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Price: £2.50

October 19 – October 25, 2012 • No. 2286 •

Mega Bars Big Hit

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So when the House of Commons returns what if anything has actually changed? Nick Clegg looks more hapless than ever. Ed Miliband is now a One Nation politician with his copy of Sybil under his pillow.And the PM got through. Does any of it matter?



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Coinslot Industry news Seaside amusements Machine Games Duty Latest machine charts B2B Listings For sale, wanted + jobs Jabro Surreal Soccer Comment and opinion

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Test purchasing remains vital says Gambling Commission REGULATION

Test purchasing remains as the only effective way of ensuring age and access standards are being properly maintained, regardless of perceived fairness of process. ollowing some recent coverFCoinslot, age of test purchasing in the Gambling Commission has received a number of questions from operators on the issue. In response, the Commission’s head of regional enforcement and compliance, Mike Williams, has explained the regulator’s position. He told Coinslot: “Test purchasing for age verification is still a vital issue for the industry.The possibility of the Gambling Commission and local authorities conducting further tests themselves is always under consideration.” The Commission’s position has already been set out in an advice note which is available at .uk. And in the past 18 months the Commission reports that it

has seen considerable progress, in particular by the larger companies as well as a number of medium sized operators in the area of age and access. But despite this improvement, the Commission warns that vulnerabilities remain and need to be addressed by operators. The advice note explains that “…the Commission will generally not prioritise test purchasing in sectors and on themes where it is satisfied that operators have in place their own arrangements for monitoring compliance, that those arrangements are effective and the results are made available to the Commission.’ As far as age verification goes, this normally means that operators pay for a specialist company

Deadline passes for respo COMPETITION


he Rank Group continues to play a waiting game as the Competition Commission (CC) continues its investigation into the operator’s proposed acquisition of Gala Casinos. The process has, at least, moved one step closer this week with the deadline for submissions from interested parties having been passed on Tuesday. The Commission was prompted to look into the deal by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) on August

20 when it made reference to the transaction under Section 33 of the Enterprise Act 2002. The Commission’s main concern is whether the acquisition would result in the creation of a merger situation and, if so, would that then result in a substantial lessening of competition in the UK casino market. The OFT’s original submission to the CC raised questions over whether the deal would

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But what’s especially interesting ... is the way in which the mood surrounding B2 has swung back and forth. It was Tessa Jowell who first put FOBTs on probation, then the CMS Select Committee put them on parole, and now it appears they’re back on probation again.

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October 19 - October 25, 2012 • No. 2286 •

Scientific brings three brands together under SG Gaming banner INTEGRATION


to conduct tests on their estate using young adults.Subsequently, the operator provides the Commission with the details and explains what action they are taking to remedy failings. Furthermore, the note contains a message for licensing authorities. To encourage consistency of approach LAs are encouraged to speak to the Commission before they conduct test purchasing so that they can target their resources on operators who are not heeding the advice note. The Commission also noted that it has been encouraged to see that BACTA has taken the constructive move of setting up a scheme for its members.Williams added, however, that while the BACTA scheme was a positive sign and a number of operators have followed the processes contained in the note,the take up has not been universal. For smaller operators in particular it’s vital that they engage with their

licensing authorities locally to let them know what steps they are taking to monitor the effectiveness of their own safeguards against under age access. “Operators shouldn’t need reminding that for premises like betting shops and adult gaming centres entry to the premise by a young person is an absolute breach of the Act,” added Williams. “It’s not sufficient to focus exclusively on whether the young person placed a bet or how long it took staff to stop them playing on machines. We have already had discussions with the industry to explain that machine interaction is a key issue for us. “Test purchasing is a very powerful tool in certain circumstances and we will not hesitate, working in conjunction with licensing authorities, to use it where we think there are vulnerabilities that operators are not managing to our satisfaction.”

r responses to Rank deal result in a “substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the UK for goods or services, including the supply of casino services (i) at a national level in the UK, and (ii) at a local level in the areas of Stockton-on-Tees, Aberdeen, Bristol, Cardiff, Stockport/Didsbury, Liverpool/New Brighton, Leeds, Edinburgh and Bradford. Should the CC conclude that the acquisition may be

expected to result in a significant lessening of competition in one or more markets, it says it will consider whether, and if so what, remedies might be appropriate. In any consideration of possible remedies, it will take into account whether any relevant customer benefits might be expected to arise as a result of the acquisition and, if so, what these benefits are likely to be and which customers would benefit.

