Jukebox hire is the way to extra profits

Music to your ears…..

Music can bring in a whole new set of customers into pubs and clubs that may not have ordinarily been attracted. These customers, who if the offer is right can go on to become regulars!

While live music may grab most of the attention, it is important not to overlook your pre-recorded music offer as well. After all, it only needs a jukebox or back-ground music to change a pub’s atmosphere beyond recognition resulting in attracting extra customers in to your pub or club.

“Music and especially jukeboxes are both a very important part of the pub/club experience” suggests Comrie Automatics Marketing Director, Mark Greig. Modern digital jukeboxes offer tens of thousands of music tracks to your customers. This provides the potential to generate significant income for any pub or club. Jukebox hire can be a great way to generate extra revenue, especially on a no cost revenue share deal which we can supply our jukeboxes on. Also with no install costs or contracts.

Music Licences..

What are you paying for?

If you play music in your pub or club you may need a licence from PRS for Music and in most cases one from PPL too. In most instances of recorded music being played in public, a Music licence is required from both organisations. PPL collects and distributes licence fees for the use of recorded music on behalf of record companies and performers, while PRS for Music collects and distributes for the use of musical compositions and lyrics on behalf of songwriters, composers and publishers.

What Music licences cover

Music licence permit you to play copyright music for your staff and customers, however you choose to play music. In your pub/club this might include:

  • Music on TV Channels
  • Radios, CD and MP3 players, digital music systems
  • Music on hold
  • Live bands and DJ’s
  • Karaoke machines


Music licence costs

The current rate for a jukebox PPL licence in a pub or club is £150.64 per annum.

With PRS for Music, pubs pay an annual charge for background music based on the devices they use and the size of the premises and featured music is usually charged per session, based on the capacity of the premises or room. Where the music user has applied for and obtained PRS for music’s licence before musical commence, the standard royalty rate will be charged and payable for the first year of the licence.

Be careful not to be stung by applying for a Music licence too late, because where the music user has not applied for and obtained PRS for Music’s licence before musical performances commence, the higher (standard plus 50%) royalty rate will be charged and payable for the first year of the licence!!

After the first year of the licence, in either case, the standard royalty rate will be charged and payable, at least, but it’s best to avoid any extra hidden costs if you can while starting up.

When speaking to one of our Jukebox customers ‘Lon Mallin’, from the Railway in Leamington Spa he told us how important it was to have the music his customers wanted available at the touch of a button. Some nights and even afternoons the Digital Jukebox is played continuous. “It’s not just about the profit the Jukebox brings in from the cashbox, I know the Jukebox helps with atmosphere in my pub so it generates income in the till” said Lon. 

If you have any questions about jukebox hire or any other music licence issues please give us a ring at Comrie Automatics.


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MGD News for Pubs and Clubs

Latest MGD News……..

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) officials will take a “sympathetic approach” to pubs that have not yet registered for the new machine games duty (MGD).

As of 28th February 2013, HMRC had received 23,624 registration applications from pubs and clubs which amount to 60% of the estimated venues. HMRC have advised it is  planning a programme of educational and compliance activity, including visits to encourage pubs that have not yet registered to do so. It expects that these will be smaller pub businesses that many not understand their obligations under this new tax.

You need to register for MGD if you hire a fruit machine on a fixed rental or if you have a fruit machine on a revenue share deal as the responsibility to register is with the license holder of the premises. 

From 1st February 2013, anyone providing gaming machines for play from their premises not covered by a MGD registration may have to pay a penalty for failing to register. Licensees can be charged a penalty of between 30% and 100% of any unpaid tax. However, HMRC have said that it will take a sympathetic approach to penalties in the early days of the new tax.

If a business was not registered as at 1st February 2013 but it is before 1st April 2013, HMRC might not issue a penalty provided that proper MGD records are kept for the period before the business was registered.

Further information can be found at www.hmrc.gov.uk/machinegamesduty/late-registration-news.pdf



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Understanding the Law is simple…let me explain. To start, Commercial betting in pubs is illegal. Both the bookie and the licensee will be committing an offence if the bookie takes bets from punters. The bookie risks their licence, a fine or imprisonment. The licensee or designated premises supervisor (DPS) risks prosecution if they allow premises to be used to provide facilities for betting.

There are also circumstances where the pub may act as an illegal betting intermediary. If either the DPS or a member of staff collects betting slips and delivers them to the betting shop on behalf of customers, or accepts stakes on behalf of bookmakers, they would be committing an offence. In addition, it is also illegal for an agent of a bookmaker to take bets in a pub or the licensee to ring through customer bets on his or her own account with a bookmaker.

The Gambling Commission reported that during the Cheltenham Festival, evidence of commercial betting was found in premises in Hertfordshire, York and Hull and there were a number of prosecutions where not only were the bookmakers convicted and fined but the pub landlords too, after allowing premises to be used to provide facilities for betting.

The Commission has issued formal warnings to a number of licensed bookmakers for accepting bets in pubs and many places have been warned about betting activity by the commission and the local authorities. In most cases a warning is likely. If, however, the activity is significant or continues following a warning, a prosecution may follow. This could lead up to 51 weeks’ imprisonment in England and Wales, or 6 months in Scotland and/or fine of up to £5,000 for each offence.

And finally, what is allowed? Customers can place bets via their mobiles or laptops but they can only do so on their own account. You can have betting slips in pubs but customers should complete the slips and take them to the betting shop themselves. You can run a sweep stake or free competition. You can also run a charity event.

There are bookmakers suggesting that you could use an occasional use notice (OUN). These permit tracks and sporting venues to allow bookies on to premises to take bets. They have been used in pubs but this concerned the Gambling Commission and local authorities. There are risks. The commission has said a sporting event that is televised at a premises does not constitute a sporting event taking place and an OUN may not be obtained on that basis. If you are approached with regards to obtaining an OUN I suggest you seek legal advice.

To talk about fruit machine hire or jukebox rental and any licences required for these machines please call us at Comrie Automatics and we will be more than happy to answer any of your questions.

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