Section 204 of the Act provides for a person to make an application to the licensing authority for a provisional statement in respect of premises that he or she:
- Expects to be constructed;
- Expects to be altered; or
- Expects to acquire a right to occupy.
Developers may wish to apply for provisional statements before they enter into a contract to buy or lease property or land to judge whether a development is worth taking forward in light of the need to obtain a premises licence. It is also possible for an application for a provisional statement to be made for premises that already have a premises licence (either for a different type of gambling or the same type).
Applicants for premises licences must fulfil certain criteria. They must hold or have applied for an operating licence from the Gambling Commission (except in the case of a track), and they must have a right to occupy the premises in respect of which their premises licence application is made. These restrictions do not apply in relation to an application for a provisional statement. In circumstances in which the applicant has also applied to the Commission for an operating licence, the Commission will not be able to comment on whether the application is likely to be granted; and the licensing authority cannot speculate on or otherwise take into account the likelihood of an operating licence being granted in its consideration of the application for a provisional statement.
The application for a provisional statement must be accompanied by plans and other information as specified in regulations made by the Secretary of State.
Subject to any necessary modifications and the differences set out above, the process for considering an application for a provisional statement is the same as that for a premises licence application. Therefore, responsible authorities and interested parties may make representations and there are rights of appeal.
Once the premises are constructed, altered or acquired, the holder of a provisional statement can return to the authority and submit an application for the necessary premises licence.
If a provisional statement has been granted, the licensing authority is constrained in the matters it can consider when an application for a premises licence is made subsequently in relation to the same premises.
Licensing staff are currently working on guidance notes and the relevant application forms and notices to be published. In the meantime, if you have any queries on provisional statements, please the Licensing Office on 023 9283 4073 or email email@example.com.