The changing face of licensing law

Minimum pricing and gambling among the topics at SLLP

Minimum pricing was one of the issues covered at the latest SLLP event

MINIMUM pricing, gambling and the role licensees can play in helping tackle child exploitation were among the hot topics discussed at SLLP’s Essential Licensing Update last week.

The event, at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, highlighted some of the major legal issues facing the Scottish trade at the close of 2019.

Speakers included Clare Beeston and Neil Craig of NHS Scotland, part of the team responsible for evaluating the success of the Scottish Government’s minimum pricing legislation.

The presentation covered alcohol sales before and after the implementation of minimum unit pricing, with volumes of pure alcohol per adult said to be down and no major impact on producers or retailers.

However, it was also stressed that it is too early to draw any causal links between the legislation and alcohol sales. Further studies will be carried out in the coming years.

On gambling, Ewen Macgregor of TLT Solicitors outlined some of the recent legal changes implemented by the Westminster government and ongoing efforts to tackle “problem gamblers”.

And Daljeet Dagon of Barnardo’s Scotland addressed the issue of child sexual exploitation, including the use of licensed premises as venues for meeting and grooming victims.

The children’s charity has developed guidance for businesses – including pubs, bars and hotels – to help them identify signs of exploitation on their premises.

The Nightwatch in Scotland initiative, launched by Barnardo’s in conjunction with the Scottish Government and Crimestoppers, outlines how operators can establish policies and procedures to help ensure that children on the premises are safe.

Other speakers included Douglas Campbell of Renfrewshire Council, who gave an update on some of the recent developments in civic licensing, including sexual entertainment, equality and funfair licensing; and Hardish Purewal of the Retail of Alcohol Standards Group, who spoke on due diligence in alcohol retailing.