Section 11 of the Betting Control Act 1954 allows for the licensing of a natural person, partnership or body corporate to undertake bookmaking activities by the Gaming and Wagering Commission of Western Australia.
In determining the grant of a bookmaker’s licence, the Gaming and Wagering Commission must be satisfied that the applicant:
- is over 18 years of age;
- is not an undischarged bankrupt;
- has knowledge of the business of bookmaking and the obligations of a bookmaker under the Act. (In regard to partnerships and body corporates at least one member of the partnership or at least one director of the body corporate must meet this requirement);
- is not a member of a partnership or occupies a position of authority* with a body corporate that holds a bookmakers’ licence. This includes any member of a partnership or any person in a position of authority with a body corporate; and
- is fit and proper and that no circumstances exist to make it undesirable to grant a licence.
Where the holder of a bookmakers’ licence is to be a partnership or body corporate, it is a fundamental requirement for the licensee to appoint a licensed manager to carry on the business of the bookmaker. A licensed manager is only permitted to
work for one bookmaker at any given time and must be a natural person. A partnership or body corporate cannot hold a bookmaker’s manager licence.
*Note: Section 4(3) of the Betting Control Act 1954 defines a person in a position of authority in a body corporate as a:
- director of the body corporate;
- person who exercises or exerts, or is in a position to exercise or exert, control or substantial influence over the body corporate in the conduct of its affairs;
- person in the case of a public company who has a controlling interest in the company; or
- person in the case of a proprietary company, is a shareholder in the company.
- If an application for a bookmaker’s licence is successful, the licensee will be required to pay an annual licence fee (based on annual betting turnover) and provide the Gaming and Wagering Commission with a bond of surety. The bond of surety
is required to ensure there is adequate cover for unpaid betting debts in the event of a licensed bookmaker defaulting. Further details regarding surety can be obtained from the Gaming and Wagering Commission.
- In the event that a person is appointed/ceases to be a licensed manager of a bookmaker, the bookmaker shall advise the Commission within seven (7) days of the person being appointed or ceasing. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in
a penalty of $1000.
- It is the responsibility of an employee of a government department, intending to apply for a bookmaker’s licence (whether as a natural person, a member of a partnership or in a position of authority with a body corporate), to obtain consent
from the departmental head to undertake employment as a bookmaker.
- If a bookmaker is seeking a licence endorsement to conduct internet and/or telephone betting and/or the use of a computerised betting system the appropriate application forms and applicable fees are required to be lodged.
- A body corporate applying for a bookmaker’s licence must comply with the following requirements:
- The body corporate is to have a place of business or carry on business within Western Australia.
- Proper and adequate provision is to be made for disclosure to the Gaming and Wagering Commission of the affairs of the body corporate, on request in writing by the Commission to any director of the body corporate.
- The memorandum and articles of association of the body corporate are to be acceptable to the Commission and contain a provision that the Commission be notified of any intention to amend the memorandum or articles and be furnished with
a copy of any proposed resolution or other form of proposal to give effect to that intention.
- The body corporate is not to trade under a name that has not been approved by the Commission.
- The body corporate is not to be a trustee of a discretionary trust.