TIME is running out for Bolton’s bookmakers, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, pubs, clubs and other venues operating gaming machines to register for machine games duty (MGD).

MGD comes into effect in just a few weeks’ time on 1 February, Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has warned.

Under the new tax regime, anyone responsible for premises from which gaming machines are provided for play must register with HMRC by Friday, January 11.

The new tax will be payable where customers pay to play a game on a machine in the hope of winning a cash prize which is greater than the cost to play.

It will replace both amusement machine licence duty (AMLD) — an annual charge for making a gaming machine available for play — and standard-rate VAT on net takings.

Affected businesses who continue to operate from February 1 without having completed the registration process could face a penalty of up to 100 per cent of the tax due, and penalties may be issued even where there is no tax due. For more information go to hmrc.gov.uk/machinegamesduty/machine-games-duty.htm