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Gambling Act 2005

Under the Gambling Act 2005, Bedford Borough Council is the Licensing Authority for gambling within the boundaries of its Borough. The authority will also maintain a register of small scale society lotteries.

The Council enforces compliance with the conditions of licences, permits and notices by undertaking inspections.

The Council's responsibilities

Bedford Borough Council is responsible for issuing the following authorisations:

Premises Licences for:

  • Betting offices and race tracks
  • Bingo clubs
  • Adult gaming centres
  • Family entertainment centre

Permits for:

  • Gaming machines in alcohol-licensed premises, such as pubs
  • Gaming machines for members clubs
  • Gaming in members clubs
  • Unlicensed family entertainment centres
    (Category D machines only - ie those that have the lowest level of stakes and prizes)
  • Prize gaming
    More about permits
  • Occasional Use Notices
  • Temporary Use Notices
  • Provisional Statements

Making an application

Go to gambling application forms where you can download the available documents. 

Policy statement of gambling licensing principles

Bedford Borough Council adopted its current statement of gambling licensing principles (its Licensing Policy) on 15 November 2018. The Licensing Policy was published on 20 December 2018 and will be effective from 31 January 2019. You can access this Statement and the local risk assessment using the following links:

You can also read the Notice advertising the adoption of the Statement using the following link:

A copy of the Statement of Principles is also available for inspection at the Authority’s offices at the Customer Service Centre, Horne Lane, Bedford MK40 1RA during normal office hours.

The Gambling Act 2005

The Gambling Act 2005 (‘the 2005 Act’) defines gambling as: gaming; betting; or participating in a lottery. Premises that provide gambling facilities and do not have an operating licence and comply with its terms and conditions; or fail to satisfy an exception under the Act, may have committed a criminal offence, and could be liable on summary conviction to 51 weeks imprisonment; and/or a fine not exceeding £5,000 (level 5).

The Council aims to grant applications to provide facilities for gambling if we consider that the application is:

  • reasonably consistent with licensing objectives
  • in accordance with the Council’s Statement of Gambling Licensing Principles (see above)
  • in accordance with the codes of practice
  • and in accordance with the Gambling Commission Guidance

The licensing objectives of the 2005 Act are wide ranging and impact across the community and business sectors, including justice, education, the social sector, tourism, and economic development.