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Licensing news England and Wales - May 2017

This month in summary

Licensing News

Gambling News

Licensing news

TLT to provide councillor training sessions for the Institute of Licensing

TLT will be leading training sessions for the Institute of Licensing for new councillors the week of the 12 to 16 June 2017. Training sessions will be aimed at councillors. Following the local elections in May, the timing could not be more propitious, with new councillors stepping up to the challenge of sitting on a quasi-judicial panel determining licensing matters.

The training sessions also follow hot on the heels of the House of Lords report on licensing and the concern they raised in relation to the inconsistency of training for councillors affecting the quality of decisions in certain councils.

The sessions will be held in the following locations:

  • Monday 12 June: London
  • Tuesday 13 June: Lancaster
  • Wednesday 14 June: Sidmouth
  • Thursday 15 June: Doncaster
  • Friday 16 June: Hemel Hempstead

Further information and bookings can be made through the Institute of Licensing website

Snap Election puts legislative reform on hold

Theresa May's decision to call a general election in June has led to the early dissolution of parliament and the current legislative programme being curtailed. Announcements from the government as to stakes and prizes allowed on AWP machines is now not expected until after the election, along with the government response to the House of Lords report on licensing, which will now not be until the dust settles after the election.

Drinking patterns in the UK continue to change

A recent report by the Office for National Statistics has confirmed the largely held industry view that people's preferences in relation to consuming alcohol continue to change to reflect a number of factors affecting people's lives.

Of most interest is the relative lack of interest in alcohol, and by extension pubs and bars, from younger adults in the 18 to 24 category. This has been put down to a number of factors, including the rise of social media as the dominant means of socialising for young people, as well as better health education in relation to alcohol consumption. Whilst young people still like to go out, they now tend to research on social media prior to going out and also look for venues offering a range of activities, including eating and entertainment.

Middle-aged people and high earners are likely to drink more regularly and 'binge'- drink more than 8 units (for men) or 6 units (for women) of alcohol in a single session - when they do go out.

One thing seems to be fairly consistent: Men still prefer beer, and women, statistically, prefer wine as their tipple of choice.

Gambling News

Almost half of UK firms faced cyber breaches or attacks in the last 12 months

Prior to the high profile cyber attack on the NHS, the Gambling Commission flagged how gambling companies, probably unsurprisingly given the customer records and account details held, are increasingly becoming targets of cyber crime.

Of particular importance, however, is to note that for anything except the most minor of incidents, there is a duty to notify the Gambling Commission of any information security breaches as a Key Event.

Any breach of information security that adversely affects the confidentiality of customer data or prevents customers from accessing their accounts for longer than 24 hours must be notified, along with any of the following:

  • infection by viruses or malicious software;
  • theft or damage of computer equipment;
  • attacks by unauthorised outsiders resulting in network penetration;
  • unauthorised access (internal or external);
  • unauthorised or accidental disclosure of customer data;
  • staff or third party misuse of customer data;
  • denial of services attacks; and
  • customer impersonated fraud (identity theft). 

Further information can be found on the Gambling Commission website.

Advertising Standards Agency publish guidance for non-broadcast adverts for age restricted products

The guidance outlines the 'where's and how's' regarding age-sensitive products and media placement rules.   This of course applies to gambling and liquor advertising.

Ads for age-restricted products and services must not appear in media:

  • for children (under-16s) or children and young people (under-18s); and
  • where children or children and young people make up a significant proportion – more than 25% – of the audience.

To ensure they do not fall foul of the rules marketers must hold audience data and demonstrate they have undertaken due diligence about their audience demographic.

Out and About

April has been a busy month for TLT's licensing team, with hearings in Ilkley in Yorkshire, Hutton in Essex, Chichester, Bristol and London. We have also been out and about meeting clients and attending licensing group meetings. Obviously, a lot of the 'shop' talk has been about the House of Lords report and the radical suggestions made by them to improve the workings of the licensing legislation. The most prevalent view from those in the industry seems to be that whilst parts of the procedure and law would benefit from being simplified, the last thing the industry needs is a significant upheaval, such as we had in 2005. Licensing lawyers, it would appear, have long memories!

This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at May 2017. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions

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