Published: 19 March 2015
Q: The Cheltenham festival was at the beginning of March and a customer asked me whether or not I am allowed to show live horse-racing pictures in the pub as he thought I could generate some more business! Can I do this?
A: Showing live TV is not a licensable activity under the Licensing Act 2003. You do not need specific permission on your premises licence. You will need a TV licence. If you are showing races using a subscription channel such as Sky you will need to check you have a subscription which permits your customers to watch.
From a Gambling Act 2005 perspective, you can show live horse-racing, however you must be careful not to inadvertently act as a betting intermediary, which requires a licence. Customers can bet from your pub on their telephones, tablets and laptops but you shouldn’t allow customers to place bets on your account, or agree to send a runner to the betting shop from the pub.
You can also allow local bookmakers to place betting slips in your pub. Customers can fill out slips at the pub as long as they themselves take them to the betting shop. No commercial betting is allowed in pubs. You must not allow a bookie to operate within your pub taking bets from your customers. This would be a potentially serious office and could place your premises licence at risk.
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