Forthcoming guidance on SEV licensing in Scotland

Section 76 of the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015 establishes a specific licensing regime for the regulation of Sexual Entertainment Venues (“SEVs”). The provisions, when commenced, will allow local authorities in Scotland to licence such venues under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982. This will allow for greater local control over the provision of such venues by allowing local authorities to licence SEVs and to set the number able to operate in their area taking account of local circumstances.

A Consultation on Guidance on the Provisions for Licensing of Sexual Entertainment Venues and Changes to Licensing of Theatres was published by the Scottish Government on 1 November 2017 seeking comments on:

  • any areas within the draft non-statutory guidance which were unclear or not easily understood and
  • other issues which should be taken into account within the guidance.

The consultation period ended on 07 February 2018. In total, 31 responses were received and 29 respondents agreed to the publication of their response. SEV operators (whether north or south of the border) may find it helpful to read the brief summary of responses that is provided on the Scottish Government’s website (and can also be downloaded below).

The majority of the responses received were from organisations with 4 of the 13 responses reflecting the views of Violence Against Women Partnerships (VAWP); 4 reflecting the views of voluntary organisations, and 5 reflecting the views of entertainment venue operators and the Association of Licensed Adult Entertainment Venues Scotland (the Association). Responses were also received from 6 local authorities, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities ( COSLA), the Law Society of Scotland (the Society), the Equality and Human Rights Commission (the Commission) and 9 individuals.

We have particular experience in the licensing of SEVs in England and will be pleased to assist any SEV operators who require advice on the licensing and regulation of such venues.