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The First-Tier Tribunal has granted the Gambling Commission permission to appeal the decision requiring the Commission to grant an operating licence to a pub chain to introduce commercial gambling with potentially large numbers of high stake and prize gaming machines into pubs. This ruling appears to handicap the Commission in doing what it was set up to do – that is, react to new developments and protect the vulnerable.

We are clear, and this view is strongly supported by the government, that commercial betting, gaming and bingo and any associated high stakes and prize machines, should be provided only in separate premises licensed for that specific purpose – premises that adults make a deliberate choice to visit in order to gamble.

A judgment from the Upper Tribunal should hopefully clarify what we can and can’t do by way of operating licences. Meanwhile, we are working closely with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to see how we can both use our various powers to keep commercial gambling in dedicated licensed premises and stop it spreading to pubs. 

Notes to editors

  1. The Gambling Commission (the Commission) regulates gambling in the public interest alongside its co-regulators local licensing authorities. 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. Subject to these overriding public protection objectives, as regulator of the National Lottery the Commission monitors and challenges Camelot to raise the maximum amount for good causes. The Commission also provides independent advice to government on gambling in Britain. Read more about what the Commission does.
  2. The Commission and local licensing authorities are responsible for licensing and regulating all gambling in Great Britain other than spread betting, which is the responsibility of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
  3. See the Terms & Conditions section of our website for information on legal advice.

For further information please contact us on (0121) 230 6700 or email communications@gamblingcommission.gov.uk.

Posted on 24 December 2014