• The new procedure for dealing with Minor Variations will be in force from 29 July 2009.
  • The Policing and Crime Bill and associated Code of Practice introduces a range of mandatory and discretionary conditions for all premises licences. The Home Office have now published the proposed content of the conditions in a draft Code of Practice. Your responses to the consultation (if any) are due back with Hammonds by Friday 31 July.
  • The Gambling Commission has published further guidance on Poker Games in Licensed Premises in an attempt to address confusion amongst operators. We have included our guidelines on what is permitted and the accompanying rules at page 8.
  • Proposals were being discussed by the Committee on Media and Sport to increase the permitted number of Temporary Event Notices per annum. This has been rejected by Parliament, although the issue is likely to re-emerge.
  • There is disappointment over the failure to relax rules on live music yet again. Fergal Sharkey (Chief Executive of UK Music) has worked tirelessly for a number of years to promote the authorisation of live music in smaller venues to encourage the UK music scene at grass roots level. He had petitioned the DCMS to go back to the old '2 in a bar' rule, where no specific authorisation was required for two performers or fewer. However, the government has refused to take up the recommendations.
  • BERR (the department of Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) has been tasked with implementing the EU Services Directive in the UK. The Directive aims to remove barriers in cross border trade in services between countries in the EU. The UK will essentially seek to create an online 'single point of contact' for operators to apply for all necessary authorisations. Entertainment is classed as a service and therefore it must be possible to submit premises licence applications online. The intention is for the Business Link website to be the single point of contact (and operate in a similar way to the Planning Portal).