Quiz / SWP machines and the ongoing problem of "is it a game of skill"

This morning I sat down with my cup of coffee to have a quick browse through the weekly Coinslot. Right on the front page is the usual "is your quiz machine an actual quiz machine".

The article is mainly focused at the suite of games known as "Skillette" which compramises of various games including one which looks suspiciously like roulette with the exception the traditional wheel is replaced with a clock and the red and black is replaced with blue and black. This was done because one of the HMRC guidelines said if the game "looked" like a game of chance (which roulette is), then it would be treated as so and would required to be licensed. Under current law that means you would need to be paying AMLD which currently costs around £950 per year per machine. So the question is... does it still look like a game of chance ? Well it does according to the Gambling Commission as the Skillette machines are being removed from various locations from around the country.

However, when the new law comes into play on 01/02/2013 Quiz / SWP machines are captured under the same net as other games of chance such as the common Fruit /AWP Machine. We will be paying the same duty known as MGD on Fruit Machines, Quiz Machines and basically anything than can return a prize greater than your original stake. This changes the whole playing field for Quiz Machine game developers and manufacturers as since we are paying MGD on Quiz Machines why can't they have games of chance on them ?

Say for example a Quiz Machine was loaded with your usual Q&A games along with some £5 category D games and a category C £70 game, as long as that machine was responsibly sited e.g in a pub and they had all the relevant permits etc then where is the problem ? I know that pubs are allowed 2 "gaming" by default and by having games of chance on your Quiz Machine would use up one of those spaces.

The introduction of MGD will open up new possibilities for the old tired Quiz Machine. We will more than likely see hybrid machines with various compendiums on them but hopefully the traditional quiz games don't die out all together.

I have asked some of the major manufacturers of Quiz Machines and games to comment on this blog as I think it would be good to see what people have to say.

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