First confiscation order from Commission

08/02/2011

A convicted illegal supplier of gaming machines faces a total bill of more than £50,000 after a confiscation hearing in Warwick Crown Court – the first confiscation order made under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in relation to a Gambling Commission (the Commission) investigation.

The court granted a confiscation order for £30,000 against Marc Darren Bird, aged 38 of Coventry. This is in addition to fines and costs of nearly £27,000, awarded against him last September under the Gambling Act 2005.

In January 2009 Bird was found guilty of eight counts of making ‘Joker Poker’ gaming machines available for use and eight counts of supplying and maintaining gaming machines without an operating licence at Birmingham Magistrates Court. An appeal against the conviction was abandoned in August 2010 following a ruling of the Divisional Court in March of that year.

The financial investigation which led to granting of the order was conducted by the Commission in partnership with asset recovery experts at the Regional Asset Recovery Team (RART) West Midlands.

Nick Tofiluk, Director of Regulation at the Gambling Commission said:

“Tackling the illegal supply of gaming machines remains a priority for the Commission and the use of asset recovery provides another deterrent for the Gambling Commission to use in keeping gambling fair and safe.

“This is the first confiscation order for the Commission and I want to put on record our thanks for the support of the Regional Asset Recovery Team in the West Midlands.”

Detective Inspector Chris Berrow of RART (West Midlands) added:

“We actively seek opportunities to work with our partners to tackle criminality in whatever guise it is found and were pleased to support the Gambling Commission in this case.”

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