Licensing, Gaming and Betting


The team provides both contentious and non-contentious advice to clients on all aspects of Licensing Law. The services on offer range from obtaining restaurant, hotel and pub liquor licences to securing the grant of protection orders and transfer orders for pubs and hotels. The team also acts on behalf of established pubs, restaurateurs, hoteliers, retailers and retail groups in the grant and renewal of licences. In addition to applying for provisional and final grant licences, the team also advises in respect of transfers, sales and purchases, objections, occasional licences and club licences. The team is responsible for advising clients on a regular basis on developments in licensing legislation and case law, in particular, to include the recent and continued proposals to reform liquor licensing in Northern Ireland.

What we do - Licensing

  • Obtaining restaurant, hotel and pub liquor licences
  • Dealing with liquor licence matters arising from the administration sale of companies that own pubs, hotels and restaurants
  • Advising on the application for protection orders and transfers orders in relation to pubs, hotels, off-sales and other licensed premises
  • Obtaining provisional and final grant of new licences
  • Advising in respect of transfers, sales and purchases, objections, occasional licences and club licences
  • Advising on licensing legislation
  • Obtaining court orders for alterations
  • Renewal of licences
  • Applications for ancillary additions to licences
  • Provision of regular updates to clients regarding proposed changes to the law regulating the sale and supply of alcohol in Northern Ireland

Gaming and Betting

We provide advice to clients from multiple jurisdictions on all aspects of Gaming and Betting Law in Northern Ireland. The team advises on the operation of lotteries and competitions in Northern Ireland under the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 and regularly advises how the Northern Irish legislation differs from that applicable in other jurisdictions. The team also drafts terms and conditions for lotteries and competitions conducted in Northern Ireland, including those which are conducted either fully or partially online.

What we do – Gaming and Betting

  • Advising in relation to the compatibility of terms and conditions under the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 for lotteries and competitions which are to be run in multiple jurisdictions (for example, competitions run throughout the whole of the UK)
  • Drafting bespoke terms and conditions for lotteries and competitions being run in Northern Ireland
  • Advising on gaming and betting legislation, including what constitutes an unlawful lottery in Northern Ireland, general lottery offences, and what constitutes an unlawful competition
  • Advising on how to operate lotteries and competitions legally in Northern Ireland, including advice on small lotteries, private lotteries and societies’ lotteries
  • Advising on advertisements used to promote betting and lotteries in Northern Ireland
  • Advising in relation to the legality of on-line gambling in the Northern Ireland jurisdiction
  • Providing updates to clients relating to the proposed reform of the laws on gaming and betting in Northern Ireland

What Others Say About Us

Chambers UK 2021

What the team is known for

Recognised practice group acting on a wide range of licensing mandates spanning the hospitality, casual dining and gaming sectors. Called upon for both contentious and non-contentious proceedings, with notable expertise in regulatory matters.


One client says: "They have extensive experience and breadth of knowledge in a highly complex area."

Work highlights

Advised J D Wetherspoon on a liquor licence application for a landmark building in Belfast city centre.

Notable practitioners

Cathy Colton