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Lord Skelmersdale: It would help many of us if the Bill referred to incidental activities. The reason for licensing is for the primary activity, not for darts, bridge or whatever. The licence would be granted on that basis. I have not yet understood whether a supplementary licence would be needed in relation to a park, for example, if a pub suddenly decided to put on a wrestling match for which entry was charged.
Lord Davies of Oldham: We should expect the pub to ensure that it had a licence that covered its normal practicethe sale of liquorand one for entertainment if it had facilities for wrestling or boxing, if it was that sort of pub. There are some. Under the present regime, it would have to apply and
Lord Redesdale: I want to pursue the questions raised in relation to darts. The Minister said that a pub with a darts board would be covered by the licence for the premises. However, if it did not have an entertainment licence, does that mean it would have to apply for a variation to add an entertainment licence under the guidelines?
Lord Davies of Oldham: No. We are concerned with events that generate a significant audience involving public safety and health and different from the normal licensing operation governing the pub. When there is a facility for a boxing match, an additional licence is required. The noble Lord discussed darts. There might be three or four people around who take a passing interest in the darts match. That would not raise a specific consideration.
Lord Redesdale: I raised that example because, although darts can be played by as few as three people, I have been to many pubs, particularly in rural areas, that stage darts competitions that can attract hundreds of people. That is a completely different area and would probably fall under the auspices of the conditions as described by the noble Lord.
Lord Davies of Oldham: I hope that Members of the Committee will forgive me if I underestimate the drawing power of darts in terms of an audience. As the noble Lord said, pubs with darts boards can stage competitions to which the public comethey do so in addition to drinking in the pub. That would be an event and increased numbers of people would come to the pub to see it. That would be covered by our proposal.
Lord Avebury: I want to pursue the comments of my noble friend and to declare a past interest, from some 35 or 40 years ago, as chairman of the Melbourne and district darts league in south Derbyshire. It had the sort of league that my noble friend mentioned. Weekly competitions were played in all the pubs throughout the Melbourne area. They were very popular events, attended by reasonably substantial numbers of people. We were not unique. Similar leagues, as my noble friend said, exist in many parts of the country. They are very popular events. People go especially to pubs to attend them and visit other pubs, of which they are not normally habitues, to follow their team.
Darts is not the only game of its kind played in pubs. I point out what appears to be an anomaly. I was also many years agoeven more years ago than when I was chairman of the darts leaguea member of the second Aunt Sally team at the Plasterer's Arms in Oxford. That extremely popular game is played in the open air. The Bill appears to require that entertainment at darts league
Lord Skelmersdale: It would help us all to bring realism into this debate; otherwise, we shall be discussing the Bill in Committee for about 10 days, which would be in nobody's interests. The fact surely isas stated several times today and at Second Reading when, unfortunately, I was not able to be presentthat if the darts playing is incidental to the activity for which the licence was granted, it is not covered by an extra licence condition. If, however, people pay not for beer but to attend the darts match, surely it is covered. Is that not the end of the problem?
Baroness Buscombe: I am grateful to Members of the Committee for their overwhelming support for my question about darts competitions. These questions are in themselves small but they are symbolic of the fact that the Bill overall lacks clarity. Similar questions have been raised today seeking more clarity in the Bill. As my noble friend Lord Skelmersdale said, at this rate we will be here far longer than is necessary.
I urge the Government to think again about the Bill's wording. We on this side of the Chamber are certain about our interpretation of the Bill, although that interpretation appears to be rather different from the Government's. The Central Council of Physical Recreation has been in touch with us expressing deep concern about what is meant in relation to indoor sporting events. It asks for clarification about whether parents watching their children might be deemed spectators in terms of public entertainment.
Good questions continue to be raised. I understand that the Government's view is that the Bill answers those questions, but we assure them that it does not. I urge the Government to look again at this and earlier amendments. I shall read carefully what they said in Hansard and, on that basis, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.
The noble Baroness said: In moving this amendment, I shall speak also to Amendment No. 16. These amendments are both designed to probe the difficult issue of what might be called "violent entertainments". They also raise a specific concern relating to martial arts.
I understand why the Government have listed separately in the schedule boxing and wrestling entertainments. We have all seen the way in which so-called "wrestling" now seeks to incite the audience to anger against one or other participant. Often
Does the listing of boxing and wrestling in this way as a separate category mean that the Government envisage that licensing authorities may be able to impose stricter regimes on these kinds of competition? If so, can the Minister clarify where in the Act or in the regulations these powers will be explicitly set out? If not, will she consider this matter carefully? Will she also consider whether different rules might apply in the case of so-called "unlicensed" boxing, which poses particular threats to the health of participants and has frequently been associated with drink-related disorder?
Both amendments also seek to add to the definition of "boxing" and "wrestling" other so-called "martial arts". They offer different ways of achieving the same objective. Many noble Lords will know that so-called "sports", such as kick-boxing and similar activities, are growing in popularity alongside more established martial arts, such as karate. No one can doubt that kick-boxing, tae-kwan-do and other sports can involve considerable violence and could act as an incitement to audiences. Therefore, will Ministers consider writing clearly on to the face of the Bill the fact that such martial arts will come under the same rigorous control as boxing and wrestling, in particular, where drink is involved? I beg to move.
Lord Phillips of Sudbury: Perhaps I may raise one question in relation to this amendment, although it could well have been raised with regard to any amendments to paragraph 2 of the schedule. I hope that this is not unfair; if it is, the Minister will no doubt write to me. The point referred to by many noble Lords concerned cases where entertainment takes place in the presence of an audience andthis is the pointis provided for the purpose of entertaining an audience or for purposes which include the purpose of entertaining that audience. I believe that it would put many of our minds at rest if we had a little guidance on what is meant by,
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