The Gaming Board For Great Britain
The Gaming Board for Great Britain is the regulatory body for casinos, bingo clubs, gaming machines and the larger society and all local authority lotteries in Great Britain
Below is information for those interested enough to read it! For latest updates please check the above web address.
GAMING BOARD GUIDELINES FOR THE CASINO INDUSTRY - INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH
The Board agrees guidelines and codes of practice with the relevant trade associations. The guidelines are promulgated on the Board's website, in its Annual Report; and by the associations. They provide guidance on areas in which the legislation is considered to be insufficiently clear, on interpretation of the law where that is considered necessary and on standards and principles which the Board regards as defining acceptable practice. Such guidelines do not have legal force but they do set out principles to which the Board expects the industry to adhere. Hence, while failures to follow the provisions of the guidelines may not of themselves be offences in law, the Board believes that such failures can legitimately be taken into account in assessing whether certificate and licence holders have acted in a fit and proper manner. This view was endorsed by the judge in a judicial review case involving the Board in late 1995.
These are set out below:
Guideline 1 - Acceptance of Cheques and Debit Cards
Guideline 2 - Club Activities
Guideline 3 - Competitions in Card Rooms
Guideline 4 - Socialising with Guests and Visits to Casinos
Guideline 5 - Automated Teller Machines (ATM's) in Casinos
Guideline 6 - Advertising
Guideline 7 - Postal Applications
GAMING BOARD GUIDELINES FOR THE CASINO INDUSTRY
NUMBER 1 - ACCEPTANCE OF CHEQUES AND DEBIT CARDS FROM MEMBERS AND GUESTS
( Revised 2 June 2003 )
ACCEPTANCE OF CHEQUES / DEBIT CARD TRANSACTIONS WITH NO ESTABLISHED FACILITY.
a) Customers who have not made a facility may draw up to £1000 per bank account in any gaming session using either one guaranteed cheque (up to the value of the guarantee card) and / or debit card payments.
b) The £1000 limit may only be exceeded if the customer holds a cheque guarantee card for an amount in excess £1000. In this case, the customer may draw up to the higher limit of the card, on the account to which the card relates, using either one guaranteed cheque and / or debit card payments.
c) Joint bank account holders are treated as separate customers provided each has their own individual cheque guarantee / debit card.
2. ESTABLISHING A FACILITY AND THE ACCEPTANCE OF CHEQUES / DEBIT CARD TRANSACTIONS WITHIN THAT ARRANGEMENT
a) Customers may make arrangements to use personal cheques (including scrip cheque) and / or debit card payments in addition to those specified in paragraph 1 above. Any facility granted should be based on, and commensurate with, information indicating the financial standing / reputation of the customer, such as:
i) Satisfactory bank references
ii) Satisfactory trade references (e.g. other casino references, Central Credit)
iii) Known financial wherewithal (including Gold Cards etc)
iv) Previous satisfactory cheque / debit card payment history
v) Prominent individuals whose financial standing / reputation is not questionable
vi) Suitable assurances from a member of good standing
b) In the absence of the above, if the customer claims or is known to be a member of, or to have played at any other casino in Great Britain, then reasonable enquiries will be made of that casino. In the event that it is established that the customer is in debt to a casino in Great Britain, which was incurred within the last seven years, then no facility can be granted until that debt is cleared.
c) The establishing of a facility must be authorised by a Grey or White certificate holder, whether on or off the premises, and recorded in writing. If authorisation is given by telephone it must be countersigned at a later opportunity.
d) Once a Cheque Cashing Facility (CCF) has been established, cheques or debit cards may be accepted within that amount with no further authorisation, and that the amount will be taken as "going through" unless otherwise stated.
3. GENERAL NOTES ON ACCEPTANCE OF CHEQUES AND DEBIT CARD PAYMENTS
a) No guaranteed cheque will be accepted if an earlier proposed debit card transaction on that account has been refused in that same gaming session.
b) In the event that a debit card transaction is refused, further transactions may be attempted for lesser amounts.
c) Bank drafts and third party cheques drawn in favour of the player and endorsed by him in favour of the casino must not be "non transferable" within the meaning of the Cheques Act 1992.
4. PLAYERS EXCEEDING FACILITY LIMITS
a) When a facility has been established by a casino in respect of a particular player, no transaction which would cause the player's liability to exceed that limit shall be permitted by the casino except in the following circumstances, and then subject to a prescribed procedure as follows:
That the casino genuinely expects that any cheque exchanged for the means to game as a result of the temporary increase of that player's facility limit, will be met upon first presentation, and the casino can justify such expectation e.g. show that its knowledge of the player's affairs provides reasonable assurance of the player's ability to pay for the agreed increase in his gaming.
