Gambling licence (known as a Personal Functional Licence)

Aim of this information

This information is designed to set out how a criminal record can impact on getting a Personal Gambling Licence (known as a Personal Functional Licence).

Why is this important?

Having a criminal record is not a bar to being issued with a Personal Functional Licence. However, it is important that you know what cautions or convictions you need to disclose and how they will be dealt with.


The Gambling Commission state that:

“any individual who performs any function which enables them to influence the outcome of gambling or relates to the receiving or paying of money in connection with gambling will require a Personal Functional Licence.”

Details of other types of gambling licence can be found on the Gambling Commission website.

Licence applications

When considering the suitability of an applicant, the Gambling Commission will take account of some of the following in deciding whether or not to issue a Licence:-

  • Identity and ownership – Verification of your identity and any other person relevant to the application will be required by way of copies of your driving licence, passport and NI number.
  • Finances – Depending on the type of application you are making, you may be required to submit financial documents.
  • Integrity – Your honesty and trustworthiness will be assessed
  • Competence – You will need to provide details of your experience, expertise, qualifications and employment history.
  • Criminality – You will be asked to provide details of your criminal record

Guidance on completing the online Personal Functional Licence application can be found here.

What information about my criminal record do I need to disclose?

Although you are not asked to disclose details of your criminal record, a basic Disclosure and Barring Service check will be undertaken as part of the application process for a Personal Functional Licence (PFL).


How are criminal convictions dealt with?

The Gambling Commission state that they will not automatically refuse your licence application if you have a criminal record. In assessing your application they will take the following into account:-

  • how serious the offence was
  • how relevant it is to the role
  • how long ago it was committed

Have you been granted a licence with a criminal record?

We’re looking for examples of where people with convictions have been granted a licence with a criminal record so that we can include details here to help give people confidence to apply.

If you’ve been granted a licence with a criminal record, please email us or get in touch to let us know the details – your personal details will be kept confidential and anonymous.

For more information

  1. Practical self-help information – More information on basic DBS checks can be found here.
  2. To discuss this issue with others – Read and share your experiences on our online forum

Get involved

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  1. Comment on this information (below)
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  3. Discuss your views and experiences with others on our online peer forum
  4. Share your personal story by contributing to our online magazine, theRecord
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