The Global Draw, Barcrest and Games Media, three of the biggest names in gambling, have been integrated into one single brand that will be known as SG Gaming. ollowing a series of acquisitions and planned integration, Scientific Games Corporation has announced the joining together of its three subsidiaries, The Global Draw, Barcrest and Games Media,to operate as one division titled SG Gaming. The formation of SG Gaming brings together more than 700 employees across 12 countries operating under one brand. Customers, says Scientific, will benefit from the expertise of an extended team of industry and technical experts, committed to creating compelling content, terminals and experiences for the international leisure and entertainment industries. A syndicated statement issued on Wednesday predicted that the move “will allow SG Gaming to build on its existing strong position in the LBO, pub, arcade and bingo sectors as well as further advance its ambitious strategy for interactive gaming and continued international growth”. The newly aligned trio of companies will have the following management structure: Steve Frater assumes the role of executive chairman of SG Gaming, with Ian Timmis as chief executive officer, Robert White as chief operating officer (COO) and Gareth Phillips as chief technology officer (CTO).They will be supported by the four current managing directors, who will continue to lead their relevant business channels: Phil Horne, for UK LBO (The Global Draw), Chris Sullivan for pub, arcade and bingo (Barcrest and Games Media),Alex Stephens for interactive, and Michael Koch for international business. Commenting on the launch of SG Gaming, Frater said: "The three


businesses are all leading players in their own right withThe Global Draw pioneering gaming terminals in the LBO sector and Barcrest and Games Media producing renowned and successful content for the leading pub, arcade and bingo operators. Now we are able to further combine their core strengths and expertise to create a powerful international force.” He added: "Our industry continues to evolve and we are committed to remaining at the forefront. By bringing the three businesses together under one division,we can expand our selection of world-class products, content and training for our customers which will ultimately benefit their players." Confirming SG Gaming’s commitment to excellence through one single entity, he continued: "We are driven to exceed the expectations of all our stakehold-


ers, whether they are our employees, customers or the end consumer. By establishing one brand, we can all execute on one vision and offer a consistent experience across the business." SG Gaming will be headquartered in Feltham, London, with additional offices situated in Manchester and the Midlands, and international offices in Mexico and Puerto Rico.According to the firm, it will continue to communicate directly with its customers and partners regarding future developments as they unfold.

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Coinslot October 19 - October 25, 2012




Bob Rudd buys assets of Kingsley Sime ACQUISITION

ndependent operator Bob Rudd has Iannounced its second business buyout this year. In a statement issued on Monday this week, the firm

revealed: “We are pleased to announce we have bought the assets of Kingsley Sime. The business was a sensible fit and will be incorporated

into our Warrington, Leeds and Newark depots. With the new possibilities of improved game content we see this as a massive opportunity

to drive cash box.” The company’s Nick Rudd told Coinslot: “This latest acquisition is a show of intent and is the second acquisition this

year, while times are tough we are quietly pleased as to how things are going.” Earlier this year, Bob Rudd bought out the Masterplay business.

RLMS plays the long-ball game at Pirelli Showcase SHOW REPORT


Widnes fast food outlets visited by Commission REGULATION

Fresh from a hugely successful showcase at the home of Burton Albion FC, the RLMS Sales team was left feeling positive about business drummed up on the day and brimming with football analogies. LMS Sales welcomed a crowd of operators from across the business last week at the Pirelli Stadium in Burton-upon-Trent for its showcase event.The firm had assembled a strong line-up of the latest products and,on initial reflection the day was declared a welcome success. Boss Phil Boulton commented: “With Burton being the home town of RLMS Sales, this was always going to be a home derby of immense interest and, on reflection, it didn’t disappoint. In a season that has thrown all sorts of challenges at most teams in the league,back in the summer RLMS Sales has benefitted from new owners (Novomatic), after many months of speculation.”


