We can help you in all these areas of NI licensing law by hmcpartlandandsons

Did you know we can help you in all these areas of licensing law?

If you are the owner of a bar, restaurant, hotel, bookmaker or club, talk to us, H McPartland & Sons, today about the complex legislation surrounding licensing in Northern Ireland. We are your ideal licensing law partner to ensure you are operating within the law.

We offer expert legal advice and assistance for the following areas of licensing law:

  • Entertainment licenses
  • Liquor licenses and liquor licensing renewal
  • Amusement permits
  • Gambling legislation
  • Bookmakers licenses
  1. Entertainment licence

You need a valid entertainment licence if you want to provide entertainment at an indoor or outdoor venue in Northern Ireland. Businesses, organisations and individuals who want to provide types of entertainment may require a licence or other authorisation from a licensing authority ie. a local council.

The types of businesses and organisations that need a licence for entertainment might include: live music venues, cinemas, theatrical performances, larger street and open air festivals and larger indoor sporting arena to name just a few

This licence can range from an annual licence to an occasional licence, which normally covers 14 days of entertainment within a 12 month period. Before applying for an entertainment licence, you will need to provide proof of all your insurances as well as safety documents. These will include a fire extinguisher certificate, emergency lighting certificate and fire alarm certificate.

There are, however, exemptions from the need for a licence; for music entertainment in places of public worship, village halls, church halls and other similar buildings.

  1. Liquor licences and liquor licensing renewal

In Northern Ireland, the business owner should apply for the licence to sell alcohol. Several factors will be considered and the owner will have to prove they are fit to hold the licence before a licence is considered.

Factors taken into consideration may include criminal convictions, reputation and experience. You will also need proof that your premise is a suitable venue for the sale of alcohol. It is illegal to sell alcohol without a license, and if convicted, you could be fined or receive a prison sentence.

Once your licence has been approved it can last for up to 5 years. If you plan to renew your licence you must do so before the deadline.

  1. Amusement permits

In Northern Ireland, you must have an amusement permit if you want to operate gaming machines, where a player can potentially win money, in your premises.

Before applying for this permit, you must be 21 years old or older, and you must have lived in Northern Ireland for at least one year before its application. The details of the permit, including the licence holder’s address, must be displayed on the front of the machine.

You must contact your local council to apply for an amusement permit.

  1. Gambling legislation

In Northern Ireland gambling (other than the National Lottery) is regulated under the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries & Amusements (NI) Order 1985. The gambling law has become old, complex and out of date and as a result strategic review of gambling policy, practice and law is currently under review.

  1. Bookmaker licences

You will need a licence from the local magistrates’ court to operate as a bookmaker and take on-course and off-course bets in Northern Ireland. You will also need an office licence if you use premises in taking off-course bets.

Contact us at H McPartland & Sons, to talk with our team of experienced and friendly solicitors to receive the expert legal advice, guidance and information you need on all areas of licensing laws in Northern Ireland.