Guidance to licensing authorities
- Changes to the Guidance for Licensing Authorities
- Part 1: General guidance on the role and responsibilities of licensing authorities in gambling regulation
- Part 2: The licensing framework
- Part 3: The Gambling Commission
- Part 4: Licensing authorities
- Part 5: Principles to be applied by licensing authorities
- Part 6: Licensing authority policy statement
- Part 7: Premises licences
- Part 8: Responsible authorities and interested parties definitions
- Part 9: Premises licence conditions
- Part 10: Review of premises licence by licensing authority
- Part 11: Provisional statements
- Part 12: Rights of appeal and judicial review
- Part 13: Information exchange
- Part 14: Temporary use notices
- Part 15: Occasional use notices
- Part 16: Gaming machines
- Part 17: Casinos
- Part 18: Bingo
- Part 19: Betting premises
- Part 20: Tracks
- Part 21: Adult gaming centres
- Part 22: Licensed family entertainment centres
- Part 23: Introduction to permits
- Part 24: Unlicensed family entertainment centres
- Part 25: Clubs
- Part 26: Premises licensed to sell alcohol
- Part 27: Prize gaming and prize gaming permits
- Part 28: Non-commercial and private gaming, betting and lotteries
- Part 29: Poker
- Part 30: Travelling fairs
- Part 31: Crown immunity and excluded premises
- Part 32: Territorial application of the Gambling Act 2005
- Part 33: Door supervision
- Part 34: Small society lotteries
- Part 35: Chain gift schemes
- Part 36: Compliance and enforcement matters
- Appendix A: Summary of machine provisions by premises
- Appendix B: Summary of gaming machine categories and entitlements
- Appendix C: Summary of gaming entitlements for clubs and alcohol-licensed premises
- Appendix D: Summary of offences under the Gambling Act 2005
- Appendix E: Summary of statutory application forms and notices
- Appendix F: Inspection powers
- Appendix G: Licensing authority delegations
- Appendix H: Poker games and prizes
- Appendix I: Glossary of terms
Appendix H: Poker games and prizes
The overall winner wins the pot in each game and wins an overall prize based on points
If the tournament winner played three games in the whole tournament, and his winnings (from the pot) in each of these games were £100, £70 and £60 respectively, each game would fall under the £100 prize limit. This would leave £0 from the first game, £30 from the second game and £40 from the third game, which could be put towards the winner’s overall tournament prize. In these circumstances, the tournament prize could be up to £70 (£0 + £30 + £40). Thus, where the pot in individual games is under £100, the tournament winner’s overall prize must not exceed the aggregate of the shortfall in each of the games he plays.
The overall winner is only awarded points in each game and wins an overall prize based on points
Let’s still assume that the tournament winner plays three games in the whole tournament. If there is no individual prize in any of the three games, then the overall prize can be up to £300 (£100 for each game the winner has played). If, on the other hand, the winner played in only two games, then his overall prize may not exceed £200, and so on. Please note that the relevant number of games is the games in which the winning player participated, and not only the games that they won.
Organisers of such competitions will therefore need to work out the total value of any overall prize with reference to the number of games to be played by the overall winner and the total pot (if any) in each game.
While ‘non-cash’ poker for points leagues can provide harmless and legal entertainment, those promoting such leagues should be aware of the Commission’s code of practice on equal chance gaming and take steps to prevent individual stakes limits being exceeded through side bets or illegal activity such as agreements to ‘settle’ games outside the gaming area. Where illegal activity is detected, licensing authorities should consider the removal of the alcohol licensed premises’ exemption, which allows poker and other exempt gaming to be played.
The overall winner is only awarded points in each game and wins an overall prize such as the opportunity to participate in a major poker tournament, casino vouchers, holidays etc
In these circumstances, tournament organisers must ensure that the statutory limits for poker in alcohol licensed premises and clubs are complied with. In particular, they must carefully consider the value of the prizes offered for games leading up to the tournament final (including money’s worth or non-monetary prizes such as holidays, cars, casino vouchers, or buy-ins or seats at the final). In addition, organisers should take into account that where players are competing across premises for an overall prize, they are likely to be engaged in linked gaming, which is not permitted.
Free or donated prizes are awarded to players in addition to the maximum prize pools for poker in clubs and alcohol licensed premises
The Act refers to money or money’s worth in respect of prizes. This would include free or donated prizes which have an intrinsic value. Any prizes offered in addition to the prize pool must remain within the limits for prizes in games of poker in clubs and alcohol licensed premises. The prize limit is £250 per game in a club and £100 per game in a pub. Therefore, for example, if the prize pool available for a particular game is £80, then any non-monetary prizes must not have a value exceeding £20.
Poker is offered in a members’ club or miners’ welfare institute with a club gaming permit
Members’ clubs or miners’ welfare institutes with club gaming permits may offer poker with unlimited stakes and prizes, but the only persons who may participate in such gaming are club members and their genuine guests. In this regard, the club must be able to demonstrate that it has a genuine and legitimate club membership scheme. Clubs must also ensure that the statutory limits on participation fees are not exceeded. The limit for bridge and whist is £20 and for other gaming is £3. In addition, there is a limit of a maximum of £2,000 per week in stakes and prizes for bingo in a members’ club or welfare institute. If it is the intention of the club or institute to exceed these limits, it will be necessary for them to apply for an operating licence.
What constitutes ‘money’s worth’?
Money’s worth relates to the realistic value of the prize offered. It includes emoluments, vouchers, goods or other items which have a value. A prize such as a ‘goody bag’ would be considered money’s worth and is, therefore, subject to the statutory limits for exempt gaming. Donated prizes would also be considered money’s worth. This would include prizes such as the buy-ins at major poker tournaments or the opportunity to participate in poker tournaments at venues such as Monte Carlo, especially as this type of prize is likely to include the cost of the airfare and accommodation.Previous section
Appendix G: Licensing authority delegations Next section
Appendix I: Glossary of terms
Last updated: 14 September 2023
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