Commenting on the attendance, Boulton noted:“On preticket sales we had an idea of potential turn-out and we achieved about 80-90, largely from single site,AGC and bingo. Half-way through the day, we were delighted with the reaction from the guests. I couldn’t have asked for a better turn-out.” The firm’s Tony Glanville commented: “We had a strong line up and, although a little experimental, it gave us an indication of what we can do moving forward.Recent additionsAbet and King Cash were seen for the first time by many and we believe they will be the stars of 2013. We also had Clockwork Oranges and Magic Cash Box and the new Casino King from Project (Category B3 Compendium)

ambling Commission and border agency teams joined G police on a late night crackdown


which created a stir.” In keeping with the football theme inspired by the showcase’s venue, Glanville went on to say:“Given the current trading climate, we felt it important to show our strength and we had no less than six new hi-tech titles from Bell-Fruit Group. Whilst Access all Areas may be substituted, there seems to be no hold-

on five Widnes takeaways last week. They found that two of the locations did not have a premises licence holder. Chris Carney, Cheshire police licensing enforcement officer who led the operation, said: “This is one of a number of multi-agency operations that have been carried out in partnership in Halton. Regular checks are carried out at premises across the borough to ensure that they adhere to their licence conditions. Action will be taken against any premises in ing back on Treasure Island Call breach of their licence. The laws of Booty and Strike Gold, a formi- surrounding late night refreshdable duo which will challenge ment premises exist to ensure that any attack. New B4 Cops N Rob- they operate safely.” bers Streetwise also had a run out Councillor Stef Nelson added: for the first time, to the apprecia- “Strict conditions are applicable to tion of many club operators. all licence holders, and we will Player of the season, Skill Ball always be vigilant in enforcing Zingy, didn’t disappoint either these rules in the interests of and again, will be a permanent public health and safety and the fixture throughout 2013.” good of the wider community.”

New BFG initiative will maximise machine up-time MANUFACTURING

ottingham-based gaming machine producer Bell-Fruit Games has made a major N contribution to the on-going campaign to

efficiency savings for our customers and enhanced machine income for their customers, the pub retailers.I am delighted that we have been able to work in partnership maximise machine up-time with the introwith the machine operators and to now be duction of a QR code on the inside of each BFG’S QR CODES in a position where we can provide their of its models. Once scanned, the QR code GIVE MORE engineers with quick and efficient access to provides engineers with the latest software INFORMATION the critical information they require about information about the game courtesy of a TO ENGINEERS our products when they are in the field.” read-only file on the Bell-Fruit website.The According to McLoughlin,such initiatives latest deployment of QR technology follows John McLoughlin, sales and marketing offer a perfect example of how the coin-op an earlier Bell-Fruit initiative which enables players to scan a label mounted on the director at Bell-Fruit Games, said:“This rep- sector can look outside its own environmachine glass which gives access to infor- resents another industry first for the com- ment to improve its technological clout. He pany which will result in significant added:“There’s no doubt that as the indusmation on features and general game play.

try moves forward and adopts technologies used in other sectors we will see much greater use of smart phones by engineers and collectors. Smart phones provide an array of benefits to people who have a ‘hands-on’ role with our machines and the use of QR codes, will play an important role in delivering enhanced efficiencies.” The firm’s latest QR initiative is part of the programme of ‘investment in innovation’ outlined recently by managing director John Austin and which encompasses games design, licensing, infrastructure, staff development and market dynamics.

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Coinslot October 19 - October 25, 2012



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Cat C market offers warm welcome to Reflex products MANUFACTURING


Reflex Gaming appears to be proving that even in a depressed market place, there are opportunities to be had as long as you have the right product and a sound approach. aming machine manufacturer Reflex Gaming has laid claim to currently being the second most prolific supplier of Category C machines in the UK. The firm has issued the declaration despite only having released its first model for this market segment earlier this year. Managing director Quentin Stott was quick to put some justification as well as hard and fast numbers behind the statement, saying: “Clearly, the UK sector has altered significantly this year and we saw the opportunity to enter with our first Category C title, Alice’s Wonderland. The response to this


