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A Reminder on Prize Competitions

It might be the increase in working remotely, or the pandemic causing more day dreaming, but once again prize competitions and lotteries are on everyone’s mind.

A lottery requires a licence if there is a requirement to pay to enter and the prizes are awarded wholly on chance. This describes a simple lottery, a complex lottery can follow a series of processes to allocate prizes, with just the first step relying wholly on chance.

If you remove the element of chance, it becomes a prize competition.

Prize competitions require an element of skill and knowledge in order to be exempt from the requirement to hold a licence. The biggest question is therefore what qualifies as skill and knowledge. In order to qualify, it must require enough skill or knowledge so as to prevent a significant portion of those entered from winning a prize, or simply prevent a significant portion of people from entering.

As a rule of thumb anything which is widely known, can be found on the same page as the question or is easily searched won’t qualify. Similarly if it is a multiple choice question for which you can have multiple attempts, that won’t cut it either.

But in an age of google in your pocket, surely anything can be easily searched? The Gambling Commission gives an example of a crossword puzzle on the back of a newspaper as being a good example of a prize competition. On the face of it this is understandable, it requires time and effort to complete a number of difficult questions. But what if the questions are not complicated?

It is clear that the validity of a prize competition will turn on the facts of each individual case. For example a maths questions seems like a good option, but a simple maths question follows the same as the above. If it does not require skill and knowledge which a significant portion of those entering will not possess, it will not qualify.

In the event a prize competition is deemed to be a lottery, it will require a licence and the competition will be halted.

Now, to confuse things, you might be thinking “I’ve definitely seen prize competitions which couldn’t possible qualify!”. Chances are such competitions are actually using the free entry route. If the competition question asks the reader to decide whether 2+2 is a) 3, b) 4, or c) 5… this is clearly not a question of skill or knowledge. However you must next look at how the entry is made. Remember; the requirements for a lottery are that it relies wholly on chance AND there is a requirement to pay. If you have not paid, it is not a lottery.

Such questions frequently have an entry route which costs, for example £5, and entry can be made by text, online or over the phone. However you can also enter by first class post and no further cost will be needed. This qualifies as a free entry route.

There are some intricacies of the free entry route- it must be clearly visible and on a par with the paid entry route, it must still be convenient and the costs must be at a normal rate (first class post- not special delivery). The most important point to note is that people must be able to choose to take part without paying and the prizes must not be allocated with any reliance on how entries were made.

A free entry route can be utilised for commercial purposes.

If any of the above interests or alarms you please feel free to contact Amanda Usher at or Andrew Woods at for more information or to discuss a situation.

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Are we seeing green shoots in the leisure sector?

As we approach the second anniversary of lockdown, when Andy Woods and I wondered whether we would still have a business after COVID, we are starting to see significant green shoots as operators come out of hibernation and fight back.

Even last year when we came out of the lockdowns and tiered system, there were significant difficulties in reopening of premises with the late night sector struggling to get traction with the government to be able to reopen at all.

It appears that we are now in a position where we are “living with COVID.” Surely that has to be the right approach generally, but certainly in relation to the leisure sector. I couldn’t quite understand how I could be going to see Pete Tong and Ibiza Classics at the O2 Arena in London in December whilst there were still talks of entering a further lockdown.

Having just visited France, I have seen how efficient their COVID passport works in getting into restaurants and licensed premises. We never seemed to get to that level of efficiency, but thankfully all of that now seems to be behind us in the UK.

It is unbelievably busy across all of our sectors now. We are seeing quality operators capable of investing in new premises, and receptive licensing authorities, who are even putting their cumulative impact policies on ice whilst they look to generate significant leisure opportunities in their town and city centres.

We are very fortunate in that we act for a number of high quality operators who have engaged in pre-application communications with responsible authorities in a number of town and city centres, and we have received receptive responses from all – even though some applications have still received representations and are going to hearings.

There are significantly large retail units which have come on the market, such as Debenhams units, and other large retailers. We are also fortunate to represent some large competitive socialising operators who need significantly more space to offer everything within their entertainment venues. Again, we have seen some fabulous new instructions in relation to this in Birmingham, Leeds, York and Brighton.

The festival and event space is always a fabulous space to be involved in. We have some major clients in this space, and are currently instructed in relation to new festival and event spaces all over the country, including Leeds, Yorkshire and multiple areas within and around London. These multi-use sites ranging from seasonal to significant events involve huge pre-planning and negotiation with all responsible authorities and regularly through safety advisory group meetings, including applying for road closures, liaising with transport operators and neighbours. They are the most interesting applications to be involved in, and particularly detailed. We are, on the whole, receiving positive responses to the applications that we are currently involved in.

The gambling sector continues to be particularly busy with machine operators picking up lots of the redundant betting sites nationally, and also banks and other spare retail spaces on the High Street. We do receive significant concern and regular objections to these applications, and many go before Committee due to the potential issues with vulnerable people and underage gamblers. It is critically import in all of these applications to ensure that operators understand their duties under the Gambling Act and ancillary regulations, and can take into account the local nuances surrounding their application sites. Again, we do not see this sector slowing down for the rest of the year.

