Published: 01 June 2016
Q: I am new to the licensed trade and have just recently taken over my first tenancy. I have a couple of questions on gaming.
One of my first jobs was to transfer the Premises Licence into my name. There are two £100 jackpot gaming machines at the premises, which do not appear to have any permission or official authorisation. How are they permitted and do I need to transfer the “permissions” for these two machines into my name?
Secondly, there is a group of older gentlemen who come and play dominoes on an afternoon. I have found a copy of the Gambling Commission’s code on gaming in pubs. There are clearly limits on poker and bingo but I am unsure as to the maximum stakes and prizes permitted for dominoes. The code suggest there are no limits. Is that right?
A: The previous Premises Licence Holder will not have had a licence, permit or permission for the machines or indeed for the dominoes. Regarding the machines they will have written to the Local Authority to notify them that they will be making the two gaming machines available for use and pay £50. Because you have transferred the Premises Licence into your name, you need to do the same and write to the Local Authority telling them you will be operating the two machines and paying them £50. You need to be aware of the Gambling Commission Code of Practice which applies to the location of gaming machines in pubs. They must be located where they can be supervised and they must be located so that someone who wishes to take cash from an ATM must stop gambling to do so, or in other words you should not put a cash machine next to a gaming machine. There should be enough distance between the gaming machine and the cash machine so that someone on the gaming machine must stop playing to take cash from the ATM.
In answer to the second part of your question, you are right. There are no limits on the amounts players can stake or win in games of dominoes. However, regulations which permit dominoes require the gaming to be ‘low level’ and the designated person is expected to take all reasonable steps to ensure that this remains the case.
Gaming in pubs should be ancillary to the main purpose of the premises – the gaming should not be the main reason to go to the premises.
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