Arundel arcade brothers sentenced for £170k tax evasion

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TWO brothers from Walberton, Arundel, who ran amusement arcades across Sussex and Kent without paying £170,000 in gaming duty have been sentenced.

The brothers’ gamble failed when officers from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) seized 86 illegally-operated gaming machines from their premises last year.

In June, HMRC officers visited four amusement arcades in Bognor Regis, Brighton, Crawley and Tunbridge Wells, seizing the machines and more than £19,000 in cash.

Operators George Gess, 39, and his brother Joseph, 45, both of Eastergate Lane, Walberton, Arundel, were arrested at the time.

Appearing at Lewes Crown Court on Friday (February 1), George Gess was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 180 hours of community service.

Joseph Gess was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.

HMRC assistant director David Margree said: “Gaming machine operators are legally required to pay gaming duty.

“If they do not, we make concerted efforts to collect that duty.

“As a last resort, we will always step in and seize machines so they are not run at an advantage over honest operators.”