements of the legislation; they do not represent changes in policy. No 2005 Act casinos are yet operational, although the first is expected to open in late Reflecting the nature of the proposal, the very small number of operators affected, and the need for operators of the new models of casino to be clear what is required of them and what they are permitted to do, as early as possible, we have expedited this consultation. The consultation therefore opens on 23 September 2011 and the closing date for receipt of responses is 21 October Subject to the outcome of this consultation, it is proposed that changes to the LCCP agreed as a result of this consultation will be published in October 2011 and take effect immediately. All licensees affected by the changes will be informed and issued with revised licences. 3

4 2 Background 2.1 Operating licences: Licensees wishing to operate a 2005 Act casino must hold a 2005 Act casino operating licence. These licences are subject to identical licence conditions and codes of practice to those applied to existing (converted 1968 Gaming Act) casinos. In order to take advantage of the opportunity to offer facilities for betting or bingo in a 2005 Act casino, an operator must also hold the relevant betting and bingo operating licences. These operating licences can be combined with the operator s casino operating licence. Under section 68 of the Act a casino operating licence also authorises the provision of facilities for betting on the outcome of a virtual game, race competition or other event or process, and the provision of equal chance gaming other than bingo. Therefore, a 2005 Act casino operator does not need to obtain a betting operating licence if he only wishes to offer betting on virtual events. Similarly he will only require a bingo operating licence if he wishes to offer bingo in addition to other equal chance gaming. 2.2 Premises licences: Section 174(3) and (4) of the Act states that in addition to casino games, all new 2005 Act (large and small) casinos are permitted to offer facilities for betting on their premises and the eight large casinos can also offer bingo. Only one premises licence can be applied to a single set of premises, and so the 2005 Act casino is the only premises type licensed under the Act in which more than one separately licensed form of gambling can be offered. Section 174(3): A casino premises licence shall, by virtue of this subsection and subject to subsection (4), authorise the holder, and any person authorised by him in writing, to use the premises for the provision of facilities for (a) bingo, (b) betting, or (c) both. Section 174(4): In respect of a small casino, subsection (3) shall not apply in so far as it authorises bingo. 2.3 Licence conditions: The vast majority of licence conditions will apply to licensees offering facilities for gambling in a 2005 Act casino exactly as they apply to other licensees of the same type whether casino gaming, betting or bingo. This is because they relate to the things that the operator must do, irrespective of the precise nature of the premises. An exception to this is the licence condition on primary gambling activity, licence condition 16. This states that gaming machines may be made available for use in licensed betting/bingo premises only when there are also sufficient facilities for betting/bingo available. This condition cannot be applied to betting or bingo facilities offered in this context, because there is no betting or bingo premises licence, which is what would normally determine the gaming machine entitlement. In this case, the gaming machine entitlement is associated with the 2005 Act casino premises licence and related only to the number of gaming tables made available for play. We therefore propose to exclude betting and bingo facilities made available within a 2005 Act casino from this licence condition. 2.4 The equivalent licence condition on primary gambling activity in casinos also sets out what must be available by way of casino gaming in order for gaming machines to be offered. This condition already applies only to existing casinos and not to 2005 Act casinos but an amendment to the heading may help to make this explicit. 2.5 Code of practice provisions: Similarly, most of the code of practice provisions apply to licensees offering facilities for gambling in a 2005 Act casino exactly as they apply to other 4

5 licensees of the same type whether casino gaming, betting or bingo. There are three exceptions here. Firstly, as in the licence conditions, the ordinary code of practice provision concerning primary gambling activity does not apply to the 2005 Act casinos. This provision sets out some factors that would indicate that primary gambling activity requirements were being met, through such things as the balance between different gambling offerings made available in a premises. The 2005 Act casino is a novel gambling environment which permits a mixed gambling offer and so these factors cannot be applied in the same way. We therefore propose to exclude casino, betting and bingo offered under a 2005 Act casino premises licence from code of practice provision Another code of practice provision which we consider to require change is code of practice 2.7, concerning the provision of credit by licensees and the use of credit cards. The Act permits licensed betting operators to accept credit card payments for betting, and the Commission has set out this code of practice provision concerning the manner in which this may be done. In contrast, section 81 of the Act contains restrictions on the holders of bingo and casino operating licences giving, arranging, permitting or knowingly facilitating credit in connection with the facilities for gambling they provide. Section 177 contains equivalent provisions for the holders of casino and bingo premises licences. This ban on credit extends to any gambling facilities offered on the premises, because the holder of the premises licence must not permit or knowingly facilitate the giving of credit to take place on those premises. Consequently even though credit is ordinarily permitted under the betting operating licence, where the provision of facilities for betting is made under a 2005 Act casino it will be a breach of the premises licence for credit to be offered. We therefore propose to exclude betting offered under a 2005 Act casino premises licence from code of practice provision Thirdly, code of practice provision 3, the fair and open provisions requires minor change. For bingo licensees, information requirements regarding the display of the rules of games stem from mandatory premises licence conditions. The code of practice currently refers only to a bingo premises licence, but in the case of bingo offered within a 2005 Act casino it will be the casino premises licence that sets out these requirements. We therefore propose to add a reference to the 2005 Act casino premises licence to the code to cover this context. The equivalent provision for betting refers to the mandatory premises licence conditions without specifying the type of premises licence, and therefore this does not require amendment. 5

