Greene King bingo appeal fails

We have reported previously on:

  • Greene King’s successful appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal against the Gambling Commission’s refusal to grant it a bingo operating licence and
  • the subsequent Upper Tribunal finding in favour of the Commission that it acted within its powers when it refused to grant Greene King a bingo operating licence to provide commercial bingo in its pubs

The Court of Appeal has rejected Greene King’s further appeal, finding that as a matter of law:

  • the Commission is not obliged to issue an operating licence to pubs if it believes doing so would “be harmful to the statutory licensing objectives” set out in the Gambling Act and
  •  it was “clearly open to the [Commission’s Regulatory] Panel to conclude that visitors to a pub, after consuming alcohol, might be vulnerable to available high stake gambling”.

The Court of Appeal judgment can be found here. The matter will now be returned to the First-Tier Tribunal to determine the matter on its merits.

The Gambling Commission’s reaction to the Court of Appeal judgment can be read here