The Nuts Poker League, which organizes poker in pubs in the U.K., has launched legal action against West Mercia Police. The league claims the force misled pubs on the issue of whether the league games were legal.
The case stems from a letter the West Mercia Police sent to licensees last December warning them that hosting poker games could cause them to lose their license.
The Nuts Poker League says the letters were misleading and caused some pubs to cancel their league events, unfairly costing both the pubs and the league revenue.
"We have seen substantial growth in many areas of the country, but there has been a downturn in the West Mercia region," Steve Bellis, Nuts Poker League managing director said to The Publican.
He added that though the company has launched proceedings, it still hopes that the police may settle out of court.
Under the current U.K. 1968 Gaming Act, it is illegal for pubs to host poker without a gaming license except under certain conditions.
Because the league plays for points and not money, and there isn't any rake or public access allowed to the games, it is technically in a grey legal area under the Gaming Act according to the Gaming Commission.
Changes in the rules for poker in pubs are also on the horizon. The new Gambling Act takes affect in September and allows equal chance gaming in pubs, though poker will be subject to a number of restrictions.