Machine Games Duty

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

This guide is also available in Welsh.

You do not 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.

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

Who’s responsible for registering and paying

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

  • premises licence, for example for gambling 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

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). When you stop being the tenant, you need to cancel your registration.

You are not responsible for MGD if you supply the machines, unless you also hold the licence or permit for the premises.

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

You may have to pay a penalty if you do not register when you should.