Deadline approaching for gaming machine operators

Amusement arcades, pubs and bingo halls which operate gaming machines have been warned time is running out to register for a new tax.

Business which operate the machines must register with HM Revenue and Customs by Friday, January 11, in time of the introduction of machine game duty on February 1.

A spokesperson for HMRC said: “While HMRS will make every effort to process late registrations, it is warning operators that it cannot guarantee that application received after January 11 will be processed by February 1.

“So, registering by January 11 is the only way for a business to guarantee that it won’t be hit by a penalty.”

Businesses which fail to register before the deadline could face a penalty of up to 100 per cent of the tax due.

There are two rates of machine game duty - a five per cent rate which applies to machines where the maximum cost per game is 10 pence and the cash prize £8 or less - and 20 per cent for all other games.

HMRC advises businesses to use its online registration service by visiting HMRC registration