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Christmas Party Games

Don't gamble with the law this Christmas

Christmas Party Games

As the High Street fully engages the Christmas machine many operators will be looking to provide both their customers and employees with some festive activities of their own.
Operators regularly impress with their innovative gaming ideas but here are a few pointers to ensure that everyone remains a winner.

Charity Raffles

  • A charity raffle offered to your customers must be held at an event such as a Christmas party.  The larger event does not have to be held in aid of the charity itself but there are limits as to how the raffle can be provided:  A maximum of £500 can be deducted from ticket sales for prizes although additional prizes can be donated; and a maximum of £100 can be deducted to cover the costs of any expenses such as tickets.
  • Workplace raffles can also be used to raise funds for charity but the following criteria must be followed: There can be no rollover; raffles must only be run on a single set of premises; and all participants must work on those premises.  Although rather strange, if you work at a venue with a gambling premises licence you cannot have a lottery/raffle.

Other types of low level gaming are permitted in premises with an alcohol licence provided that gaming is not the main activity/purpose for using your premises and that alcohol sales are not restricted to those accompanying meals:

  • Only equal chance games can be provided, which is where the chances of winning are equally favourable to all participants and players do not compete against a  ‘bank’, such as bingo, bridge, cribbage, dominoes and other games such as ‘Chase the Ace’ or ‘Higher Lower’.
  • Cribbage and dominoes have no limit on the amount that can be staked although all other games have a £5 per person per game limit.
  • All qualifying games can be carried out with unlimited prizes, although all gaming should be considered low level.
  • Any Bingo weekly stake and prize total must not exceed £2000 and poker has its own separate rules and limits.
  • Premises cannot make any deductions from stakes/cost of entry and all money raised must be returned as prizes.
  • All games should be supervised and under 18’s must not be permitted to play.
  • All games such as Chase the Ace or Higher Lower must have at least 4 stages before a prize is awarded.
  • The Gambling Commission publishes a Code of Practice which applies to equal chance gaming in premises with an alcohol licence and provides further guidance.

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