It is also worthy of note, with the current Ukraine crisis, to see how many of our operators have gone public in refusing to sell Russian branded vodka and drinks. This is something that we see as potentially growing moving forward, one operator changing the name of their Moscow Mule to a Kiev Mule.

We have been liaising with the Night Time Industry Association and are looking forward to attending their event in Bristol on 7th and 8th April. Michael and his team have been phenomenal proponents and supporters of the night time sector during the most difficult 2 years, and we are excited to be involved. If this is something you are interested in then please register at

We look forward to seeing you there.

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Institute of Licensing Gambling Conference 06 October 2021

Chris Rees-Gay and Amanda Usher had the pleasure of attending the first in person Institute of Licensing Gambling Conference post Covid on 06 October 2021.

A good turn out in the Grosvenor Casino in Manchester, speakers included representatives from the Gambling Commission, GamCare, a Local Authority and the industry. It was lovely to see everyone together in real life again.

First up GamCare took us through the relatively new Safer Gambling Standard and its pros and cons for both operators and local authorities. An interesting idea, and one which some operators have already invested in, however not one without problems. At the cost of the operator, GamCare will assess the practices and procedures of said operator before deciding whether to give it a seal of approval. A useful marker for local authorities when inspecting premises, however not accredited or approved by the Gambling Commission. Concerns were raised about the potential issues, including the costs involved and the actual benefit to such a sticker in the window.

GamCare do have some extremely useful resources for both operators and local authorities, including statistical data of problem gamblers and self-assessment tools (

Concerns were also raised as to the financial viability of such a venture for many operators, particularly independents. Between the costs of the assessment itself, and the increased RET contributions, many were worried about operators being marked down for not having the stamp of approval.

A representative from a local authority then provided invaluable insight into their experiences of handling contested gambling premises applications. Faced with an application they felt was inadequate, the local authority discussed the trials and tribulations of what they described as the complexities of gambling applications.

The general feeling in the room from the representatives of various local authorities is that contested gambling application are rare beasts… this is certainly not the experience of Woods Whur!

For this particular application, the council felt under a great deal of pressure due to the lack of information provided by the operator, with no operating schedule (unlike in alcohol licensing), basic plans (in accordance with the legislation) and no pre application engagement from the operator.

The Gambling Commission gave a handy summary of the self-exclusion scheme, as well as stressing the importance of customer interaction. The need for robust and workable policies and procedures is now more important than ever, with the majority of current reviews being based, or at least including, customer interaction and responsible gambling failings. The most useful titbit to come from the Gambling Commission is their current opinion of thresholds for customer interactions, being that they are nearly always too high and intervention is happening too late.

Customer interaction policies and procedures must be outcome based to be effective and they must be adhered to. As always- recording is key and this was reiterated. If in doubt; write it down.

The Gambling Commission is struggling for resources, as the industry is aware, and both local authorities and operators are missing their physical presence across the country. It is hoped the increased application fees will help to alleviate some pressure and provide the Commission with some much needed additional resources.

The Gambling Commission also indicated they will be reviewing and updating the inspection guides (

The open discussion, which included a panel made up of all of the speakers, was of particular interest. The Gambling Act review is of course at the forefront of everyone’s minds, and a great deal of discussion ensued regarding the possibility of a fourth licensing objective, namely public health. First brought up by the Local Authority early on in the day, many felt that input from their public health teams would be valuable, both when dealing with applications and for contested hearings. Also discussed but to no avail was the issue of gambling related training and the Gambling Commission’s reluctance to accredit, approve or indeed acknowledge any training courses. The operators are left to fend for themselves, which is particularly pertinent given the recent treatment of the PML holders at Caesars.

A legal round up was provided with particular focus on affordability and the upcoming review. It is always interesting to note what sort of problems are felt across the board, and at the moment the biggest problem for everyone is the issue of affordability. It was pointed out that if affordability becomes any more of an issue, gambling will be the only leisure activity for which a regulator can dictate how much a customer is allowed to spend.

The Gambling Act review is naturally capturing the industry’s imagination at the moment, with questions being posed as to which direction it might go in. A complete overhaul? Some tweaks here and there? Almost unanimously the room felt the addition of a definition of ‘vulnerability’ would go a long way to clearing up confusion surrounding the third licensing objection- the protection of children and vulnerable persons. The biggest dividing feature of the current Gambling Act, and consequently its place in any review, are the words ‘aim to permit’ in section 153… no guesses for who comes down on which side!

A major casino operator provided the context for the day. With clear and concise explanations of their business, the day to day struggles of a casino operator and where the big problems lie for operators in current times, it presented much needed balance for the day. The practical application of the rules and regulations is of most importance to operators, and the difficulties surrounding affordability were highlighted, in particular the difficulty in obtaining documents from customers. Many individuals are insulted, and quite often nervous, when asked to supply personal documents of a confidential nature.

