When a machine is 'available for use'
The Gambling Act 2005 states that only a limited number of certain categories of machines may be made ‘available for use’ on a premises.
We consider a gaming machine is available for use if a player can take steps to play it without the assistance of the operator.
This does not relate to the player requesting permission, but simply the player’s ability to access and play the machine regardless of whether permission is sought.
More than the permitted number of machines may be physically located on a premises, provided you have a robust system in place that ensures no more than the permitted number are ‘available for use’ at any one time. You must control this system.
If two people can play a gaming machine simultaneously, then the machine counts as two machines.
If you want to put more than the permitted number of machines in a public area the onus will be on you to demonstrate that no more than the permitted number of machines are ‘available for use’ at any one time. We will not hesitate to take action if more than the permitted number of machines are ‘available for use’.
A machine that can operate at more than one category, which is operating at a lower category, does not contribute to the number of machines ‘available for use’ at a higher category until it switches to that category. However, you must also have a system in place for these machines which ensures no more than the permitted number are ‘available for use’ at any one time.
Systems in which a number of machines network so that the player can select which game and category they play at are permitted, but they must adhere to any restrictions on the number of machines at a certain category.