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Jackpot! Police seize 49 illegal gambling machines from Hackney social clubs

PUBLISHED: 09:38 14 May 2018

Police seizing the gambling machines. Picture: Hackney Council

Police seizing the gambling machines. Picture: Hackney Council

Archant

It wasn’t a lucky day for 17 social clubs in Hackney when police stormed their premises to seize 49 illegal gambling machines.

17 social clubs across the borough were raided. Picture: Hackney Council17 social clubs across the borough were raided. Picture: Hackney Council

Cops worked with Hackney Council, HMRC and the Gambling Commission on the bust last month.

None of the premises had authorisation to have the machines, many of which were wooden and had been illegally made and supplied.

Fruit machines, betting terminals and video poker machines were all seized. Manufacturers require the green light from the Gambling Commission to make the machines, which have to comply with strict regulations over the way in which they play, the frequency they pay out and the labelling.

The machines are now being held in a secure facility in the event the owners come forward to claim them. However, should they do that they will be incriminating themselves.

Police seizing the gambling machines. Picture: Hackney CouncilPolice seizing the gambling machines. Picture: Hackney Council

The unclaimed ones will be disassembled and destroyed, or recycled if possible.

Investigations are ongoing to trace the supplier.

Hackney’s public realm director Aled Richards said: “Businesses have to register or be licensed for gaming machines with the council and pay duty on machines that pay out cash prizes – the operators of illegal machines are exploiting their customers and may be avoiding tax.

“I would like to thank the Met for leading on this operation, with the support of council officers, HMRC and the Gambling Commission.

49 machines were seized. Some were illegally manufactured. Picture: Hackney Council49 machines were seized. Some were illegally manufactured. Picture: Hackney Council

“If anyone is concerned about gaming machines that may be illegal, they can contact the council in confidence and we will investigate.”

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