The day was rounded off with a tour of the Casino- I don’t think anyone had a flutter but you never know!

If you have any queries on the above or any other gambling related matter please contact Chris Rees-Gay (  or Amanda Usher (


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GUIDANCE NOTE – Online draws and raffles promoted by members of the public with proceeds going to a society

The Gambling Commission (GC) national strategic assessment has recognised the increasing presence of ‘social media lotteries’ and the increasingly prominent risk of exposure to unlicensed gambling.

Social media lotteries are a growing issue due to their increasing presence on Facebook and other social media platforms. Historically such lotteries were low-level events, and intelligence identified many were being run from home by a small group of people and for low value prizes. However recent intelligence suggests larger, more organised operations may be in effect, generating significant profit.

The Gambling Commission deems social media lotteries, including those run by influencers, to be unlicensed gambling and therefore unlawful.

The following guidance has been provided by Woods Whur and Woods Valldata to assist Societies in ensuring they are aware of the risks ‘social media lotteries’ present as well as safeguarding the societies’ obligations concerning promoting the GC’s licencing objectives and not supporting unlicensed gambling.

Q: What makes a draw promoted by members of the public on social media platforms and giving sites such as Just Giving, Virgin Money Giving etc. an illegal lottery?

A: The requirements that meet the definition of a lottery are set out within Section 14 of the Gambling Act 2005 (the Act) and, specifically, a simple lottery is one where:

  • There is a requirement to pay
  • One or more prizes are awarded
  • Those prizes are awarded by chance.

Therefore, if someone is required to ‘donate’ to be eligible to be entered into the draw this would meet the requirement to pay element of this definition. The other points regarding the prizes and those prizes are awarded by chance would mean that the promoter would be promoting an illegal lottery.

There are different requirements for a lottery to be defined as a ‘complex lottery’.

Q: What if the person promoting the draw on social media platforms and giving sites is part of a club or organisation, would it still be an illegal lottery?

A: Lotteries are regulated under the Act and must be either licensed by the GC or registered with a local authority, depending on the size of the lottery. It is illegal for a lottery to be run without a licence or registration.

Q: Can a member of the public register themselves as a small society lottery with a local authority?

A: An individual, group or organisation would need to set themselves up as a non-commercial society to allow them to promote a lottery. It is not a requirement for this to a be a registered charity, but the promoter must be promoting as a non-commercial society and be able to show evidence of this when applying to be registered with the local authority.

Q: What should a Society do if they become aware a member of the public is running an illegal lottery with proceeds going to the Society?

A: If the individual changes the route of entry to allow both paid (donation) and free entry into the draw this would then be permitted and classed as a ‘free draw’ and therefore does not need to be licensed or registered. The definition within the Act requires payment for each entry. Where there is the option for entrants to be entered via a ‘free route’ then this would not be classed as a lottery in accordance with the Act.

Q: Would a Society need to refund any monies already donated whilst it was an illegal lottery?

A: There is no direct Licence Condition in breach as the Society has not promoted the lottery however a Society should be mindful of the overarching licensing objectives to which it must operate, i.e. gambling is to be conducted in a ‘fair and open way’. Where societies and charities become aware of illegal lotteries all efforts should be made to return the monies and confirm the position regarding acceptance of illegal lottery proceeds.

Q: Are there other types of lottery that do not require any licence or registration with the Gambling Commission or local authority?

A: There are a number of lotteries known as ‘exempt lotteries’ set out in Schedule 11 of the Act and they are as follows:

  • Incidental lottery: These can be held at both non-commercial and commercial events to raise money for charities and other good causes, but they cannot be operated for private or commercial gain. Lottery results can be announced during or after the event, but tickets can only be sold at the event and while it is taking place.
  • Private society lottery: These must raise money for the purposes for which the society is conducted or to raise funds to support a charity or good cause . The advertisement of the lottery can only be done on the society premises and only members or guests on the society premises are permitted to purchase a ticket.
  • Work lottery: These can be held at both non-commercial and commercial premises to raise money for charities and other good causes, but they cannot be operated for private or commercial gain. The advertisement of the lottery can only be done on that single premises and only employees at that single premises are permitted to purchase tickets.
  • Residents lottery: These must raise money to support a charity or good cause. The advertisement of the lottery can only be done on the premises and only residents are permitted to purchase a ticket.
  • Customer lottery: No profit can be made and the price payable must be the same, tickets must not be sold to children under 16 years of age. The advertisement of the lottery can only be done on the premises and only customers are permitted to purchase a ticket. A customer lottery cannot be conducted on a vessel.

In all the above lottery types there are also restrictions on deductions for expenses and prizes; requirements surrounding tickets and rollovers are not permitted.   These lottery types do not require a licence or authorisation if they meet the definition of the exempt lottery type.

For more information on running prize competitions and free draws please refer to the Gambling Commission guide:

For more information on ‘exempt lotteries’ please refer to the Gambling Commission guide:

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DCMS calls for a Review of the Gambling Act 2005

The ‘Call for Evidence’ publication contains an introduction and 6 key areas which the government wishes to review. These areas are not particularly surprising given the current climate and recent changes made to the industry.

