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HMRC internal manual

Machine Games Duty

Operational: Compliance checks: visiting premises: checking meter readings

You have the power to instruct the person to open a machine to look at meter readings and to explain the machine. You may want to do this where there are no business records, or you have concerns that the records may be incorrect or you might want to check the build up of the MGD Return.

Where there are no business records you will need to compare meter readings taken on two separate occasions to provide information on which to base any duty calculation.

Where businesses have been required to keep additional records which include meter readings they will need to keep a record of meter readings from machines to corroborate both the amounts received into the machine and the amounts paid out.

You will normally come across 2 types of machine:

Manual Machines

These are traditional reel based machine games with a single game available for play. These machines usually have internal meters and cash record displays which you can compare to the latest readings recorded by the operator, but you may still come across manual machines which do not have meters.

Electronic Machines and PC-based systems

Electronic and PC based machine games, often have touch screens and multiple games available on one machine. This type of machine will usually have two meters, a physical meter and an electronic meter, and may often be connected to accounting and communication systems via wireless technology or cabling.

Because the machines are connected to communication and accounting systems there will be standard reports available, which will be useful for any compliance checks, for example reconciliation reports on cash collection to meter readings. You can compare these records to the physical meter reading where there is a physical meter.

Good record keeping is an indicator of compliance for machine games duty.