AN ILLEGAL fruit machine has been seized from a takeaway by police.

Officers from Bolton Police’s licensing team visited Pizzas and Roosters in Bradshawgate after they discovered the machine was being used in the eatery.

It was seized before it was emptied of money and is expected to be destroyed.

It is illegal to have gaming machines in takeaways, cafes, taxi offices and food shops.

Clubs, bars and betting shops are allowed the machines if they have been granted a licence.

PC Andy Vernon, from the police’s licensing team, said: “We are aware there are premises in the borough that have gambling machines illegally.

"They need to remove them or they will face prosecution.

"There’s a likelihood that if we do have to seize them they will have to be destroyed and they will be referred to the gambling commission.

“Gambling is a licensable activity. Even pubs and clubs need a permit from the local authority to have them.

"Takeaways, cafes and taxi offices are no longer allowed to have them. The presence of a gambling machine in some places can cause an increase in violence.”

The machine was seized earlier this month.

A spokesman for Pizzas and Roosters said: “Somebody put the machine there, I don’t know who, we are trying to find out at the moment.

“We didn’t know that we were not licensed or that you needed one.

“The machine was there a long time ago and it is out of order at the moment.”

Police say they will continue to clamp down on machines placed illegally.

The seizure follows a number of undercover purchases carried out by police to reduce the amount of pubs, bars and shops selling to people who are underage.

A Gambling Commission spokesman said: “We were pleased to offer support, advice and guidance to the police in this case.

"Working in partnership with local law enforcement agencies is key to the commission’s approach in keeping gambling fair and safe.”