Q&A Be in the game on new classifications

Q:  I have a notification that allows me to provide 2 gaming machines in my alcohol licensed premises.  I currently provide one ‘crane grab’ style machine and have heard that some machines are due to be reclassified.  Is this correct and if so will I need to change my current permission?

A:  You are correct that some gaming machines that have been previously provided as skills with prize (SWP) machines, such as ‘Key Master’ or ‘Barber Cut’ are to be reclassified as Category D non-complex crane grab machines.  The Gambling Commission has consulted with a number of manufacturers and the trade association BACTA and determined that although the players of these machines operate some type of mechanical arm or device to select a prize, the machines also contain a compensator, which can determine when the player wins.  As SWP machines do not require a licence or permit, some operators may find that in order to continue providing these machines, an additional permit or licence will be required. If you are unsure about the types of machines you provide you should contact your supplier who should be able to provide you with the relevant details, which will enable you to obtain the appropriate permission.   It may be that you already provide two gaming machines and that the ‘crane grab’ was provided as a SWP machine.  If this is true, you should consider applying for a licensed premises gaming machine permit, which would permit you to provide three or more machines, of both Category C or D. The maximum price per play of these crane grab style machines will continue to be £1 with a maximum non –money prize of £50. Machines that provide a genuine game of skill, offering a guaranteed prize will not be affected by this amendment. The Gambling Commission has provided a timescale for the implementation of these changes and applications made to licensing authorities should be underway by the 31 August 2015 with any granted permits or licences obtained by 31 December 2015.     All reclassified machines should also display a sticker, which identifies them as Category D gaming machines.