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Keeping gambling Fair and safe for all

About gaming machines (fruit machines, slot machines)

What is a gaming machine (fruit machine, slot machine)?

A gaming machine is defined by the Gambling Act 2005 as a machine that is designed or adapted for use by individuals to gamble (whether or not it can also be used for other purposes). Most gaming machines are of the reel-based type, also known as fruit, slot, or jackpot machines.

Several devices or systems are excluded (under section 235 of the Gambling Act 2005) from being defined as gaming machines including:

  • domestic or dual use computers
  • telephones or other machines for facilitating communication
  • machines designed or adapted to bet on future real events
  • lottery terminals
  • on a bingo premises, machines designed or adapted for the playing of bingo (including by way of prize gaming)
  • machines designed or adapted for the playing of bingo, by way of prize gaming, where a family entertainment centre gaming machine permit or a prize gaming permit is held
  • semi-automated casino games
  • fully-automated casino games.

What are gaming machine categories?

Gaming machines fall into categories depending on the maximum stake and prize available.

There is no statutory minimum percentage payout for gaming machines but all machines are required to clearly display the amounts paid to use the machine that is returned by way of prizes (described as the return to player (RTP) on the machine), or the odds of winning prizes from use of the machine.


Further information about gaming machines

More information about the gambling industry is available in our industry statistics.

Page last reviewed: May 2015