Prescribed procedure means where such circumstances apply, the player's cheque or debit card for gaming may be accepted provided that the transaction is approved and authorised by the casino at White certificate holder level or, in circumstances where such a person is not available, the senior manager holding the Board's Grey Certificate. A record of any such authorisations shall be maintained and made available to the Board's Inspectors.
The record must show:
i) reasons for approval
ii) name and title of the person who authorised it and his signature
iii) the amount of the transaction
iv) the cumulative amount drawn in excess of the facility at the time of authorisation
v) the outcome e.g. whether the cheque cleared, and when.
5. SUSPENSION OF CHEQUE CASHING FACILITIES
a) A player's Cheque Cashing Facility will immediately be SUSPENDED as soon as notification is received from the casino's bankers that a cheque is dishonoured.
b) In these Guidelines, a dishonoured cheque means any cheque for gaming returned to the casino by the bank to which it was delivered for payment or collection, whether marked for representation or not. It includes, in the case of a request for special clearance, oral advice that a cheque will not be met on first presentation.
c) Any fate suffixed by the words "Held" (for example, "RDPR (held)"), or any similar type of answer (for example "effects not cleared") may be a useful indicator that funds are imminently expected, and thus physical return may not be desirable. However, a cheque must none the less be considered as dishonoured where, when contacted, the drawer's bank cannot authorise payment by the close of business on the day that it received the cheque.
d) The holder of a Grey Certificate may approve a CCF Suspension being lifted (within the casino's own signature authority levels) provided the cheque has been paid and the debt has been cleared.
6. WITHDRAWAL OF CHEQUE CASHING FACILITIES
a) A person who "persistently" dishonours cheques shall have his Cheque Cashing Facility WITHDRAWN and shall not be re-instated unless the procedure set out in paragraph 6(e) has been applied.
b) A person shall be regarded as "persistently" dishonouring cheques if cheques presented consecutively on three occasions within three months are dishonoured. For the purposes of this definition, a cheque means a single cheque, or series of cheques, all banked on the same banking day, (including, for example, a series of cheques banked after a weekend).
c) For the purposes of this Guideline, any cheques with a fate covered by paragraph 5(c) shall be excluded when considering whether a player has "persistently" dishonoured cheques, provided the cheques were paid within ten banking days of initial receipt by the drawer's bank.
d) Where the CCF is not withdrawn, the White Certificate holder shall give and sign a full written explanation detailing why withdrawal is not considered appropriate. The record should also include reference to the White certificate Licence holder having obtained suitable assurances from the player concerning future transactions. The written record of any such authorisations will be made available for the Board's Inspectors.
e) Re-instatement from withdrawal may only be permitted if the following steps have been taken by a White Certificate holder:-
i) The re-instated limit may be for no more than the CCF limit held at the time the player's facility was suspended and withdrawn.
ii) Current information must be diligently sought from other casinos where the customer is known to play or, alternatively, written references must be taken on the player's bank.
iii) A written record will be completed by the White Certificate holder noting that the player has been advised of the importance of cheques being paid on first presentation. This record must be available for the Board's Inspectors.
f) Following re-instatement in the above circumstances, the player's CCF may not be increased, or any excess facility granted, for three months, unless authorised by a White Certificate Holder using the prescribed procedure detailed in paragraph 4(a). In such cases, the White Certificate holder must show that there are demonstrable and material changes in the player's circumstances to justify confidence in their decision.
7. CANCELLATION OF CHEQUE CASHING FACILITIES
a) Where a player has been subject to withdrawal of their CCF three times in a twelve month period, within the circumstances detailed in paragraph 6, the facility must be cancelled.
b) No player who has had their CCF cancelled shall have it restored unless an application is received from them in writing. This application may then only be approved by a White Certificate Holder, who must provide a full written justification detailing the reasons for restoration. This written record must be retained on the premises and be available for the Board's inspection.
8. ACCEPTANCE OF CHEQUES FROM DEFAULTING PLAYERS
a) No casino shall accept a cheque not backed by a cheque guarantee card from a player to enable him to game if that player has dishonoured a previous cheque from which the debt or any part of it remains outstanding to that casino except in special circumstances, and then subject to a prescribed procedure as follows:
Special circumstances mean, where despite the previously dishonoured cheque, the casino still genuinely expects that the new cheques will be met upon first presentation, and the casino can justify expectations, e.g. show that the player is well known as a regular member of long standing with a hitherto sound record, or has never before dishonoured a cheque for gaming at the casino, and that its knowledge of the player's affairs provides reasonable assurance of the player's ability to pay.
