Poker clubs enlist help to challenge Gambling Act

The UK's poker clubs have opted for agency support as they seek to challenge the Government's controversial Gambling Act.

The newly formed UK Poker Clubs Association has turned to Citigate Public Affairs following a competitive pitch.

The association, which was ­officially launched this week and represents 72,000 members, is strongly opposed to the Act's ­requirement for poker clubs to obtain a casino licence.

Citigate will seek to persuade ministers and MPs that this ­requirement could result in the closure of many clubs and could also lead to problem gambling if poker players are forced to play in casinos rather than clubs.

The agency will also lobby against the exclusion of poker from the list of ‘prescribed games' - such as bridge and whist - that will escape the new regulations.

The poker clubs argue that poker should be on the list as it is also a game that combines skill and luck. The association's chair ­Geoff Own said: ‘The exclusion of poker from the list makes no sense at all.'

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