Machines & Gaming: legal update

Related tags Machines Gambling in the united kingdom

The Gambling Act 2005 is now with us. Fortunately, when it comes to the effect on gaming machines in licensed premises the conversion is a relatively...

The Gambling Act 2005 is now with us. Fortunately, when it comes to the effect on gaming machines in licensed premises the conversion is a relatively painless affair. Existing permits for machines in force on or after August 31, 2007 will continue to have effect until they are due to expire, as stated on the permit, or if they do not have an expiry date, until August 31, 2010.

The application

To benefit from continuation rights and grandfather rights you must apply to convert the permit in advance of the expiry date. If you have three or more machines you will need a new Licensed Premises Gaming Machine Permit. Application forms for the permit are available from the council. If you have one or two machines you should simply notify the council in writing of your intention to keep them. Grandfather rights will ensure you keep the same number of machines and continuation rights allow you to continue to operate the machines even if your existing permit has expired and the council has yet to make a decision on your new application.


The fee for the permit for three or more machines is £100 and the fee for notifying the council that you will be having one or two machines is £50. There is also an annual fee for the Licensed Premises Gaming Machine Permit of £50, due within 30 days of the anniversary of its issue. Non-payment will result in the permit being cancelled, so update your diary. Importantly, there is no annual fee payable until you have converted your existing permit into a new permit. Challenge the council if it tries to demand an annual fee before you have converted. Nor is there an annual fee if you notify the council you are having one or two machines.

Rectifying omissions and errors

Frustratingly, on conversion the council can demand you send additional information with the application - despite the fact the council cannot add conditions to your permit. If you do not include this documentation - such as plans - you will be given 14 days to do so or you will lose your continuation rights, which would mean you may have to turn your machines off. You will, however, not lose your grandfather rights. The same applies to errors in your application. The council will inform you of the error and you will have 14 days to rectify the mistake.


Permits can be transferred with the premises licence. If the pub has one or two machines you will have to re-notify the council that you will be having one or two machines and pay the £50 fee. New gaming machinesIf you don't have any gaming machines and want to install them, or you wish to increase the number of machines you have you can notify the council or apply for a new permit now. The fee for a new permit for three or more machines is £150. If you have one or two machines the same £50 fee applies.

Gaming machine categories

The new permits allow all cash (maximum 50p stake and £35 prize) and lower payout AWPs (10p/£5 cash or 30p/£8 non-cash) - now called Category C and D machines respectively. Children can only play on Category D machines.

The Code of Practice

The Gambling Commission has produced a Code of Practice which relates to the supervision and positioning of machines. The main points are:

• All gaming machines must be located so their use can be supervised

• All gaming machines shall be located in a place that requires a customer who wishes to use an ATM to cease gambling in order to get cash.

Compliance with these provisions is a condition of your permit, and failure to do so could result in revocation.For more information contact Nick Arron on 0115 953 8500 or log onto

Nick Arron is a solicitor at Poppleston Allen

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