Philip Kolvin QC: Licensing Lawyer Legal advice & representation

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Philip is perhaps the busiest barrister working in gambling law, and is much in demand for his work on betting offices, casinos and other gambling issues.

He works for public authorities and industry operators.

Philip is standing Counsel to the Gambling Commission, the national regulator of gambling.

He is also the adviser to the Casino Network, a consortium of the 16 local authorities allowed by Parliament to grant “super-casino” licences under the Gambling At 2005.

On the industry side, Philip is well known for his betting work. His clients include the Association of British Bookmakers, William Hill, Ladbrokes and Corals.

Philip is also a leading lawyer in casino work, having advised operators including Gala (now Grosvenor) Casinos and also Aspers.

In bingo work, Philip has advised the Bingo Association and also Gala Bingo.

In machines work, Philip has advised Noble Leisure and pub operators.

Case studies:


In the first case of its kind, Philip acted for the Gambling Commission in a Crown Court prosecution of a machine supplier whose machines were fixed against the customer. The Defendant was jailed for 10 months.

Philip is instructed by all 16 licensing authorities permitted by Parliament to grant casino licences under the Gambling Act 2005. This has involved extensive advisory work and drafting of procedures and protocols for the casino licensing process. He has sat as legal assessor in contested licensing hearings in a number of areas, and has worked on successful defences to casino licensing decisions in the High Court and magistrates’ court.

He has advised and trained many licensing authorities on their gambling policies, and advised and represented authorities in several contentious areas including split premises.

Philip has succeeded in obtaining betting licences against concerted opposition in a number of cases, including recent successes in Hillingdon (where his clients, Ladbrokes, were awarded costs by the magistrates) and Newham.

Acting for Gala Casinos, Philip was instrumental in opposing a long-running campaign of hotel-casino licence applications by a Far Eastern gambling conglomerate. After multiple defeats in the magistrates’ and crown courts, the campaign crumbled.

Acting for the London Borough of Hackney, Philip was successful in securing the closure of an illegal poker club seeking to profit from the nearby Olympic Games.

Philip has also advised many operators on remote operations and the use of wifi in gambling and non-gambling locations.