Section 110: betting shops and offices
This publication is intended for Valuation Officers. It may contain links to internal resources that are not available through this version.
Under the Town & Country Planning (Uses Classes) Order 1987, as amended, there are three distinctive categories of shop premises which are generally described as follows:-
A1 - General retailing
A2 - Financial and professional services, and
A3 - (Hot) Food and Drink
The A2 category of shop premises comprises use by:
Banks, Building Societies, Betting Offices, Estate Agents, Employment Agencies, and others which provide the Professional Services (other than Health or Medical).
Rating manual section 6 part 3: section 920 provides more information on these three classes of shop hereditament. Reference should also be made to the Town & Country Planning (Use Classes) Order, SI 764-1987, as amended.
For Banks, Building Societies, etc see also Rating manual section 6 part 3: section 90.
The appropriate Practice Note provides the procedures to be applied in the co-ordination of Betting Shops and Offices.
3. Survey requirements
3.1 In accordance with the VO Code of Measuring Practice for Rating Purposes, NIA is the preferred basis of measurement.
3.2 It is important that measurements are suitably recorded to enable the adoption of either a zoning or an overall approach to the valuation of the premises concerned. Reference should be made to the Survey Requirements for Shops in Rating manual section 6 part 3: section 920.
4. Basis of Valuation
4.1 As the approach to valuation will be by reference to rents, the general principles set out in Rating manual: section 4 part 1 should be followed.
4.2 The structural characteristics for premises used as Betting Shops/Offices vary considerably. Instances will be found of similarity with shops, or with offices whilst some will have been purpose built. Most important is the correct identification of the source of demand for the particular hereditament, and whether comparison may more appropriately be made with shops or with offices. In determining this question, the physical characteristics and the situation of the premises are of a paramount importance.
5. Valuation Considerations
5.1 Statutory provisions relating to betting offices
Essentially betting is controlled by two statutory restrictions:
(i) upon the place where betting is permitted
(ii) upon the people who are able to receive, or negotiate bets
Off-course premises need to be ‘Licensed Betting Offices’ controlled by occupiers who have obtained either a Bookmaker’s or a Betting Office Permit.
The provisions of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963 regulate the use of premises as Licensed Betting Offices.
The appropriate Authority may grant, cancel or refuse a betting office licence by exercising their discretionary powers, but there are certain mandatory provisions affecting the refusal or cancellation of a licence. In particular, a licence may be granted only to the following:
a. A person who holds, or is an applicant for a bookmaker’s permit; or b. The Totalisator Board; or c. A person who is accredited as an agent to the holder of a bookmaker’s permit or to the Totalisator Board and holds, or is an applicant for, a betting agency permit.
If at any time after the grant of a licence these requirements are not satisfied, the licence will be cancelled.
5.2 Consideration of Rental Evidence
When valuing by comparison with shops the contents of RM 5:920:5 should be considered, or with offices, Rating Manual: section 6 part 3 - section 730 paragraph 5.
Licensed Betting Offices fall within the Financial & Professional Services Class (A2) of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987, as amended.
An awareness should always be maintained of the possibility that different levels of value may prevail for each separate class A1, A2 and A3 - See Rating manual section 6 part 3 - section 920
Premises included within this class share only one common feature, their use as Licensed Betting Offices. It is, therefore, essential that careful consideration is given when comparables are being sought.
In most districts there will be evidence of rents being paid for licensed betting office premises. Where the rents are at a different level from those paid for comparable shop or office premises in the neighbourhood, it should be carefully considered whether any of the following circumstances apply.
5.3 Special suitability
Whilst the presence of the betting office licence itself should be disregarded, any special suitability of the premises (and/or their situation) should be reflected in the valuation. Physical features may make premises, particularly those which are purpose built, quite unsuitable for use as a shop or for other office purposes, but may not detract from - and indeed may well enhance - the market value as a potential betting office.
A situation which is poor for a shop could be a particularly suitable situation for a betting office. Locations in convenient proximity to premises which attract likely “punters” will command special attention, eg. situations near public houses, clubs, factories or docks, or on the route to and from these properties.
5.4 Premises structurally similar to a shop, situated in a shopping area
In shopping areas a betting office will often occupy a normal shop unit suitably adapted. As the premises remain physically similar to a shop, the minimum value should be determined by the use of the method (including zoning) applied to shops in the vicinity, duly reflecting the alterations and adaptations - See also RM 5:920.
5.5 Premises structurally dissimilar to a shop, situated in a shopping area
Where the premises are situated in a shopping area but are not similar to a shop, different considerations will arise. Apart from a betting office, such premises, vacant and to let, might attract banks, insurance companies, etc. but this does not necessarily lead to an assumption that the minimum rental value will be dissimilar from that of an adjoining shop. Much will depend upon the suitability of the particular building for its use in that situation.
Shops do, of course, vary considerably in the form in which their frontage is developed for the carrying on of different trades, but this has not prevented comparison one with another.
Thus, in the case of Ladbroke & Co v Mead (VO) 1969 RA 611 (which concerned a purpose-built betting shop with brick elevation where a shop window would normally have been) the Lands Tribunal stated: “The appeal premises are eminently suitable for their designed purpose just as marble slabs and tiled floors are for fishmongers or kiosks for purveyors of souvenirs and chocolates” and later in the same decision ….. “I find that the rents which could reasonably have been expected in terms of per foot super overall of the Betting Office area would not have been less than those currently passing for shops in situations comparably attractive and convenient to customers”.
5.6 Premises structurally similar to offices, not in a shopping area
The value of premises structurally similar to offices, and not in a shopping area, would be expected to be not less than that derived from rental evidence and/or levels of value adopted for comparable office premises - See also Rating Manual: section 6 part 3 - section 730.