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Statistics and research release

Licensing authority statistics January 2020

January 2020

Summary

This report provides statistics by licensing authorities (LAs) in respect of their duties under the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab) for the regulation of gambling in Great Britain.

This edition reports on the periods between April 2014 and March 2019. For reference, the accompanying Excel file contains comparative data dating back to April 2009.

Key facts

  • 51,541 Permits/Notifications for gambling activity currently active. (-1.4% from March 2018)

  • 2,838 Permits/Notifications for gambling activity issued this year. (-37% from March 2018)

  • 5,098 Inspections/visits of premises where gambling activity takes place conducted by licensing authorities. (+1% from March 2018)

  • 13 Average number of inspections/visits of premises where gambling activity took place per licensing authority. (No change from March 2018)

  • 105 Total number of licensing authorities which did not conduct any inspections/visits of premises. (-13% from March 2018)

  • 140 Total test purchasing visits conducted by all licensing authorities. (+77% from March 2018)

Details

As of March 2019, there are 51,541 permits and notifications in force for gambling-related activity in alcohol-licensed premises, clubs and unlicensed family entertainment centres across Great Britain. This represents a 1% decrease on last year, and a 7% decline over the last 5 years.

LAs reported that a total of 2,838 permits were issued or notifications received. Over a 5-year period, this figure has fallen by 1,729 (38%). The average quantity of permits issued/notifications received per LA was 7.

In addition, LAs have received 465 Occasional Use Notices (OUNs), allowing betting operators licensed by the Gambling Commission (the Commission) to take bets on tracks. A total of 9 Temporary Use Notices (TUNs) were submitted to LAs, permitting the holder of a nonremote casino operating licence (licensed by the Commission) to offer gambling activities at a temporary venue for a limited period of time.

The report also presents the quantity of LA conducted pre-planned inspections, follow-up inspections, inspections following a complaint, and test purchasing visits for age verification. During this reporting period (as part of their regulatory responsibility for gambling) LAs inspected or visited 5,098 premises, of which 3,290 were at locations where the operator is licensed by the Commission (for example, arcades, bookmakers, bingo halls, casinos and race tracks). Overall, this is an increase of 1% compared to last year. However, this is due entirely to visits to premises where the operator is not licensed by the Commission (Other). There have been decreases in all remaining areas. Over a 5-year period there is an overall decrease of 20% in the total quantity of inspections and visits conducted by LAs.

There is a decrease in inspections following a complaint and follow-up inspections, and an increase in pre-planned inspections and test purchasing visits. Compared to the previous reporting period, test purchasing visits rose by 77% and pre-planned inspections increased by 1%. Inspections following complaints fell by 12% while follow up inspections reduced by 21%.

There is a wide variation in the performance of LAs with respect to conducting inspections and visits. Of the 380 LA’s, 6 (2%) conducted more than 100 inspections or visits in the year ending 31 March 2019. A majority of 253 (67%) conducted fewer than 10 inspections or visits during the year (including 105 LAs which conducted none). The average quantity of premises inspected or visited by each LA during this period was 13.

To make the system of shared regulation as effective and efficient as possible, the Commission notifies LAs of complaints and intelligence received regarding noncompliance and illegality in their geographical area which is primarily of a localised nature. These are referred to as Local Authority Compliance Events (LACE) referrals. During this reporting period, 85 referrals were made in the year ending March 2019, compared with 74 in the previous year (a 15% increase).

Notes

This publication is primarily for anyone who has an involvement or interest in the gambling industry including government and local authorities.

About the status of official statistics.

Data and downloads

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