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HMRC internal manual

Machine Games Duty

Operational: Compliance checks: introduction

The Compliance Handbook contains operational process guidance on how to conduct a compliance check for all the taxes including the excise duties.

This guidance contains more detailed information on how to carry out a compliance check where dutiable machine games are on the premises. It covers the specific risks relating to Machine Games Duty (MGD) and the checks you should carry out to address those risks.

MGD is an excise duty and a person registered for MGD is a revenue trader. This guidance explains the legal powers that officers can use to enter and inspect business premises and business records, including those of a ‘Revenue Trader’.

If you have reasonable cause to believe that machines which are liable to MGD are located in premises you can, at any reasonable time, enter and inspect those premises. You can also inspect:

  • accounts, records and other documents in the custody or control of the person who would be liable for the MGD
  • any relevant equipment.

To check whether Machine Games Duty is due and is being properly declared, you can require:

  • the registered person
  • the person who should be registered
  • someone acting on their behalf


  • open a machine
  • carry out any other operation that may be necessary.

Operational guidance about the excise powers of entry and inspection are in the Enforcement Handbook.

Prior to undertaking MGD compliance work you should also be familiar with the MGD Notice 452 and also the guidance on MGD.