One in 50 played pub poker in 2010

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Poker, Public house, Slot machine, Inn

Poker: popular in pubs
Poker: popular in pubs
One in 50 people have played poker in a pub or club in the past year — with young men the most active players. That's according to a Gambling...

One in 50 people have played poker in a pub or club in the past year — with young men the most active players.

That's according to a Gambling Commission survey of 7,756 people aged 16 and above, which points to the growth of the game since small-stakes poker became legal in pubs in 2007.

The survey, which questioned members of the public at random, found 2% of people had played poker in a pub or club at some point in 2010. Among 16 to 24-year-olds, the figure is 6%, and it's 3% for 25 to 34-year-olds.

The survey points to an opportunity for pubs to encourage more frequent poker playing.

Of those people who play poker in the pub, 69% do so once a month or less.

However, a significant minority — 13% — play two or more days per week.

There's also a stark gender divide — 0% of people who play poker in the pub are female. The game is most popular at pubs in the north-west, East Midlands, eastern England and Wales, where 3% of the public have had a go. This compares to 1% in the north-east, Yorkshire and Humberside, the south-west and London.

Tim Smithies, director of pub-poker provider Redtooth, said the game is "still growing" in pubs.

The company has 1,200 venues registered with its poker packages, and more than 109,000 players have signed up.

"We've got about 20 signing up per week at the moment," Smithies said.

The Halfway House in Barnes, south-west London, attracts about 25 on average for its Sunday poker nights. Enterprise Inns tenant Mike Thompson said: "Poker has definitely saved us on Sunday nights."

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