West Mercia police acted a little too eagerly when they told local pubs to shut down their poker leagues or face losing their licences and now the force faces legal action itself, the Publican reports.
The Worcestershire police force is being sued by the Nuts Poker League, which organises card games in UK pubs, after league officials discovered that their poker nights were entirely above board.
Unfair loss of revenue for both the pubs and the League were cited when some pubs heeded misleading letters, which were sent to licensees last December wrongly telling them that the poker nights were illegal, although the complainants still hope to settle out of court.
Nuts officials said that many landlords had cancelled poker league games, for fear of having their licences revoked.
"We have seen substantial growth [in poker] 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.
The law currently allows for the league games because players are gambling for points and not cash. It is only games that attract a monetary prize that are forbidden in pubs under the UK 1968 Gaming Act, although this may change when the revised act comes into force in September.