6 3 Proposed changes to the licence conditions 3.1 We propose to make a change to the licence condition in respect of primary gambling activity for betting and bingo. This reflects the fact that this licence condition is explicitly concerned with activities made available in reliance on a betting or bingo premises licence, whereas betting and bingo offered in a 2005 Act casino are offered in reliance on a casino premises licence. In the case of casino gaming the licence condition heading is altered to make it clear that casinos operated under 2005 Act licences are excluded from the condition. 3.2 The proposed changes to licence condition 16 are given below, with deletions shown in strikethrough and additions to the current wording shown in underline. 16 Primary gambling activity Non-remote bingo operating licences except where bingo is offered under a 2005 Act casino premises licence Gaming machines may be made available for use in licensed bingo premises only on those days when sufficient facilities for playing bingo are also available for use. In cases where bingo is exclusively offered by means of electronic bingo terminals or bingo machines, there must be more individual player positions made available for bingo than there are gaming machines made available for use. Non-remote existing casino operating licences except 2005 Act casino operating licences Gaming machines may be made available for use in licensed casino premises only on those days when sufficient facilities for playing casino games and/or games of equal chance are also available for use. When a casino exclusively offers fully automated casino games, there must be more individual player positions made available for these games than there are gaming machines made available for use. Non-remote general betting licences except where betting is offered under a 2005 Act casino premises licence Gaming machines may be made available for use in licensed betting premises only at times when there are also sufficient facilities for betting available. Such facilities for betting must include the provision of information that enables the customer to access details of the events on which bets can be made and to be able to place those bets, obtain details of the outcome of the events, calculate the outcome of their bets and be paid or credited with any winnings. Where licensees provide facilities for betting only by means betting machines (machines which are designed or adapted for the purpose of making or accepting bets on future real events) the licensee must ensure that the number of betting machines is greater than the number of gaming machines which are made available for use in reliance on the premises licence. 6

7 4 Proposed changes to the code of practice provisions 4.1 We propose to make changes to the code of practice provisions in respect of the provision of credit by licensees and the use of credit cards, the fair and open provisions for bingo, and regarding primary gambling activity. For the first and third changes, this reflects the fact that where gambling is offered in reliance on a 2005 Act casino premises licence, these particular provisions no longer apply in the usual way. For the second change, this is to include bingo offered in a 2005 Act casino as well as in licensed bingo premises. 4.2 Proposed changes to code of practice provisions 2.7 and 9 are given below, with deletions shown in strikethrough and additions shown in underline. 2.7 Provision of credit by licensees and the use of credit cards All non-remote general betting licensees, except where betting is offered under a 2005 Act casino premises licence, and pool betting, betting intermediary and lottery licensees and all remote licensees except gaming machine technical, gambling software, ancillary remote casino, ancillary remote bingo and remote betting intermediary (trading rooms only) licensees Social responsibility code provision Licensees who choose to accept credit cards must: accept payment by credit card for gambling only where that payment is made to a customer account make available for gambling, funds deposited via credit card only after the card issuer has approved the transaction. All non-remote general betting licensees, except where betting is offered under a 2005 Act casino premises licence, and pool betting licensees and all remote licensees (including ancillary remote betting licensees), except gaming machine technical, gambling software, ancillary remote casino, ancillary remote bingo and remote betting intermediary (trading rooms only) licensees Ordinary code provision Licensees who choose to offer credit to members of the public who are not themselves gambling operators should also: have procedures for checking and scoring applications for credit from such customers, for setting, and for the increase of, credit limits explain these procedures to customers set a maximum credit limit for each customer and not permit customers to exceed that limit without further application apply a 24-hour delay between receiving a request for an increase in a credit limit and granting it in those cases where the limit exceeds that which the operator had previously set not require a minimum spend within a set time period take all reasonable steps to ensure that offers of credit are not sent to vulnerable persons, including those who have self-excluded from gambling ensure that information about an offer of credit includes a risk warning of what may happen in the event of default. 7

