Licence changes could be good for juke box hire

Venues interested in juke box hire could soon find it is easier for them to offer recorded music, without the need for special permission under entertainment licensing laws.

A consultation by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport concluded earlier this month, with broad support for the proposal to treat both live and recorded music performances as exempt from special permission for on-premises alcohol-serving establishments with audiences of up to 500 people.

The pre-existing threshold for live music audiences was 200 people, but the consultation raises this, while introducing a corresponding 500-person threshold for exemption of on-trade premises playing recorded music between 8am and 11pm.

Respondents to the consultation included UK Music, who pointed out that providing entertainment through methods like juke box hire is typically less problematic than, for example, screening sporting events.

The DCMS summary of responses says: “They argued that there were likely to be more incidents of anti-social behaviour in pubs in connection to the showing of a football match than from what was playing on the juke box.”

DCMS are now progressing the changes through Parliament as a Legislative Reform Order – which should make it easier in the near future for venues to offer live and recorded music to substantial audiences, without facing a licensing burden for doing so.

jukebox hire

Growth in Machine Games Duty shows value of game machine hire


Gaming machine hire is a way for venue owners and managers to tap into a multimillion pound market, particularly during the summer months.

The latest Betting, Gaming & Lottery Duty Bulletin, published by HMRC and the ONS, shows tax receipts up to and including June 2014.

In that month alone, £15 million was collected in Machine Games Duty, a relatively new tax that replaced Amusement Machine Licence Duty (AMLD) in February 2013.

For the three months up to and including June 2014, £44.2 million in duty was collected by HMRC.

Compared with the previous quarter’s £29.2 million, this is a sequential growth rate of around 50% – and seasonal effects are partly responsible.

For example, under the previous AMLD system, some operators would apply for a short-term licence to allow them to run gaming machines only during the short summer holiday season.

If you have an indoor venue though, game machine hire is a way to make sure you are providing gaming machines to your customers all year round.

This can help you to tap into a growing and lucrative market, which in turn makes a substantial contribution to the nation’s economic stability.

Pub pool tables continue to set the scene

Pub pool tables help to bring a sense of scenery to pubs – and this summer, they have been doing the same in several theatre productions.

The latest of these is A Handful of Stars, a production at London’s Trafalgar Studios until Friday July 25th.

A previous run of the show at Theatre503 was a sell-out success, prompting the decision to transfer the production to Trafalgar Studios so further audiences can enjoy it.

The show stars Keith Duffy and is the first revival of Billy Roche’s original production since 1988, transporting audiences back in time to the troubled decade.

Set in the Irish community of Wexford, main character Jimmy finds sanctuary in pub pool tables, retreating to his local pool hall to avoid the random acts of violence that occur in the outside world.

The story is one of bright ambition – and of the attempt to succeed against the odds and obstacles Jimmy faces in his troubled surroundings.

Following several other productions this summer that have used pool tables and fruit machines as set dressings, A Handful of Stars further demonstrates the scenic impact pool tables can have on an interior, whether it is a pub, club or a theatre.