Bookmakers License: Why Do I Need It?

Bookmakers Licence: Why Do I Need It?

A bookmaker is a person who, during the business, takes bets, sets odds, and undertakes to pay out on winning bets. All bookmakers must hold a Bookmaker’s Licence.

Additional requirements:

  • On-Course: If your business is conducted on-course e.g., track racing
  • Off-Course: If your business is conducted from a bookmaking office. You will also need a bookmaking office licence to operate legally in Northern Ireland. 

Who can obtain a bookmaker licence?

To obtain a bookmaker’s licence you need to be

  • The owner of the business proposed to be carried on under the licence.
  • An individual, to a body corporate or 2 or more persons carrying on business in partnership.

When taking into consideration the application for a bookmaker licence a court shall have regard to the character, reputation, and financial standing of the applicant or of the business that is proposed to undertake the licence. 

What are the outcomes of trading without a bookmaker licence?

If a business does not apply for a bookmaker’s licence but continues to trade, this is illegal and will result in prosecution. For example, if you are taking bets or gambling in a pub without a bookmaker’s licence this could result in your liquor licence being revoked, thus threatening your livelihood. 

Can a bookmaker licence be revoked?

An application for the revocation of a bookmaker licence may be made by any person to a court of summary jurisdiction on any of the following grounds:

  • The licensed bookmaker is not a fit person to hold a bookmaker’s licence
  • Information which, in or in connection with the application on which the licence was granted or renewed, was given to the court by the applicant was false
  • The licensed bookmaker has been refused the grant or renewal of a bookmaker licence previously
  • The licensed bookmaker has been convicted of an offence

How do you apply for a bookmarker licence?

You need a licence from the local magistrates’ court to operate as a bookmaker and take on-course and off-course bets in Northern Ireland. You can’t apply for this licence online. Contact your local council

McPartland & Sons gambling licence specialist solicitors can advise you on the book makers licence requirements for Northern Ireland. If you are opening a bookmarkers, require a gambling licence or wish to renew or transfer your current licence, we can help, contact us via our website. 

Related Blogs:

Licensing Applications in Northern Ireland

Licensing Law Explained

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