Prescribed procedure means, where such special circumstances apply, the player's cheque for gaming may be accepted provided that the transaction is approved and authorised by the casino at Director or White certificate holder level or, in circumstances where such a person is not available, the senior manager holding the Board's Grey certificate. A separate record of any such authorisations shall be maintained and made available to the Board's Inspectors. The record must show:
i) reasons for approval
ii) name and title of the person who authorised it and his signature
confirming the decision
iii) the amount of the cheque
iv) the outcome e.g. whether the cheque cleared, and when
b) Except as provided for in 8(a), any player who has dishonoured a previous cheque from which the debt or any part of it remains outstanding to that casino, shall be prohibited from gaming except for cash or its equivalent, e.g. cheques supported by a cheque guarantee card, debit cards, chips, travellers cheques, bank drafts and cheques drawn by a third party of known and established good repute.
9. OVERSEAS CHEQUES
a) Where a player's cheque drawn on an overseas bank account has been presented for payment within the prescribed two banking days, and payment remains outstanding for a period longer than 30 banking days (or in the case of territorial USA, 40 banking days), from receipt of the cheque by the casino's bank, the cheque will be noted as overdue and, for the purposes of these guidelines, treated in the same way as a "dishonoured cheque". Nevertheless, licensees should make every endeavour to seek confirmation of the fate of cheques drawn on foreign accounts and all relevant enquiries should continue to be recorded for inspection.
b) When determining the fate of any cheque, only "bank to bank" enquiries may be relied upon. Verbal assurances of payment may be accepted provided they are received from the casino's bankers as a result of enquiries made by them to the drawer's bank.
c) Permitted clearance times shall be calculated in UK banking days.
10. SETTLEMENT OF DEBTS
a) No casino shall agree to the compromise of a dishonoured gaming or substitute cheque, or enter into any arrangement to make settlement of a player's debt arising from any such cheque for less than the full amount for which that cheque was drawn, except
(i) in the event of an "enforced settlement" involving bankruptcy, liquidation or a company voluntary arrangement, administration order, or individual voluntary arrangement under the Insolvency Act 1986; or under parallel arrangement abroad; or
ii) when all reasonable legal possibilities of recovery of the debt have been exhausted, and the player makes an offer of part payment in full settlement of the debt conditional on the casino discontinuing any further steps to pursue the remainder, the casino may if it wishes respond by saying that whilst UK legislation prevents it from accepting the offer in full satisfaction of the debt it is prepared to accept it on the basis that no further steps will be taken to recover the balance. Membership of the casino, and all other casinos in a company group, will however be cancelled with no possibility of reinstatement as long as the debt remains. Casinos should note that any such cases should be cleared first with the Board's Chief Inspector.
b) Where an indebted player has subsequently been discharged from bankruptcy arising in whole or in part from that debt, or if any outstanding debt has become unenforceable in law through the passage of time, upon application for facilities the provisions of paragraph 2 will apply.
GAMING BOARD GUIDELINES FOR THE CASINO INDUSTRY
GUIDELINE 2 - CLUB ACTIVITIES
(Revised 13 December 2004 )
1. SPONSORSHIP AND CHARITY FUNCTIONS
It is permissible to sponsor sporting, cultural and social events both actively and by way of programme support. It is also permissible for licence holders to support charity functions by, for example, purchasing a block of tickets for a banquet or by purchasing 'advertising' space in the printed programme of an event . In all such cases Guideline 6 on Advertising must be observed.
Outside trips for casino members and guests are permissible. The provision of a dedicated area, such as a marquee, a box or group of banqueting tables, is acceptable and licence holders may use the casino or casino group name provided no reference is made to the specific address of the casino .
3. OVERSEAS REPRESENTATIVES
Members of the Industry may employ representatives to promote their
business provided any fee or other remuneration paid to the representative is not
directly related to the wins or losses of customers introduced. Representatives,
whether based in the UK or overseas, are precluded from being members of any
casino owned by the licence holding company which they represent, thus prohibiting
them from signing-in prospective players.
Details of such contracts and representatives should be reported to The Gaming Board.
4 . TRAVEL AND ACCOMMODATION
The payment of travel or hotel bills or the subsidised provision of travel and
accommodation costs in order to bring members, prospective members or their
guests to the casino to game is not permitted. This does not however prevent a casino from providing reasonable transport (such as a courtesy car or taxi) to convey a member and guests to and from the casino.
A casino may pay travel and accommodation costs in so far as they relate to excursions or trips under paragraph 2, prizes in free draws under paragraph 5, and social and cultural events under paragraph 6(c).
5. FREE DRAWS
"Free draws, for prizes other than cash, may be held for the participation of members and guests of casinos acting independently or in concert with other casinos.
Where a number of casinos jointly hold a free draw, clear conditions must be included in the draw rules describing how, when, and where the winning tickets will be drawn. These rules must be made available to all participating casinos', members and guests to whom in due course, a list of winners must also be made available on request at all participating casinos.
At the request of a prize winner and with the agreement of the relevant casino(s), cash may be given in substitution for any prize awarded provided that the cash prize so given is less than the market value to the casino of the prize originally offered.