8 3 Fair and open provisions All non-remote bingo licensees Social responsibility code provision In complying with any condition on a bingo premises licence or a 2005 Act large casino premises licence requiring the display of rules about gaming, licensees must ensure that the following are included: rules about each variant of bingo made available rules about any prize gaming made available. 9 Primary gambling activity Non-remote general betting, bingo and casino operating licensees, except where facilities are offered under a 2005 Act casino premises licence Ordinary code provision In order to demonstrate that the primary gambling activity for which an operating licence has been issued is being offered in each licensed premises, licensees should have regard to the following general factors: the ratio of the space available to customers allocated to the primary gambling activity, to that allocated to other gambling activities the extent to which the primary gambling activity is promoted on the premises and by way of external advertising compared to other gambling activities the use, either expected or actual, to be made of the different gambling facilities. Licensees should also have regard to the following additional sector specific factors: Non-remote bingo licensees Ordinary code provision the frequency and extent that bingo is, or is intended to be played on the premises, compared with the periods when the premises are open whether there is: - capacity on the premises for the generation of main stage bingo numbers - a facility to sell tickets or cards for bingo games on the premises - bingo available to be played whenever sessions are advertised - display of prize board information - a means of stopping a game to claim a win. Not all the indicators would need to be present in a particular case, nor do they preclude others, but the combination of those factors that are present should be sufficient to indicate that the activity is the primary one in any given premises. Non-remote existing casino operating licensees Ordinary code provision the proportion of the gaming day for which live tables are, or will, be made available on demand. 8

9 Not all the indicators would need to be present in a particular case, nor do they preclude others, but the combination of those factors that are present should be sufficient to indicate that the activity is the primary one in any given premises. Non-remote general betting licensees Ordinary code provision the range and frequency of events on which bets can be made. Not all the indicators would need to be present in a particular case, nor do they preclude others, but the combination of those factors that are present should be sufficient to indicate that the activity is the primary one in any given premises. Consultation questions Q1. Do you agree that the Commission should disapply licence condition 16 (primary gambling activity) in the situation where betting operators offering facilities for betting under a 2005 Act casino premises licence? Q2. Do you agree that the Commission should disapply licence condition 16 (primary gambling activity) in the situation where bingo operators offering facilities for bingo under a 2005 Act casino premises licence? Q3. Do you agree that the Commission should amend the heading for licence condition 16 (primary gambling activity) for casinos to make more explicit that this does not apply to 2005 Act casinos? Q4 Do you agree that the Commission should amend code of practice provision 2.7 to exclude betting operators offering facilities for betting under a 2005 Act casino premises licence from the option otherwise open to betting operators to accept payment by credit card? Q5. Do you agree that the Commission should disapply code of practice provision 9 (primary gambling activity) where facilities for gambling are offered under a 2005 Act casino premises licence? Q6. Do you agree that the Commission should amend code of practice provision 3 ( fair and open provisions) to include where facilities for bingo are offered under a 2005 Act casino premises licence? Q7. Do you agree that in all other respects, the provisions of the LCCP apply to the operating licence holders for casino, betting and bingo in 2005 Act casinos exactly as in other licensed premises? Q8. Do you have any other comments? 9

10 5 Responding to this consultation 5.1 The Commission is inviting comments on these proposals and would prefer respondents to complete the responses template provided and send it by to: Further information and assistance is available from the Commission s consultation co-ordinator at the same address. If you are not able to use the template provided, please indicate clearly the questions or issues to which your comments refer. 5.2 Alternatively, responses can be sent by post to: Jessica Loveland Gambling Commission Victoria Square House Victoria Square Birmingham B2 4BP 5.3 This is a four week consultation and the closing date for receipt of responses by the Commission is 21 October When responding, please state whether you are responding as an individual or representing the views of an organisation. If responding on behalf of an organisation, please make clear who or what that organisation represents. If responding as an individual, please mention your own interest. 5.5 Please note that responses may be made public or published in a summary of responses to the consultation unless you state clearly that you wish your response or name to be treated confidentially. Confidential responses will be included in any statistical summary of numbers of comments received. If you are replying by or via the website, unless you specifically include a request to the contrary in the main text of your submission, the Commission will assume your consent overrides any confidentiality disclaimer that is generated by your organisation s IT system. 5.6 Any information or material sent to us and which we record may be subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). The Commission s policy on release of information is available on request or by reference to our website at The Commission will treat information marked confidential accordingly and will only disclose that information to people outside the Commission where it is necessary to do so in order to carry out the Commission s functions or where the Commission is required by law to disclose the information. As a public authority the Commission must comply with the requirements of FOIA and must consider requests for information made under the FOIA on a case-by-case basis. Therefore when providing information, if you think that certain information may be exempt from disclosure under FOIA, please annotate the response accordingly so that we may take your comments into account. 5.7 All information provided to the Commission will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act However, it may be disclosed to government departments or agencies, local authorities and other bodies when it is necessary to do so in order to carry out the functions of the Commission and where the Commission is legally required to do so. 5.8 The Commission will consider all responses carefully when finalising its proposals, but will only alter its position if it thinks there is good reason to do so. Following the end of the consultation the Commission will prepare a summary of responses. Gambling Commission September

11 Keeping gambling fair and safe for all For further information or to register your interest in the Commission please visit our website at: Copies of this document are available in alternative formats on request. Gambling Commission Victoria Square House Victoria Square Birmingham B2 4BP T F E 11 CON 11/7

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