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British point-of-consumption licences were issued some five years ago: a quirk of the British system is the need for certain key individuals to possess ‘personal management licences’. Unlike the operating licences, the personal management licences (or ‘PMLs’) have a five-year lifespan and need to be renewed and the relevant deadlines are beginning to fall due. The renewal process (and the payment of the requisite fees) should be diarised and undertaken in good time. PML holders should recently have had a ‘round robin’ email from the Gambling Commission informing them that the Commission has launched (as of end November) a new self-service portal. PMLs should be renewed and payment made using this new portal. Failure to undertake the renewal process (the portal refers to it as ‘maintenance’) and/or to pay the renewal fee within thirty days of the fifth anniversary of the licence will result in the issuance by the Commission of a ‘notice of revocation’. PML holders should note that in reality these emails are not notices of any actual revocation: they are rather somewhat misleadingly-headed notices of intended revocation, or, put another way, a final warning. The delinquent PML holder who receives one has a further 28 days to get his or her act together, log onto the Gambling Commission’s e-portal, execute their renewal application online and pay their subs. Only if this is not all accomplished within 28 days of the ‘notice of revocation’ will the (ex-) PML holder receive a ‘confirmation of revocation’ at which point one is in trouble.

Even at that point all may not be lost. The Gambling Act 2005 specifically provides that the Commission may exercise a discretion not to revoke a licence (any licence, not just a PML) where the failure to make payment is attributable to ‘administrative error’. The ‘notice of revocation’ refers to this remedy and offers recipients the chance to make an appeal to the Commission for the Commission to make such a statutory determination. However the ‘notice’ does not make it particularly clear that recipients have the ability to rectify matters in their own hands simply by logging on and doing the necessary renewal process. It is also puzzling why the ‘notice’ offers an appeal against revocation when revocation does not actually occur until the ‘confirmation’ arrives in your inbox.

Wiggin LLP advice is in any event to short-circuit any last-minute administrative confusion and get your PML rolled-over and paid-up for another five years well ahead of the deadlines.