No single casino shall contribute more than £50,000 in any calendar year towards the provision of free draw prizes. The contribution to a draw will be deemed to be made on the day the draw takes place and based on the market value of the prize.
Records relating to free draws must be retained and held available for inspection by the Gaming Board for a period of 1 year from the date of the draw."
Cash prizes may not be advertised but a lesser sum may be paid in cash to an eventual winner on request and with the agreement of the casino.
6. GIFTS AND HOSPITALITY
Gifts of small value are permissible on a general basis to members. Examples are diaries and pens. More expensive gifts to particularly valued members are also permissible. A record of gifts which exceed £1,000 retail value will be kept. In this context "gifts" will include the payment of permitted travel and accommodation as well as tangible items or services.
b) Free Gaming Chips and Lucky Money
The giving of free gaming chips is not permitted, nor is it permitted to give "lucky" money in the Chinese New Year or on other such occasions.
It is permissible to provide complimentary casino facilities to members and their guests, whether on or off the premises. It is also an acceptable practice to organise and provide, without charge, sporting, cultural and social events for existing members and guests outside the casino.
d) Occasional Gifts to Gaming Staff
Gratuities from players to staff in respect of gaming are unlawful. However, occasional non-monetary gifts, sometimes given by club members to mark events such as a marriage or birth, are not. Where a genuine gift is accepted by a member of the gaming staff, it is incumbent upon him/her to inform a superior so that the matter can be recorded by the casino and be open to inspection if need arises.
7. CONTACTS WITH BOOKMAKERS
The provision of television sets to show programmes and information services is allowable, including SIS, save that no direct or dedicated telephone lines to bookmakers may be provided. There is no objection to preset buttons on telephones available to customers in the casino being programmed to bookmakers' telephone numbers and being identified as such provided that the bookmaker makes no payment or other inducements for its provision. The provision of screens or monitors giving odds, results etc of the type to be found in bookmakers' premises is not permissible.
8 . PROVISION OF INTERNET TERMINALS
Internet terminals with access to the usual range of internet activities, in particular emails and web searches, can be provided for the use of members and their guests. Where the terminal provides links to a range of sites (such as news, sport, travel) it is permissible to include amongst these a link to sites offering gambling. There should however be no payment or inducement by the operators of the gambling sites for the provision of the terminals or access from them. Casino operators should not actively promote the use of those gambling sites in the casino by, for example, placing advertisement near the internet terminals. The terminals should not be customised such that when a customer logs on they are directed to a gambling site. Nor is it permissible for terminals to display only links to or advertisements for gambling sites. Terminals should not be left connected to a gambling site when on standby. Overall the terminals should be an amenity that provides a full range of choice to the customer.
9. LEVEL OF EXPENDITURE ON COMPLIMENTARY ACTIVITIES
Expenditure on hospitality, gifts and excursions/trips for individual members should be kept to a reasonable level, and must not be disproportionate to the business the player has brought to the casino.
GAMING BOARD GUIDELINES FOR THE CASINO INDUSTRY
GUIDELINE 3 - COMPETITIONS IN CARD ROOMS
(Revised 12 March 2004)
The following Guidelines apply to all competitions run or sponsored in Great Britain by licensed casino operators, whether or not all or part of the competition takes place in licensed casino premises.
1. Entry for players to the competition shall be by entry stakes and "re-buy" stakes only, both of which must be of the same amount.
2. All entry stakes and re-buys shall be returned to winning players as prize money. No monies taken from entry stakes or re-buys may be retained by the casino.
3. At the casino's discretion, a competition registration fee may be charged in addition to the entry stake. This fee must not exceed an amount up to or equal to 10% of the entry stake, with a maximum ceiling of £50. In accordance with Section 14 of the Gaming Act, a schedule of all competition registration fees must be clearly displayed in the Card Room of any casino participating in the competition.
4. All players shall be given, and retain, a receipt for their entry stake from a sequentially numbered duplicate receipt book or equivalent printed receipt from a computerised Card Room management system approved by the Gaming Board. This receipt shall show the player's name and will separately record the amount of the entry stake, the amount of any registration fee and the total combined amount paid. A separate receipt book, or computer printed equivalent, shall be maintained for all subsequent re-buys by players and shall include the player's name and the amount.
5. A list of players in the competition showing their names and the stake entered shall be retained and displayed for the information of all participants, for a period of 24 hours following the conclusion of the competition.
6. The rules of the competition shall be displayed in the Card Room in a prominent position. They must include a clear notice of the time the competition is due to start and the length of time that re-buys can be accepted.
7. Re-buys may only be permitted where the value of chips remaining in front of a player is 50 % or less than the chip value issued to him in exchange for his original entry stake.
8. At the discretion of the casino, a maximum of one "top up" re-buy may be issued to each player at the end of the re-buy period, irrespective of the value of chips remaining in front of him.
