New provisions affecting sports clubs in Northern Ireland will come into place on 1st May 2012 as part of the Licensing and Registration of Clubs (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.

The following will come into force on 1st May 2012.

– A system of penalty points to be levied by courts on licensed premises or clubs convicted of certain offences;

– A proof of age scheme specifying, for the first time, acceptable proof of age documentation for licensed premises and clubs;

– Clarification of how the Licensing Order applies to limited liability partnerships.

At the earlier date of the 1st of March 2012 the provisions relating to the increase in the number of occasions where registered clubs can apply to the police to keep their bars open to 1.00am rather than the earlier closing time of 11pm will come into force. The maximum number of late licenses clubs can now apply for will be 85 (an increase of 33 extra nights).

Additionally provisions relating to allowing a young person under the age of 18 to be in the bar area of a sports clubs premises until 10pm in the evening rather than the earlier time of 9pm will also come into effect as of the 1st of March.

Provisions of the Act which have not yet been made operative are:

– New powers to allow the closure, for up to 24 hours, of licensed premises or registered clubs by the courts where there is actual or likely disorder, or by the police where there is actual disorder;

– Regulations to prohibit or restrict irresponsible drinks promotions in licensed premises and registered clubs;

– Regulations to prohibit or restrict the varying of the price at which intoxicating liquor is sold for limited periods in licensed premises and registered clubs; and

– More appropriate accounting requirements for registered clubs.

For more detail on what these provisions mean for your sports clubs, please see the download box for the full guidance notes.

If you have any further queries that we may be able to help you with please contact the Sports Forum on 028 90383825 or email

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