GamCare Conference will discuss ways forward for beating problem gambling

machine was outstanding and now we have a second title, Lady Luck Double Take, which is also doing phenomenally well.” He added: “Given that industry estimates put the Category C market volume at 13-15,000 machines a year, over 52 weeks this means that the supply into the market is around 288 machines. Reflex is already manufacturing 130 machines a week, which means we must be currently at least the second most significant supplier of Cat C in the UK.” According to Stott, Reflex Gaming is now looking at ways in which it can increase its manufacturing capacity, particu-

larly given the early test results for Lady Luck DoubleTake,which he says are overwhelmingly positive. “Lady Luck Double Take proves that we are not ‘one-hit wonders’,” he explained. “It is performing exceptionally well on site test and has already secured retailer approvals STOTT: THE UK from Mitchells & Butler, QUENTIN SECTOR HAS ALTERED Enterprise Inns, Fullers, SIGNIFICANTLY THIS YEAR Orchid,Hall &Woodhouse, Wadworths and Admiral Taverns. We want the market to know that we are investing heavily in Category C; we have the capacity to meet demand and we have more quality titles in the pipeline.Watch this space!”

King Cash joins Hook Line and Winner on iPub DIGITAL

ational machine operator Gamestec has announced the addition of a second N ‘join the party’ community game title for

and with the success of our first community game, players have been wanting more.The arcade classic section on iPub its iPub offering. King Cash will accom- has been a fantastic hit, especially Bar X pany Hook Line and Winner on the digital and Hook Line and Winner, and the numplatform.A statement issued by the firm bers we are already seeing for King Cash this week explained more about the ration- looks like we have another great addition.” Elsewhere, Gamestec has announced ale behind the new launch. “Until iPub brought Hook Line and Winner onto the that its iPub-driven “Best of British” campaign has now come to an end. Said the state of the art terminal, comoperator: “After a staggering munity games could only be response details of the found in arcades and bingo winners will be available halls;and players love the extra shortly, as will the results opportunity that games with of the feedback. Entrants the community aspect grants were asked a series of them,” it noted. gaming related questions Gamestec product direcfor an opportunity to win a tor Lee Jefferson, focusing terrific weekend for four, on the choice element of which includes entry to a VIP iPub, commented: “We night at the Hippodrome know from iPub’s game casino and a stay at a top data that players want London hotel.” variety and game choice,

are currently well underway Pfor reparations GamCare’s Annual Conference 2012. Now in its 15th year, the event will be held at IET London in Savoy Place. A spokesperson commented this week: “The GamCare conference is the premier event for professionals to come together and discuss issues around social responsibility and problem gambling. The conference will bring together gambling, public health, clini-

cal, academic and media professionals to discuss how we can extend our work for the benefit of problem gamblers and their families.” Among those confirmed to speak at the event are GamCare president Lord Sharman of Redlynch, Professor Jon Grant of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Chicago and editor of the Journal of Gambling Studies, and Neil Goulden, chair of the Responsible Gambling Trust.

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Coinslot October 19 - October 25, 2012



B2B COMMENT NEWSWEEK REPORT The essential guide to machine games duty - the impact, the methodology and the products to beat it. 11

Al Murray licence continues to spell success for JPM

Conference aims to demystify social gaming phenomenon


It’s a case of perfect timing for JPM International as the launch of its latest instalment in the Al Murray licence coincides with the TV funny man’s current sell-out UK tour. he eagerly anticipated Al Murray’s The Only Way is Epic has been unveiled this week by JPM International. This second in the series Category C release continues the tradition of being high on entertainment and the launch neatly coincides with the popular comedian’s current sell-out UK tour. The firm’s Paul Bursnell is confident that Al Murray’s The Only Way Is Epic will be well received by players throughout the UK. He commented: “The game’s predecessor, Al Murray’s Beautiful British Game, enjoyed a fantastic reception by the Category C sector. Retailers


responded with rapid approvals and sales through our distributor AMG Leisure have been phenomenal.” JPM is of the opinion that there are a variety of factors contributing to its Category C success. Added Bursnell:“For JPM, Al Murray The Pub Landlord represents a significant investment in both games development and licence acquisition. This has been at a time when there are genuine fears from retailers and operators about the lack of choice in the UK Category C analogue market. Contrary to an approach taken by many, JPM has lived up to its promises of support for this sector and we believe the

