HOW MANY MACHINES AM I ALLOWED IN MY PUBLIC HOUSE OR SOCIAL CLUB?
We get asked this question a lot, so we thought there must be plenty of people looking for this information out there, so here are some hopefully clear answers for you.
Pubs and clubs are different so let’s look at pubs first.
A public house has an automatic entitlement to two fruit machines on their premises, this is after you notify your local council and pay a one off fee of approximately £50-£100 depending on your local council. When I say fruit machine the classification is AWP (Amusement with prize machine). This does not include quiz machines as they are not classed as SWP’s (Skill with Prize machine).
Once you have 2 machines in place and they have to be by law in sight of the bar serving area so you can make sure at all times there are no attempts of anyone under 18 to gamble on the fruit machines. You can then add extra fruit machines by applying to your local council to increase the number of gaming machines (AWP’s) on your premises. You can download these forms from your local council website and they will want to know where you are going to situate then fruit machines. They cannot be next to a cash point machine; this is so someone has to stop playing while they remove money from a cash point machine.
There is a cost for this which is usually £50-£100 per machine over the original two install and this cost is renewable each year. The most fruit machines we have seen in a public house is 8 category C machines is a JD Wetherspoons in London. What will and should dictate how many fruit machines there are in a pub is how profitable they are and remember for each fruit machine you install is an extra AMLD Customs & Excise licence cost (until 1st Feb 2013)
A social club is allowed to have 3 fruit machines on their premises once they have registered originally with the local council with the one off fee. Unlike pubs a social club cannot add extra fruit machines by applying to their local council, they are fixed to a maximum of 3 gaming machines.
Where a social club can and does benefit is the type of Jackpots it can offer to their customers. A social club ca have one of their maximum 3 of any of the following machines – Category D – £5 Jackpot, Category C £70 Jackpot machine, then usually found in clubs Category B £250 Jackpot machine.
There is one other machine allowed in Social Clubs but only one of these is allowed per premises and that is a category B3a £500 Jackpot machine.
Whilst I am sure you might be a bit confused about the different categories this really relates to how much the cost of the custom & excise licence is.
The most commonly found machine in Social Clubs is a £25 Jackpot fruit machine but more and more clubs are trailing a £70 fruit machine as it is saving a big chunk on HMRC licence cost and they perform just as well.
I hope this has answered your question and if you are unsure in any way speak with a local licensed fruit machine supplier who will help you with all the necessary forms and make sure you are supplied with the right type of machines for your premises.