Don't take a gamble with gambling machines

By Poppleston Allen

- Last updated on GMT

Don't take a gamble: What you need to know legally about gambling machines
Don't take a gamble: What you need to know legally about gambling machines
Alcohol-licensed premises can provide gaming machines to their customers if they benefit from an on-licence, they contain bar facilities for the sale and consumption of alcohol and there is no requirement that alcohol is only served with food.

The number of machines a pub wishes to have on site determines what type of notification or application is required by the licensing authority.

- One to two machines: you must notify the licensing authority that you will be making up to two gaming machines available for use and you must pay a £50 fee.

- Three or more machines: you must submit an application to the licensing authority for a licensed premises gaming machine permit, detailing the number of machines you wish to make available. There is a fee of £150 and, once granted, there is a £50 annual fee.

Good practise points

The Gambling Commission has a gaming machines permits code of practice for gaming machines in premises with an alcohol licence. Listed below are some tips for ensuring compliance with conditions and good practice points of the code:

- You can only make gaming machines available for use during the hours that the premises licence permits the sale of alcohol.

- It is your responsibility to make sure that your staff can adequately monitor and supervise the gaming machines. Ensure that you place your machines where they can be easily seen, a good idea is to place the machines near to the bar so that they are in constant eye line of staff.

- Remember, screens and pods around a gaming machine need to be carefully considered because these could prevent staff from being able to see and monitor the machine properly.

- The code requires that where an ATM is available on the premises, a customer must cease to gamble on any gaming machine in order to use the ATM. It is, therefore, imperative that you locate any ATM at a sufficient distance from the gaming machines.

- Make sure that you have sufficient policies and procedures in place to prevent under-18s playing on category C machines. Always check their age if you suspect someone is under 18 and refuse to permit them to play the machine if they cannot produce suitable ID.

- Make sure you have procedures in place for when someone aged under 18 repeatedly attempts to gamble on a category C machine, including oral warnings, making information available regarding problem gambling and reporting to the police.

- Have a written policy for handling customer complaints and disputes and have a copy of the complaints procedure available on request.

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