Published: 04 May 2016 by Nick Arron
You will have seen articles regarding the litigation between Greene King and the Gambling Commission regarding bingo. The Gambling Commission succeeded in its appeal and as it stands traditional commercial bingo in pubs will not be allowed by the Gambling Commission.
The Greene King litigation relates to commercial bingo but pubs can still provide bingo to their customers for cash or prizes. It is permitted under the Gambling Act 2005 as equal chance exempt gaming. You do not need to obtain permissions. You can just do it.
The exemption applies to all premises which hold an alcohol on-licence, and there are limits and conditions on the provision of the bingo which must be adhered to.
There are also financial limits:
A player cannot spend more than £5 per game on bingo cards. So if each card costs £1 for each game, the player cannot buy more than 5 cards;
You must ensure that the stakes and prizes do not exceed £2,000 in any seven day period. If you do exceed £2,000 then you must inform the Gambling Commission, and if you exceed £2,000 again in any seven day period, you are committing an offence and you could be putting your Premises Licence at risk.
There is also a Code of Practice published by the Gambling Commission which applies to pubs providing bingo. Responsibility for compliance with the Code of Practice sits with the Designated Premises Supervisor.
The Code of Practice includes the following provisions:
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