Warning over machines presented as games of chance
The Gambling Commission (the Commission) is working with the key
trade bodies in the pubs, clubs and gaming machine sectors to
ensure pubs and clubs stay within the law when offering gaming and
Businesses are being reminded that machines presented as
offering games of chance such as roulette, bingo or poker are
gaming machines and not Skill with Prize machines (SWPs) as again
confirmed in the recent advice issued by the Commission and HM
Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
The Commission keeps a close eye on the boundary between gaming
machines and SWPs and already has an investigation underway into
suppliers of apparently non-compliant gaming machines.
The Commission is warning clubs, pubs and arcades that suppliers
may offer them machines as SWPs which are in fact gaming machines.
They should take particular care over machines with prizes above
£50(4) as, if not quiz machines, they are more likely to
be gaming machines.
The Commission’s National Compliance Manager for Gaming
Machines, Stuart McPhee said:
“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.
“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
Further information is also available at Skills with prize
machines and Skills with prize machines: Quest Gaming Ltd –
Skill Stop Roulette
Notes to editors
The Gambling Commission
- 1. The Gambling Commission (the Commission) regulates gambling
in the public interest. It does so by keeping crime out of
gambling, by ensuring that gambling is conducted fairly and openly,
and by protecting children and vulnerable people from being harmed
or exploited by gambling. The Commission also provides independent
advice to government on gambling in Britain.
- 2. The Commission is responsible for licensing and regulating
all gambling in Great Britain other than the National Lottery and
spread betting, which are the responsibility of the National
Lottery Commission and the Financial Services Authority (FSA)
- 3. The Commission is also highlighting the recently published
explanatory notes issued on Skill with Prizes (SWP) machines by
both the Commission and HMRC. Further information can be found
online. These give a
number of indicators to help decide if a machine is a SWP or a
- 4. The Commission has yet to be persuaded that it is possible
to manufacture a genuine SWP machine if you offer prizes beyond £50
(the prize limit set by BACTA following discussion with the
Commission) - the Commission considers that to make such machines
commercially viable with those higher prizes there has to be
compensation or similar mechanisms which may make them gaming
- 5. The Commission’s reminder is being supported by the BACTA,
CORCA and BBPA who are all actively drawing the details to the
attention of their members.
You can call John Travers on (0121) 230 6700, (07852) 124624 or
email him via firstname.lastname@example.org.