Pubs and clubs are being warned to "stay within the law" when offering gaming machines, as an investigation gets underway.
The Gambling Commission is working with key trade bodies to remind pubs that machines offering games of chance such as roulette, bingo or poker are gaming machines and not skill with prizes machines (SWPs), as confirmed by HM Revenue and Customs. Gaming machines are liable for machine tax, unlike SWPs.
The Commission has launched an investigation into suppliers of gaming machines to check they comply with the guidelines.
It is warning clubs, pubs and arcades that suppliers may try to sell gaming machines as SWPs. Machines with prizes of more than £50, unless quiz machines, are more likely to be gaming machines.
"Put simply, machines that look like casino or bingo games are gaming machines and therefore can only be made available for use with the appropriate licence or permit," said national compliance manager for gaming machines Stuart McPhee.
"If you are making prize machines available in your pub, club or arcade and are uncertain of their legal status please check with your supplier or manufacturer that you are not breaking the law."