he investigation centred on the Cherry Tree, Linkway, Runcorn. Two men aged 35 and 56 respectively were cautioned for their part in providing unlawful gambling. A 50 year old man received the same sanction for allowing the premises to be used for unlawful gambling.
The investigation found that poker was being played in a function room at the rear of the Cherry Tree pub for stakes in advance of the statutory maximum. Low stakes poker is permitted in pubs as long as stakes are kept below 5.54 euros a head and 110 euros per premises per day. A significant number of poker leagues operate legitimate low stakes poker in pubs around the country and these cautions for providing illegal poker in a pub are the first of their kind under the Act.
In October last year, the Commission produced a guide to help landlords ensure poker is offered legitimately on their premises. Commercial poker for unlimited stakes can only be played in casinos and licensed card clubs.
Commenting on the operation, the Commission’s Regional Compliance Manager for the North West, Alan Green said: “This investigation is a good example of joint partnership working in keeping gambling fair and safe for people in Cheshire. The case serves as a reminder to those responsible for managing pubs of their responsibility to monitor gaming on their premises.”
Inspector Simon Blackwell, of Cheshire Police, said: “This innovative investigation between the partner agencies in Halton clearly shows our joint commitment to improving licensing standards. Those that would wish to unlawfully commit gambling offences will be dealt with robustly by The Safer Halton Partnership.”