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GAMBLING ACT 2005

UK Public General Acts

Version 07/04/2006

2005 CHAPTER 19

Default Geographical Extent: E+W+S+N.I.


  • Part 1 (E+W+S). Interpretation of Key Concepts (P)
    • Principal concepts (E+W+S)
    • Gaming (E+W+S)
    • Betting (E+W+S)
    • Lottery (E+W+S)
    • Cross-category activities (E+W+S)
    • Miscellaneous (E+W+S)
  • Part 2 (E+W+S). The Gambling Commission (P)
  • Part 3. General offences (P)
    • Provision of facilities for gambling (E+W+S)
    • Use of premises (E+W+S)
    • Miscellaneous offences
  • Part 4 (E+W+S). Protection of children and young persons (P)
    • Interpretation (E+W+S)
    • Principal offences (E+W+S)
    • Employment offences (E+W+S)
    • Miscellaneous offences (E+W+S)
    • General (E+W+S)
  • Part 5 (E+W+S). Operating Licences (P)
    • Introductory (E+W+S)
    • Issue (E+W+S)
    • Conditions (E+W+S)
    • Rules for particular kinds of licence (E+W+S)
    • Maintenance (E+W+S)
    • Duration (E+W+S)
    • Regulation (E+W+S)
    • General (E+W+S)
  • Part 6 (E+W+S). Personal Licences (P)
  • Part 7 (E+W+S). Operating and Personal Licences: Appeals (P)
  • Part 8 (E+W+S). Premises Licences (P)
    • The licence (E+W+S)
    • Licensing authorities' functions (E+W+S)
    • Other relevant persons (E+W+S)
    • Application for licence (E+W+S)
    • Determination of application (E+W+S)
    • Conditions (E+W+S)
    • Specific cases (E+W+S)
    • Maintenance (E+W+S)
    • Duration (E+W+S)
    • Review (E+W+S)
    • Provisional statement (E+W+S)
    • Appeals (E+W+S)
    • General (E+W+S)
  • Part 9 (E+W+S). Temporary Use of Premises (P)
    • Temporary use notice (E+W+S)
    • Procedure (E+W+S)
    • Miscellaneous (E+W+S)
  • Part 10 (E+W+S). Gaming Machines (P)
    • Definitions (E+W+S)
    • Regulations (E+W+S)
    • Offences (E+W+S)
    • Exceptions (E+W+S)
    • General (E+W+S)
  • Part 11 (E+W+S). Lotteries (P)
    • Interpretation (E+W+S)
    • Offences (E+W+S)
    • Miscellaneous (E+W+S)
    • General (E+W+S)
  • Part 12 (E+W+S). Clubs, pubs, fairs, &c. (P)
    • Clubs (E+W+S)
    • Pubs, &c. (E+W+S)
    • Clubs, pubs &c: special provision for Scotland (E+W+S)
    • Fairs (E+W+S)
  • Part 13 (E+W+S). Prize Gaming (P)
  • Part 14 (E+W+S). Private and Non-Commercial Gaming and Betting (P)
    • Private gaming and betting (E+W+S)
    • Non-commercial gaming and betting (E+W+S)
  • Part 15 (E+W+S). Inspection (P)
    • Inspectors (E+W+S)
    • Kinds of inspection (E+W+S)
    • Powers and procedure (E+W+S)
  • Part 16. Advertising (P)
  • Part 17 (E+W+S). Legality and Enforceability of Gambling Contracts (P)
  • Part 18. Miscellaneous and General
    • Miscellaneous (P)
    • General (E+W+S)
  • Version 07/04/2006
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  • Version 07/04/2005

Introductory Text

Gambling Act 2005

2005 CHAPTER 19

An Act to make provision about gambling.

