Does a Snooker Club have to shut at 10pm after all?

Following receipt of an email by Jason Pegram, of JP’s Snooker and Pool Club in Harlow, from his MP Robert Halfon, maybe not.

The rule about licenced premises shutting at 10pm had been accepted as applying to snooker clubs. But read this:

Hi Jason
I hope you are well.

I have received a response from the Minister, which states:

“Sport facilities such as gyms, leisure centres and sport clubs including snooker clubs are not required to close, however, hospitality areas which sell food and drink (such as cafes and bars) must close at 10pm. This does not apply to dispensing machines such as vending or coffee machines. Delivery services and drive-through services can continue after 10pm, where applicable.
Where a sport facility sells food and drink to consume on site, customers must eat and drink at a table.”

I hope that this is helpful and please do let me know if you have any further questions.

Kind wishes, RobertRt. Hon. Robert Halfon MP
Chair of the Commons Education Select Committee
Working hard for Harlow, Hastingwood, Matching, Nazeing, Roydon and Sheering

It would appear then, that as long as the bar is closed, a snooker club can stay open.

It is still possible that the authorities may not agree and claim that as the premises are licenced they should be closed at 10pm.

Once again though, the explanation of the law leaves much to be desired.

Many local councils do not appear to be able to fully understand the rules.

I recently read a reply from the Local Authority of a major English city which simply provided the guidance issued by the EPSB and advised that the organiser of a tournament make up their own mind!

Update:

The EPSB have updated their guidance to say:

Clubs with hospitality areas which sell food and drink (such as bars) must close this area at 10pm. This does not apply to dispensing machines such as vending or coffee machines. Snooker tables can continue to be used after this time.

https://www.epsb.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/EPSB-Reopening-Infographic-5-masks.pdf