market understands and respects this commitment and has responded positively.” In the best JPM tradition, Al Murray’s The Only Way is Epic has an abundance of features, fully incorporating the latest technical standards, and requiring skill and judgement on behalf of the player.A three-reel multi-stake game with a lapper adding to features, streaks and cash, feature entry is via a reel win or by completing a row or column in the Pints matrix. This matrix may hold over on a 50/50 basis from non-winning games. The entertaining darts feature invites players to accept or refuse


a hidden cash offer generated by a spinning mini reel, t h e process continuing until the player accepts the offer or only one value remains on the artwork. The darts feature is also accessible to players successfully completing a trail of 12 numbered pool balls.And in true Al Murray style, players are prompted with hints and suggestions from the man himself and JPM is assured of being on to another winner.



week. Rank is due to issue an interim management statement, while Hill is expected to publish its third quarter trading statement. Both statements are to be released on Friday.



Former Talarius executive Simon Grieve has found a new role as senior gaming executive of Fantasy League, the originators of the fantasy sports concept. He joins the business with a brief to take it into new areas with specific focus on the global egaming market. Grieve has a formidable track record in the gaming sector, having also held positions with IGT and Wagerworks.

New statistics published this week show a continued increase in the number of people taking up apprenticeships. The provisional data shows that for the full 2011/12 academic year (August 2011 to July 2012) 502,500 people started an apprenticeship. Apprenticeship starts rose from 457,200 in 2010/11, at all levels, with particularly strong growth at advanced and higher levels. Skills minister Matthew Hancock said: “Hitting the half-million mark is a momentous achievement for this government’s apprenticeship programme. It shows our passion for skills, and is a ringing endorsement from employers and apprentices alike, who are reaping the benefits of a more highly-skilled workforce.

STATEMENTS AT THE READY Rank and William Hill are scheduled to feature in the financial press this

Totally Gaming, taking from February 5 to 7 IatCEplace ExCeL London, will be a mecca for international attendees wanting the latest insight on social gaming. As well as being able to meet with leading exhibitors in the field on the ICE show floor, visitors will also be able to benefit from the influential ICE Conferences programme, which will provide contemporary updates on social gaming provided by many of the world experts in the sector.The conference programme will explore the phenomenon from the full range of gaming perspectives and involve over 20 social game developers and thought leaders including representatives from William Hill, Ladbrokes, Praesepe plc, GamCare, PKR, Dragonplay, Buffalo Studios, RocketPlay, Diwip Games,Akamon Entertainment, Slingo and Yazino. The Monetising Social Gaming conference, which takes place on Wednesday February 6, provides an indepth analysis of the convergence of casual gaming and social gambling.The day features panels of thought leaders including Ben Dale, international development director at Ladbrokes and Neale Deeley, business development director of William Hill.The conference will go to the heart of the relationship, debating whether social gaming represents a threat or an opportunity for the gambling sector. Ewa Bakun, head of content, gaming, at Clarion Events, said: “The evolving convergence of casual gaming and social gambling, and its ultimate effect on the wider world of gambling, is currently leaving us with more questions than answers. The ICE Conferences programme is aiming to help the industry avoid the mistakes made by other sectors, such as music and publishing, which resisted the drive of innovation until it was almost too late.”

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Coinslot October 19 - October 25, 2012



COMMENT NEWSWEEK POLITICS So, what did the Tory Party Conference tell us about the state of UK politics and the coin-op industry’s standing in it? 31

Parke takes on commissioning role at RGT APPOINTMENT

he Responsible Gambling Trust has Tannounced that Jonathan Parke has been appointed as the charity’s director of commissioning. Parke, who was a senior lecturer in consumer behaviour at Salford Business School, University of Salford, has

published over 30 peerreviewed journal articles, book chapters, government reports and other publications and has given over 40 conference papers and talks regarding internet gambling, gamblingrelated risk, self-regulation and sustainable practices

in gambling provision. In addition, he has provided consultancy services to regulators, industry and other stakeholders and held a number of advisory roles including as chair of both the National and International Expert Panel of Gambling Machines (Gam-

bling Commission) and as Expert Advisor on internet gambling and gaming machines (Responsible Gambling Strategy Board). RGT chief executive Marc Etches explained: “The trust’s focus will increasingly be on commissioning evidence-

based evaluation of service provision and attending to a broader research agenda. Critical to future commissioning decisionmaking, particularly in relation to treatment services, is to know that the money the Trust grants is achieving the best possible out-