[7th April 2005]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Part 1 (E+W+S)
Interpretation of Key Concepts (PROSPECTIVE)



Principal concepts (E+W+S)


1 The licensing objectives (E+W+S)

In this Act a reference to the licensing objectives is a reference to the objectives of—

(a) preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime,
(b) ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way, and
(c) protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

2 Licensing authorities (E+W+S)

(1) For the purposes of this Act the following are licensing authorities—

(a) in relation to England—
(i) a district council,
(ii) a county council for a county in which there are no district councils,
(iii) a London borough council,
(iv) the Common Council of the City of London, and
(v) the Council of the Isles of Scilly,
(b) in relation to Wales—
(i) a county council, and
(ii) a county borough council, and
(c) in relation to Scotland, a licensing board constituted under section 1 of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 1976 (c. 66).
(2) For the purposes of Schedule 13, the Sub-Treasurer of the Inner Temple and the Under-Treasurer of the Middle Temple are licensing authorities.

3 Gambling (E+W+S)

In this Act “gambling” means—

(a) gaming (within the meaning of section 6) ,
(b) betting (within the meaning of section 9) , and
(c) participating in a lottery (within the meaning of section 14 and subject to section 15).

4 Remote gambling (E+W+S)

(1) In this Act “remote gambling” means gambling in which persons participate by the use of remote communication.

(2) In this Act “remote communication” means communication using—

(a) the internet,
(b) telephone,
(c) television,
(d) radio, or
(e) any other kind of electronic or other technology for facilitating communication.
(3) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide that a specified system or method of communication is or is not to be treated as a form of remote communication for the purposes of this Act (and subsection (2) is subject to any regulations under this subsection).

5 Facilities for gambling (E+W+S)

(1) For the purposes of this Act a person provides facilities for gambling if he—

(a) invites others to gamble in accordance with arrangements made by him,
(b) provides, operates or administers arrangements for gambling by others, or
(c) participates in the operation or administration of gambling by others.
(2) But a person does not provide facilities for gambling for the purposes of this Act by virtue only of—

(a) providing an article other than a gaming machine to a person who intends to use it, or may use it, in the course of any of the activities mentioned in subsection (1) (a) to (c) ,
(b) providing, otherwise than in the course of providing, operating or administering arrangements for gambling or participating in the operation or administration of gambling, an article to a person who intends to use it, or may use it, for gambling, or
(c) making facilities for remote communication available for use by—
(i) persons carrying on any of those activities, or
(ii) persons gambling in response to or in accordance with any of those activities.
(3) A person provides facilities for gambling (despite subsection (2) (c) ) if—

(a) he makes facilities for remote communication available for use,
(b) the facilities are adapted or presented in such a way as to facilitate, or to draw attention to the possibility of, their use for gambling, and
(c) the nature, adaptation or presentation of the facilities is such that—
(i) they cannot reasonably be expected to be used for purposes other than gambling, or
(ii) they are intended to be used wholly or mainly for gambling.
(4) The Secretary of State may by order, for the purposes of subsection (3) (c) —

(a) provide that facilities of a specified nature, or adapted or presented in a specified way, cannot reasonably be expected to be used for purposes other than gambling;
(b) provide that facilities of a specified nature, or adapted or presented in a specified way, can reasonably be expected to be used for purposes other than gambling;
(c) specify criteria by which it is to be determined whether facilities can reasonably be expected to be used for purposes other than gambling;
(d) provide that facilities of a specified nature, or adapted or presented in a specified way, shall be taken as being intended to be used wholly or mainly for gambling;
(e) provide that facilities of a specified nature, or adapted or presented in a specified way, shall be taken as not being intended to be used wholly or mainly for gambling;
(f) specify criteria by which it is to be determined whether facilities are intended to be used wholly or mainly for gambling.

Gaming (E+W+S)


6 Gaming & game of chance (E+W+S)

(1) In this Act “gaming” means playing a game of chance for a prize.

