It has been in the news recently about clubs being prosecuted for illegally siting gaming machines in contravention of the Gambling Act 2005.

Here is a timely reminder and top tips to ensure your gaming machines are authorised to be legally made available in your pub or club.

You must either:

  • Have made a notification to the local licensing authority for the right to make available one or two category C or D gaming machines,
  • Or apply to the licensing authority for a licensing premises for permission to site three or more machines in your premises. You must specify the number of category C and number of D machines in the application and the numbers are endorsed on the permit.

The fees which must be paid:

  • You must pay £50 to notify the licensing authority for one or two machines. There is no annual fee.
  • Licensed premises gaming machine permits incur an application fee of £150 and annual fee of £50. If you do not pay the annual fee, the licensing authority will revoke your permit.

Transferring the permissions when you take over a pub or bar:

  • You cannot transfer a notification. If you take over premises and apply to transfer the alcohol premises licence, you must make a new notification as new premises licence holder and pay £50.
  • Licensing premises gaming machine permits can be transferred at the same time as the premises licence. You have to pay £25.

What happens if I want to change the number of machines in my pub?

  • If you have one machine and you want another, you do not need to do anything as you can rely on your existing notification.
  • If you have two machines and want more, you must apply for a licensed premises gaming machine permit.
  • If you have a licensing premises gaming machine permit you can vary the machine numbers by taking by making an application to the licensing authority.

What happens if I don’t have permissions for all or some machines?

  • You can be prosecuted.
  • It is also worth mentioning that with alcohol-licensed premises the authorities could take action under the Licensing Act 2003 to review your premises licence under the crime and disorder objective. For the authorities, this is a quicker, more cost effective approach than a prosecution.

Remind me of the machine categories:

  • Category C machines have a maximum stake of £1 and prize £10
  • Category D have various stake and prize limits, pending on the machine type, from a stake of 10p to a maximum prize of £50

If you are in any doubt about your gaming machines and the relevant permit needed speak with your machine supplier to ensure you are fully covered. Alternately give Comrie a call and we will go over this for you to ensure you are fully covered. We supply fruit machines all over the Midlands to pubs and clubs for over 50 years now so we are in a good position to pass on our knowledge and keep you legal.

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