New licence for pub clubs

PUB thrift clubs that offer gambling games - such as football scratchcards - will have to pay for a licence under new gambling laws.

The chief executive  of the Jersey Gambling Commission, Dr Jason Lane
The chief executive of the Jersey Gambling Commission, Dr Jason Lane

PUB thrift clubs that offer gambling games - such as football scratchcards - will have to pay for a licence under new gambling laws.

The chief executive of the Jersey Gambling Commission, Dr Jason Lane, has written to all Island pubs to let them know that they will get a three-month grace period to contact the commission and let them know what their thrift clubs are doing so that they can be given licences.

Thrift clubs take money from members every week, and top up the savings with the proceeds of things like raffles and football cards, before paying out to members just before Christmas to help with the extra costs of the festive season.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Comments for: "New licence for pub clubs"


Why? What was wrong with the old laws? Is this just to put a bit more money into the states coffers?


I'd imagine it's something to do with the "Chief Executive" title this person has. No doubt a salary to match the (pointless) title which has to come from somewhere.


What a complete waste of time. Is this person trying to justify their existence?

Why after so many years with no problems do Pubs suddenly need to be registered? How much will this cost the Landlord, and if it is a free licence, how much will it cost the Taxpayer to be administered?

I give up!


What an absolute JOKE! Totally disagree with this! Notice it dosen't say how much one of these licenses will cost...


Let’s be honest. The States have allowed the civil service to create a new regulatory monster and somebody has to pay for the brand new building, posh furniture and over generous salaries. They assure us that all this is “cost neutral” as it comes under the “user pays policy”. They don’t even count these bureaucrats as civil servants so we are actually saving money! Perhaps it would be helpful if they could explain exactly what service they think they are providing and what benefits will we all receive in return?

In reality this is simply a new tax on the poor.


It states in the report,(2nd paragraph)"they can be given licenses".Given means bestowed as a gift,ie you buy someone a gift,you don't ask for the money.


The licence is valid from 1st January to 31st March during this period they will assess the amount of profit made by the thrift clubs and establish a fee for the licence. So basically getting their statistics from the applicants.

This has got to be the most mean spirited piece of legislation ever and they wonder why no one wants to start online gambling businesses here. Good luck to the Jersey Enterprise Board can't see them spending their ten million in a hurry with this nonsense going on, any good ideas will go to Guernsey or the Isle of Man where enterprise is embraced an not tied up in knots by college boys.


I was expecting to see longer opening hours but no , the tax man is only trying to get more money again.


Mistershifter #2 It won’t cost the landlords a penny. This new tax will be passed directly on to those who can least afford it. And to add insult to injury these clubs have already had to register with that other civil service gravy train the JFSC.

Old Crappo

this seems to me like the States testing the water first, i.e. getting Pubs etc to register and then the next step is to start charging a fee for issuing the licence, I simply can't imagine the States issuing any licence for free.

More red tape and no doubt more civil servants to adminster the whole thing.

The States quite clearly have realised that they are not collecting any tax on monies made by thrift clubs and the funds they hold on behalf of their customers and now they are going to redress the balance.

It won't be long before the States of Jersey starts taxing the air that we breath!


Dear Old Crapaud,

You are so near the truth. The original request from this Quango was for an annual licence fee of £150. Plus an application fee of £50 also that the treasurer and trustees had to undergo a Police records check to ascertain their provenance to collect and administer funds.

Looks like this Quango has Dr Lane as CEO and three other Directors all of whom I suspect are salaried. Not sure if they employ any staff to manage but one would guess they do.

So to be cost neutral as someone has suggested I guess again that the proposed fees will soon rise.

Thrift Clubs enable a lot of locals to save for Christmas, as opposed to loading the Credit Card in December and taking the rest of the next year to pay it off.

Seems like a sensible thing to do, but hey Big Brother is looking over your shoulder now and I suspect want a share of the bonus that is paid out to savers.

This is, I feel the tip of the iceberg as our growing civil service has appetite for red tape, bureaucracy , and thus collecting fees to justify these expensive quangos.

Sadly I can foresee a number of Thrift Clubs after seeing all the form filling, the fee, the Police Check, filling out returns of money collected and prizes paid out, as being just not worth it.

So some will cease to be, this will give past members little reason to go the local and another nail is hammered into the life of the local pub.

