The Gambling Act 2005 protects children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.
Gaming machines in taxi offices and takeaways
If you manage taxi offices or a takeaway you are not allowed to have gaming machines in Medway. Any member of staff in the premises allowing gaming machines to be used may be prosecuted under the Act (with a maximum fine of £5,000 and/or 51 weeks imprisonment).
An HM Revenue and Customs permit does not authorise you to use these machines in your premises. This permit is to confirm that you have paid the required duty on the machine. The machine is still illegal under the Act.
Suppliers of illegal gaming machines
Individuals who supply or rent these gaming machines must be licensed with the Gambling Commission. There are many individuals who are providing illegal machines and are only providing the manager with a name and mobile number.
If the manager had spoken to a reputable Machine Operator, they would have been informed that they are not allowed these machines in these types of premises. They could have advised the manager to install skill machines which are currently exempt under the Act.
Enforcement of illegal gaming machines
Tougher controls on high prize gaming machines and new powers for local authorities have been introduced as part of the government's modernisation of Britain's gambling laws under the Act. This came into force in September 2007.
Illegal gaming machines are often situated in premises such as takeaways which are frequented by children. Additionally, these machines are unlicensed and unregulated and may have had their mechanisms tampered with, putting the public at risk of being ripped off.
Medway Council, Medway Police and the Gambling Commission will be cracking down on illegal gaming in Medway.
Regular enforcement operations will be arranged to deal with premises providing illegal gaming machines. Initially we will ask the manager to remove them from the premises within 7 days, failure to do this will result in:
- gaming machine being seized
- prosecution under the Act
- reported to the Gambling Commission, Police and HM Revenue and Customs for further investigation.
If anyone wishes to report premises that may have illegal gaming machines, they should contact the licensing unit.
For more information contact the Licensing Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Write to: Licensing Unit, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TR.