Commission issues first cautions over illegal pub poker
Date: 19 March
The Gambling Commission (the Commission) has cautioned three men
under the Gambling Act 2005 (the Act) following a joint
investigation with Cheshire Police and The Safer Halton Partnership
into unlawful poker at a Runcorn pub.
The investigation centred on the Cherry Tree, Linkway, Runcorn.
Two men aged 35 and 56 respectively were cautioned for their part
in providing unlawful gambling. A 50 year old man received the same
sanction for allowing the premises to be used for unlawful
The investigation found that poker was being played in a
function room at the rear of the Cherry Tree pub 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. A significant number of poker leagues
operate legitimate low stakes poker in pubs around the country and
these cautions for providing illegal poker in a pub are the first
of their kind under the Act.
In October last year, the Commission produced a guide to help
landlords ensure poker is offered legitimately on their premises.
Commercial poker for unlimited stakes can only be played in casinos
and licensed card clubs.
Commenting on the operation, the 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
“The case serves as a reminder to those responsible for managing
pubs of their responsibility to monitor gaming on their
Inspector Simon Blackwell, of Cheshire Police, said:
“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
Notes to editors
The Gambling Commission
- 1. The Gambling Commission (the Commission) regulates gambling
in the public interest. It does so by keeping crime out of
gambling, by ensuring that gambling is conducted fairly and openly,
and by protecting children and vulnerable people from being harmed
or exploited by gambling. The Commission also provides independent
advice to government on gambling in Britain.
- 2. The Commission is responsible for licensing and regulating
all gambling in Great Britain other than the National Lottery and
spread betting, which are the responsibility of the National
Lottery Commission and the Financial Services Authority (FSA)
- 3. Section 33 of the Gambling Act 2005 makes it
illegal to provide unlicensed facilities for gambling.
- 4. Section 37 of the Gambling Act 2005 makes it illegal
to allow premises to be used in the provision of facilities for
The Safer Halton Partnership
- 1. The Safer Halton Partnership is made up of a variety of
agencies including Cheshire Police, Cheshire Fire and Rescue
Service, Halton Borough Council, the Probation Service, Halton
Youth Offending Teams, local housing associations and community
groups. The Partnership plans, delivers and evaluates
positive action to help reduce crime and disorder through
multi-agency work alongside the local
- For further information please contact us on (0121) 230 6700 or