Published: 19 March 2015
Q: I have been asked by a regular customer whether he can raise money for a charity which he is involved in by a poker game or tournament in my pub. Is this allowed?
A: Your customer can arrange a tournament for charity in your pub. Poker is a game of equal chance, and you are allowed to have what is called ‘non-commercial equal chance gaming’ as long as the poker is played within certain limits.The players need to be told the games are for charity.The maximum payment that players can make must not exceed £8. This is no matter how many games are played within the tournament. This charge could be a participation fee, stake or other charge or a combination but it must not exceed £8. The total amount or value of prizes for all the games played at the tournament must not exceed £600.If you run a tournament based upon a number of games played over a number of days, then in the final event of the series, where people have qualified by playing on previous days, the total amount or value of prizes for all the games played at the final event can be up to £900. You should not promote any other event on the same premises on the same day as the day on which the final event takes place.Money raised from the event is called the proceeds. None of the proceeds can be used for private gain except costs reasonably incurred by the organiser. Your customer should give all proceeds to the good cause, including sponsorship or entrance fees for instance. Reasonable costs would include the costs incurred buying any prizes.
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