The areas are as follows ; Online protections – players and products, Advertising, sponsorship and branding, Gambling Commission’s powers and resources, Consumer Redress, Age limits and verification and Land based gambling.

The introduction runs through some figures for the Industry as a whole, it acknowledges that the National Lottery plays a big part and that the industry contributes to the economy (as well as 100,000 jobs). It also refers to the level of problem gamblers being approximately 0.5% of the adult population and how this has remained broadly steady around or below 1% for the past 20 years.

It is recognised that this review is required due to a shift in customer behaviour. In 2014 the act was amended to bring offshore operators into its scope and there is much evidence demonstrating how much online gambling in Great Britain has grown. However it also recognises that “This steady industry growth and shift to online have seen neither a marked increase in overall gambling participation, which has remained broadly stable between 45 and 48% of adults for the past five years, nor an increase in population problem gambling rates”

There is a general run down of what they have done so far to combat emerging problems, for example increasing the national lottery age to 18, cutting maximum stakes, increasing donations from operators, advertising bans).

The main aims set out are to create a safe environment with up to date regulations and a powerful regulator. The main objectives being to:

  • Examine whether changes are needed to the system of gambling regulation in Great Britain to reflect changes to the gambling landscape since 2005, particularly due to technological advances
  • Ensure there is an appropriate balance between consumer freedoms and choice on the one hand, and prevention of harm to vulnerable groups and wider communities on the other
  • Make sure customers are suitably protected whenever and wherever they are gambling, and that there is an equitable approach to the regulation of the online and the land based industries

After the initial 16 week call for evidence, the government will assess the evidence presented, alongside other data, with the aim of setting out conclusions and any proposals for reform in a white paper next year.

The call for evidence:

  1. Online protections – players and products
  • They are exploring a more interventionist method of monitoring customer player, including sharing data with other operators to spot issues. Discussion surrounding how this is easier online and should be utilised
  • More discussion surrounding the types of online gambling, “online gambling on slots, casinos or bingo games is associated with a higher rate (9.2%) than online betting with a bookmaker (2.5%)”
  • White labels are also coming into the firing line- “concerns have been raised that the companies who provide the brands may be seeking to use white label arrangements as they would be unable to meet the GB regulatory standards required to obtain a licence themselves, and that this therefore poses risks to consumers”
  • The attention is also back on loot boxes and whether they should be classed as gambling.
  • The questions:

Q1: What evidence is there on the effectiveness of the existing online protections in preventing gambling harm?

Q2: What evidence is there for or against the imposition of greater controls on online product design? This includes (but is not limited to) stake, speed, and prize limits or pre-release testing.

Q3: What evidence is there for or against the imposition of greater controls on online gambling accounts including but not limited to deposit, loss, and spend limits?

Q4: What is the evidence on whether any such limits should be on a universal basis or targeted at individuals based on affordability or other considerations?

Q5: Is there evidence on how the consumer data collected by operators could be better deployed and used to support the government’s objectives?

Q6: How are online gambling losses split across the player cohort? For instance what percentage of GGY do the top and bottom 10% of spenders account for, and how does this vary by product?

Q7: What evidence is there from behavioural science or other fields that the protections which operators must already offer, such as player-set spend limits, could be made more effective in preventing harm?

Q8: Is there evidence that so called ‘white label’ arrangements pose a particular risk to consumers in Great Britain?

Q9: What evidence, if any, is there to suggest that new and emerging technologies, delivery and payment methods such as blockchain and crypto currencies could pose a particular risk to gambling consumers?

Q10: Is there any additional evidence in this area the government should consider?

  1. Advertising, sponsorship and branding
  • The ASA becoming more concerned with online advertising, including advertising on social media
  • CAP is consulting on the content restrictions in the codes to ensure they reflect the latest evidence and provide appropriate protections for under 18s and vulnerable adults
  • The sponsorship of sports teams, particularly football and horse racing, is coming under scrutiny
  • The Questions:

Q11: What are the benefits or harms caused by allowing licensed gambling operators to advertise?

Q12: What, if any, is the evidence on the effectiveness of mandatory safer gambling messages in adverts in preventing harm?

Q13: What evidence is there on the harms or benefits of licensed operators being able to make promotional offers, such as free spins, bonuses and hospitality, either within or separately to VIP schemes?

Q14: What is the positive or negative impact of gambling sponsorship arrangements across sports, esports and other areas?

Q15: Is there any additional evidence in this area the government should consider, including in relation to particularly vulnerable groups?

  1. The Gambling Commission’s powers and resources
  • Intentions to ensure the GC can respond effectively to new and evolving problems in the industry- including by ensuring it is adequately resourced
  • The Questions

Q16: What, if any, evidence is there to suggest that there is currently a significant black market for gambling in Great Britain, or that there is a risk of one emerging?

Q17: What evidence, if any, is there on the ease with which consumers can access black market gambling websites in Great Britain?

