Gambling Commission to appeal Greene King bingo licence decision

By Ellie Bothwell contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Law

The Gambling Commission said the ruling 'handicaps' what the Commission was set up to do
The Gambling Commission said the ruling 'handicaps' what the Commission was set up to do
The Gambling Commission is looking to appeal the First-Tier Tribunal’s decision to allow Greene King a bingo licence, in order to stop commercial gambling “spreading to pubs”.

Earlier this month Judge NJ Warren quashed the Gambling Commission’s refusal to allow the pub company a bingo licence and remitted the matter back to the Commission with a direction that the application should be granted – a ruling which could open the door for larger pubcos to operate commercial bingo.

However, the Gambling Commission has today announced that it is “seeking permission” to appeal the decision, claiming that the ruling “appears to handicap the Commission in doing what it was set up to do – that is, react to new developments and protect the vulnerable.”

A spokesman added: “We are clear, and this view is strongly supported by the government, that commercial betting, gaming and bingo and any associated high stakes and prize machines should be provided only in separate premises licensed for that specific purpose – premises that adults make a deliberate choice to visit in order to gamble.

“A judgment from the Upper Tribunal should hopefully clarify what we can and can’t do by way of operating licence conditions.

“Meanwhile, we are working closely with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to see how we can both use our various powers to keep commercial gambling in dedicated licensed premises and stop it spreading to pubs.”

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It's not the bingo that's the issue...

Posted by Patrick Noakes,

The real issue at stake here is not the playing of Bingo, but the entitlement a Bingo licence provides to higher stake jackpot machines that would otherwise be permitted in a pub.

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Posted by Kevin O'connor,

We have run Prize Bingo for over 5 years. In itself we do not make a profit.
However as a fund raiser for Macmillan it played its part in raising over £10,700 in 2014 and over £10,400 in 2013

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Wrong target

Posted by ken nason,

I think the commission needs to look into advertising and participation in gambling on TV and the web before they rise to this level of control.

Bingo. Yesterday within an hour there were 8 sponsors adverts for online bingo and 9 adverts for online bingo form 3 different companies. After 9pm watershed? No this was early evening between 4pm and Five when kids are home from school.

At least bingo in pubs would have controls in place.

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