Betting shop fined for no TV licence
Bookies must pay £497 for screening live sports
A HAYES betting shop was prosecuted and served with a fine after being caught screening live sport for customers without a TV licence.
Coral Racing, in Uxbridge Road in Hayes, was ordered to pay a total of £497 at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday April 19.
The betting shop was fined was fined £270 for the offence of using a TV without a licence on the business premises.
It was also ordered to pay £200 costs and a £27 victim surcharge at the hearing in its absence.
Any business that shows television programmes as they’re being shown on TV, or live on an online TV service, whether for customers’ use or in staff areas, must be covered by a valid TV Licence.
Martin Dyan, TV Licensing spokesperson for the South East, said: “We appreciate these are tough times for businesses, but to be fair to the majority who do pay the licence fee, we have to take action against those who watch TV illegally.
“As our survey shows, those businesses who do try to get away with it might find the price of being caught to be higher than just a fine.”
A pub in Feltham was among three handed hefty fines only this month for showing Sky Sports for patrons without a proper licence.
A survey of more than 250 managers at UK businesses, conducted with the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) on behalf of TV Licensing, showed that where a business needs to make cutbacks 14 per cent would consider not paying for a TV Licence where one was needed.
The BCC survey also showed that, of those asked what would motivate them to ensure they were correctly licensed, 98 per cent answered the potential damage to their reputation from negative press coverage of a prosecution for TV Licence evasion.
Mr Dyan added: “We’d rather businesses think ahead and check if they need a licence than risk being prosecuted.
“A licence costs £145.50 and can be bought in minutes online.”
Those without a valid licence are breaking the law and run the risk of a court prosecution and fine of up to £1,000 per offence, plus costs.
Businesses that are found guilty are also required to buy a TV Licence at £145.50, or they could face a potential second prosecution.
TV Licensing is also reminding other businesses to make sure they are aware of their licensing requirements, to avoid the risk of prosecution and a large fine.
Last year, TV Licensing enquiry officers visited more than 30,000 businesses across the UK, ranging from takeaway restaurants and holiday parks to garages, hair salons and sports clubs, to confirm if they were correctly licensed.
The betting shop fine comes just weeks after a filthy takeaway – with rat droppings in its kitchen – was fined after an environmental health investigation, and a fake Costcutter was outed and accused of ‘conning’ customers – all in the Hayes area.