The pubco had applied for an operating licence to provide facilities for bingo, which would have allowed it to apply to licensing authorities for premises licenses for its individual pubs.
Cornerstone Barristers, which acted for the Gambling Commission, said the body had originally ruled that while Greene King was a suitable operator, its “business model was liable to undermine licensing objectives”.
It said unlimited stake and prize commercial bingo, with £500 gaming machines, should be provided in dedicated gambling environments and “not as ancillary attractions in pubs”.
Greene King’s case
A spokesman for Cornerstone Barristers said: “Greene King’s case was that premises licences were for licensing authorities, and the Gambling Commission could not use its operating licence powers to prevent it applying for such licences.”
According to Cornerstone Barristers, Greene King’s argument succeeded in the First Tier Tribunal, but failed in the Upper Tribunal, which led to Greene King’s appeal.
The spokesman continued: “In general, the Court of Appeal found the Gambling Commission’s arguments overwhelming: the commission was indeed entitled to consider and find the operation to be inconsistent with the licensing objectives and refuse the licence accordingly.”
Greene King was contacted for comment but had not responded at the time of publication.