Wandsworth Councillors bid to stave off casino developments

EAG organisers map out a wealth of access and accommodation options EXHIBITIONS


Visitors to EAG in January can look forward to much improved transport and accommodation facilities in and around London’s Docklands. n the wake of the celebrations of a spectacular London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, visitors looking ahead to the forthcoming EAG International Expo are set to benefit from the huge investment in transport infrastructure and increased hotel capacity. Voted ‘Europe’s Best Business City’ for 18 years, London offers a staggering array of business and entertainment options, notably ExCel London, which once again will be home to EAG from January 22 to 24. According to show chairman Martin Burlin, EAG visitors and exhibitors are well catered


for when it comes to ease of access.“Our exhibitors tell us that excellent access by road, coupled with efficient loading and unloading facilities, make ExCeL a great choice for the show,” he reported. London ExCel benefits from three onsite Docklands Light Railway (DLR) stations providing ready access to the Jubilee Line on the London Underground. The Jubilee Line connects with all other lines on the Underground and has been recently upgraded to achieving greater capacity and 33 per cent faster journey times.This means that for show visitors planning to stay in London’s West End, ExCeL will be an even

shorter commute. For air travellers, London’s Heathrow, Stansted, Gatwick and Southend airports are all within one and a half hour’s journey time. London City Airport is actually within walking distance of ExceL (weather permitting) and handles over 350 flights a day to 40 UK and international destinations. Those not wishing to travel quite so high may elect to try the new cable car service linking Greenwich and the O2 Arena to ExCeL.With a river crossing every 30 seconds at a height of around 50 metres, this less conventional route to the show is likely to be popular as

andsworth Council has reiterated its anti-casino W stance this week, with offi-

some visitors opt to stay across the river in the attractive and historical Royal Borough of Greenwich. The newly re-designed EAG International Expo website features easy to

use interactive journey planners with links to convenient mobile apps.The site also provides access to some great hotel deals via the Expo’s hotel reservations partner, Event Express.

North West Region set to celebrate in style CHRISTMAS BALL

etails of one of the coin-op sector’s most D popular industry events

comes both in terms of minimising problem gambling and in offering good value for the money spent. In developing our future commissioning plans, we must ensure that decisionmaking is always fair, consistent, objective and evidence-based.”

mas Ball in style at the prestigious Imperial Hotel, Blackpool, on the have been announced evening of December 7. this week. BACTA’s North Described by the organisWest Region will be cele- ers as a “…fantastic event brating its annual Christ- to start the festive

season”, it will have a ‘Jubilee’ theme. Attendees can look forward to dancing to a live band and a DJ guests and they will be able to take advantage of special

accommodation rate at the Imperial, with event sponsors receiving two free tickets.Tables are for 10 and smaller size parties are welcome.All proceeds from the night will be

donated to North West Region charities. For accommodation details and tickets those interested parties should contact:

cials hoping to continue to block any hopes of the borough becoming home to a casino. However, there will still be public consultation on gambling policy per se in line with legislation which requires local authorities to undertake reviews every three years. Launching the consultation, councillors on the culture, environment and community safety committee offered the view that the borough’s largely residential nature renders it an unsuitable location for new casino premises. The borough first installed its ‘no casinos’ policy back in 2006 in line with the Gambling Act 2005. Councillor Jonathan Cook, the local authority’s culture spokesman, told press: “Our view is that allowing casinos could prove a big nuisance to local residents, while the borough’s thriving night-time economy could also be badly affected and this would be bad news for existing local businesses.” The consultation provides residents, who incidentally are thought to be in favour of a casino in the borough, with an opportunity to oppose the council’s ‘no casino’ strategy. They have until next Friday to submit their views.


