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Gambling Act 2005
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Family entertainment centre gaming machine permit (unlicensed FEC)

What is a family entertainment centre gaming machine permit?

FEC gaming machine permits replace Section 34(1) permits which were issued under the 1968 Act.

The Gambling Act 2005 says that premises which are mainly used for people to play on gaming machines, such as small arcades in holiday parks, theme parks and seaside resorts, may hold a family entertainment centre (FEC) gaming machine permit. But, by holding a permit, a premises will only be able to have Category D machines (see below for stakes and prizes on these machines).

If the FEC permit holder decides that they want to have Category C machines, in addition to Category D machines, they will have to apply for an Operating Licence from the Gambling Commission and then a gambling premises licence from us. A person will not be able to have both a FEC permit and a gambling premises licence so will have to make a choice over which machines they want to make available at their premises.

Can I apply for a FEC permit?

An application for a permit can only be made by a person who occupies or plans to occupy the premises to be used. The premises must be within our authority boundary. Individual people applying for a permit must be aged 18 or older. Applicants are not required to have an Operating Licence issued by the Gambling Commission.

As stated above, holders of a gambling premises licence cannot make application for a permit for the same premises.

What categories of machine can be made available under an unlicensed FEC?

Category Maximum stake Maximum prize
D 10p money prize £5 money prize
D 30p non-money prize £8 non-money prize

Please note - any number of Category D machines can be made available at the premises (subject to other considerations, such as fire regulations and health and safety).

What do I have to produce in making an application?

Documents to produce

  • the appropriate application form
  • the appropriate fee for the application being made
  • plan of the premises in question
  • evidence that Criminal Record Bureau checks are carried out on staff
  • evidence that appropriate measures and training are in place to enable staff to be able to -
    • deal with suspected truant school children on the premises
    • deal with unsupervised very young children on the premises
    • have a full understanding of the maximum stakes and prizes permissible in unlicensed FECs
  • evidence of how applicants would deal with children causing perceived problems on or around the premises
  • evidence that applicants have a full understanding of the maximum stakes and prizes of the gambling that is permissible in unlicensed FECs
  • evidence that applicants have no relevant convictions (those that are set out in Schedule 7 of the Act)

See below for application form.

How much does it cost?

Grant application fee 

Renewal application fee  £300
Change of name fee £25
Copy of permit fee  £15

Who do I send my application to?

For premises in Kingston upon Hull -

Democratic services
Licensing section
33 Witham
Kingston upon Hull

You do not have to send a copy of this application to anyone else. However, we talk to Humberside Police on any FEC gaming machine permit application that we receive and we would also forward a copy to them.

They will then have 14 days to comment on your application.

What happens after I have submitted my application?

After the 14 day consultation period we have with the Police regarding an application, we can either grant or refuse your application. However, we cannot add conditions.

If we refuse your application, we will write to you and give our reasons for refusal. You will be given the opportunity to make representations against our decision.

How long will my permit last for?

A permit lasts for 10 years unless it lapses before then.

A permit may lapse for a number of reasons -

  • if the holder ceases to occupy the premises
  • if the licensing authority notifies the holder that the premises are not being used as an unlicensed FEC
  • if an individual permit holder dies, becomes incapable by reason of mental or physical incapacity; becomes bankrupt, or sequestration of his estate is ordered
  • if the company holding the permit ceases to exist, or goes into liquidation
  • the permit is surrendered by the Permit holder
  • the courts order a forfeiture of the permit, in the event of the permit holder being convicted of a relevant offence

If I am issued a permit, do I need to keep a copy of my permit on the premises?

Yes. A copy of the permit must be kept on the premises and should be available for inspection at all times. It is an offence not to produce it when requested to do so by the police, an enforcement officer, or an authorised local authority officer.

What happens if my permit has been lost, stolen or damaged?

You should apply for a replacement permit straight away by completing the necessary application form and submitting it along with the replacement fee of £15, to the address above.

When do I need to renew my permit?

Even though your permit is granted for 10 years (unless it lapses, as above) an application for renewal should be made no later than two months before the permit is due to expire.

The renewal procedure is almost identical to the grant procedure except that you should return the original permit along with your renewal forms and fees.


Contact us

Licensing section
Hull City Council
33 Witham 

Tel: 01482 300 301
Text phone: 01482 300 349
Fax: 01482 615 554

Contact the Gambling Commission

Tel: 0121 230 6666
Fax: 0121 233 1096

Victoria Square House
Victoria Square
B2 4BP

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