Legal Updates

World Cup Licensing Hours – It’s Coming Home!

Written by Philip Somarakis


Welcome to the first Gordon Dadds Licensing e-bulletin.

The Government has brought in new measures which relax licensing hours during England’s matches for the FIFA World Cup.

Premises licensed to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises (including members clubs) which are situated in England and regulated under the Licensing Act 2003 will now have the choice whether to stay open later during England’s matches.

For the Group stage this is;

England vs. Italy – 14th June (11pm until 1am)
England vs. Uruguay – 19th June (8pm until midnight)
England vs. Costa Rica – 24th June (5pm , no extension of hours applicable)

Should England progress to the latter stages of the competition, the relaxation in licensing hours will also apply to their games in the second round (and beyond), for example:

Group runner up – 28th June (9pm until 1am)
Group winner – 29th June (9pm until 1am)


To extend hours beyond the relaxed times, or to extend hours for non-England matches, premises can do so by applying for a Temporary Event Notice (please see below).

Alcohol can only be sold for consumption on the premises. “Off sales” don’t apply, unless the premises licence already allows for this up to a specific time. Therefore if you are an “off sales” licence holder, you will need to be clear which areas form part of the “premises” for this purpose. Allowing customers to drink outside a pub, for example, may not be permitted.

The relaxation will apply to the sale of alcohol and hot food but specifically does not apply to regulated entertainment (i.e. putting on certain events such as discos, indoor sports and live music).

Enforcement and compliance measures will remain unaltered by the national relaxation in licensing hours and any conditions agreed locally between premises and the police will be unaffected by the order. Guidance has been published advising premises how to ensure that match screenings are safe and enjoyable for all.


Via a TEN, a premises user can give notice that they intend to sell alcohol on a limited basis at times which would not otherwise be authorised. This costs £21 per licensed premise.

A standard TEN is given no later than 10 working days before the event to which it relates and a late TEN is given not before 9 and not later than 5 working days before the event.

To qualify for a TEN, the following criteria must apply:

• The event must attract fewer than 500 people
• The event must last no more than 7 days
• Premises can only be used for 12 temporary events per year, up to a total maximum of 21 days
• There must be at least 24 hours between temporary events organised by the same person or an associate in relation to the same premises
• An application, along with supporting information, documents and the fee should be sent to the Local Authority, and a copy served on the Environmental Health and the Chief Officer of Police who have 3 working days to make any objections. If objections are raised, a hearing will be held. If there are no objections, a TEN will be granted and your event can proceed.

Contact the Author

Profile image of Philip Somarakis

Philip Somarakis

I specialise in both alcohol and entertainment licensing and criminal litigation (dividing my time 30% licensing and 70% motoring). I have over 20 years’ experience. I was previously a Partner at Blake Lapthorn and more recently Davenport Lyons. I have appeared in over 100 contested licensing hearings before Licensing Committees and in the Magistrates Courts for clients ranging from multi-site restaurants, convenience stores, stately homes hosting music festivals, and breweries. I have successfully defended licence holders in criminal proceedings for various licensing and consumer-related offences. I am a recognised expert in motoring offences; securing acquittals for clients in speeding and drink driving cases and appearing on BBC Watchdog and Radio 5 Live. Recent experience includes:

  • Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing
  • Obtaining new premises licences for 1000 capacity venue in Hackney Acting for a national restaurant chain in licensing matters
  • Advising a supermarket/convenience store chain on due diligence and training
  • Advising a national opera on licensing law
  • Obtaining a shadow premises licence in Westminster City Council.
  • Representing a motorist arrested for drink driving who was acquitted after trial
  • Advising a driver who had failed to provide a breath specimen and was found not guilty
  • Acting for numerous individuals who have had their driving licences revoked due to visual field defects or other medical conditions
  • Acting for a client on 9 penalty points who faced three speeding offence charges by three different police forces and successfully keeping her licence.
When I have free time, I spend it running ultra marathons, reading, cooking and generally having a lot of fun. Qualifications: LLB Hons Degree Law Society Final Examinations.

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