Gaming Machines

A gaming machine is any machine in which the winning of a prize is dependent on chance - a machine of this type is commonly known as a fruit machine.

Skill with prizes machines are not gaming machines because winning is dependent on the player's individual skill and not chance - skill with prizes machines do not require authorisation from the Licensing Authority. An example of a skill with prizes machine is a quiz machine where winning is dependent on the player's general knowledge skills.

Detailed information regarding gaming machine categories (including maximum stakes and prizes and the maximum number of gaming machines in a premise) can be found on the Gambling Commission website: Gambling Commission Website

All gaming machines, other than those in Category D, may only be made available to those persons over the age of 18 years.

Pubs & Alcohol Licensed Premises

Businesses with a premises licence under the Licensing Act 2003 authorising the sale of alcohol are automatically entitled to a maximum of two gaming machines (each of which may be Category C or D machines) without the need for a permit or licence.

However, the premises must be licensed under the Licensing Act 2003 to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises, without the requirement that alcohol is served only with food and there must be a bar for serving alcohol to customers on the premises.

The premises licence holder will need to notify the Council of the intention to provide these gaming machines using the Notification Form below. There is also a notification fee of £50.

There are no annual maintenance fees payable to the Council for two gaming machines or less.

If a licensee wants to have more than two gaming machines, a Licensed Premises Gaming Machine Permit is needed. There is no limit on the number of gaming machines that an alcohol licensed premise may apply for, but the Council can restrict the number of gaming machines on individual premises.

It is this Council's policy that a licensing hearing (consisting of Councillors) must consider any application for three or more machines where Licensing Officers are of the opinion that the premise is not suitable for the number of machines applied for. It is important to note that the hearing is unlikely to grant a permit for more than six machines and even then six machines will normally only be granted to exceptionally large premises.

A permit for 3 or more machines will be subject to an annual maintenance fee. Failure to pay the annual fee will result in the cancellation of the permit. The annual fee is £50.00.

All alcohol licensed premises, which provide gaming machines for use on the premises must comply with the relevant Code of Practice issued by the Gambling Commission under Section 24 of the Gambling Act 2005. The Gaming Machine Code of Practice for Alcohol Licensed Premises Permits and Permissions is available via the Gambling Commission's website: Gambling Commission Website

Members' Club or Miners' Welfare Institutes

Non-commercial clubs may apply for a Club Machine Permit to give a maximum of three gaming machines in Categories B3A, B4, C and D.

The permit will be subject to an annual maintenance fee. Failure to pay the annual fee will result in the cancellation of the permit. The annual fee is £50.00.

All club premises providing gaming machines must comply with the Code of Practice issued by the Gambling Commission. The Gaming Machine Permits Code of Practice is available via the Gambling Commission's website at: Gambling Commission Website

The principle provisions within the Code of Practice are:

  • All gaming machines must be located so that their use can be supervised and observed.
  • Permit holders must have in place arrangements for such supervision.
  • All gaming machines must be located in a place that requires a customer who wishes to use any ATM to cease gambling at the gaming machine in order to do so.

Commercial Clubs

Commercial clubs are able to apply for a Club Machine Permit for a maximum of three gaming machines in categories B4, C or D.

The permit will be subject to an annual maintenance fee. Failure to pay the annual fee will result in the cancellation of the permit. The annual fee is £50.00.

Travelling Fairs

There is no limit on Category D gaming machines for bona fide travelling fairs.

Hot Food Takeaways, Taxi Booking Offices, etc.

These premises are not permitted to have any gaming machines on the premises.

Unlicensed Family Entertainment Centres (uFECs) (holding a uFEC permit)

Family Entertainment Centres (with an uFEC permit issued by the Council) are allowed to have an unlimited number of Category D gaming machines.

Family Entertainment Centres (FECs) (holding a gambling premises licence)

These premises are allowed an unlimited number of Category C or D gaming machines. However, Category C machines must not be made available to those under 18 years of age. The Category C machines must be positioned in segregated and supervised area of the premises.

Adult Gaming Centres (AGCs), Bingo Premises, Betting Premises

Detailed information regarding gaming machine categories (including maximum stakes and prizes and the maximum number of gaming machines) in the aforementioned gambling licensed premises can be found on the Gambling Commission website: Gambling Commission Website