The Licensing Act 2003 recognises that volunteer and social clubs give rise to different issues for licensing law than commercially run premises selling direct to the public. These clubs (such as the Royal British Legion, working men’s or cricket or rugby clubs) are organisations where members join together for a particular social, sporting or political purpose and then combine to purchase alcohol in bulk for its members. The clubs carry on activities from premises to which public access is restricted and alcohol is supplied other than for profit.
For these reasons the Act recognises that clubs deserve special treatment outside the normal premises licence arrangements.
The grant of a club premises certificate means that a club is entitled to certain benefits, which include the authority to supply alcohol to its members and sell it to guests without the need for any member or employee to hold a personal licence, and the absence of a requirement to specify a designated premises supervisor.
There are also more limited rights of entry for the police and other authorised persons, as the premises are considered private and not generally open to the public.