Two brothers who ran amusement arcades in Sussex and Kent without paying £170,000 in duty have avoided a jail sentence.

George and Joseph Gess’s gamble failed when officers from Revenue and Customs (HMRC) seized 86 illegally operated gaming machines from their premises last year.

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

George Gess, 39, and Joseph Gess, 45, both of Fairfield, Eastergate Lane, Walberton, near Arundel, were arrested.

At Lewes Crown Court George Gess was given a 15-month suspended sentence and was ordered to do 180 hours’ community service. Joseph Gess was given a 12-month suspended sentence and was ordered to do 100 hours’ community service.

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

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