Q18: How easy is it for consumers to tell that they are using an unlicensed illegal operator?

Q19: Is there evidence on whether the Gambling Commission has sufficient investigation, enforcement and sanctioning powers to effect change in operator behaviour and raise standards?

Q20: If existing powers are considered to be sufficient, is there scope for them to be used differently or more effectively?

Q21: What evidence is there on the potential benefits of changing the fee system to give the Gambling Commission more flexibility to adjust its fees, or potentially create financial incentives to compliance for operators?

Q22: What are the barriers to high quality research to inform regulation or policy making, and how can these be overcome? What evidence is there that a different model to the current system might improve outcomes?

Q23: Is there evidence from other jurisdictions or regulators on the most effective system for recouping the regulatory and societal costs of gambling from operators, for instance through taxes, licence fees or statutory levies?

Q24: Is there any additional evidence in this area the government should consider?

  1. Consumer redress
  • Currently operators are punished by the GC, concerns are that individual customers do not get compensation (other than ADR for contractual failings)
  • Concerns this does not include SR problems and that customers would have to go through the courts for this
  • The questions

Q25: Is there evidence of a need to change redress arrangements in the gambling sector?

Q26: If so, are there redress arrangements in other sectors or internationally which could provide a suitable model for the gambling sector?

Q27: Individual redress is often equated with financial compensation for gambling losses. However, there may be risks associated with providing financial lump sums to problem and recovering gamblers, or risks of creating a sense that gambling can be ‘risk free’. Are there other such considerations the government should weigh in considering possible changes to redress arrangements?

Q28: Is there any additional evidence in this area the government should consider?

  1. Age limits and verification
  • Research shows that while the number of underage gamblers is down, the number of underage problem gamblers has remained stable
  • Intentions to review the minimum age for society lotteries as well as under 18s using gaming machines (such as slot machines)
  • More consideration is also to be given to the protection of those aged 18-24
  • The questions:

Q29: What evidence is there on the effectiveness of current measures to prevent illegal underage gambling in land based venues and online?

Q30: Is there evidence of best practice, for instance from other jurisdictions, in how to prevent illegal underage gambling?

Q31: What, if any, evidence is there on the number of 16 and 17 year olds participating in society lotteries?

Q32: What, if any, evidence is there to show an association between legal youth engagement in society lotteries and problem gambling (as children or adults)?

Q33: Is there comparative evidence to support society lotteries and the National Lottery having different minimum ages to play?

Q34: What are the advantages and disadvantages of category D slot machine style gaming machines being legally accessible to children?

Q35: Is there evidence on how the characteristics of category D slot machine style gaming machines (for instance whether they pay out in cash or tickets) factor into their association with harm in childhood or later life?

Q36: What, if any, is the evidence that extra protections are needed for the youngest adults (for instance those aged between 18 and 25)?

Q37: What evidence is there on the type of protections which might be most effective for this age group?

Q38: Is there any additional evidence in this area the government should consider?

  1. Land based gambling
  • Recognition that the land based operators have been hit badly by Covid-19
  • Concerns surrounding the relevance of the old legislation for land based, particularly in relation to the cashless economy and casinos
  • A review of both types of casino will be undertaken now there are several in operation
  • Questions as to whether local authorities have the power they need to manage the premises
  • The question:

Q39: What, if any, changes in the rules on land based gambling would support the government’s objectives as set out in the document? Please provide evidence to support this position, for instance how changes have worked in other countries.

Q40: What evidence is there on potential benefits or harms of permitting cashless payment for land based gambling?

Q41: Is there evidence that changes to machine allocations and/ or machine to table ratios in casinos to allow them to have more machines would support the government’s objectives?

Q42: What is the evidence that the new types of casino created by the 2005 Act meet (or could meet) their objectives for the sector; supporting economic regeneration, tourism and growth while reducing risks of harm?

Q43: Is there evidence on whether licensing and local authorities have enough powers to fulfil their responsibilities in respect of premises licenses?

Q44: Is there evidence that we should moderately increase the threshold at which local authorities need to individually authorise the number of category D and C gaming machines in alcohol licensed premises?

Q45: Is there any additional evidence in this area the government should consider?

If you have any queries on the above please contact Andy Woods (  or Amanda Usher (

How to respond to the Call for Evidence:

Email with a document (word or pdf). This Call for Evidence will close at midnight on Wednesday 31st March 2021.

Everyone is welcome to respond, including international operators.

Your response must include Whether you are responding on behalf of an organisation or in a personal capacity; What questions/ topics you are responding to; Whether you want your response to remain confidential for commercial or other reasons, and whether you are willing to be contacted (if so please provide contact details).

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Lottery Sector Changes – Advertising and Gambling Commission Changes

Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) Changes

Operators should be up to speed with the latest version of the LCCP and aware that this currently is changing twice annually. The most recent changes to the LCCP that affect lottery operators are as follows:

  • Licence condition 15.1.1
  • Licence condition 15.2.1
  • Licence condition 15.2.2
  • Licence Condition 15.3.1
  • Social Responsibility Code Provision 6.1.1
  • Personal Licence conditions

It is important that operators read these conditions and understand how they may affect their day to day business and whether any policies need to be amended to reflect these changes and ensure compliance with the same.

