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Pubs could miss out on Euro 2024 due to premises licence issues

Pub operators are being warned to check their premises licences or risk being out of pocket and disappointing customers during the Euro 2024 tournament.

The “potentially massive” issue was identified by law firm Poppleston Allen which is urging operators of licensed premises to look at their licences.

According to the lawyers, pub operators need to make sure they are aware that the recent government relaxation of licensing laws, which allows premises to sell alcohol until 1am immediately after the final and semi-finals if England and Scotland reach them, only applies if premises are licensed to sell alcohol until 11pm on those particular days.

Essentially, the law firm outlined that given that the final falls on a Sunday, thousands of premises could well miss out on a Euro 2024 sales boost; particularly those in London where traditionally many pubs’ terminal hour for alcohol sales is earlier than 11pm. Indeed, the standard hours for Sunday in some London boroughs are 10:30pm and this oversight could leave customers, as well as operators, disappointed. If this is the case, operators of licensed premises will need to apply for a Temporary Events Notice for an extension to sell alcohol.

Speaking to the drinks business about the issue, Poppleston Allen managing partner Lisa Sharkey said: “The Euro 2024 tournament is a fantastic opportunity for fans of England and Scotland to get behind their teams, and of course for the trade to enjoy a boost in sales. So, we certainly would not want a misunderstanding of licensing laws to put a major dampener on the occasion. If a licensed premises is not permitted to sell alcohol until 11pm on the affected days, they still have time to extend their hours with a Temporary Events Notice. So, our advice to operators is to check their premises licences to ensure they are permitted to sell alcohol until 11pm for the final and semi-finals. And if they are not, get their Temporary Events Notices issued as soon as possible.”

According to the law firm, a standard Temporary Events Notice must be received by the licensing authority at least 10 working days before the event. However, 10 working days excludes the day the notice is received and the first day of the event. This means that if there are fewer than 10 working days before the event, operators will need to issue a late Temporary Events Notice.

The latest publicans and bar owners can issue a ‘late’ Temporary Events Notice is five clear working days before the event. However, if they do leave it this late and an objection is received, then the extension is automatically vetoed.

Sharkey advised that the most important thing to do is to get a solicitor to apply in plenty of time. The first semi-final is on 9 July, followed by the second on 10 July, with the final set for 14 July.

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