Unlicensed family entertainment centre - gaming machine permit

We are asking customers to only submit essential applications. Please be aware that it may take some time to review and process your application. You should expect most applications to take longer than normal to process.

Premises which are mainly used for people to play on gaming machines, such as small arcades in holiday parks, theme parks and seaside resorts, may hold a family entertainment centre (FEC) gaming machine permit. By holding a permit, a premises will only be able to have Category D machines.


Do not apply for a Machine Permit if you already have or think you need a Premises Licence.

A permit lasts for 10 years although it may lapse in the meantime if the circumstances of the original application change.


Information on fees

Application evaluation process

Applications will include:

  • a plan of the premises in question
  • evidence that Criminal Record Bureau checks are carried out on staff
  • evidence that appropriate measures and training are in place to enable staff to be able to -
    • deal with suspected truant school children on the premises
    • deal with unsupervised very young children on the premises
    • have a full understanding of the maximum stakes and prizes permissible in unlicensed FECs
  • evidence of how applicants would deal with children causing perceived problems on or around the premises
  • evidence that applicants have a full understanding of the maximum stakes and prizes of the gambling that is permissible in unlicensed FECs
  • evidence that applicants have no relevant convictions

After the 14 day consultation period we have with the Police regarding an application, we can either grant or refuse your application. However, we cannot add conditions.

If we refuse your application, we will write to you and give our reasons for refusal. You will be given the opportunity to make representations against our decision.

Eligibility criteria

  • holders of a gambling premises licence cannot make application for a permit for the same premises. If the permit holder decides that they want to have Category C machines, in addition to Category D machines, they will have to apply for an Operating Licence from the Gambling Commission and then a gambling premises licence from us
  • an application for a permit can only be made by a person who occupies or plans to occupy the premises to be used
  • individual people applying for a permit must be aged 18 or older
  • applicants are not required to have an Operating Licence issued by the Gambling Commission

Contact us


0300 123 5015

Cheshire East Council
Municipal Buildings
Earle Street


Call in to our Customer Service Centres

Page last reviewed: 17 December 2021