The changes in the LCCP concern reporting obligations and display of licensed status for remote operators. It is always strongly advised that an up to date copy of the LCCP is readily available to all of those concerned with the gambling industry and, where hard copies are not presented, employees know where to find the most recent version (online).

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP)

CAP and BCAP have recently amended its guidance regarding the feature of children and young people in lottery advertisements. The wording of the original rules was:

17.15 Marketing communications for a lottery product may include children or young persons. No one who is, or seems to be, under 25 years old may be featured gambling or playing a significant role.

17.16 Marketing communications that exclusively feature the good causes that benefit from a lottery and include no explicit encouragement to buy a lottery product may include children or young persons in a significant role.

The amended wording of the rules is as follows:

17.15 [Marketing communications] for lotteries must not feature anyone who is, or seems to be, under 25 years old (under 25s) participating in gambling.

17.16 [marketing communications] for lotteries which include any reference to scratch cards or online instant win lottery products must not feature under 25s in a significant role. Other [marketing communications] for lotteries must not feature under 25s in a significant role unless either:

17.16.1 The under 25s are featured solely to depict the good causes supported by the lottery and there is no explicit encouragement to purchase a lottery product; or

17.16.2 The lottery primarily benefits under 25s (including in a family setting) and the under 25s featured are representative of the primary beneficiaries of the lottery.

 In addition to the changes of the wording, CAP have published guidance on the depiction of under 25s in lottery advertising and, in particular, what they deem significant role to mean. They have split the definition of significant role into “incidental” and “significant”.


  • Under 25s seen as a minority part of a larger mixed age group, where the focus is on the group as a whole, e.g. a family a dinner.
  • Under 25s in the background of a shop that focuses on older subjects.


  • Speaking parts (or written equivalents in non-broadcast advertising).
  • The sole or primary focus of a shot, or being singled out in some way.
  • Holding promotional materials, such as a sign for the cause or lottery.

The distinction between scratch cards and instant win lotteries have always been of higher risk profile because of the potential harm to players.

It is important that you are aware of these new rules and ensure that your advertisements are compliant with the new rules.

Guidance from CAP can be found of the following link:

If you have any questions in relation to this guidance, then please contact Sarah Frow or Andrew Woods on 0113 234 3055 or

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Health and Safety Executive Publish Statistics for 2019/20

If you have a health and safety or management role, you may have seen a number of articles concerning the HSE report. I hope that this article will provide a useful document to summarise the key facts and figures including that of trends in recent years.

Fatal Injuries

We have reported previously that the fatal statistics published by the HSE have shown a general flattening of work place fatalities from 2008/2009 through to 2020. Having said that, this year’s rate of fatal injury is the lowest on record (since records began in 1981) showing a rate of fatal injury (per 100,000 workers) of 0.34.

Once again, the highest number of fatalities by main industry group is that of construction. This is followed by agriculture; forestry and fishing; manufacturing; transport and storage; wholesale; retail; motor repair; accommodation and food.

Another trend which is common to see when looking at the annual statistics is that falls from height are the highest number of fatal injuries to workers by the kind of accident.

To summarise the fatal injury statistics, once again the figures show a long term trend of being broadly flat. It seems apparent that this year’s and next year’s figures will be impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions placed throughout the country and may, in turn, show a disproportionate reduction in workplace fatalities as a result of this. This is something to consider, not only with statistics of fatalities having taken place, but also when managing work places returning to work and the risk of harm following an absence be that through a compulsory lockdown or perhaps through self-isolation or long term illness.

Work Related Ill Health

The key figures here show that 1.6million working people are suffering from a work related illness and 38.8million working days have been lost due to work related illness and workplace injury.

Of those 1.6million workers, the statistics show those workers identified with stress, depression or anxiety account for 51% of work related ill health. 2019/20 figures show that the rate of work related ill health per 100,000 workers has increased this year following a broadly flat trend in previous years. In particular, the rate of self-reported work related stress, depression or anxiety has increased in recent years and again is shown in the statistics 2019/20. The HSE statistics state that work load, lack of support, violence, threats or bullying and changes at work are estimated to be the main causes of work related stress, depression or anxiety. It sets out that 17.9million working days due were lost due to work related stress, depression or anxiety in 2019/20.

It is apparent from the HSE that they are concerned about the rise in figures and have provided additional guidance in respect of managing the risk of this type of workplace illness.

Mental health  has always been a difficult risk to manage as it is intangible and no one size fits all approach is applicable. It is important that you are aware of the statistics and increases in these types of work related illnesses to allow you to review your policies. It is important that your employees are supported and not suffering as a result of work. An aggravating factor will be that of COVID-19 and the impact this has had on all of our lives both personally and professionally. Please bear in mind that just because the impact of Covid-19 has affected everybody, this does not relieve you of your obligations under health and safety law.


