What is a large casino?
A large casino will have a minimum customer floor area of 1500 square metres and be permitted up to 150 category B gaming machines, with a maximum jackpot of £4,000. In addition, the large casino will be permitted to provide bingo and betting.
Who will decide which application is successful?
The Council’s Licensing Committee, as the Licensing Authority for Middlesbrough, will determine the outcome of the process to issue the licence.
Does the Council have a site/location in mind for the casino? How many casinos will there be?
There are no designated sites. Under the Gambling Act, the Council is permitted to issue one casino premises licence. Details of the process are contained in the Application Pack.
When will we know which applicants, building, and/or sites are being proposed as potential casino premises?
During stage 1 of the process, all applicants must notify responsible authorities (see application pack for further details) within seven days of the closing date, i.e. by 3rd February 2011. Furthermore, applicants must publish a notice in a newspaper circulating the area at least once within 10 working days of the closing date, i.e. by 11th February 2011. Finally, from the closing date of stage 1, i.e. 28th January 2011, applicants must display prominent notices at their proposed premises or site for not less than 28 consecutive days.
Would the Committee be able to receive objections?
Objections, or “representations” on specific applications can only be made during stage 1 of the process and must be from “interested parties” as defined in the Gambling Act (2005) and summarised in the Applications Pack’s Procedure Note on page 5. All such representations must be made in writing. The applicant will be given prior notification of any representations made and will be given an opportunity to respond at the hearing.
When will the casino be open for visitors?
An indicative timeline for the competition process is set out in the Application Pack. The nature of the process means that we cannot give an exact date. However, it is envisaged that the licensing process will complete in the summer of 2011, subject to appeals, etc. The timeline at this point will become the responsibility of the successful applicant and be dictated by how quickly the operation can be opened, potentially incorporating issues such as construction, recruitment of staff, etc.
Do you know how many applicants there will be?
There has been strong interest in the Middlesbrough casino licence: however we will not know the exact number of applicants until the stage 1 application process is closed.
Who can make an application for Casino?
An application for a premises licence may only be made by a person who:
- holds a casino operating licence issued by the Gambling Commission or has made an application for such an operation licence, which has not yet been determined (see http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/gambling_sectors/casinos.aspx); and
- has a right to occupy the premises to which the application relates.
Alternatively a person may make an application for a provisional statement in respect of premises that:
- they expect to be constructed
- they expect to be altered; or
- they expect to acquire a right to occupy
Will the application be from casino operators or developers?
It is expected that applicants will be casino operators; but they may be as part of a consortia. An application for a premises licence may only be made by a person who meets the requirements set out in the immediately preceding response. However, developers may apply for a provisional statement (again as outlined in the immediately preceding response), whilst engaging individuals/organisations that are eligible to apply for a premises licence.
What plans are to be submitted with the Stage 1 application
For stage one of the process, plans for the premises must be submitted which comply with paragraphs 4(1) to 4(3) of the Gambling Act 2005 (Premises Licences and Provisional Statements) Regulations 2007. If, however, there are adjacent premises that may impact on the licensing objectives, such as the protection of children and the vulnerable from being harmed or exploited by gambling, then such information may be required to be submitted as the scheme is assessed. Applicants should also acquaint themselves with the Council’s Gambling Licensing Policy (which is available on Middlesbrough Council’s website) and any relevant guidance from the Gambling Commission.
Whom can we speak to about a specific site?
Early discussions between developers and planning officers are recommended in order to help ensure that projects are developed in a form that will be attractive to the community and acceptable to the local planning authority. Such discussions can be beneficial in terms of identifying key planning issues, avoiding abortive work and speeding up the statutory planning process. Should you wish to pursue pre-planning discussions then please contact the designated contact person within the Application Pack, so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Can a Developer make an application for a provisional statement in its own right?
A developer may apply for a provisional statement in its own name, however, it is our opinion according to the legislation, the developer itself may have to apply for and be granted an operator's licence in order to be granted a casino premises licence if successful at stage 1 and stage 2 of the competition.
Can a Developer transfer a provisional statement to an operator or into joint names during the competition?
Although it is not expressly prohibited, there does not appear to be a provision in the Gambling Act 2005 for a provisional statement to be transferred to another party. However, this is open to interpretation and applicants must seek their own independent advice as to how they should proceed.
As an alternative, a developer or operator may apply for a provisional statement through a separate or newly formed company, ownership of which may be determined or transferred during the process, which may avoid any necessity for a formal transfer of a provisional statement, if granted.
Can the Authority Accept Late Applications?
The Authority has discretion whether or not to consider applications received after the closing date under the Gambling Act (Inviting Competing Applications for Large and Small Casino Premises Licences) Regulations 2008.
These responses are the Authority's opinion at this stage only and applicants should rely on their own independent advice. The Authority cannot at this stage confirm or comment upon whether or not an application will be accepted or successful at Stage 1 or 2 of the competition.