Posted on: July 2, 2021 Posted by: James McQuiston Comments: 0

Slot machine gambling has been insanely popular over the last century or so, with Charles D. Fey’s initial Liberty Bell invention more than living up to its expectations. Unfortunately, however, the slots industry has also had to deal with its fair share of legal troubles.

Slot machines were actually illegal in the first few decades of their existence, and their relationship with the law has often been troublesome. Ever wondered whether it is illegal to own a slot machine in the UK? Read on for the answer or play now!

Slot gambling in the UK: A legal history 

Right then, before we get into answering the question of whether it is illegal to own a slot machine in the UK we think it is well worth exploring the legal history of slot gambling in the UK. Not only is this valuable background knowledge, but it is also incredibly interesting to see how the industry has evolved in tandem with the legal side of things. 

Funnily enough, up until 1960 gambling machines in the UK had to have an element of skill involved in order to pay out real money, which meant that slot machines wouldn’t have been allowed. After the 1960 Betting and Gaming Act this all changed, and slot machines quickly proliferated across casinos, pubs, bars and even chip shops. The next big change came in 2005 with The Gambling Act, something that significantly expanded legislation to deal with online gambling. 

Under these laws slot developers and online casinos were obliged to disclose the RTP of slots on their sites, and the UK Gamblign Commission was also formed to safeguard consumers. An even more recent UK slots law has limited the maximum bet on land-based terminals to £1, something that gambling analysts expect to see enforced in the online sltos world fairly soon too.  

Is it illegal to own a slot machine in the UK? 

Right, so is it illegal to own a slot machine in the UK? Well, this actually depends on a fair few factors. The most important is the question of in what capacity are you owning a slot machine. For example, do you own a slot machine in a private household? Or do you own a slot machine in somewhere like a pub or bar? 

Furthermore, is the slot machine working with real money? Or is it a fun free version? For real money slot machines in the UK non-private owners will need a licence from the UK Gambling Commission. Territory is a bit murkier for private owners – it is of course illegal to have people gambling on a slot machine in your house, but if it is just you doing it the law would probably pass a blind eye. 

A few reasons why you would own a slot machine in the UK 

There are quite a few reasons why you would own a slot machine in the UK, here are a few of the most prevalent:

·         Pub landlord

·         Slot gambling enthusiast

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