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Pub Poker And the New Gambling Act : Good Or Bad?

Throughout the last year we have listened to the rumours, rumours and hearsay that preceded the introduction of the new gaming act as we tried to predict how these changes would affect our discos. For once most of the rumours turned into freebet tanpa deposit fairly on the mark and there was not really anything in the act concerning pub poker that was unexpected. What is more interesting, and unknown at this point, is how stringently the new act is going to be unplaned.

Although on the surface the new act appears to have provided a more open-handed setting for discos wanting to host poker nights, the fact maybe slightly different. Illegal poker games in discos have been going on for many years and poker could well have been the catalyst for the creation of the particular great British institution, otherwise known as the public house. Players used to sit outside in the rain and gradually the discos were built around them to shelter them from the elements and provide refreshment to those players, who had previously been chasing their losses for days at a time. OK, maybe I am rewriting history here, but the point is that pub poker has been doing for many years.

Due to the law change many venues now manage to believe that their games have become semi-legitimate. Actually another could well be the case. The new gaming act enables discos to offer small blind levels games with a limit of £5 per person for each game, with a areas based prize pool limit of £100 a day. This does indeed constitute a loosening of the laws for venues that up until September 1st, did not provide cash poker on their areas. However, the new law also means the Gaming Commission has become one of the most powerful firms in the country with far reaching powers to reprimand publicans who flaunt the new regulations.

Whether or not the change in legislation is going to affect discos in different meaningful way remains to be seen. At the moment the Gaming Commission appears to be playing a waiting game and we can speculate that they are holding off taking any action until Gordon Brown has clarified his position, on the handling of the new gaming act. It will be very interesting to see what “the powers that be” decide. Will they turn a shades eye to venues that operate well run events, albeit not in the law or are they going to try and implement the letter of the law by making examples of discos that break the principles.

Many public houses have finally started advertising poker events that contravene the current legislation and this will make it harder for the authorities to ignore. It would seem that some publicans are unclear the amount regulations actually permits and this is understandable as having a law degree seems to be a requirement for understanding the vocabulary used in the Gaming Act 2005.

In our view cash poker in discos is not necessarily a good thing. We believe that playing poker for cash is best kept in casinos or regulated poker clubs. We have seen first hand that there is a huge demand for small blind levels poker in the uk and we believe that casinos and poker clubs should be the ones to step in to cover this distance in the market.

The reason for this is because it is much easier to run a well regulated game of poker in a casino or card room, where there is a competition host present and measures are in destination to prevent break down play. The majority of publicans are not likely to have experience in running poker games and in many establishments the players will be left to run themselves. This causes problems if there are any disagreements over money or the principles. It only takes a few nasty incidents and suddenly poker is all over the front pages for the wrong reasons. Poker players will not be affected by sensationalist news bullitains such as “British Discos or Gaming Dens? inches but people who do not know the poker community will be influenced by these kinds of stories. I have no concept how many people in politics play poker, but I can threat a guess that plenty of them will dsicover the opportunity to score some points, if public opinion begins to turn against this great game.

We are not saying that we completely oppose cash games in discos, rather that it would be better if more facilities were provided in purpose run venues, to allow players to share of the game of their choice in a safe environment. Casinos need to play their part in this by providing the kind of setting that poker players are going to appreciate. Poker players do not want casinos offering poor quality poker games just as a hook to get people onto the gaming floor. The venues that provide well planned tournaments and cash games are the ones which are going to obtain the most benefits of the current UK poker increase.

Whatever happens we intend to continue to provide Poker in the Pub as a free to play league. We have always focused on the entertainment factor and steered well clear of gaming in discos, which has paid benefits in the amount of new players we have seen taking up the game. The league is currently growing at an astonishing rate, which has seen venue numbers increase by 50 percent within the last few few months.

Once again the emphasis is on making sure that everyone has a good outing and I am confident the players will ensure we see the right quality poker. This statement is borne out by the excellent showing individuals regional winners at the Golden Sands Poker Happening.

Whatever Gordon Brown’s government decide in relation to the setup of the new gaming act, it is going to be an interesting few months for those involved in pub poker or online casinos.

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