22-24 JANUARY 2013


ExCeL London Exhibition Centre

w w


For further information contact: Karen Cooke. Tel: +44 (0)1582 767 254 - mail:

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Coinslot October 19 - October 25, 2012


BLACKJACK BINGO all on the Paragon SWP...? See page 13

Amusements Dreamland site makes it onto English Heritage ‘at risk’ list




Pier project can begin in earnest thanks to council backing


The amusement sector hasn’t been forgotten by English Heritage in its latest bid to ensure that the UK’s best known features can be safeguarded for the future. Dreamland and the Winter Gardens are on the radar. nglish Heritage has launched the Heritage at Risk Register 2012 and announced an ambitious programme to find out how the one major element of our heritage not already covered by the Register - the nation’s Grade II listed buildings - can be assessed. Adding those found to be at risk from neglect, decay, damaging alterations or dereliction to the national or local At Risk Reg-


isters would be a first step to securing their future. Included in the‘at risk’list are two sites that are wellknown to the amusement and gaming sectors, Margate’s Dreamland and Blackpool’sWinter Gardens.As far as the former is concerned, English Heritage has focused on the site’s Scenic Railway. It said this week: “Built in 1919-20 as the main attraction of the Dreamland amusement park, the Grade

II Scenic Railway is Britain’s oldest surviving roller coaster. Badly damaged by fire in 2008, it has become a sad reminder of Margate’s heyday as the south of England’s pre-eminent seaside resort. Its restoration is crucial to the cultural and economic regeneration of the town, which is why English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund are supporting Thanet District Council’s plan for the Dreamland

Trust to breathe life back into the amusement park with the Scenic Railway at its beating heart.” In an explanatory note on the current status of the Winter Gardens, English Heritage appeared to be more encouraged by its prospects, saying: “Changing social and economic conditions have rendered the complex financially vulnerable and it is suffering from widespread manage-

ment issues.A major repair and refurbishment programme is underway and works are progressing well.” Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, said:“Grade II buildings are the bulk of the nation’s heritage treasury. When one of them is lost,it’s as though someone has rubbed out a bit of the past something that made your street or your village special will have gone.”

Park operator gets set to make £20m investment PLANNING

orfolk holiday firm Richardson’s has N launched plans to invest £20m in new tourism accommodation near Great Yarmouth. The company, which owns the Seacroft and Hemsby Beach holiday parks, is aiming to build a 260-room hotel as part of a 10-year redevelopment scheme. Should the proposal be accepted, work on HEMBSY BEACH IS OWNED BY the project will commence RICHARDSON’S in late summer 2013.

well as create jobs. While it is too soon to predict how many new jobs might be generated, the operator has pointed out that at the very least it would be able to switch its 50-plus seasonal staff contracts to a 12-month arrangement as there would be no need to close the facility off-season. The plans were welAccording to Richardson’s, the scheme will add value comed by Trevor Wainto the area for tourists as wright, Labour leader of

Great Yarmouth Borough Council, who told press:“It will bring a huge amount of investment in to Hemsby.A hotel would be excellent news for the borough and the jobs that would be created in the construction and running of it - it’s a terrific idea.” Richardson’s won’t have too long to wait for the outcome of their application a decision on the plans is expected in December.


ollowing on from last week’s news that Pier FAmusements, the owners of Felixstowe Pier, had submitted ambitious plans to radically overhaul the structure, Suffolk Coastal District Council has issued its response to the application. They have been given the go-ahead to build an entertainment and conference venue complete with restaurants, retail units and an observation tower. According to the designer behind the plans, Haydn Evans, the new-look pier could be open by as early as Easter 2014. In the end, Suffolk Coastal councillors were unanimous in their backing for the project, offering particular praise for its striking design, adding that it would create a new landmark for the resort. Operations director for Pier Amusements, Andrew Green responded: “It’s great news - we are very pleased. The real work starts now. We have a multitude of plans to look at and finalise, tenders to go out and contractors to be appointed.”

2286-p11-22-Essential:Coinslot NEW



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Essential Guide to...