(2) In this Act “game of chance”—

(a) includes—
(i) a game that involves both an element of chance and an element of skill,
(ii) a game that involves an element of chance that can be eliminated by superlative skill, and
(iii) a game that is presented as involving an element of chance, but
(b) does not include a sport.
(3) For the purposes of this Act a person plays a game of chance if he participates in a game of chance—

(a) whether or not there are other participants in the game, and
(b) whether or not a computer generates images or data taken to represent the actions of other participants in the game.
(4) For the purposes of this Act a person plays a game of chance for a prize—

(a) if he plays a game of chance and thereby acquires a chance of winning a prize, and
(b) whether or not he risks losing anything at the game.
(5) In this Act “prize” in relation to gaming (except in the context of a gaming machine) —

(a) means money or money's worth, and
(b) includes both a prize provided by a person organising gaming and winnings of money staked.
(6) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide that a specified activity, or an activity carried on in specified circumstances, is or is not to be treated for the purposes of this Act as—

(a) a game;
(b) a game of chance;
(c) a sport.

7 Casino (E+W+S)

(1) For the purposes of this Act a casino is an arrangement whereby people are given an opportunity to participate in one or more casino games.

(2) In this Act “casino game” means a game of chance which is not equal chance gaming.

(3) But the Secretary of State may by regulations provide that a specified activity, or an activity carried on in specified circumstances, is to be or not to be treated as a casino game for the purposes of this Act (and subsection (2) is subject to regulations under this subsection).

(4) For the purposes of this section it is immaterial—

(a) whether an arrangement is provided on one set of premises or on more than one;
(b) whether an arrangement is provided wholly or partly by means of remote communication.
(5) The Secretary of State shall make regulations by reference to which any casino may be classified as—

(a) a regional casino,
(b) a large casino,
(c) a small casino, or
(d) below the minimum size for a licensed casino.
(6) Regulations under subsection (5) may make provision by reference to—

(a) the number of gaming tables used or designated for the playing of specified casino games or classes of casino game,
(b) the location of gaming tables used or designated for the playing of specified casino games or classes of casino game,
(c) the concentration of gaming tables used or designated for the playing of specified casino games or classes of casino game,
(d) the floor area used or designated for a specified purpose,
(e) any combination of the matters listed in paragraph (a) to (d) , or
(f) any other matter.
(7) Regulations under subsection (5) may—

(a) include provision for determining what floor area is to be treated as being used or designated for a purpose;
(b) include provision for determining what activities do or do not amount to the playing of a specified casino game or class of casino game;
(c) include provision for determining what is or is not to be treated as a gaming table (and, in particular, in what circumstances a number of tables are to be treated as if they were a single gaming table) ;
(d) provide that a gaming table is to be treated as being used or designated only if specified conditions (which may, in particular, relate to purpose of use, extent of use or circumstances of use) are satisfied.

8 Equal chance gaming (E+W+S)

(1) For the purposes of this Act gaming is equal chance gaming if—

(a) it does not involve playing or staking against a bank, and
(b) the chances are equally favourable to all participants.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) it is immaterial—

(a) how a bank is described, and
(b) whether or not a bank is controlled or administered by a player.

Betting (E+W+S)


9 Betting: general (E+W+S)

(1) In this Act “betting” means making or accepting a bet on—

(a) the outcome of a race, competition or other event or process,
(b) the likelihood of anything occurring or not occurring, or
(c) whether anything is or is not true.
(2) A transaction that relates to the outcome of a race, competition or other event or process may be a bet within the meaning of subsection (1) despite the facts that—

(a) the race, competition, event or process has already occurred or been completed, and
(b) one party to the transaction knows the outcome.
(3) A transaction that relates to the likelihood of anything occurring or not occurring may be a bet within the meaning of subsection (1) despite the facts that—

(a) the thing has already occurred or failed to occur, and
(b) one party to the transaction knows that the thing has already occurred or failed to occur.

10 Spread bets, &c. (E+W+S)

(1) For the purposes of section 9(1) “bet” does not include a bet the making or accepting of which is a regulated activity within the meaning of section 22 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (c. 8).

(2) An order under section 22 of that Act which has the effect that a class of bet becomes or ceases to be a regulated activity may, in particular, include transitional provision relating to the application of this Act to that class of bet.

(3) This section is subject to section 38(3).