As the summer draws to a close and the autumn kicks in, why not make the most of your venue by putting on casino nights.
Providing casino games, such as blackjack, poker and roulette, can be an interesting and fun way to promote your venue and, in certain circumstances, raise money for a good cause.
You will of course be aware that generally casinos require extensive licensing and are subject to strict regulation. However, there are certain situations where you can offer these games on your premises without the need for any form of licence. You would be able to do this on the basis that the gaming falls into one of three exempt categories.
The first exemption is private gaming. Private gaming may only occur in a place that the public does not have access to. It is unlikely that you would be able to benefit from this as it is a genuine private permission and, for example, hotels where the public have access would not be able to benefit.
A second exemption is called non-commercial prize gaming. This is where a prize is awarded as a result of the games, which can be games with a bank or an edge, such as roulette or blackjack. Importantly, none of the money raised from the event can be used for private gain and all proceeds must be given to a good cause. Proceeds would include entrance fees, sponsorship and the difference between stakes places and pay-out made. If you did have a third party providing refreshments at the event then any money raised by them would not count as the proceeds and would be able to be retained by those third parties. Players must be told what good cause will benefit from the profits of the gaming and prizes must have been advertised in advance. The casino determines the winners, who might be, for example, the person who has won the most chips over the course of an evening. Importantly, prizes cannot depend on the amount of people playing and would have to be the same if you had one or 100 players. The prizes would therefore have to be fixed, eg a mountain bike or £500 for the winner. This type of gambling is often used for charity events.
The third exemption is non commercial equal chance gaming. These are games where the changes are equal to all players, such as poker or bingo. The same rules on proceeds, prizes and limits apply as for prize gaming.
Non commercial equal chance gaming can include cash prizes however these must fall within the limits set by the Gambling Commission. This is currently £8 per player per day. There are also limits on the total amount paid out in prizes for equal chance gaming which is which must be less than £600 in total across all players, in less the game is one of a series in which case I hire a prize fund of up to £900 is allowed.
If the gaming falls into a non commercial exemption then persons under the age of 18 can also take part.
Like many of the casino games that you may wish to offer the rules may take some getting used to, however if you play by them you can make some offer your customers something unique and possibly raise some money for good causes at the same time.