Published: 07 August 2014
Q: My pub is on a High Street near a Premier League football ground. There are a couple of betting shops on the High Street not far from the pub. A number of regulars are keen sports goers and punters. At quieter times I often see them on their mobiles making calls to their bookmaker and I think a number of them use apps on their phones to place bets. There is one guy who often spends afternoons here in the pub who uses his iPad for his bets. Where do I stand regarding a customer’s use of their smartphones and tablets to place bets? I attended a Pubwatch meeting recently where the Licensing Officer spoke to us regarding betting in pubs, saying it was not allowed.
A: As long as you play no part in the betting then this activity is allowed. It is legal for customers to use their own smartphones and their own tablets to place the bets on their individual accounts. What you shouldn’t do is allow customers to use your telephone, or if you have an account, your account with the bookmaker to place bets. This could be interpreted as the activities of a betting intermediary which requires a licence from the Gambling Commission. Similarly although bookmakers can leave their betting slips within the pub, don’t collect the slips and send a runner down to the bookers to place the bets on behalf of customers. Again this would be acting as a betting intermediary
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