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Opening a betting shop within a pub

Has planning legislation changed to allow betting shops to open in pubs?

Q: I recently saw an article in the Daily Mail which said the Government had changed the planning legislation to allow betting shops to open within pubs. Is this true?

A: No. There has been a relaxation of planning legislation to make it easier to change use of premises however, the Gambling Act 2005 prevents a bookmakers from opening in a pub.

There is a Mandatory Condition attached to all Betting Premises Licences which prohibits access from betting premises to any other premises used for the retail sale of merchandise or services. In other words, a betting shop can only have access to the street. You could not have a bookmakers within the room of a pub with a door allowing access between the pub and the bookmakers. Although you could separate out part of a pub to be a bookmakers, there could be no access between the two premises and the bookmakers could only have access onto the street.

There is also a condition which prevents alcohol from being consumed in betting premises, and a further condition which will relate to many alcohol licensed premises that no music, dancing or other entertainment shall be provided within a bookmakers. Put this together, and you cannot have a bookmakers within a pub.

It is possible to segregate a pub and create a separate premises from which a bookmakers could operate, and this has happened on occasions however, the two premises would be operated independently and you could not have access between them.

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