his is the third edition of the guidance and includes changes announced last year following the Commission's consultation on split premises and primary gambling activity.
From 1 May 2009 the primary gambling activity, authorised by an operating licence, must be offered in all associated licensed premises where gaming machines are made available for use pursuant to section 68(5) of the Act.
The third edition includes additional guidance on the meaning of making gaming machines ‘available for use' and a new section on exempt and permitted gaming in clubs and pubs. It also includes some general principles for when it is appropriate for the Commission to act or when it is appropriate for a licensing authority to act. This will assist both in carrying out their respective duties under the Act.
The Act requires the Commission to issue guidance to licensing authorities in Great Britain on the manner in which they are to exercise their functions under the Act and the principles to be applied by them in exercising those functions. Licensing authorities are required to take account of all such guidance.
The guidance is designed to ensure best practice and consistency of approach in decision making amongst licensing authorities, whilst not preventing authorities from properly exercising their local discretion to take account of appropriate and relevant local issues.
In order to make the Guidance easier to use as a reference tool it was published in loose leaf format. When a subsequent change is made licensing authorities can keep up to date with any policy or regulatory changes by simply replacing the relevant section in the Guidance.
The document can be downloaded from http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/ and printed copies will be sent to all licensing authorities.
Director of Regulation, Nick Tofiluk said: "The revised Guidance to Licensing Authorities benefits from our experience in regulating gambling alongside local authorities and will strengthen effective co-regulation of the gambling industry. "We have consulted extensively on these changes which are published as the new operating licence condition requirement on primary gambling activity comes into effect."