A pub which was busted allowing children to gamble twice has lost its gaming machine license – but will still be allowed to operate two betting terminals.

The George in High street, Wanstead – a JD Wetherspoon pub – had its license revoked by Redbridge Council’s licensing sub-committee yesterday (Wednesday, November 20) in a first of its kind ruling.

The pub was twice caught allowing under 18s to use the gaming machines in test purchase sting operations.

In January, police cadets, observed by plain clothes police officers, spent £3 on gaming machines in view of staff members without being challenged or asked for ID.

A written warning was served to the pub, which undertook a series of staff training courses and promised measures to stop gambling would be implemented.

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The George, High Street, Wanstead, Photo: Google Maps

In June, the pub failed a second similar sting operation test.

The George has lost its right to operate seven category c (£1 play and £100 max pay-out) gaming machines.

Redbridge says it is the first local authority in the country to strip a pub of its gaming machine licence for failing to stop children playing on them.

However, the council has allowed the pub to keep operating two betting terminals following assurances it will implement technology capable of alerting staff to machine use, along with measures to protect children.

Sue Harper, the council’s corporate director for place, said: “Businesses with permits to operate betting machines have a legal obligation to protect children and other vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

“At Redbridge, we put the welfare of our children at the heart of everything we do and won’t be afraid to use the full weight of the law against businesses in the borough that fail in their legal obligations to safeguard young people.”

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “The company takes its responsibility to comply with the law on all age prohibited products and services extremely seriously.

“We shall consider the council’s concerns carefully and ensure all necessary actions are taken at the pub to prevent any repeat.”