Gaming consultation launched

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Related tags: Local authority, Local government, Game, Dcms

Pubs will no longer need permission from their local authority to operate poker or other gaming under proposals published yesterday by the Department...

Pubs will no longer need permission from their local authority to operate poker or other gaming under proposals published yesterday by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The proposals, released in a consultation document, set clear stake and prize limits on poker games for the first time, and stipulate a number of conditions under which the games must be run. These are:

· Children must be prohibited from participation

· Gaming is limited to 'equal chance' games

· Stakes must be limited to £5, prizes to £100 daily and £500 weekly

· The operator must not charge participation fees (including membership subscriptions) or take a cut from money staked or won

· Games may not be played across more than one property.

The consultation into these proposals closes on April 20, 2007. The second of the conditions in particular is likely to prove contentious following debate over a landmark court ruling last week that poker was a game of chance, not of pure skill.

Licensees will be responsible for supervising games on their premises. Local authorities will have power to remove entitlements if pubs are found to have contravened the conditions.

Richard Caborn, minister for sport, said: "These proposals set out a comprehensive set of rules governing gaming in pubs and clubs that will keep it fair, crime free and ensure children and the vulnerable are protected.

"We are removing the need for a fresh application to be made every time a licensee wishes to allow a new type of game to be played. Permitting very low stakes gaming… will also help to keep gambling in the open and above board, making it easier to enforce controls and reducing the risk of exploitation."

Related topics: Entertainment

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