Champions Poker League offers venues two forms of membership to the league.
“Points” venues play ONLY for points on the poker evening which is not deemed as gaming as detailed in the gambling commission guidelines “Gaming is only covered by the Act if it is played for prizes of money or money’s worth”.
“Low stakes” venues play for points AND cash on the poker evening and have more of a legal responsibility for ensuring their poker evening conforms to the Gambling Commission Guielines.
If you host poker tournaments in your venue you must conform to these new guidelines set out by the Gambling Commission otherwise your license may be in jeopardy. The law regarding pub poker tournaments as set out by the Gambling Act 2005 (revised September 2008) can be summarised as follows:
Q: How much can my customers stake in a game of poker?
A: £5 per player per game. £100 total stakes per venue per day in a pub (£10 per player per game, £250 total stakes per venue per day in a club).
Q: Who is responsible for ensuring my pub poker is legal?
A: Responsibility for whether or not poker played in your pub is legal rests on the pub manager’s shoulders.
Q: Can pub poker league finals be held in a pub?
A: Yes, with restrictions. Finals held in pubs may only offer £100 in prizes for every non-cash game played that season by the winner. Participating in cash games prior to the final will reduce how much can be won at the final.
Q: Will holding finals in pubs reduce the cash prize pool?
A: The league organisers should ask individuals who play in their final if they have played for cash in their pub leading up to the tournament. If they do not ask this question and adjust the prize pool accordingly then they may be breaking the law.
Q: Can pub poker league finals be held in casinos?
A: Yes. Pub poker league finals can be held in casinos with no limit on the maximum prize that can be awarded.
Q: Where can I find more information on the legalities of pub poker?
A: The gambling commission's guidelines can be found here and here.