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British Casino and Card Room Gaming

The United Kingdom allows casinos, slot machines at bingo halls, and card rooms. The casino industry is regulated by the Gambling Commission through the 2005 Gambling Act. There are also a large number of gaming machines located in bars and restaurants that are not regulated by the government.

Gaming machines are popular in the United Kingdom. The distribution of these machines is estimated to be 14% at licensed gaming centers, 10% at clubs and casinos, 8% at bingo halls, 62% at arcades and pubs and 6% at other locations.

The Gambling Act 2005 provides for the following types of gaming machines:

Category A: Gaming machines with unlimited stakes and prizes.

Category B1: Gaming machines with GBP 5 stake, GBP 20,000 prize restricted to casinos.

Category B2: Gaming machines with GBP 100 stake, GBP 500 prize restricted to casinos and betting shops.

Category B3: Gaming machines with GBP 2 stake, GBP 500 prize restricted to adult gaming centers.

Category B3A: Gaming machines with GBP 2 stake, GBP 500 prize restricted to bingo halls.

Category B4: Gaming machines with GBP 2 stake, GBP 400 prize, restricted to members’ clubs.

Category C: Gaming machines with a maximum GBP 1 stake and GBP 100 prize, which will be located in pubs, bingo halls and age-restricted gaming arcades.

Category D: Gaming machines with a maximum stake of between 10p-GBP 1 and a maximum prize of between GBP 5-50, located in family arcades.

In 2014, the government announced it would raise the tax on high-stakes gaming machines from 20% to 25%. The tax increase came on the heels of an effort to slow down betting on fixed-odds betting terminals, which allowed gamblers to bet up to GBP 300 a minute.

Casinos have voluntarily agreed to flash warning messages when, on these machines, punters have spent GBP 250 or been on a machine for 30 minutes.

In July 2007, the U.K. banned smoking in all enclosed public spaces, including nightclubs, casinos and bingo halls.

The smoking ban was put into place over the objections of operators. And in January 2009, the British government allowed the payouts to be raised from GBP 35 to GBP 70 on category C machines to try to mitigate some of the losses incurred by the gaming machine sector due to the smoking ban.

In February 2008, a British appeals court declared that poker is a game of chance, which means a private club that wants to offer it must have a license under U.K. gambling law.

In July 2008, the U.K. Gambling Commission approved licensed casinos to carry pai gow, Let It Ride and four variations of Texas Hold'em.

In May 2018, the U.K. government reduced the maximum betting amount on FOBT machines from GBP 100 to GBP 2 as part of a set of consumer protection measures designed to combat gambling addiction. The industry fought back against the measure the measure claiming that it will result in hundreds of betting shop closures throughout the country. As a result the government delayed the implementation of the stakes reduction until 2020.

British Casino and Card Room Gaming Properties

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