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Is hosting a race night in my pub a safe bet for me?

Is my licence at risk if I host a race night?

Q: I have been approached by a company who are proposing to organise a race night in our pub, for our chosen charity. Am I allowed to have a race night in my pub?

A: Yes. Race nights are permitted. Gambling is regulated by the Gambling Act 2005 and there are a number of options on race nights but, as is often the case, the devil is in the detail. We have come across a number of businesses offering these types of services to pubs. It is your premises licence that is at risk if the race night is not provided within the legal limits. It becomes an offence under the Gambling Act 2005 to allow the premises to be used to provide facilities for betting if the race night is not compliant with the conditions for exempt gaming. Secondly, and arguably more importantly, as a crime, the crime and disorder objective of the Licensing Act 2003 comes into play which could justify the review of your premises licence by the licensing authority or Police, if the gambling is not provided lawfully.

You need comfort from the provider of the race night that they are acting within the regulation of the Gambling Act 2005. I will not go into the detail of those regulations as they are lengthy and numerous however I would advise that you either seek your own independent legal advice or speak to your licensing authority on the detail of the proposals.

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