The Gambling Commission has warned pub licensees to make sure they are on the right side of the law when it comes to games machines.

The commission said it wanted to remind businesses that machines presented as offering games such as roulette, bingo or poker are gaming machines and require a different licence to skills with prizes machines (SWPs).

The commission said it was keeping a "close eye" on the boundary between the two types of machines and already had an investigation underway into suppliers of apparently non-compliant gaming machines.

It warned that suppliers may offer pubs machines as SWPs when they are actually gaming machines and that they should take particular care over machines with prizes above £50.

The commission's national compliance manager for gaming machines, Stuart McPhee, said: "Put simply, machines that look like casino or bingo games are gaming machines and therefore can only be made available for use with the appropriate licence or permit.

"If you are making prize machines available in your pub, club or arcade and are uncertain of their legal status please check with your supplier or manufacturer that you are not breaking the law."

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By Neil Gerrard

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