Such a shame as for many they are the hub of our community, and for some their front room.

At least the air we breathe is still relatively cheap.

Bowie 2

Ah ha, given what you've pointed out this is going to stop the thrift clubs being used to launder the millions of pounds put in by the Global drugs lords / terrorist organisations. I feel much safer! Come on Dr. Get a grip of yourself and find something useful to do for your salary!


It is a 3 month license to establish the extent of thrift club gambling so that they can determine whether a fee is applicable.Just when you thought you had heard it all another load of red tape appears,whatever they charge for these licenses will never cover the wages to administer or police them. What's the going rate for a doctor, even an extremely unkempt one, these days?


Luap#1 - What is wrong with the old laws? Simply that the Civil Servants only received a civil service wage whilst under the new “commission” they all now receive a commissioners salary which is 2 – 3 times greater. And with all this extra work they can now employ their mates.



I'm ever so're not getting back what you put into the Club this year. We had to pay a licence fee. This will doubtless rise quickly in above inflation increases. Next thing will be them charging us income tax on the weekly raffles in addition to the GST we already have to pay for the prizes. Oh and I've also heard we may also have to be authorised under the Deposits and/or Collective Investment Scheme legislation. Happy New Year......and save early for Xmas.


Why? I have never known anybody being addicted to football scratchcards!

Just more red tape, and unfair costs on already struggling pubs


Correct me if I am wrong,but I am sure this law has always been in place for years.Always thought you could only buy football cards,bonus ball etc if you where a member of the thrift club.Perhaps we have just been bending the law over the last 40 odd years.Well all said and done there are not that many local locals pubs left and the price of the beer and my odd fag which I stand out in the cold to smoke of which £4.00 a pack goes in Tax now you want a little bit more of my Thrft club Bonus,Ah Well never any good news for us old Locals...........


Dont think there was any law previously, i have been in a pub and been offered and bought football cards without being a thrift club member.

Its a shocking bit of news from money grabbing States yet again, its not like people are getting the bonus they used to anyway with low interest rate and decling thrift club members.

We are the working population, please feel free to mug us for yet more hard earned money...


Appears the new law is the problem, I would not now be able to buy a footy card without being a member of the thrift


As I said this is not a new law,Just the law and those in charge trying to tax us even more,Police State for the poor old drinker,smoker,etc


What a con, all so the states can make a few extra pounds off of the working class, shame on you Dr Lane.

Well, I would rather spend the money on alcohol, end up in what ever clinic at the hospital than give to the money to tax.

When do you think they will try and tax us for the air we great??!!!!!!!

Bandiera Rossa

I remember, before the wonders of ITIS, that the main purpose of thrift clubs was to ensure that people had funds to pay their tax bills.

The Tax Office gave an exemption from tax on interest / profits on these clubs(unless there was evidence of abuse ) for the purely practical reason that they knew that members would be able pay their tax.

The community spirit engendered was something to be enjoyed, as well as the moaning that some were not pulling their weight in selling raffle tickets etc. When we had a tourist industry I recall Holiday makers buying tickets etc and having to swap prizes (Turkey for a bottle of scotch as an example).

Although I have not been a member of a club for a few years I have had a go on the football cards. No more - my landlord has decided enough is enough.

I feel that the slow drip, drip, drip of controlling legislation is fast becoming a tsunami which is swamping all of us.

Save time - ban enjoyment altogether.

Adios Companeros

Bowie 2

Wow, never thought of that. Do I need a licence for a game of Monopoly with my kids. All board games shelved until I get some clarity!

Meat Raffle

So, yet another states' bureaucrat sets his sights on a time honoured institution. Yes we know that the footy card and meat raffle are on the fringes of legal but come on FFS, these clubs were primarily dedicate to helping the ordinary guy to pay his taxes. Time for a GST style exemption. If the enterprise brings in less than say £500 pa from non members it should remain tax/fee free.


Read this article before you jump to conclusions...



I dont see anyone jumping to conclusions as you allege. I am well versed in what they are proposing and can only draw my conclusion from a vast experience in dealing with States Quangos.

Maybe if you also read the link below, which will give you the low down on what is being proposed. It is under the heading Licensing; Thrift Club Licence.

Maybe then, when you are better informed you will realise just what is being proposed initially, and without any prior consultation with anyone involved in Pubs or Thrift Clubs.

