This month in summary
Following the successful challenge by Aldi Stores Ltd on appeal to the Sheriff, effectively overturning Dundee Licensing Board's 2014 Overprovision Policy, the Board have signaled their desire to look again at the issue. They have agreed to launch a consultation which will run from July to September 2017 seeking views on the proposition that Dundee is overprovided for particular licensed premises. Pubs and off-sales are the focus of overprovision with the Consultation seemingly accepting that restaurants, cafes and hotels would not be caught. The August Bulletin will provide more details once the consultation paper has been released.
The most recent English Premier League (EPL) TV deal is worth a whopping £8.3 billion - of which £5.14 billion is Sky and BT Sports. It appears that it is local pubs who are set to pay!
Subscription fees for pubs are calculated using their rateable value, so in theory big pubs in prime locations pay more. Since the EPL deal was announced, Sky and BT Sports increased domestic rates a fraction but have substantially upped their prices by 10% and 8.9% respectively. It is estimated that on average pubs are paying £20,000 per annum for subscriptions to Sky and BT Sports.
In January 2017, the Gambling Commission (GC) consulted all interested parties on its proposed changes to their enforcement strategy. Essentially, the key proposal was to do away with the notional bias toward settlement in favour of putting all regulatory tools at their disposal on an equal footing. Following the consultation, the GC has announced its findings.
The key points in terms of the GC enforcement strategy are:
There will be no adoption of a CPS style model of potential fines or discounts, as this would affect the ability of the GC to be 'agile and flexible' in its decision making.
The English Football Association have terminated their relationship with Ladbrokes and confirmed that they will not be replacing them with any other betting partner. The timing suggests that the move it is on the back of a number of reported breaches by players of the FA's betting rules. The sponsorship deal had three years still to run. The Scottish Football Association (SFA) appears set to continue their relationship with their betting partners who sponsor the SPFL, the Scottish Cup and the League Cup.
As part of the Commission's commitment to "digital first" the following processes will move to be online only:
It is important that operators sign up for eServices access ahead of these dates. You can contact the Commission to register on 0121 230 6666.
June saw a frenetic return to hearings after the hiatus occasioned by the local and the general elections.
Our intrepid quartet of licensing lawyer, Stephen, Caroline, Niall and Michael represented clients at the following boards – Angus; Inverclyde; Highland; South Ayrshire; Glasgow; Argyll and Bute; Clackmannanshire; East Lothian; Scottish Borders, Aberdeen; Renfrewshire; Dumfries; Edinburgh; Dundee, East Dunbartonshire and East Ayrshire . In addition we appeared at Glasgow Licensing Committee.
In addition to the above, Stephen and Niall supported the SGF at their Conference at RBS Gogarburn and Niall attended the BII Licensee of the Year Awards in London.
This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at July 2017. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions.