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Publicans in Scotland are being reminded that they are breaking the law if they allow their pubs to be used for betting or provide facilities enabling betting. 

This warning follows a multi-agency exercise undertaken by the Gambling Commission with officers from Police Scotland and colleagues from Aberdeenshire licensing authorities.

The exercise involved awareness raising visits to several pubs in north-east Scotland to highlight the requirements of the Gambling Act.

Helen Venn, Gambling Commission programme director, said: “We want to remind publicans and other business operators that they should not be allowing their premises to be used for betting or providing facilities for betting. Individuals who facilitate illegal betting risk possible imprisonment and/or a significant fine. 

“We are committed to developing effective co-regulation of the gambling sector across Britain with all of our partners, ensuring fair and open gambling, preventing criminal activity in connection with gambling and protecting children and the vulnerable.” 

Last week’s exercise followed an operation involving Police Scotland and licensing authority staff in November 2015 which was the first multi-agency operation of this sort since the establishment of Police Scotland in April 2013.  

The exercises followed the publication an updated advice note in November 2015 which clarified the role of authorised persons when undertaking compliance and enforcement activity around gambling licensing premises.  

The Commission’s Quick Guide Facilitating betting in pubs and clubs is illegal covers the penalties linked to illegal betting. The guide also includes Frequently Asked Questions to demonstrate what is, and isn’t, permissible under the Gambling Act. 

Notes to editors 

  1. More information about how we regulate the gambling industry.
  2. Useful statistics on the gambling industry
  3. More information on prevention of money-laundering.

Journalists can contact our press office on 0121 230 6700 or email: communications@gamblingcommission.gov.uk

Posted on 27 January 2016