The Secretary of State must make regulations defining the classes of gaming machines to be known as categories A, B, C and D.  The regulations may make provision in respect of the amount paid to use the machines, the value of prizes, the nature of prizes and the premises where a machine can be used.

Under the existing legislation, these premises can continue to have 3 gaming machines as a “grandfather right” until the full coming into force of the Gaming Act 2005.  When the Gaming Act 2005 comes into force, these premises will only be permitted 2 gaming machines.

The holder of a premises licence under the Licensing Act 2003 (authorising the sale of alcohol for the consumption on the premises) will have an automatic entitlement for 2 gaming machines (C or D). They will be able to simply notify the local authority and pay the appropriate fee. If they require more than 2 machines they must apply for a Licensed Premises Gaming Machine Permit under the Gaming Act 2005.  If granted the permit must specify the number and category of gaming machines which it authorises.

A members club may apply for a Club Gaming Permit, which can authorise up to 3 gaming machines  (category B, C or D), but there must be a condition on the permit that children and young persons are excluded from the area of the club where the gaming (category B or C gaming machines) is taking place. The holder must also comply with any relevant provisions of a Code of Practice about the location and operation of gaming machines.

The new legislation does not allow for single use premises such as chip shops, take-aways or taxi offices to be granted permits for any gaming machines. Once the permits granted under the old legislation expire, such machines will have to be removed.

A family entertainment centre is a premise other than an adult gaming centre wholly or mainly used for making gaming machines available for use. Any number of C and/or D machines may be provided. Under 18s are permitted access but the C category machines must be properly segregated and managed so they are not used by under 18s.

These are likely to be seaside arcade type premises which only provide category D machines. They do not require operator licences or premises licences and are controlled through a much simpler permit system.

A fair is wholly or principally provided by persons who travel from place to place for the purpose of providing fairs and at a place part of which has been used for the provision of a fair on no more than 27 days in that calendar year. They may make one or more category D gaming machines available for use at the fair and may provide facilities for gambling (whether by way of gaming machine or otherwise) provided that the gambling element amounts to no more than ancillary amusement at the fair.

Machine Categories

Premise TypeA                  B1                  B2                  B3B4C                  D
Regional casino (table/ machine ratio of 25-1 up to maximum)Machines in categories A to D, within the total limit of 1250 (subject to table ratio)
Large casino (table/ machine ratio of 5-1 up to maximum) XMaximum of 150 machines Any combination of machines in categories B to D, within the total limit of 150 (subject to table ratio)
Small casino (table/ machine ratio of 2-1 up to maximum)XMaximum of 80 machines Any combination of machines in categories B to D, within the total limit of 80 (subject to table ratio)
Pre-2005 Act casinos (no table/ machine ratio)XMaximum of 20 machines categories B to D or C or D machines instead
Betting premises and tracks occupied by Pool Betting
XXMaximum of 4 machines categories B2 to D
Bingo Premises
XXXMaximum of 4 machines in category B3 or B4
No limit C or D machines
Adult gaming centre
XXXMaximum of 4 machines in category B3 or B4
No limit C or D machines
Family entertainment centre (with premises licence) XXXX
XNo limit on Category C or D machines
Family entertainment centre (with permit) XXXX
XXNo limit on Category D machines
Clubs or miners’ welfare institutes with permits XXXX
maximum of 3 machines in categories B4 to D
Qualifying alcohol licensed premisesXXXX
X1 or 2 machines of category C or D automatic upon notification
Qualifying alcohol licensed premises with gaming machine permit XXXX
XNumber as specified on permit
Travelling fairXXXX
XXNo Limit on Category D machines

Machine Stakes and Prizes

Category of machineMaximum "Stake"Maximum Prize
B2£100 (in multiples of £10)£500
D10p money prize
30p non-money prize
£5 money prize
£8 non-money prize