Unlicensed Family Entertainment Centre Permit


Family Entertainment Centres (FECs) are most commonly located at seaside resorts, in airports, and at motorway service centres.  FECs cater for families, including unaccompanied children and young people.


Unlicensed FECs are able to offer Category D Machines if they obtain a gaming machine permit from their local Licensing Authority.  Any number of category D machines can be made available with such a permit (subject to non-gambling considerations, such as fire regulations and health and safety).


  • £300 - Application Fee
  • £25 - Change of Name


You may pay in person or over the phone (01225 477531) using a credit or debit card. 

Application Form 

An online application form is currently being developed.

Please contact Licensing Services if you would like us to send you a form.

Eligibility Criteria

  • If the applicant for a Permit is an individual, they must be over 18 years of age;
  • The applicant must not have been convicted of a 'relevant offence' as specified in Schedule 7 of the Gambling Act 2005;
  • The premises which is the subject of the application, would have to be 'wholly' or 'mainly' used for making gaming machines available;
  • The applicant must demonstrate that they have a full understanding of the maximum stakes and prizes of the gambling which is permissible in an Unlicensed Family Entertainment Centre;
  • The applicant must ensure that staff are trained to have a full understanding of the maximum stakes and prizes; and
  • The applicant must ensure that policies and procedures are in place to protect children from harm.

Application Process 

Applications must be in writing (including by electronic means) and must include:

  • an application form;
  • a plan of the premises clearly showing the exact area to be licensed and in which the gaming machines would be made available for use;
  • the fee


On receipt of a valid application we are under a statutory duty to consult with the Chief Officer of Police.

Tacit Consent

The Gambling Act 2005 is not subject to the EU Services Directive and tacit consent does not apply. 

Right of Appeal 

Please contact your legal advisor or Licensing Services.


Compliance with the Gambling Commission Code of Practice is a condition of any permit or notification.

The original permit must be kept on the premises to which it relates, and produced for inspection if requested by a police officer, a Gambling Commission enforcement officer or an authorised council officer.

If lost, stolen or damaged, a duplicate permit must be obtained from the council.  Lost or stolen permits must be reported to the police. 


Unless a shorter period is specifically stated, all permits will have effect for 10 years.  There is no annual fee to be paid.


The Council's Statement of Principles outlines the principles it proposes to apply when exercising its functions under the Act.

Please contact either B&NES Licensing Services or the Gambling Commission for further guidance. 

Relevant Legislation 

Gambling Act 2005

We have made the information on these web pages as comprehensive as possible.  However, in attempting to simplify the law, certain requirements have been omitted.  Full details of what you must do are in the relevant legislation.
Laws can and do change.  Information was accurate when produced, but may have changed since.  We must advise that only the Courts can give an authoritative opinion on statute law.

Trade Associations 


Customer Complaints 

If you wish to make a complaint please complete the online submission form.

Further Information

For further information and guidance please phone Licensing Services on 01225 477531 or email

Additional contact details.

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