This month in summary

Licensing News

Minimum Unit Price (MUP)

From 1 May 2018 every premises licence in Scotland will carry a new condition that sets a price below which alcohol cannot be sold. The price per unit fixed for implementation is 50p. The net result is, for example, a 700ml bottle of vodka with an ABV of 37.5% would have a minimum price of £13.13.

Licence holders should note that there is no "grace period". Therefore, products sold should have been MUP compliant from the start of licensed hours on Tuesday 1 May.

Guidance is available from the following sources:

Scottish Government

Scottish Grocers' Federation

Scottish Wholesale Association

Whilst the guidance is helpful, you should always seek independent legal advice so please speak to your licensing solicitor. Breach of the new MUP condition could result in prejudice to your licence and criminal prosecution.

Licensing Board Policies - consultation update

Dumfries & Galloway has launched a full policy consultation, which closes 31 May. Views are sought from all stakeholders and you can view the documentation and comment online.

East Renfrewshire Licensing Board has launched an initial "informal consultation" on its current policy. Views are sought on all issues but, in particular, comments are requested around potential overprovision localities. The consultation closes on 10 May.

Night Time Industries Association plan inaugural Scottish event

Late night operators are poised to benefit from the Night Time Industries Association's (NTIA) first Scottish event in May 2018 as the NTIA venture North of the Border.

Established as the voice for the sector, the NTIA has represented the trade in the rest of the UK to advocate the benefits of a safe and flourishing night time economy. For more information on the Scottish event contact the NTIA at contact@ntia.co.uk.

Top Licensing Tip: Don't forget that all staff – whether seasonal, casual or otherwise, need proper licensing training

As summer approaches, whether you are increasing staff to deal with tourist trade or bringing in casual cover for staff holidays, you must remember the importance of properly delivered and documented licensing training.

Unless a staff member holds a valid personal licence, they must be given the two hours mandatory licensing training and records of the same must be available on request.

This covers all staff engaged in the sale or service of alcohol, in whatever capacity - even unpaid.

Failure to record training is a breach of a condition of the licence and may result in a review or prosecution.

Gambling News

Neil McArthur Appointed Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission

Neil McArthur has been appointed Chief Executive of The Gambling Commission with immediate effect. He was previously acting Interim CEO after Sarah Harrison MBE left the organisation at the end of February. As Chief Executive, he is responsible for the Commission's strategy and delivering the aims agreed by the Board of Commissioners.

GC proposals to make online gambling safer

The Gambling Commission has published proposed changes and actions deemed necessary to improve the safety of online gambling. The proposed changes and action include:

  • Further protecting children by banning operators from providing free-to-play demo games until a consumer’s age has been determined.
  • Improving the speed and effectiveness of age verification processes.
  • Ensuring operators set limits on consumers’ spending until affordability checks have been conducted.
  • Tackling unacceptable marketing and advertising and unfair terms, and improving complaints and disputes procedures.
  • Strengthening requirements to interact with consumers who may be experiencing, or are at risk of developing, problems with their gambling.

The Commission is undertaking further work over the coming year to strengthen online player power and identify areas likely to cause greater harm to players.