Poker in pubs:
The Gambling Act permits equal chance gaming, including poker, on licensed premises without the need to apply for a licence but subject to certain statutory restrictions. A breach of these may lead to you losing your entitlement to offer gaming and a possible review of your premises licence.
If you intend to host poker in your pub you should be familiar with the Code of Practice. The Designated Premises Supervisor is responsible for compliance and is known as the Gaming Supervisor. Various duties include preventing underage gambling and policing the running of any events. It is also prohibited for gaming in pubs to be linked to gaming in any other premises.
The maximum that can be won in any game of pub poker is £100.
The Gambling Commission has warned pubs and clubs not to try to claim private gaming to avoid the statutory limits on stakes, prizes and fees applying. To be private it has to take place in an area not accessible to the public. No charge can be made for participation, there may be no entrance fee and no profits may be made.
A premises licence for alcohol may allow certain categories of machine to be installed, for which there are strict limits on prices. To ensure that the individual daily and weekly stakes an prize limits are not exceeded the Gaming Supervisor must record the number of games played, the number of players, the amount staked, the amount won and ensure limits are not exceeded through side bets etc. Machines must be located so that their use can be supervised, and if you also have an ATM machine it should be situated so that a customer has to cease gambling at the machine to withdraw cash.
The permit holder is responsible for protection of children and must prevent underage gambling. This includes age checks on apparently underage customers and refusing them to use a category C machine.
For more comprehensive coverage of gambling in pubs, download our guide BELOW.
The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the present time and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.