The HSE have prosecuted 325 cases that have resulted in a conviction in 2019/20. £35.8million of fines resulted from prosecutions taken by the HSE where a conviction was achieved in 2019/20.

Despite the eye-watering figures above, this year has seen a fall in the number of cases prosecuted by the HSE which continues a trend from 2014/5. In addition, enforcement notices issued by the HSE have decreased.

The HSE have made it very clear that enforcement has not stopped as a result of COVID-19 and the restrictions placed upon it. It is likely that we will see in the coming years enforcement related to COVID-19 and the measures put in place by organisations scrutinised.


To conclude, the key points from these annual statistics are as follows:

  • The number of workers killed at work in 2019/20 is 111.
  • The most common type of fatality in 2019/20 is that of a fall from height.
  • Mental health is of concern and on the increase in relation to work related ill health.
  •  £35.8million was recovered in fines, which is a decrease on previous years.

It’s important to review these figures annually to understand long term trends and where increases/decreases are occurring. COVID-19 has had an impact on almost all elements of our lives, including that of health and safety statistics. The sharp increase in mental illness as a result of work is something that should be taken very seriously by organisations. It is important that you ensure communication with everyone at work and take a bespoke approach to individuals concerned with your organisation.

If you would like to view a summary of the statistics from the HSE, then please follow this link:

If you have any questions or concerns about your health and safety requirements, then please contact the regulatory team at Woods Whur on 0113 234 3055 or

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One Step Forwards, Two Steps Back

Luke and I were chatting this week about topics for today’s newsletter and the fact it was impossible to write about what the likelihood was of licensed premises opening up after 2nd December when this lock down ends. We decided it was too speculative to try and second guess what is going to happen. A further lockdown, return to the previous tier system, new tiers–who knows really. As a result of our chat, and the decision to wait until we had some understanding of what is to happen, it made me realise how impossible it is for the trade to plan. We know for certain that nightclubs will not be able to reopen, I can’t see how the government will change their position and we have to wonder whether some of the late night venues will now ever reopen.

We are now approaching the busiest time of the year for restaurants and bars. The next 5 weeks usually generate the business which provides the revenues to get through the fallow months of January and February. Without these 5 weeks of bumper returns, many operators could fail–from small independents right up to the largest of multiple operators. What do you order in to sell? I saw one of my clients posting this week as they were disposing of beer stocks going out of date in this lockdown. It is a complete mess that is for sure and the lack of certainty for planning is shambolic. We represent significant National Casino and Bingo operators and we have seen ever-changing schedules of who is open, who is on furlough, who we should deal with. It is taking a huge amount of effort for lots of these operators to change their style of operation to match what they can do, and have to do to provide a COVID safe environment.

2021 will be Andy and my 30th year as qualified solicitors specializing in the Leisure and Gambling sector. We have seen huge challenges in that time but we are both confident that as we pull out of this pandemic we will see the leisure and gambling sector show new buds of growth. Some, but not all, will come through the hardest of times. It is those who had viable, successful business which don’t survive who you feel the most sorry for.

What we are seeing is fresh challenges every day. The industry looks at bringing in innovative new ways to create a safe environment, and then people behave in such a way that it puts their licence in jeopardy. When we came out of lockdown I was in one of my client’s premises and was shown how the QR code worked. Scan it on your phone, up pops a menu, you order and pay without leaving your seat, and your drinks are delivered to you at your table. Wow, I was so impressed and the operator told me how they were able to go cashless in their premises and control the number of staff they needed so much more accurately. Good for the operator, good for the customer–win win. But, one step forwards, two steps back…every time something good comes forward, people begin to behave to frustrate the system. I had a meeting with the police and council licensing officers in Leeds. Great to see them, in a socially distanced environment with our masks on. It was at this meeting that they explained the new pitfalls of the QR system and remote ordering. People have been ordering drinks through these app-based systems for different tables or even adults have been ordering on their credit/debit cards from home for their kids in licensed premises. This brings about a whole new set of issues over assessing the age of people as they have their drinks delivered. Training of staff to ensure that challenge 21/25 is still taking place when alcohol is delivered to the table is now even more vital. It also brings about monitoring what people are drinking, how much people are consuming and how quickly, if they aren’t ordering their own drinks. Strong management right through all staff is going to be critical and I cant thank the officers enough for bringing this to my attention.

Luke and I have also been discussing Cumulative Impact Policies over the last few days as we delivered a session at the IOL virtual conference, on where they sit post pandemic. What is for sure is that every single CIP has been developed on data which is now fatally flawed and out of date. Lots of licensing authorities will be coming up to reviewing their policies, which they have to do at least every three years. Lets hope this is an open and honest process and we look carefully at what the landscape looks like now as opposed to when the policy was derived. We are making applications at the moment in CIP areas and trying to explain to committees why a fresh approach needs to be taken. Fortunately we have, for the most part, seen sense prevail and a good pragmatic approach being taken.

