Regina v Knightsbridge London Crown Court ex parte Marcrest Properties Ltd: CA 1983

The court was asked not to renew a gaming licence on the basis that the company was not a fit and proper person. They had a practice of repeatedly accepting cheques from persons whose previous cheques had been dishonoured, and in circumstances in which the licence holder knew that the new cheques would be dishonoured on first presentation.
Held: This amounted to a breach of section 16.
Ackner LJ said: ‘The course of dealing between Marcrest and its customers over a long period and involving numerous cheques demonstrated that it was the intention of the parties that there was to be no legal right to have a cheque honoured when it was presented. The only lawful cheque contemplated by s 16(2) and (3) is one in which there is a common expectation of payment on presentation within two days. What was provided was a ‘sham’; it was no better than, if as good as, a postdated cheque. As the Lord Justice rightly commented, its function was merely to record a loan of money or tokens to that value.’ and ‘The clear purpose of section 16 is to protect the punters against themselves. They are not to be given by the casinos so much rope that they eventually hang themselves, figuratively or otherwise.’
References: [1983] 1 WLR 300, [1983] 1 All ER 1148
Judges: Ackner LJ
Statutes: Gaming Act 1968 16
This case is cited by:

  • Cited – Aspinall’s Club Ltd v Al-Zayat CA 19-Oct-2007
    The claimant had sued the defendant for non-payment under a cheque for andpound;2 million. The cheque had been issued to replace earlier cheques given but not met, for sums staked for gambling at the claimant’s casino. The defendant said that the . .
    (, [2007] EWCA Civ 1001, Times 31-Oct-07, [2008] Bus LR D13)
  • Cited – Aspinall’s Club Ltd v Al-Zayat ComC 3-Sep-2008
    The claimant sought payment on a cheque in respect of gamblig debts incurred by the defendant. Teare J said: ‘The ordinary and natural meaning of credit in the context of section 16 of the Act is ‘time to pay’, in the sense of deferring or . .
    (, [2008] EWHC 2101 (Comm), [2008] Bus LR D134)
  • Cited – The Ritz Hotel Casino Ltd v Al Daher QBD 15-Aug-2014
    The claimant sought to recover andpound;1m on unpaid cheques. The cheques represented half of the sum gambled away by the defendant in one evening. She now alleged that the claimant had not complied with its duties under the 2005 Act to act . .
    (, [2014] EWHC 2847 (QB))

These lists may be incomplete.
Last Update: 27 November 2020; Ref: scu.259933