An eSports gaming café has been granted permission to sell alcohol in the evenings.

Multitap Gaming Hub in Loughton was granted the licence at an Epping Forest District Council meeting on August 4.

The gaming café in The Broadway offers gamers the chance to pay use high-end gaming PCs or a selection of consoles to play games at an hourly rate.

The licence allows Multitap to serve alcohol on the premises from Monday – Friday 6pm to 10pm, Saturday 6pm to 11.30pm and Sunday 6pm to 8pm.

Christopher Lovelock, owner of the gaming café, told councillors at the meeting: “We are first and foremost a video games hub where people can come and enjoy playing video games together in a friendly, safe and community-based venue. We also want to provide entertainment but also education through things like coding, eSports and streaming classes.”

The term eSports refers to professional and competitive video gaming.

Competitive gaming is split into separate leagues and competitions for different video games. Popular games include League of Legends, Call of Duty, Counter Strike and Fifa.

The global eSports revenue is expected to grow to almost £1 billion in 2020.

Mr Lovelock added: “The video games market is huge, it’s very popular. We would like to hopefully bring people out of their bedrooms to play together and be more sociable with it and also tap into the eSports seen which is huge and very up and coming.”

As a condition of the licence, Multitap has promised to limit sales fo drinks of 6 per cent alcohol or below and not serve any spirits or wine.

“We don’t want to be like any pub where the sole purpose is to drop in have a drink and chat, having a drink is an auxiliary part of our business”, Mr Lovelock explained.

“It will be clear our encouragement is not for people to come here and get drunk and be a nuisance.”

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