Hough and Bollard expands as demand for new venues increases

Debbie Bollard Hough and Bollard expands as demand for new venues increases
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Following a successful reopening last year, operators are focusing on new openings in 2022, with an increased demand for premise licences encouraging consultancy firm Hough & Bollard to expand its team of licensing experts. Debbie Bollard explains the wave of enthusiasm for new operations.


The new year has seen an increased demand for premise licences as operators look to open new amusements venues across the UK, according to Debbie Bollard of consultancy firm Hough and Bollard.

With a specialism in licencing, Hough & Bollard has expanded its team to handle the increased load which Bollard “anticipates will continue throughout the year”.

Not only has the volume of premise licence applications increased, but – much to her disappointment – the amount of paperwork required to complete all types of licence applications has duplicated too.

“Applying for an operating licence or a variation to an existing operating licence has not become any easier and the amount of documents required to demonstrate a business can operate compliantly continues to increase,” Bollard told Coinslot.

“The information now required to support some premises licence applications has also increased significantly and representations raised by others in the industry as thinly disguised attempts to fetter competition does little to improve the perception of the gambling industry as a whole.”

Local authorities across Britain also seem to want to make licence applications as difficult as possible for operators, despite the fact that gambling policy is outside of their remit, explained Bollard.

“I was concerned to read in Coinslot the call by APCC and LGA for greater powers to restrict high street gambling especially in light of the low problem gambling figures published this week. The Gambling Act was specifically drafted so that existing premises and demand for use could not be taken into account when determining an application for a new Premises Licence.” she concluded.

“As Peter Hannibal on behalf of the Gambling Business Group stated in last week’s edition this is taking a Prohibitionist approach to what – for the huge majority – is a pleasurable leisure activity. In my view it will have little effect on problem gambling numbers with the majority of issues being online.”

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