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  5. Unlicensed family entertainment centre gaming machine permit

Unlicensed family entertainment centre gaming machine permit

If you run a family entertainment centre (FEC), such as an arcade, and you want to place coin pushers or similar gaming machines, you need to apply for an unlicensed family entertainment centre gaming machine permit.

The permit allows unlicensed FECs to offer category D gaming machines. You can place any number of gaming machines if you have a permit, as long as they are not a health and safety or fire hazard.

Before you apply

You need to read and understand the requirements on this page before you submit an application for a permit. We cannot proceed with your application unless you give us all the information we need.


To be eligible for an unlicensed FEC gaming machine permit, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be aged 18 years or over
  • You must not have been convicted of a relevant offence under the Gambling Act 2005
  • The premises the application relates to has to be wholly or mainly used for making gaming machines available

You must also demonstrate that you have full understanding of the maximum stakes and prizes of gambling permitted in an unlicensed FEC.

Application details

Your application must include the following:

  • the application fee
  • a plan of the premises that clearly shows the area where gaming machines would be used

Fees and prices

The fees and charges for unlicensed FEC gaming machine permits are shown in the table below.

Permit fees
Fee Price
Application fee £300
Change of name on the permit £25

Licence duration

We will grant unlicensed FEC gaming machine permits for 10 years, unless we state otherwise.

There is no annual fee for an unlicensed FEC gaming machine permit.

Permit name changes

If you want to change the name associated with the permit, you will need to send us your permit along with the £25 fee. We will then amend the permit so it includes the correct name.

Email your permit to us at:

How to apply

We are currently developing an online application form. At the moment, you can complete a PDF application form and send this to us by emailing us at

Further information

Select a topic below to find out more about unlicensed FEC gaming machine permits.

The application process

Once we receive your application, we will consult with the chief of police. They will have 14 days to make any comments about your application.

We will either grant or refuse your application for a permit, we will not add any conditions.

If we reject your application, we will provide our reasons for rejecting your application, and you will be able to make representations against our decision.

Processing time

We aim to determine applications within 70 days.

Tacit consent does not apply.  If you do not hear from us within 70 days, please email us at:


If you want to appeal a permit rejection, please contact your legal advisor or email us at:


You must comply with the Gambling Commission Code of Practice once your permit has been granted, otherwise we may revoke your permit.

You must keep your permit on the relevant premises, and you must produce this if it is requested by a police officer, Gambling Commission enforcement officer to an authorized officer from the council.

Lost or stolen permits

If your permit is lost or stolen or damaged, you must report this to the police. You must apply for a replacement permit if this happens.

Relevant legislation

Gambling Act 2005

We have made the information on these web pages as comprehensive as possible.  However, in attempting to simplify the law, certain requirements have been omitted. Full details of what you must do are in the relevant legislation.

Laws can and do change. We must advise that only the Courts can give an authoritative opinion on statute law.