9. Any specific conditions relating to re-buys must be detailed in the competition rules. For example, whether "top up" re-buys are to be permitted, whether the number of re-buys per player is to be limited and the amount of chips that a player must have remaining in front of them before a re-buy may be issued.
10. The rules should refer to playing "with" stakes and not "for" stakes (i.e. entry stakes or re-buys). Reference should also be made to the fact that no participation charge for the competition will be withheld by the casino from either entry stakes or re-buys.
11. Where a competition extends over more than one day or session, a re-buy accepted on any subsequent day or session shall have the same value as the initial entry stake.
12. The final winners of the competition shall receive all the stake money entered in the competition, and there shall be no restriction placed on the use of winnings. The only exception is where the competition is clearly designated beforehand as a "Satellite Qualifier" for a subsequent competition or tournament, to be held either in this country or elsewhere (see points 15 - 21 below).
13. Winners shall sign and date a receipt, or similar document, as having received their winnings. This will clearly show whether the prize was received in cash or (where the competition was designated as a "Satellite Qualifier") whether qualification into a subsequent competition or tournament was accepted. Thereafter, the result of the competition or "Satellite Qualifier" - shall be displayed for 24 hours.
14. Travel expenses and accommodation costs may be paid, from within Britain or abroad, for winners to travel to, and stay at, any location in the UK providing that these expenses are the prize or part of the prize for that competition, and there is no requirement to take part in gaming at that location as a condition of those expenses being paid.
15. Where travel and accommodation expenses are paid as part of the prize in a "Satellite Qualifier", winners must not be required to participate in the further competition as a condition of receiving the hotel and accommodation expenses. However, they may be expected to forfeit the entry stake to that further competition, won in the "Satellite Qualifier", if they elect not to participate.
16. The competition rules must clearly state if winners are required to take qualification into a subsequent satellite or competition as their compulsory prize, or as part of that prize. The date and location of the subsequent competition(s) must also be made clear. Players may then freely choose whether or not to enter the competition on these terms. Such an event must therefore be called a "Satellite Qualifier", and not simply a "Competition", in order to avoid any doubt.
17. Where the subsequent competition is to take place overseas , the "Satellite Qualifier" competition rules must clearly state whether the winning qualifiers are expected to pay their own transport and accommodation costs, or whether these expenses will be met by the organiser as part of the prize.
18. "Satellite Qualifier" contests may be used to generate qualifiers into further "Satellites" (each with a higher entry stake than the last) ultimately leading to qualification into a main competition or tournament. However, the rules must make it clear to players from the outset whether further "Satellite Qualifiers" are required before entry into the main competition may be achieved. The rules must also state the format that these additional satellites will take.
19. Winners of "Satellite Qualifiers" must not be required to pay an additional entry fee for subsequent "Satellites" or competitions. If the subsequent event is to be organised by the same casino or operator (either held in the UK or abroad) entry must therefore be provided free of any registration fee.
20. Where the subsequent event is organised overseas by a different operator, the "Satellite" prize pool must be divided into qualifier amounts that include both the entry stake and any registration fee that is payable to enter the subsequent overseas "Satellite" or competition.
21. The competition rules will state the way in which any odd prize money will be split amongst winning players (being the amount remaining after the prize pool has been divided into the maximum number of qualifying places possible).
22. The casino must provide a full audit trail showing the transfer of all stake monies received from a "Satellite Qualifier" into the entry stake pool of the subsequent competition or tournament. This is particularly important where the subsequent event is not being held at the same casino as the original "Satellite".
23. At its own discretion, a casino may contribute additional prize money to a competition. Additional prize money for a competition may also be provided through sponsorship.
24. In addition to the above, poker competitions shall also be subject to the following:-
a) The stake entered in the competition, whether by cash or cheque, shall be exchanged for gaming chips having a points value provided that value is clearly established before the competition commences. The points value must be the same for each entry stake and re-buy. The stake of chips to be used in the competition must be issued by the cash desk, on signature, and a chip control sheet must be maintained.
b) All entrants shall be on the premises at the start of the competition. No new players may be permitted to join a poker competition after it has commenced.
c) The latest time for re-buys shall be clearly advertised, strictly adhered to and cannot be altered.
d) Table seating shall be determined by a "draw" and not at the discretion of management or players.
e) In the final game of a poker competition the casino shall provide:-
(i) a Dealer from its certificated staff, and
(ii) Supervision by an experienced and certificated member of staff with Card Room training.
25. For competitions run in Britain, Gaming Board inspectors shall have right of access to the competition at all times, and access to all records, whether or not on casino premises. Records must be retained for a period of one year, other than for records for tournaments involving "Satellite Qualifier" competitions, which must be retained for three years.
Variations in Competition Formats
26. In addition to the above, other and possibly larger competitions can be conducted, for example International Tournaments, Grand Prix Tournaments and player competition leagues. These formats, and other unspecified variations, are acceptable providing that the competition format is first agreed in writing by the Gaming Board headquarters.
