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guyblue10
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Opening an old penny arcade in the UK

Postby guyblue10 » Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:51 am

I've just turned 50. I've started thinking about what to do in my retirement which, unfortunately, is at least 10 years away. I have been toying with opening a small old penny arcade, more to give me something to do in my dotage rather than have any great commercial ambitions.

I imagine it would work like all the rest, charging £1 for ten old pennies.

I'm finding it difficult to work out what permits/licences would be needed and would appreciate any help:

Planning permission for the premises would be required, but what classes are acceptable? Is A1 retail OK?

Gaming permits. Do you need anything? Because you're charging for coins and technically don't have the ability to win coin of the realm are any required? If so, what sort?

Public Liability Insurance - Is there a trade body that provides this to its members?

Anything else I haven't thought of?

Thanks in advance

Guy

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JC
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Re: Opening an old penny arcade in the UK

Postby JC » Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:29 pm

The best advice you'll get......DON'T DO IT.
Think of something else to do.

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moonriver
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Re: Opening an old penny arcade in the UK

Postby moonriver » Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:58 pm

Opening a penny arcade has been all discussed before at length on the forum.
I would agree with Jerry, don't bother unless its completely subsidised by a very high footfall successful tourist related venture and if that were so they could do it themselves anyway.

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coppinpr
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Re: Opening an old penny arcade in the UK

Postby coppinpr » Fri Oct 28, 2016 6:27 am

What area do you live in?

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pennymachines
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Re: Opening an old penny arcade in the UK

Postby pennymachines » Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:49 pm

Hi Guy,

Off the top of my head I can think of ten members of this forum who operate or have operated vintage amusement arcades in the UK. By all accounts it requires some determination and dedication and the rewards, for the most part, are not financial. Without these people, public awareness and appreciation of the unique delights of vintage amusements would disappear completely.

Here are a few old threads you might find helpful:
Future of Vintage Penny Arcades
Traveling arcade insurance
Something interesting on Ebay for a change
"The Lucky Coin Amusements" original 1960s arcade

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treefrog
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Re: Opening an old penny arcade in the UK

Postby treefrog » Fri Oct 28, 2016 6:08 pm

I like many others have had pipe dreams about doing an arcade, but in reality, I have no time or energy....

most of us have considered not so much setting up a fixed arcade, but mobile stall for occasional use at fairs and functions. From my recollection without going through all the posts on this, you would not need a gaming license for this where no reward is offered. The key obstacles would be things like insurance, mainly third party liability, health and safety and general operating issues on the road, like fees, power requirements, staff to help etc etc

I have two fairground stalls a large nice Hoopla and very large side joint, both considered for this use. When speaking to a guy I bought the joint from, he operated around 10 stalls and other fairground amusements and had a good business renting out to functions, corporate events etc and said he had given up doing proper fairs as too much hassle. You have fixed fees and no hassles, except maybe dealing with drunk people at a company xmas party...

I believe you maybe able to make a living doing something like above with a variety of entertainments, but a lotta work...

By the way I loved that large arcade mr PM showed the link to "lucky coin amusements" the guy was trying sell for ages, asking lots of cash and was just too big for me....

guyblue10
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Re: Opening an old penny arcade in the UK

Postby guyblue10 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:13 pm

Thanks for the replies so far.

Having read a lot more on the subject on this forum and beyond, I still have the same questions, albeit a little more refined:

Planning Usage: This would be in a permanent structure, rather than travelling. Which Planning use class is required? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planning_ ... in_England Is it A1 "Shops and Retail Outlets", D1 "Museums/Public or Exhibition Halls", or something else?

Operating Permit: The consencus on here seems to be that if the arcade has only "amusement only" machines, it doesn't need a gambling commission permit. As soon as you add a "game of chance" - something that pays out - then you do need a permit. I did find this http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/Ga ... cence.aspx on the Gambling Commission site: "You do not need an operating licence from us if you have machines that do not offer a prize, or the prize is worth the same or less than the money paid to play the machine." This would appear to include most allwins and a lot of, if not most other vintage machines that only pay out the original stake.

Public Liability Insurance: Is there a trade body that provides this to its members? The Showmen's Guild was mentioned but this appears to be only for travelling operators. Are there any others that provide Public Liability Insurance for it's members?

I welcome any more comments/answers

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moonriver
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Re: Opening an old penny arcade in the UK

Postby moonriver » Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:00 pm

Amusement arcades are a sui generis planning use, that's to say they have their own use class and therefore you have to apply for planning consent for your premises.

See 'Family Entertainment Centre'

You will find most large insurance brokers will have access to the market (even if Lloyds of London) to find specialist cover including Public Liability.

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pennymachines
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Re: Opening an old penny arcade in the UK

Postby pennymachines » Sat Oct 29, 2016 2:04 pm

guyblue10 wrote:Gambling Commission site: "You do not need an operating licence from us if you have machines that do not offer a prize, or the prize is worth the same or less than the money paid to play the machine." This would appear to include most allwins and a lot of, if not most other vintage machines that only pay out the original stake.
Actually, very few allwins only return the player's coin, and those that only pay one coin usually give another turn as well and therefore fall within the modern definition of gaming. In practice, vintage arcades have operated gaming machines (including mechanical bandits) for many years now, without recourse to GC licensing. As far as I'm aware, this is possible because at least some local councils recognise them as primarily tourist/museum attractions, not gaming rooms. Problems could arise if a nearby licensed amusement arcade took umbrage and reported you to the Gambling Commission. An arcade operating machines on old coinage with a policy of not buying back the coins would seem to have a good defence against the gaming charge. Pachinko is treated as an amusement activity by Japanese authorities because the parlours don't buy back Pachinko balls for cash (although they're exchanged for prizes and these prizes can be exchanged for cash at other premises).

jpmhotpot
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Re: Opening an old penny arcade in the UK

Postby jpmhotpot » Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:13 pm

Go for it...... guyblue10 !!YIPPEE!!


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