Published: 06 December 2016
Q: I am looking at having an external fundraiser come in and conduct a ‘Race Night’ in our pub, for our chosen charity. I think I’m allowed to have a race night but am unsure of the best way to do this?
A: Race nights are permitted for charitable purposes. Gambling is regulated by the Gambling Act 2005 and there are several options for race nights but you have to be very careful. You can hold an event where participants stake money on the outcome of live, recorded or virtual races. There are a number of possibilities how such nights can be run without a licence, or any other form of permission, but the simplest would be non-commercial prize gaming. Apart from reasonable costs, all proceeds must go to charity. No profits can be made at all except by third parties, so as the pub will not be conducting and involved with the organisation/management of the gaming itself, you could make a profit on alcohol sales. The players must be told what good cause will benefit from the profits of the gaming. The prizes must be advertised in advance and must not depend on the number of people playing or the stakes raised. Please note that there are further requirements to adhere to and your premises licence is at risk if the race night is not provided within the legal limits so I would advise you either seek your own independent legal advice or speak to your licensing authority on the detail of the proposals.
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