Machine Games Duty

1. What you pay it on

You may have to pay Machine Games Duty (MGD) if there are machines that give cash prizes on your premises. You pay duty on:

  • slot and fruit machines, and other gaming machines
  • quiz machines and other ‘skill with prize’ machines

You don’t pay it on machines where the prize is less than the cost to play, or on takings from charity events, tournaments, lottery machines or if the machine is for domestic use.

Your takings from machine games will be exempt from VAT if you pay MGD.

Who’s responsible for registering and paying

If you’re responsible for MGD you’ll need to register, send regular returns, pay duty and keep records.

It’s your responsibility if you hold any of the following licences:

  • premises licence, for example for gambling duties or alcohol
  • family entertainment centre gaming machine permit
  • club premises certificate, a club gaming permit or club machine permit
  • prize gaming permit or amusement permit
  • registration certificate including a club registration certificate
  • bookmaking office licence or bingo club licence
  • licence to sell alcohol in Northern Ireland

If your premises doesn’t have a licence, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will ask someone else, usually the manager or owner, to register and pay the duty.

There are different rules if you’re the tenant of a pub. You’re responsible for MGD, not the premises licence owner (usually the pub’s owner).

If you don’t register when you should, you may have to pay a penalty and be made to register.