Proposals on forms of gambling allowed in licensed premises were outlined by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) today.
The proposals update the 40-year-old rules permitting certain forms of gambling on these premises.
Under the proposals, alcohol-licensed premises will no longer be required to seek permission from their local licensing authority for gaming to take place providing a set of stringent conditions are complied with:
- children and young people must be prohibited from participation
- gaming is limited to ‘equal chance' games (such as cribbage or poker) between customers. Games like roulette and blackjack will be prohibited;
- stakes and prizes for the gaming must be low. Stakes will be limited to a maximum of £5 in pubs and £10 in clubs for games of poker;
- the operator must not take a ‘cut' from money staked or won; or charge participation fees (including membership subscription fees); and
- games played may only take place on one set of premises, as games across more than one property will be prohibited.
Richard Caborn, minister for sport, said: "Many people have enjoyed low stakes games like bingo, cribbage and dominoes in clubs and pubs for decades and there is no evidence of an increase in problem gambling or crime as a result.
"But we now need clearer rules and limits on stakes and prizes to keep it that way so licensees will be in no doubt about what is and is not permitted. Those who abuse these provisions will face tough sanctions.
"While pubs have previously required permission from their local licensing authority for games like poker and bingo, cribbage and dominoes can be played without any kind of approval."
The Consultation on Gaming in Clubs and on Alcohol-licensed Premises, which closes on 20 April, is available from the DCMS website.
By Daniel Thomas
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