Gambling licensing

Gambling premises

A premises licence under the Gambling Act 2005 is required for any premises which offers premises-based gambling. A licence is needed to operate a:

  • casino
  • bingo hall
  • betting office (including at sporting venues)
  • amusement arcade

Watford Borough Council has passed a resolution that we will not issue any casino licences.

Every premises that requires a premises licence will also need an operators licence, and may also need personal licences, from the Gambling Commission.

You should read our gambling policy (PDF 234kB) before applying.

You must consider how your activities will impact on:

  • keeping gambling fair and open
  • preventing gambling from becoming a source of crime and disorder
  • protecting vulnerable people from harm

Applications must be submitted with a completed application form (PDF 117kB(, a scale premises plan, and the relevant fee. You must also complete a form to submit to the responsible authorities for gambling applications to notify them of your application. The type of form you need to complete depends on whether you are an individual applicant (PDF 104kB) or multiple applicants(PDF 105kB).

The Gambling Commission have many guidance notes and leaflets on when you need a licence and what constitutes gambling.

Applications must be advertised by a public notice (PDF 7kB) in a local newspaper and on the premises for 28 days.

A hearing will be arranged within 20 working days of the consultation closing to consider any objections.

Your application will be granted if no objections are received by the end of the consultation period, otherwise the determination will be made at a hearing.

  • A new premises licence costs £968.
  • A licence transfer, or the reinstatement of a licence, costs £950.
  • A variation to an existing licence costs £968.
  • A replacement licence costs £25.
  • A change of name or address costs £50 for a licence.
  • The annual licence fee for a premises licence that permits off-course betting is £503.
  • The annual licence fee for a premises licence that permits adult gaming, bingo, or track betting is £1000.

Please note that we can only accept payment by credit and debit card or by bank transfer. If you wish to pay by bank transfer, please contact the licensing team for our bank details.

Licence holders must comply with the conditions of their licence and the mandatory conditions set by the government.

Licence holders must notify the council if they change the name of the premises, the name or address of the licence holder, or if they need a replacement licence.

If you are buying a licensed premises, you must apply to transfer (PDF 21kB) the licence to you or your company. You must notify the responsible authorities (PDF 234kB) of your application. The type of form you need to complete depends upon whether you are an individual applicant (PDF 9kB) or multiple applicants (PDF 11kB).

Unsuccessful applicants and objectors may appeal to the magistrates’ court within 21 days of being notified of a decision.

Find out more about objecting to licences. You can also contact us our enquiry form or call 01923 278476.

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