It is patently obvious where this will go when licensing comes in after the three months grace.

A sad day for what, for many is a great way to save for Christmas.


Fair enough, I have now read the full horror of the bureaucracy proposed by this bunch. Doesn't not look good for the old thrift system. Application Fees, late fees police checks, clauses upon clauses and a cracking typo to really inspire confidence in the regulator. EEK

C Le Verdic

Having done to death the idea of taxing people to save the planet and ended up fooling nobody, the latest money extraction wheeze is taxing people to save them from themselves!

Question to Jason Lane

Simple question Jason Lane, have you ever been involved in a Thrift club to have experience to know what you're talking about? I'm hearing now that you are expecting to charge £150 for a license and a £80 booking fee which I am sure will increase over time, if you've only got 20 people in your thrift they will each have to pay £12-£13 which is meant to be for savings! Yet another Jersey tradition that'll be wiped out by "I want to make a rule to prove my worth" jobsworths.... Very sad as I will probably pull out of my thrift now as I expect will many others.... I put in £3 subs each of the 48 weeks it runs and our payout is rarely above £110 which means I already loose money....

Jersey now

How many more gravy trains are there in Jersey?

Was he brought in to do this job?


Tears of laughter it's going to get worse get used to it.


This was the guy who introduced the £150 fee for school bingo raising money for sports activities for kids. Well somebody has to subsidise his £100k plus salary plus golden pension and what easier target than kids and OAP’s.

We are certainly reaping the cost of employing second tier politicians at bus driver salaries to run our Island.


Jamie #17 – Yes; have read the article and fail to see that I have jumped to the wrong conclusion which is that the States have allowed the Civil Service to create a new and very expensive monster. The former Civil Servants that administered the old laws are now Commissioners, the difference being that they receive 2 -3 times their old salaries and the States believe they have saved money by cutting the number of Civil servants.

Their concern is raising money through providing a compulsory service of granting permission. They are a parasitic department who offer nothing tangible such as policing or guarantees for the money that they take.

And it seems that the actual reason for the late notification to the clubs was simply that having just realised that they were running a deficit they needed a new revenue stream. This is about raising money - £150 this year, £250 next year and £500 the year after because all the small clubs would have disbanded and permit fees fallen below budget.


What a horrible state of affairs.

Thrift clubs are one of the few Jersey traditions left. In a time when a lot of pubs are struggling its a great way of getting customers in. It is not rich people who are involved in thrift clubs. I'm sure Dr Jason Lane never has to worry about how he will pay for his childrens christmas presents.

The fact is that this will probably be the final nail in the coffin for thrift clubs. But hey, they can always just use their credit cards instead. Very much let then eat cake. The poor get poorer while the rich get richer.


Does that mean Fruit Machines are going to start appearing in pubs?

Bean Abroad

Mmmmm fruit is supposedly the healthy option


If the issue is non members of the Thrift Clubs playing the Footy Cards,

then why not have included in the price of their first drink membership of whatever Pub they are in?

They would then simply have to supply contact details and job done, full paid up member.

No need for registration fees or any of the other nonsense this chap is suggesting.

Would this work ? ? ?

Answers on the back of a Football Card please!


Talk about heavy handed what a joke.Just like the JCRA who wanted to investigate mergers by global companys who would just say excuse me who are you??.

If ever the states need another man like the late Dick Shenton a man of and for the people its now to be able to tell this Dr Lane that there are some things in life which are a tradition here in Jersey and this is one of them.It causes no harm to anyone but just a bit of enjoyment a way to put a little bonus on to christmas club savings,something which has been done for years and years.What next?

going to want gst paid on every go?.Someone in the states get a grip make a name for yourself with the people stand up and say enough is enough leave the easy targets alone and go after the big fish thats what your paid for,we dont have much to look forward too at the moment with the world as it is,do you have to take every little bit you can get?

shame on you!


It's a Wonderful Life portrays what life in a small American town would have been like had a certain Bank Manager not existed.

If they made the film It's a Wonderful life in Jersey in 20 or 30 years from now, how would it portray how Jersey would have fared had it not had a Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission?

I'd be prepared to take my chances without one.


What about the raffles and footie cards held in workplaces to raise funds for charity?

Unlike GST they can obviously exempt some things but not others...


This is the problem of having an Academic head of any bureaucracy.No bloody commonsense.! And out of touch with the real people.