Gaming machines under the Gambling Act 2005
A gaming machine is defined as a machine which is designed or adapted for use by individuals to gamble (whether or not it can also be used for other purposes).
Most gaming machines are of the reel-based type, also known as fruit, slot or jackpot machines.
Alcohol licensed premises (excluding those that may only serve alcohol with meals), clubs, adult gaming centres, family entertainment centres (licensed and unlicensed), casino, 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 Gambling 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.
Club gaming permits and club machine permits
There are three types of club recognised:
These must have at least 25 members and be established or conducted mainly for purposes other than gaming. The club should not be established to make a commercial profit and should be controlled by its members.
Examples include most sports clubs, working men’s clubs, branches of the Royal British Legion and politically affiliated clubs. Although members clubs should generally be run for purposes other than gaming, regulations may allow certain types of gaming clubs.
These have the same characteristics as members clubs, except that they are established to make a profit. An example of such club would be a snooker club. Some bridge and whist clubs may operate as commercial clubs if they are established to make a profit.
Miners’ Welfare Institutes
The definition of this type of club has changed to reflect social and economic changes since they were set up. These are associations established for recreational or social purposes. They are managed by a charitable trust which has received funds from one of a number of mining organisations
Warwick District Council may grant Club Gaming Permits to members’ clubs and miners’ welfare institutes but not commercial clubs. This authorises them to provide ‘gaming machines’, ‘equal chance gaming’ and ‘games of chance’. This is in addition to the exempt gaming authorisation.
Club Gaming Permits allow no more than three gaming machines. These may be from categories B3A, B4, C or D. The club is allowed to choose the combination of machines on its premises.
If a club doesn’t want to have the full range of facilities allowed by a Club Gaming Permit or if they are a commercial club who can’t have non-machine gaming (other than exempt gaming), they can apply for a Club Machine Permit. This authorises them to have up to three gaming machines of categories B3A (this category is not available to commercial clubs) B4, C and D.
Club Gaming Permits replace the permissions provided by Part II registration and Club Machine Permits replace the permissions provided by Part III registration under the 1968 Gambling Act.