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Operators are being reminded that crane grab machines must follow gambling rules and regulations. 

The reminder follows a series of cases in which crane grab non-complex category D gaming machines were discovered to be breaching regulations. 

These machines feature a mechanical arm, or similar device to select a prize, and employ a compensator unit to determine the percentage pay-out. They have a maximum stake of £1 and a maximum £50 non-monetary prize. 

Over the last nine months a total of nine machines have been removed from five locations – they were not correctly marked as gaming machines and were not situated within a gambling premises. 

As these are gaming machines a premises licence/permit from the local authority will be needed to site them, and depending on the type of premises, some operators who are currently unlicensed will need to apply for an operator’s licence from the Gambling Commission. 

Sharon McNair, Commission director for industry insight and shared regulation, said: “It’s vital that all forms of gaming machines are regulated to ensure gambling is safe, fair and crime free. 

“We are disappointed that a number of non-complex category D gaming machines have been offered to the public in breach of regulations.

“We expect anyone offering these products to ensure they have the correct permissions in place and the correct labelling indicating that they are gaming machines - and not skill machines - and feature responsible gambling messages. 

“They must also ensure the correct permit is in place which can be applied for via licensing (local) authorities. If an operating licence is required then this can be applied for via our website.” 

Labels for these machines can be obtained from amusement trade association Bacta

For more information read the Gambling Commission’s Non-complex cat D gaming machines guidance (updated July 2016).

Notes to editors 

  1. More information about how we regulate the gambling industry.
  2. Useful statistics on the gambling industry.  

Journalists can contact our press office on 0121 230 6700 or email: communications@gamblingcommission.gov.uk

Posted on 01 September 2016