We are hoping for better news for the bar, leisure and gambling sectors as we approach the release from lockdown, whatever the government plan we will be hear to help and advise all of our clients.

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£450,000 fine for fatigued workers

One thing that is consistent throughout the work place today is the risks of stress, tiredness and in some cases the fatigue of employees.

Where deadlines, important contracts and absenteeism levels are just a few pressures within all organisations. The employer must be alert to the risks that these pressures present on employees, with fatigue being a common issue that is rarely formally identified and therefore in turn rarely acted upon, but perhaps unofficially well known within an organisation.

The most important point, as with most of our health and safety articles, is to complete an assessment of the risks for any changes to working arrangements and specifically to individuals. Such an assessment has to consider the risks posed by the shift work, the time off allowed, the nature of the works, location and rest periods to name a few areas to consider.

Don’t assume every employee is the same. An 18 year old may struggle on a night shift whilst a 60 year old may not. An employee’s goodwill or fear for their job if they refuse a particular working arrangement will not protect an organisation in the event of an incident or inspection.

A recent case concerning a fatigued employee has concluded in a contractor, Renown Consultants Ltd, being found guilty of health and safety offences, in a prosecution brought by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). This prosecution followed a tragic accident in which 2 individuals died in 2013 following the driver falling asleep at the wheel after driving back from a night shift. The individuals were employees of the contractor and it was found that no risk assessment was carried out in relation to fatigue of the individuals in addition to not following its own fatigue management policy. As a result the employer in question was fined £450,000 plus prosecution costs.

Fatigue can often be happily ignored where an individual is willing to put in extra hours to assist the business, but as an employer, there is a duty to ensure the safety of employees under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. Therefore, even where the individual is willing to work, this would not provide a defence in the event of a prosecution against a company in which an accident occurred and it was known to the company that the individual was essentially overworked.

To summarise, the key points are:

  • Communication with individuals is key and ensuring open communication and with trade unions if you have employees who are members;
  • Complete a risk assessment regarding the risks. Anticipate not just the normal working practices, but deal with fatigue in particular. How will you put measures in place to reduce or remove the risk? Fatigue is entirely foreseeable at work, so there is an expectation you will have considered and addressed it;
  • Implement a policy that sets out the company requirements as to working hours, overtime requests, on call duties, and shift swapping where applicable, using public transport.

As with most risks to the work place, ensure the systems are monitored, reviewed and updated to assess employee fatigue. If you would like to discuss this with any of the regulatory team then please do not hesitate to get in touch with Sarah:

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Asbestos in “Older” Properties – What Should You Know?

The contractor and the property owner was sentenced after pleading guilty to offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The prosecution came about after a proactive inspection by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which shows that the risk of prosecution when no actual reported exposure has taken place.

Briefly, the law on managing asbestos is contained within the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. This requires a duty holder to manage asbestos by monitoring whether there is asbestos present and determining issues such as whether if it has been disturbed and required action to seal it or restrict access to it or to determine whether works need to be commenced for the removal of the asbestos. Duty holders are the owners of non-domestic premises (for example industrial, commercial or public buildings including those ‘common’ areas of domestic premises such as flats or houses converted into flats) or the person or organisation that has clear responsibility for the maintenance or repair of non-domestic premises, for example through an agreement or contract.

Asbestos surveys are required by law to determine the presence of any asbestos before any works are commenced on buildings. In the case referred to above, asbestos surveys were completed and they identified the presence of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) however, these were not removed prior to the work. The building contractors were appointed whilst the property owner stripped asbestos from within the former hotel. This was not undertaken in a safe manner. Due to the extent of the spread of asbestos dust and debris throughout the building, whilst works were ongoing then it was deemed that workers and visitors to the properties were at risk of exposure to asbestos fibres.

Co-operation and the sharing of information with those that may come into contact is fundamental in this case and is required by the Regulations. The lack of sharing information is one of the main reasons there was deemed to be a risk in this case to workers and visitors to the properties.

Both the property owner and the contractor (B And SBM Limited) pleaded guilty and were sentenced in the case of the contractor to £22,000 and ordered to pay £5,000 in costs and the property owner was ordered to carry out 120 hours unpaid work in the community and ordered to pay costs of £7,500.

The above identifies again that work, including renovation work, to properties should be taken carefully and planned effectively with a clear step by step containment of any asbestos that may be identified. Clear steps should be considered as follows:

  1. Identification of any asbestos needs to be completed by way of survey and any other enquiries;
  2. Decide what to do with it by way of a suitable action plan;
  3. If necessary, instruct specialist contractors to remove/isolate the asbestos;
  4. Makes persons aware of the presence of asbestos. This could be residents/employees/other contractors/ any other visitors.

It is a misconception that is it only properties which are exceptionally old may contain asbestos, this is not the case and do not make that mistake when considering works on buildings. Asbestos can be found in any industrial or residential building built or refurbished before the year 2000 and even this date is no guarantee, the duty is on you as a duty holder to satisfy yourself.

If there are any concerns that you may have in relation to asbestos and it’s management, then please do not hesitate to contact Sarah: