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Guidance to licensing authorities

The Gambling Commission's guidance for licensing authorities.


1 - Introduction

29.1. Poker is a card game which involves elements of both chance and skill and is therefore classified as a game of chance under the Act by virtue of s.6(2). There are many variations on the game of poker, but this part deals primarily with equal chance poker where players compete against each other on equal terms.

29.2. In most forms of equal chance poker, players bet or stake progressively into a communal pot or kitty, with the player holding the best hand at the end of the game winning the accumulated stakes.

29.3. Non-equal chance poker, on the other hand, is where the banker or dealer participates in the game and holds a mathematical edge over the other players. Unequal chance poker may only be played in licensed casinos or, if it is ‘domestic’ or ‘residential’ gaming, under the private gaming provisions in the Act.

29.4. This part sets out all the circumstances in which poker can be legally provided. These circumstances include poker:

  • in casinos (including under temporary use notices)
  • as exempt gaming in clubs and alcohol licensed premises
  • under a club gaming permit
  • as non-commercial gaming poker
  • as private gaming.
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Poker in casinos
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