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D gaming machines

There are duties to be paid on gaming machines. You should read this information in conjunction with the guidance from HMRC on GOV.UK (opens in new tab)

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

View and download examples of crane-type machines.

Category D machines can be located in the following places:

  • casinos
  • betting shops
  • tracks with pool betting
  • bingo premises
  • Adult Gaming Centres (AGCs)
  • members' clubs
  • miners’ welfare clubs or commercial clubs
  • Family Entertainment Centres (FECs)
  • pubs
  • travelling fairs
  • unlicensed family entertainment centres (UFECs) with a permit.

However, their use in premises other than adult gaming centres, family entertainment centres, pubs and travelling fairs is unusual.

There are five different combinations of stake and prize for the various types of category D machine.

Combinations of stake and prizes

Category D machine combinations
Combinations Stake Maximum prize
D money prize 10p £5
D non-money prize (other than crane grab machine) 30p £8
D non-money prize (crane grab machine) £1 £50
D combined money and non-money prize (other than coin pusher or penny falls machines) 10p £8 (of which no more than £5 may be a money prize)
D combined money and non-money prize (coin pusher or penny falls machine) 20p £20 (of which no more than £10 may be a money prize)

Pubs and alcohol licensed premises

Pubs and other alcohol licensed premises are automatically entitled to two category C or D gaming machines upon notification to the local licensing authority of their intention to make gaming machines available for use.

Licensing authorities can issue gaming machine permits which allow additional category C and D gaming machines to be provided.

Where a gaming machine permit authorises the making available of a specified number of gaming machines in particular premises, this will effectively replace, and not be in addition to, any automatic entitlement to two machines.

Members' clubs and miners' welfare institutes

Members' clubs - for example, working men’s clubs, branches of the Royal British Legion and clubs with political ties - and Miners’ welfare institutes - as defined in the Licensing Act 2003 (opens in new tab) may site up to three machines from categories B3A, B4, C or D (only one can be B3A) with a club machine permit.

Commercial clubs may site up to three machines from categories B4, C or D (not B3A machines).

Travelling fairs may site any number of category D gaming machines.

Bingo machines

Some category D gaming machines are designed or adapted to play bingo as a prize game. If you have prize gaming permit or a family entertainment centre permit you can make these machines available to play. The machines must comply with our Gaming machine permits code of practice

Licences and permits required

If you are a machine manufacturer or supplier you will need a gaming machine technical licence, which type will depend on the nature of your business.

Gaming machine technical standards

See our gaming machine technical standards for full details of the technical standards which this category of machine must comply with:

  • complex category D
  • non-complex category D machines
  • B3, B4, C and D legacy machines.

All gaming machines must comply with our gaming machine technical standards.

Test houses

Category B4, C, and D gaming machines can be tested via an independent test house (sometimes referred to as test labs), or by the manufacturers' own processes under strict controls.

For categories A, B1, B2, B3, B3A, B4, C, D, server networked and downloadable, cashless payment, linked progressives and wireless networks refer to the gaming machine testing strategy.

Return to player (RTP)

Category D machines must display the “theoretical target percentage return to player” unless they are crane grab or penny falls machines.

RTP is an average measured over a large number of games and will vary over a typical session due to normal game volatility.

The manufacturer will decide on the game RTP.

There is no minimum RTP requirement. However, the minimum average return must be displayed to the player for the game.


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