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Wed 10th Feb 2016 - Gambling Commission wins appeal against Greene King bingo licence
Gambling Commission wins appeal against Greene King bingo licence: The Gambling Commission has won an appeal against the grant of bingo licence to Greene King. Previously Greene King had been successful in its appeal against the refusal of the Gambling Commission for an operating licence to authorise bingo (and therefore higher jackpot gaming machines) in its pubs. Solicitor John Gaunt said: “The Gambling Commission appealed against that decision last year with the judgment being issued this month. In brief, the Gambling Commission has been successful in its appeal, with the Upper Tribunal finding that it acted within its powers when refusing Greene King a bingo operating licence to provide commercial bingo in its pubs. Judge Levenson found that the Commission has the legal authority to refuse an application for an Operating Licence if it considers granting the application would not be reasonably consistent with the licensing objectives, although whether the decision to refuse was correct on its merits was not considered. The case to be sent back to the First-tier Tribunal for reconsideration.” The Gambling Commission regulatory panel stated originally: “The panel does not consider that granting these (Greene King) applications would be reasonably consistent with pursuit of the licensing objectives. In the panel’s judgment the provision of high stake bingo and category B gaming machines in a pub environment has the potential to jeopardise the second and third [licensing] objectives. So far as the second objective is concerned, the way in which, and environment in which, gambling opportunities are presented and advertised can impact on its fairness and openness. The third objective is that of protecting children and the vulnerable, who may attend such premises, from being harmed by gambling. Accordingly, having had regard to the licensing objectives, to their findings first of an intention in the Act to create a graduated regulatory regime and secondly as to the different expectations of those frequenting pub or bingo premises as to their primary purpose, and taking a precautionary approach, the panel has concluded that these applications should be refused.”

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