This month in summary
Monday 15 May saw another raft of changes to Scottish alcohol laws. On the face of it, you could be forgiven for seeing the changes as technicalities, but discounting them as such would be a mistake. Significant changes to the scope of the legislation, in particular the new "fit and proper person test", will undoubtedly have a significant effect on licensing applications not just in theory but in practice.
The main changes are summarised as follows:
*A further pending change (which has not yet been commenced) will soon see spent convictions become relevant. This coupled with the fit and proper person test may see a raft of review requests and objections to licence applications.
Much media "air time" and column inches are rightly devoted to highlighting the on-going problems with alcohol health harm in the UK and in Scotland in particular. It does at times appear that matters are perennially getting worse but as the Economist recently highlighted, alcohol related deaths in Scotland have been falling since the early noughties. The full article can be accessed here.
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:
Further information can be found on the Gambling Commission website.
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:
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. Guidance is available in full.
April was the last outing for Scotland's licensing boards and committees with the Local Authority Elections taking place on 4 May. We bid adieu to and represented clients at the following: Angus; Dumfries; Glasgow; Edinburgh; Fife and Falkirk Licensing Boards.
In a busy month Niall and Michael met clients across two days in London whilst Stephen and Caroline did the same in Bristol.
Stephen McGowan was also elected as vice-president of the Scottish Licensed Trade Benevolent Society (aka The Ben).
Michael's Twtter @michaelmcdx
Caroline's Twitter @ckploudon
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