27. HM Customs and Excise have indicated that competitions conducted in strict compliance with these Guidelines are exempt from Value Added Tax, other than for Registration Fee income.
12 March 2004
GAMING BOARD GUIDELINES FOR THE CASINO INDUSTRY
GUIDELINE 4 - SOCIALISING WITH MEMBERS AND VISITS TO OTHER CASINOS
1. SOCIAL CONTACTS WITH MEMBERS
Social contacts outside the casino with members by casino employees are not permitted where the relationship is likely to prejudice the judgement of or place pressures upon the employee in the gaming environment.
2. Whilst it is fundamental to the industry that good relations are maintained with club members, for instance through permitted levels of hospitality and social activity, it is, nonetheless, the responsibility of senior management to ensure that the high standards of integrity expected in the industry are not compromised by relationships which develop between employees and casino members.
3. VISITS BY CERTIFICATED STAFF TO OTHER CASINOS
(a) Gaming in other casinos within the UK by certificated casino employees is not permitted.
(b) Visits by certificated staff of one casino to another without gaming are permissible, but always provided that both the staff employer and the licence holder of the casino to which any such visits are made are informed in advance and permit those visits. Permission is at the discretion of both licence holders and subject to their mutual agreement. This must be made known to all such employees.
4. It is important for licence holders to ensure that all employees are aware both of the above Guidelines on social contacts and visiting other casinos, and of any specific company rules which apply to each. Employees should also be made aware that any failure to comply may lead to dismissal and/or be reported to the Gaming Board, thus incurring the risk of revocation of the staff member's certificate of approval.
16 January 2002
GAMING BOARD GUIDELINES FOR THE CASINO INDUSTRY
GUIDELINE 5 - AUTOMATED TELLER MACHINES (ATM's) IN CASINOS
(Revised 12 May 2003 )
1. Nothing in the Gaming Act 1968 obliges a licence holder to offer an automated cash dispensing facility to members. Whether to provide such a service is a matter of policy for the licence holder.
2. This Guideline applies to Automated Teller Machines ("ATMs"), that is automated cash dispensing machines that accept debit, credit or charge card transactions, sited on casino premises. Terminals that issue third party cheques, to be exchanged for cash or chips at the casino Cash Desk, are covered by a separate Code of Practice agreed by the Gaming Board.
3. ATMs must be so positioned within a casino that a customer has to physically leave the gaming table or machine in order to use them.
4. Cash dispensed in an ATM transaction must not exceed the cardholder's daily limit of cash withdrawals authorised by the card issuing institution. No more than £1,000 may be withdrawn in any single ATM transaction .
5. The amount of cash withdrawn by a casino customer in an ATM transaction on the casino premises may be disregarded for the purpose of calculating the limit of cash or chips with which he may be provided under the provisions of Guideline Number One concerning the Acceptance of Cheques/Debit Cards from Members and Guests.
6. Should it become apparent that a customer has been refused an ATM transaction, it will not be permissible for the licence holder to accept in exchange for cash or chips for gaming a cheque backed by the same card during the same gaming day.
7. A sticker must be displayed in a prominent position on the face of an ATM, giving the phone number of the national helpline and stating that self help leaflets are on display in the casino.
ATM's that can be used in casinos to process debit cards only
8. An ATM in the operation of which the licence holder has some involvement is caught by section 16 of the Gaming Act 1968 and can only be programmed to accept debit cards. In exchange for each card transaction, the ATM must dispense cash to the full value requested by the cardholder. Also, this means that it is not permissible for the licence holder or any person acting on his behalf, as an agent or under any arrangement with him, to charge the customer a fee for providing the ATM facility. However it is permissible for the customer's bank to make a charge to its customer for the withdrawal from its customer's account provided the bank is not doing so as an agent for, or under any arrangement with the casino.
9. A standard transaction slip should be available from the ATM at the time of use. The transaction data should be stored by the relevant service provider at the time the transaction takes place. Confirmation of the amount of the day's transactions should be given automatically the following day by each service provider for the purpose of reconciliation. The actual transfer of funds must occur no later than two banking days after the transaction date.
10. The transaction is recorded as follows:
· a transaction statement (see 9) is available to the customer at the time of the transaction;
· a journal of all transactions is printed off by the casino not less than once each week for use by the casino Treasury.
11. The Gaming Board requires that records of transactions (including refused transactions) are kept as follows:-
· Casino Treasury (i.e. Journal) copy to be retained on site for three years
· The casino copy of the transmission of transactions is to be retained on site for three years. (This is the requirement of the Act).
