Gaming machines

Gaming machines - what do I need to know?

Under the Gambling Act 2005, gaming machines fall into categories depending on limits on the stake laid down and prizes available:

Machine Category Maximum Stake Maximum Prize
A Unlimited Unlimited
B1 £2 £4,000
B2 £100 (in multiples of £10) £500
B3 £2 £500
B3A £1 £500
B4 £1 £250
C £1 £70
D* 10p/30p* £5/8*

*Category D machines with a 10p stake are entitles to offer prizes of up £5 in cash, or up to £5 in cash and £3 in non-monetary prizes. Category D machines with a 30p stake can offer £8 in non-monetary prizes only.

Adult gaming centres, family entertainment centres (licensed and unlicensed), casinos, betting and bingo operators are entitled to offer a set number of gaming machines of certain categories, depending on their premises.

There are also rules regarding the positioning of gaming machines, and all machines must adhere to the Commission's Gaming Machine Technical Standards, including legacy machines, which must also be registered with the Commission. Operators will also need to be familiar with the Gaming Machines (Circumstances of Use) Regulations 2007 with which those to whom they supply and for whom they design and manufacture machines will be required to comply.

Any operator manufacturing, supplying, installing, adapting, maintaining or repairing gaming machines must apply for a gaming machine technical operating licence.

Several devices or systems are excluded from being defined as gaming machines. These Include:

  • Domestic or dual use computer
  • Telephones or other machine for facilitating communication
  • Machines designed or adapted to bet on future real events
  • Lottery terminals
  • Machines designed or adapted for the playing of bingo (including by way of prize gaming)

Machines designed or adapted for the playing of bingo by way of prize gaming in reliance on a family entertainment centre gaming machine permit or prize gaming permit.

  • Semi automated casino games and
  • Fully automated casino games