The Gambling Commission has issued its first ever cautions over illegal pub poker to three men from a Cheshire pub.
The three men were cautioned under the Gambling Act 2005 following a joint investigation with Cheshire Police and the Safer Halton Partnership into unlawful poker at the Cherry Tree pub, at Linkway, Runcorn.
A 35-year-old man and a 56-year-old man were cautioned for their part in providing unlawful gambling. Another man, aged 50, was also cautioned for allowing the premises to be used for unlawful gambling.
The investigation found that poker was being played in the pub's function room for stakes in advance of the statutory maximum.
Low stakes poker is permitted in pubs as long as stakes are kept below £5 a head and £100 per premises per day.
In October last year, the Gambling Commission produced a guide to help licensees ensure poker is offered legitimately on their premises.
The Gambling Commission's regional compliance manager for the North West, Alan Green said: "This investigation is a good example of joint partnership working in keeping gambling fair and safe for people in Cheshire.
"The case serves as a reminder to those responsible for managing pubs of their responsibility to monitor gaming on their premises."
Inspector Simon Blackwell, of Cheshire Police, added: "This innovative investigation between the partner agencies in Halton clearly shows our joint commitment to improving licensing standards. Those that would wish to unlawfully commit gambling offences will be dealt with robustly by the Safer Halton Partnership."