Gutshot club owner takes sentencing in stride

Gutshot Poker Club owner Derek Kelly's legal battle has come to a pricey conclusion at his sentencing hearing Thursday. A London judge fined the man £10,000 for profiting from an illegal poker game hosted by the club.

Kelly was charged after hosting and taking rake from poker tournaments at his pub, in defiance of Britain's 1968 Gaming Act which doesn't allow profit from unlicensed games of chance.

The judge also granted Kelly a conditional discharge for the conviction, which could have warranted jail time. Instead, the fine will go toward covering some of the prosecution's legal fees.

Despite plans to fight the charges to the bitter end - vowing to appeal the jury's January verdict, though not the sentencing - Kelly took the news in stride, reports news service Bloomberg.

"I think the judge was reasonable in the end," Kelly told reporters after the sentencing. "Five hundred pounds a month I can just about afford."

The judge overseeing the trial said he decided on the £10,000 penalty rather that prison after taking Kelly's good character and Gutshot's reputation for being well managed with only moderate fees into consideration.

Kelly now runs Gutshot's online poker site.

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