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Fairs and fairgrounds

The Gambling Act 2005 is the law which covers gambling in Great Britain including, among other things, gaming machines (commonly called fruit or slot machines).

This is a quick guide to help you make sure you do not break the law. But it is only an introduction to the law around gaming machines and if you are unsure you should seek legal advice.

What type of machines can be made available at travelling fairs?

Only Category D machines can be made available at travelling fairs.

In broad terms Category D machines are low stake fruit machine style machines, coin pushers (sometimes called penny falls) or crane grabs.

Category D machines can be identified by their low stakes and prizes as in the examples below.

Who can work with gaming machines?

Only a company or an individual with a Gambling Commission operating licence or a valid single machine permit (which only covers one machine for one year) can supply or do any maintenance work on a gaming machine.

You must not sell or supply gaming machines unless you have a Gambling Commission operating licence. In some cases you can sell through a licensed gaming machine supplier or by having a single use permit. 

Can under-18s work with gaming machines?

Under 18s are allowed to play Category D machines but they are not permitted to work in connection with any gaming machine – that means every part of working with the machine including even emptying the cash box. 

What is a Category D gaming machine?

Only Category D machines can be made available at travelling fairs. Other category gaming machines must be located in premises that are licensed by a licensing authority. 

Category D machines can look very different. You must make sure the machine you have does not exceed these stakes.

  • Maximum stake is 30p if the prize is non-cash
  • Maximum non-cash prize is £8.00
  • Maximum stake is 10p if the prize is cash
  • Maximum cash prize is £5.00

Coin pusher style

Maximum cash prize is £10, so the maximum note you can place inside the machine is a £10 note and the maximum prize is £20, of which only up to £10 can be cash, the remainder must be non-cash.
Maximum stake is 20p.

Crane grab style

Crane grab machines are normally defined as category D machines. Category D machines can look very different. You must make sure the machine you have does not exceed these stakes.

  • Maximum non-cash prize is £50
  • Maximum stake is £1

Further details are available in: Gaming machine technical standards for non-complex category D gaming machines.









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