Palms of Enfield shut down over poker links

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Enfield Independent: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

An Enfield social club has been stopped from opening after police warned it there was a risk of illegal gambling taking place.

Palms of Enfield, based in Green Lanes, Palmers Green, had its application for a new club premises certificate rejected by Enfield Borough Council.

Applicants sought to open the club from 12pm until 3am on Saturdays and Sundays, to serve alcohol and to run indoor sporting events including snooker, pool and darts.

The building previously housed the Big Bluff poker club, believed to be an illegal poker ring, and police feared members of the previous club would visit Palms expecting to take part in high stakes poker.

Under the Gambling Act 2005, commercial high-stakes poker is restricted to licensed casinos.

There were also fears the club would be a magnet for anti-social behaviour.

While poker can be played in members’ clubs, there are various restrictions depending on whether there is a club gaming permit in place, as well as the club's fees and stake and prize limits.

The main purpose of the club cannot be gambling.

Speaking after the application was turned down in February, Nick Tofiluk, the Gambling Commission’s director of regulatory operations, said: “We are committed to working closely in support of local authorities in dealing with such matters.

“Local authorities now have considerable experience in this field and we will continue to promote good practice while dealing effectively with illegal poker clubs.”

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