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Legal Q&A: A-board policy, gaming machines and ATMs

By Poppleston Allen

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Get some distance: Gaming machines must not be next to ATMs
Get some distance: Gaming machines must not be next to ATMs

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The latest legal Q&A from specialist licensing solicitors Poppleston Allen covers pub A-boards and placement of gaming machines and on-site cash points.

A-board policy

Q: I have been putting an A-board outside my pub for five years. The board shows details of our daily menu and any offers we have on.

On a visit from the licensing officer, it was mentioned the council will soon be adopting an A-board policy and I will need to make an application and pay a fee to the council to be able to keep it outside once the policy is in place.

I have been told there will be a grace period while the applications go through and I will have to apply to renew my permission annually. Can the council do this?

A: This could be correct and you will want to take a further look at what you may require if you want to keep your A-board on display.

Speak with the licensing officer who visited to get some details regarding the time scales for the policy being adopted and how long you will have to apply for the permit.

You will firstly want to check that the policy being adopting applies to you, so check whether where you are putting your A-board is council adopted highway or if the land in question is privately owned.

If the land is a council-adopted highway, and provided the council’s policy applies to the area your premises is located, this will likely mean an application for a permit will be required. If this is the case, take a look at the council’s application process together with any conditions that the council may impose regarding the use of the A-board.

You will want to understand whether there will be any issues or constraints regarding the use of the A-board. This can vary from council to council so I recommend checking the council website and/or having a conversation with the relevant officer at the council. It may be the licensing department that deals with the application process or it could be the highways team. You will also want to check to see if you need planning permission in addition to the A-board permit. The application guidance published by the council may assist with this query, but if you are unsure, speak to the council.

If you are successful in obtaining a permit, check how long it lasts for because you are usually required to renew a permit and the renewal period can vary between councils.

Gaming machines and ATMs

Q: I have received a letter from my licensing officer saying I need to move one of my gaming machines so it is located away from the on-site cash machine. Is this right? Do I have to move my machine?

A: There is a code of practice for gaming machines in alcohol licensed premises which can be found on the Gambling Commission website.

There is a specific code provision that requires gaming machines to be located in a position where someone who wishes to take cash from an ATM must cease gambling in order to do so. There is not a specific rule regarding the distance that must be between the ATM and the gaming machine, but the further apart you can position them, the better.

You will also need to be aware that it is also a requirement for gaming machines to be located in a place within the premises so that their use can be supervised, either by staff whose duties include such supervision (including bar or floor staff) or by other means, such as CCTV.

For any legal enquiries please visit Poppleston Allen's website​.

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