Family entertainment centres (FECs) will perhaps be most commonly located at seaside resorts, in airports and at motorway service centres, and will cater for families, including unaccompanied children and young persons. Unlicensed FECs will only be able to offer category D machines in reliance on a gaming machine permit.  Any number of category D machines can be made available with such a permit (subject to other considerations, such as fire regulations and health and safety, which will not be issues for the licensing authority under the Gambling Act). Permits cannot be issued to vessels or vehicles.

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 for an operating licence from the Gambling Commission and a premises licence from the licensing authority. For further information on these type of licences, please refer to information on this website relating to premises licences.

Schedule 10 of the Act sets out the application process and regulatory regime for FEC gaming machine permits.

Applying for a permit

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 unlicensed FEC and, 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.

Portsmouth City Council, as licensing authority, is required to publish a statement of licensing principles which sets out matters they will consider when exercising their functions in considering applications for permits. Applicants may wish to familiarise themselves with this statement prior to making an application.

The appropriate application forms and details of fees are provided below.