Big changes to Glasgow policy for city’s lap dancing venues

There is a change of the policy of Glasgow City Council in relation to sexual entertainment venue (SEV), more commonly known as lap dancing venues.

The Civic Government Act 1982 defines an SEV as a venue where sexual entertainment is provided before a live audience for (or with the view to) the financial gain of the organiser.

The Scottish Government granted discretionary powers to local authorities to licence SEVs, which allowed the local authorities the power to put in place a policy which can allow them to refuse any applications for this type of venue and set a specific limit on the number of SEV operators.

At present there is no legal requirement for SEV’s to be licensed in Scotland, however, if the premises sells alcohol and offer sexual entertainment then, at present, the premises need a Premises (alcohol) Licence under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005, where adult entertainment would have to be included as an activity within the operating plan.

Glasgow City Council  are of the, somewhat controversial, opinion that the number of SEV premises should be zero allowing no more premises of this nature to open within Glasgow. There was some leniency shown by the City Council allowing the current operating venues to stay open under a “grandfather clause”. This means that the venues are allowed to stay open due to a policy or provision under which an old rule continues to apply to some existing situations while a new rule will apply to future cases.

All future SEVs will be required to have a SEV licence to operate where the application and renewal fee has been set at £1792. This will be a contentious application.

If you need any advice on operating a current SEVs or setting up a new SEV in Scotland, please contact Fraser Baxter, on 0141 370 8132 or

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