ATM's that can be used in casinos to process debit, credit and charge cards
12. ATM's which accept credit or charge cards in a casino (whether or not they also accept debit cards), must be operated by a third party ATM service provider unconnected with the licence holder (such as Hanco, TRM, etc.). There must be no "arrangement" within the meaning of Section 16 of the Gaming Act between the casino and the provider of any credit to the credit or charge cardholder.
13. Where an ATM is programmed to accept credit or charge card transactions, the full amount of any cash float used to operate an ATM must be drawn from funds belonging to the ATM service provider. Thus, whilst a licence holder may physically empty and refill an ATM cash float on behalf of the service provider, a clear audit trail must be maintained sufficient to establish to the Gaming Board's satisfaction that all funds used in the cash float originated from, or from an account held for, the ATM service provider. It is important that these arrangements are followed exactly as failure to do so is likely to result in breaches of Section 16. Cases of doubt should be referred to the Board before implementation. All records relating to the float must be retained for a period of twelve months and made available to the Gaming Board on request.
14. In exchange for each transaction in an ATM programmed to accept credit or charge cards in addition to debit cards, the ATM must dispense cash to the full value requested by the cardholder. However, there may be debited to the cardholder's account, in addition to the amount of cash dispensed, a handling fee charged to the cardholder by the ATM service provider. The ATM terminal must clearly notify the cardholder of the amount of such fee before processing the card payment and enable the cardholder to choose not to proceed with the transaction. The terms on which the ATM is supplied to the licence holder may permit the licence holder to receive a share of any such charge levied by the ATM service provider.
15. In case any query should arise in respect of a card transaction, journal records relating to such transactions normally maintained by the ATM service provider must be retained, and made available to the casino licence holder and the Gaming Board, for a period of twelve months from the date of each transaction. A reasonable period of notice will be given in the event that such information is required. There should be a notice on or adjacent to the ATM giving details of the service provider and contact details in the case of difficulty.
12 May 2003
GAMING BOARD GUIDELINES FOR THE CASINO INDUSTRY
(Revised 13 December 2004)
1. THE LAW
Section 42 of the Gaming Act 1968 places restrictions on casino advertising. In general terms, S42 (1) prevents any advertisement that gives the address of a casino premises, invites the public to take part in gaming at those premises, or invites them to spend money participating in gaming. This includes invitations made using text, sound and images (for example, pictures of table games, gaming equipment, references to amounts that can be won etc) or by inclusion of the full street address of a casino premises.
Any advertisement must therefore be judged against these three criteria. If any one of the criteria is engaged, the advert would then only be permitted in the format specified in S42 (3D) of the Act, and detailed in paragraph 2, below.
Advertising must not be targeted at persons under the age of eighteen.
2. ADVERTISING CONTROLLED BY SECTION 42 OF THE GAMING ACT
Advertising subject matter caught by any one of the three criteria given in Section 42 (1) must take the form of "classified" advertisements, as defined below.
2.1 What is a classified advertisement
The Advertising Association defines this as " concerned with the provision of information to those who have already decided to purchase a particular product or service but need to locate suitable premises or vendors. It is advertising which, by its nature, appears on a designated page described as being appropriate to its business.
The key distinction of this type of advertising is that it is usually listed generically under one or several banner headings. Such advertisements are normally placed at the back of publications. It includes entries in directories such as telephone, resort and hotel directories."
2.2 Acceptable publications
Some publications such as sporting programmes, hotel guest room folders, in-house TV etc may not have classified advertising sections. It is still acceptable to advertise in such publications provided the remainder of the relevant restrictions in these Guidelines are observed.
Up to A4 size is acceptable provided there is no more than one advertisement per page for a particular casino. It is acceptable to include reference to more than one casino within an advertisement. More than one advertisement in respect of different casinos may appear on one page provided that the layout is such that the impression of a larger single advertisement is avoided.
The text must be limited to factual written information. The only graphic permitted is a logo. Background images and graphics are not permitted but text may be presented imaginatively using layout and colour. Town maps, plans and charts, whether separate entities or part of a more general publication can contain directions to, a marked location and advertising for casinos as long as the advertising complies with these guidelines. It is in order for casinos to include in any advertising a sketch map showing its location provided it is within the boundaries of the maximum A4 size.
In this form of advertising the factual written information must be limited to casino facilities and must not constitute an inducement to game. The following can be included: the name, full address, telephone and fax numbers of the casino, the website address, a list of the available games, minimum and maximum stakes (but not the amounts which can or have been won), the numbers of tables for each game, equipment, a reference to card room tournaments, number of gaming machines, bar and restaurant facilities including menus, food and drink prices and any offers for new members, TV and sports coverage, a reference to regular promotions or forthcoming events, any permanent discounts, free membership and where to apply for a membership application form. An application form may be included in the advertisement, provided it is within the boundaries of the maximum A4 size.
