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Guidance to licensing authorities

The Gambling Commission's guidance for licensing authorities.


3 - Gaming machines

18.8. S.172(7), as amended, provides that the holder of a bingo premises licence may make available for use a number of category B gaming machines not exceeding 20 percent of the total number of gaming machines on the premises. For example, a premises with a total of 25 gaming machines available for use can make five or fewer category B3 gaming machines available on that premises. Premises that were licensed before 13 July 2011 are entitled to make available eight category B gaming machines, or 20 percent of the total number of gaming machines, whichever is the greater. There are no restrictions on the number of category C or D machines that can be made available. Regulations state that category B machines at bingo premises are restricted to sub-category B3 (SI 2007/2158: Categories of Gaming Machine Regulations 20070) (opens in new tab) (but not B3A) and B4 machines. Licensing authorities should ensure that gambling machines are made available for use in a manner consistent with our guidance within Part 16. For the purpose of calculating the category B machine entitlement in gambling premises, gaming machines should only be counted if they can be played simultaneously by different players without physical hindrance. This includes tablets.

18.9. The gaming machines must remain within the licensed area covered by the premises licence. In the unusual circumstance that an existing bingo premises covered by one premises licence applies to vary the licence and acquire additional bingo premises licences (so that the area that was the subject of a single licence will become divided between a number of separate licensed premises) it is not permissible for all of the gaming machines to which each of the licences brings an entitlement to be grouped together within one of the licensed premises.

18.10. Equipment operated by a bingo operating licence for the purpose of playing bingo, for example what are currently known as mechanised cash bingo, electronic bingo terminal (EBTs) and video bingo terminals (VBTs), will be exempt from controls on gaming machines provided they comply with any conditions set by the Commission and, in the case of EBTs, do not hold gaming machine content.

18.11. An EBT that offers gaming machine content in addition to bingo content is considered to be a gaming machine and would count towards the total number of gaming machines or towards the offering of bingo. Any EBTs that do not offer gaming machine content would not count towards the number of gaming machines.

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