Circumstances in which you do not need a gaming machine (fruit machine, slot machine) operating licence
There are some circumstances in which you do
not need a gaming machine (fruit machine, slot
machine) operating licence:
Prize gaming machines
You do not need any kind of licence to run gaming machines that
do not offer a prize at all, or do not offer a prize worth more
than the price you pay to play the machine.
You may apply to your local licensing authority for a prize
gaming permit, which will let you offer bingo prize gaming
machines. For more information on these permits, see our licensing
Gaming machines (fruit machines, slot machines) at home
You can own gaming machines for your private use, as long
as you are the only person who plays them.
Pubs (public houses)
Your alcohol licence gives permission to operate two
C or category D gaming machines
(fruit machines, slot machines). However to enable this permission
you will need to notify your local authority that you intent to
operate machines under your alcohol licence. A fee will be payable
(please check your local authorities website for detail of the
If a person ceases to be the holder of an on-premises alcohol
licence, the permission to site the two gaming machines also
ceases. Therefore, anybody applying for a new premises alcohol
licence will need to notify the licensing authority of their
intention to make gaming machines available for use, and pay the
fee again. This renewal is only necessary where there is a change
in the alcohol premises licence holder (not where there is simply a
change in tenant or designated premises supervisor).
Premises alcohol licence holders wishing to
run additional category C or category D
gaming machines must also apply, in advance of the machines
being made available for play, to their local licensing authority
for a gaming permit. Fees will be payable (please check your local
authorities website for detail of the fees).
You may apply for a club gaming or club machine permit from your
local licensing authority. These permits allow you
to operate up to three machines (fruit machines, slot
machines) from category B3A and below.
Fairs and travelling circuses
You can let people play category D and prize gaming
machines at travelling fairs, as long as the fair is mainly
composed of attractions that do not involve gambling.
Unlicensed family entertainment centres
If you are running a family entertainment centre under a permit
from your local licensing authority, you can operate category D
machines and bingo prize gaming machines.
Page last reviewed: August 2012