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Unlicensed family entertainment permit

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

Types of Machines

FECs will be able to offer only Category D machines in reliance on a gaming machine permit. Any number of Category D machines can be made available with such a permit. This is subject to other considerations, such as fire regulations and health and safety.

If the operator of a family entertainment centre wants to make Category C machines available in addition to Category D machines, the operator will need to apply to the Gambling Commission for an operating licence and to us at Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council for a premises licence.


To apply for a permit you'll need to contact us for more information.

The application for a permit can only be made by a person who occupies or plans to occupy the premises to be used as an FEC. If the applicant is an individual, he or she must be aged 18 or over.

Applications for a permit cannot be made if a premises licence is in effect for the same premises. The application must be made to the licensing authority in whose area the premises are wholly or partly situated.

In addition to the statutory requirements, as part of any application for an Family Entertainment Centre Gaming Machine Permit, the Licensing Authority will require the following information to make a proper assessment:

  • an up to date enhanced Criminal Record Bureau check
  • details of any permit granted to the applicant that has previously been refused, lapsed, surrendered or forfeited
  • details of any other permit held by the applicant in respect of other premises
  • that nature of the prizes
  • the proposed frequency of prize gaming at the premises
  • details of any training and training programme on the limits of stakes, prizes and permissible gambling relating to such premises
  • details of any proposed precaution to secure the prevention of harm to those under 18. This includes measures for implementing the same.


An application for renewal of a permit must be made during the period beginning six months before the permit expires and ending two months before it expires. The procedure for renewal is the same as for an application.


The permit must be kept on the premises and it is an offence not to produce it when requested to do so by a constable, an enforcement officer, or an authorised local authority officer.

If a permit is lost, stolen or damaged, the holder may apply for a replacement. This is subject to paying the relevant fee.

We will have to be satisfied that the permit has been lost, stolen or damaged. A report must also have been made to the police.