Thought Leadership

Gambling Update: Applying for a gambling licence in Great Britain

To provide gambling services to customers located in Great Britain, it is necessary to hold an operating licence from the local regulator, the Gambling Commission.

Application process

Applications to the Gambling Commission must be made using the regulator’s online application system.  Some key documents must accompany the application and these form the basis for the Gambling Commission’s decision making.  These include:

  • Documents setting out your policies and procedures in key areas such as anti-money laundering, safer gambling and fair and open practices,
  • A business plan, including financial projections,
  • Customer terms and conditions and game rules / betting rules,
  • Evidence of the legitimate source of funding for the business,
  • Details of how your software and platform will comply with the relevant technical standards.

Key individuals in the business will also need to make personal applications (a Personal Management Licence or Annex A), including those with management responsibility and those with an individual shareholding over 10%.

The Gambling Commission has a target timeframe of 16 weeks to determine the application from the date of submission.  Some applications may take longer, particularly if the ownership structure, funding or product is complex.

Application costs

The cost of applying for and holding an operating licence depends on the types of gambling you propose to offer and your projected gambling revenues.  By way of example, a remote general betting (real events) licence authorising annual gambling revenues of up to £550,000 attracts an application fee of £4,693* and an annual fee of £5,282*.

Your business may also need a software licence if you develop your own gambling software.  If your internal costs for this activity are under £50,000 per year you may qualify for a low-cost linked software licence, otherwise the lowest category remote software licence attracts an application fee of £9,138* and an annual fee of £5,809*.

Please get in touch with us for an estimate of costs for the licences needed by your business.

Compliance requirements

Great Britain has high standards of regulation for gambling.  The Gambling Commission’s Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice is the key document which sets out compliance requirements.  Technical standards and advertising codes of practice must also be followed.

Licensed operators need to submit regulatory returns to the Gambling Commission (usually on a quarterly basis) and will be subject to routine compliance assessments.

How can Northridge help?

Our gambling law specialists have many years’ experience assisting clients with operating licence and personal applications to the Gambling Commission.  As well as helping you prepare the application, we can offer:

  • Template policy and procedure documents
  • Drafting of customer terms and conditions
  • Training sessions on compliance requirements
  • Advice on advertising and review of proposed campaigns
  • Assistance with company incorporation and shareholder agreements
  • Employment law advice
  • Advice on agreements with third parties, such as B2B suppliers and white label partners

Please get in touch with Melanie Ellis or Tom Edmonds for an initial discussion of how we can assist with your operating licence application.

* Figures correct as at July 2023