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Guidance to licensing authorities

The Gambling Commission's guidance for licensing authorities.


6 - Betting

26.30. Commercial betting, regardless of the level of stakes, is not permitted in alcohol licensed premises. Those who facilitate such betting in pubs are providing illegal facilities for gambling and are breaking the law. Even where publicans accept bets on behalf of licensed bookmakers, or just facilitate betting through their own telephone betting accounts, they are acting as betting intermediaries and could be prosecuted.

26.31. Licensed bookmakers who knowingly accept bets from pub customers through a single account are encouraging illegal gambling and may be in breach of the Act and could risk losing their licence.

26.32. Licensed bookmakers with a remote or ancillary licence can accept telephone bets from a customer watching an event in a pub, as long as that customer has an individual account with them. It is illegal for bookmakers or their agents to sit in the pub taking bets themselves.

26.33. It should be noted, however, that the prohibition on commercial betting in alcohol licensed premises does not apply in relation to tracks in certain circumstances. Where the betting takes place under the authority of a track premises licence, it can take place in an area on the track licensed for the sale of alcohol, provided that the licensing authority has approved the betting area as part of the track premises licence application. However, this does not apply in relation to separate and discrete premises on the track where betting takes place under the authority of a general betting licence. In this case, the consumption of alcohol on those premises is prohibited.

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