2.6 Purpose of the publication
The classified advertisement cannot appear in a publication which is wholly or mainly for the purpose of promoting casino premises or the gaming facilities. Leaflets or handouts, which contain the full address of the casino, are therefore not allowed.
3. ADVERTISING THAT FALLS OUTSIDE SECTION 42
Advertising that is not engaged by any of the three criteria given in S42 (1), as detailed in paragraph 1, above, will fall outside the Gaming Act and is not then subject to the controls of S42. However, such advertisements must otherwise comply with general advertising codes and controls for all media.
3.1 Examples of advertising not covered by Section 42 (1)
Advertising subject matter that would fall outside Section 42 (1) is generally confined to "non gaming facilities". Examples include reference to, or images of, bar and restaurant facilities and specific live entertainment. Specific catering offers, free draws, general non-gaming promotions or loyalty schemes may also be advertised, provided they are not linked to participation in gaming.
It is possible to include the casino name and the town or city in which it is located, together with a telephone number and web site address, but not the full street address.
Reference to membership requirements and details of where an application form may be obtained do not, in themselves, breach S42 (1), provided the full address of the premises is not included.
An application form may be included as part of the advertisement, providing it does not include the address of a casino.
Promotional leaflets or hand-outs intended solely to promote non-gaming facilities are permitted (provided they conform with the above criteria) as are advertisements for specific non gaming events or promotions displayed on the outside of casino premises.
3.2 Cases of Doubt
Where there is any doubt as to whether or not the content or format of a proposed advertisement falls under Section 42, the matter must be referred to the Gaming Board Headquarters, via the local inspector where appropriate, for clarification in advance of publication.
4. ON-LINE WEBSITES AND E-MAILS
4.1 A passive website (being one found by someone deliberately choosing to access the site concerned), whose principal purpose is to provide information about gaming, including individual casinos, will not be taken as constituting advertising for the purpose of S.42 of the Gaming Act and is therefore not subject to the restrictions of this Guideline.
4.2 It is not permissible to send unsolicited internet or text mailings, nor to e-mail or text potential customers, without being requested by them.
5. ADVERTISING ABROAD
Advertising is not subject to the restrictions of these Guidelines provided its circulation is wholly or mainly outside Great Britain and the distribution within Great Britain does not exceed 20% of the total.
6. ADVERTISING FOR STAFF
The design and content of such advertisements are not subject to the restrictions of these Guidelines. Any method of advertising for staff is permissible providing that it is clearly intended for that purpose and does not also seek to promote the gaming facilities.
7. MEDIA COVERAGE
Provided its publication is not conditional upon related advertising or any other such inducement, the restrictions of these guidelines do not apply to:
i) Articles in the media which result from an approach from that media and
ii) The supply of press packs to the media when it would be expected that any commercial organisation might wish to do so, on such occasions as the rebranding, opening, or major refurbishment of a casino.
Unconditional press releases containing information on matters likely to be of genuine interest to the public are acceptable. "Unconditional" in this context means that only factual information is included; with no financial or other incentive offered to the media in, or associated with, the release. Providing that this condition is met, it is open to the casino to provide any follow-up information and amplification that it is requested to give, including interviews, photographs and further statements provided that this is the result of genuine editorial interest by the media. Cases of doubt should be referred to Board Headquarters, via the local inspector where appropriate, before the Press Release is issued.
8. ADVERTISING TO EXISTING CASINO MEMBERS
Information provided by casinos to existing members for their own use is not subject to the restrictions of these Guidelines.
13 December 2004
GAMING BOARD GUIDELINES FOR THE CASINO INDUSTRY
GUIDELINE 7 - POSTAL APPLICATIONS
a) The Act requires an application to be made in writing. Any form of transmission of the application (including for instance by fax or e-mail) will be regarded as meeting that requirement as long as it contains the applicant's signature. It is acceptable for a casino to fax an application to another branch on a player's behalf, or put it in the internal mail for them, provided the applicant has filled in the form as an application to the other club.
b) Casinos are free to prepare application forms in any style they wish. Any application must however include as a minimum the applicant's signature, full name, permanent address and a declaration that the applicant is over 18. A letter will be acceptable as an application as long as it contains this minimum information.
c) Casinos must date/time stamp the application when it is received by whatever means so that it can be confirmed that the applicant has complied with the "24 hours rule" before being permitted to game.
d) Before granting the applicant entry as a member, the casino must verify the applicant's identity as required by part 1 of the "Code of Practice relating to the prevention and detection of money laundering in casinos". Such identification must be produced on the first visit to the casino.
e) A person may join more than one casino using a single application form, provided the form specifies the names of all the casinos which the individual is applying to join. The completed form or a copy of it must then be faxed or posted to the premises of each casino where that person must be formally enrolled as a member of that casino. The application must be date/time stamped as in ( c ) above; and the person must not be allowed to take part in gaming until 24 hours after that casino received the application.
16 January 2002
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