Gaming machine update - the duty licence

Author:

HM Revenue and Customs Licence

As well as ensuring the necessary authorisation is in place for the machine, there is also a requirement for each dutiable machine to have a duty licence (the Amusement Machine Licensing Duty or AMLD). Penalties for failing to have such a licence are severe. The licence should be displayed on site. It is renewable annually. This licence is often dealt with by the Machine Supplier, but remember that the duty to ensure that it is in force etc is down to the operator.

The new Machine Games Duty (MGD)

AMLD will be replaced by MGD with effect from 1 February 2013. If you have not already done so, you should ensure with your supplier how payment of the more complex MGD is going to work, as it will be based on the machine’s gross profits. Especially those machines with mixed cash and non-monetary prizes will require some attention to the calculations of MGD.

The standard rate of duty will be 20%, unless you operate the lower rate Category D machine (maximum stake 10p and maximum cash prize £8) when it will be 5%. There are some exemptions, but these are unlikely to be available to most Premises Licence holders (although check if you are holding a genuine charity event). Non-dutiable machines may be subject to VAT.

Registration

If you operate under a Premises Licence or are the holder of a machine authorisation, and you propose to site or continue to site gaming machines which are not exempt on or after 1 February next year, you must be registered by 1 January.  Time is running out, especially with the busy Christmas period looming, so go to HMRC’s website and follow the links to MGD.  Registration will open on 1 November, and be done online or you can request a paper application. You will be obliged, amongst other things, to:

• Tell HMRC of any changes to your registration (eg address)
• Make returns, usually quarterly
• Keep records of the MGD paid

You can appoint an Agent to deal with these MGD requirements for you.