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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  
 
1. What type of licence is required for operating a billiard establishment, a public bowling-alley or a public skating rink?
 

Any person intending to operate a billiard establishment, a public bowling-alley or a public skating rink must apply for a Places of Amusement Licence (Billiard Establishment/Public Bowling-alley/Public Skating Rink). Under section 92A of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap. 132), it is an offence for any person to operate a billiard establishment with 4 or more billiard tables, a public bowling-alley or a public skating rink without a valid licence issued by the licensing authority.

 
2. Is a Billiard Establishment Licence required for operating a billiard establishment with not more than 3 billiard tables?
 

Under section 22A of the Places of Amusement Regulation, ¡§A billiard establishment having less than 4 tables for the playing of billiards, snooker, pool or similar games is exempt from the operation of section 92A of the Ordinance¡¨ (the Ordinance means the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap. 132)). As such, a Billiard Establishment Licence is not required for operating a billiard establishment with not more than 3 billiard tables.

 
3. What are the requirements on the premises intended to be used as places of amusement?
 

The premises should satisfy the following requirements:

  1. There are no unauthorised building works (by cross reference to the approved building records in the Buildings Department and the Building Authority¡¦s acknowledgement of completion of approved alterations and additions works);
  2. The floors have adequate loading capacity;
  3. There are adequate means of escape; and
  4. The premises should be located in purely commercial buildings. For those located on the podium floors of mixed commercial/residential buildings, the floors must have separate means of access segregated from the residential portions of the buildings.

Each application will be considered on its own merits by the licensing authority.

 
4. Has the licensing authority complied any guidelines on the application procedure for a Places of Amusement Licence?
 
Information on the application procedure for a Places of Amusement Licence has been uploaded onto the website of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) at http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/licensing/en/index.php. Enquiries can also be made to the Licensing and Prosecution Unit of the LCSD on 2601 8799.
 
5. How long will it take for the LCSD to process an application for a Places of Amusement Licence?
 

It normally takes 55 working days for the LCSD to process a new Places of Amusement Licence, excluding the time that an applicant needs to ensure full compliance with the licensing requirements. The performance pledges of the LCSD for processing a fresh application are as follows: (1) to acknowledge receipt and refer the application to the relevant government departments for comment within 5 working days after receiving all the necessary documents and conducting inspection of the premises; (2) to issue a Letter of Requirements within 5 working days upon receiving no objections from all relevant government departments; and (3) to issue a licence within 5 working days upon confirmation of full compliance with the licensing requirements.

 
6. How can an applicant lodge an appeal if his/her application for a Places of Amusement Licence is rejected?
 
If the applicant is dissatisfied with the decision made by the licensing authority, he/she may lodge an appeal against such a decision to the Licensing Appeals Board within 14 days after the service on him/her of the rejection in writing in accordance with sections 125(8) and (9) of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap. 132).
 
7. Is a licensee required to make any application to the licensing authority for holding events/activities other than those specified in the licence in a licensed place of amusement?
 

According to Condition 3 of the Standard Licensing Conditions for Places of Amusement, ¡§Except with the approval of the Department, or as specified in any licence or permit granted by the Department, the premises must not be used for any other purpose or class of business.¡¨ As such, any licensee who intends to use a licensed place of amusement for holding events/activities other than those specified in the licence must obtain prior approval from the licensing authority. The licensee must submit a duly completed application form to the Licensing and Prosecution Unit of the LCSD by fax (Fax No. : 2375 9333), by post (Address: Licensing and Prosecution Unit, 9/F, Leisure and Cultural Services Headquarters, 1 Pai Tau Street, Sha Tin, New Territories), or by hand 6 weeks before holding the events/activities. The application form is available for download on the following website: http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/licensing/en/form.php.

 
8. How can a licensee apply for permission to conduct business outside the statutorily specified business hours?
 

According to section 12 of the Places of Amusement Regulation, ¡§Unless expressly permitted by the Director in writing, the licensee shall not allow the licensed premises to be used between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. for any activity specified in the licence.¡¨ As such, the licensee of a place of amusement must apply to the Licensing and Prosecution Unit of the LCSD for permission to conduct business outside the statutorily specified business hours. Under normal circumstances, the processing time for such an application is about 6 weeks.


 
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