This week’s machine charts

Machine Games Duty

24 B2B Listings and Marketplace

26 Classified ads and opps



‘Customers will have more confidence under MGD’

Jabro Surreal Soccer standings

Tony Boulton, managing director of Project, discusses the wideranging ramifications of Machine Games Duty and how he believes it will affect his business and the wider coin-op industry. ll of our analysis and thinking suggests that the removal of Machine Licence Duty and the introduction of MGD will have quite wide ramifications for the industry.The work that we have undertaken suggests that our customers will have more confidence when testing machines and working towards achieving the optimum machine mix. Under AMLD operators were forced to make judgments about the correct number of B3s in relation to Cat Cs against the backdrop of the licence duty requirement, which essentially served as a handbrake on machine investment. There’s no doubt that MGD will provide operators with greater flexibility to fine tune their machine offering and make seasonal adjustments if necessary.The AMLD regime deterred operators from introducing additional machines, which, whilst profitable, would have attracted the additional duty. From February, the system will allow for the introduction of niche products which may not constitute the biggest earners will, nonetheless, contribute to the bottom line. The distributors are absolutely correct in the ‘buy now or regret it later’ assertion. Providing a machine is operational by February 1, operators will be able to claim back around 80 per cent of the VAT - that’s up to £1,300 per machine.It’s a bit like having a VAT increase on new cars. If you know what model you want to buy then why wait? From our perspective it’s very much a rising tide, whereby all of the machine categories will benefit from MGD in the future. B3 is the main income driver but in order to have a full complement of B3s, operators will need to have the right volume of Cat Cs and Ds. I think we


“The interaction of VAT and MGD means that life in the leisure and gaming sectors is going to become significantly more complicated than it is currently...” OCTOBER 19 - OCTOBER 25, 2012

The essential guide to machine games duty 11

will see a change in the proportion of Compendium B3s against dedicated stand-alone models. Under AMLD, operators wanted to generate maximum income from the fewest number of machines, hence the popularity of Compendiums, from which we enjoyed considerable success. Under the new MGD regime we anticipate a sharper focus on dedicated stand-alone games and a balance more in keeping with what you see in the United States. We are encouraging our customers to look at the product mix in a new light, to rethink their strategies and to look at niche products more favourably. Furthermore, with the demand for more bespoke products, manufacturers will have the opportunity to create a wider range of game styles and entertainment propositions which will enhance variety and ultimately the choice on offer to players in AGCs and bingo clubs. Any development which allows operators to adopt more progressive buying strategies has to be good for the business at large. Under AMLD, a lot of operators removed machines simply because of the additional tax burden. Whilst this makes commercial sense, from a retail perspective it’s tantamount to a supermarket having empty shelves. We are retailing entertainment and we need to deliver an experience as exciting and dynamic as possible, which I believe means having a full complement of machines on offer. MGD will benefit the business by giving operators greater freedom to try new product styles and to increase their machine count - both of which will help to bring more players across the thresholds of AGCs and bingo clubs throughout the country. Coinslot OCTOBER 19 - OCTOBER 25, 2012


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Essential Guide to ... Machine Games Duty Market Perspectives MGD - a definition

Get ready for February

MGD is charged on the playing of dutiable machine games where customers pay to play the games in the hope they will win a cash prize that's more than the cost to play the machine. MGD is not payable on machine games that only offer non-cash prizes or only cash prizes that are less than the cost to play.

MGD replaces Amusement Machine Licensing Duty (AMLD), and where MGD is payable you don’t have to pay VAT. It begins on 1 February 2013.

Registering for MGD

Machine Games Duty and VAT

If you have dutiable machine games you’ll need to register for MGD with HMRC. As a general rule, you’ll need to do this at least 14 days before any machines are available to be played. However, there is a different deadline for the introduction of MGD. If you know you will be making machines available for play on 1 February 2013 you must register before 1 January 2013.

Machine games that you pay MGD on will be exempt from VAT, and businesses registered for VAT might become either fully exempt or partially exempt. This means you may not be able to claim all or some of the input tax on your purchases. If you’re registered for VAT, you should read the guidance relating to VAT and exemption.


AMLD is dead, long live MGD The industry braces itself for another challenge in February 2013 - the onset of MGD. From speaking to some of the country’s major manufacturers and distributors the message is very much ‘fail to prepare and prepare to fail’. hether we like it or not, a new taxation system for gaming and amusement machines has been introduced and will come into effect on February 1 next year, replacing AMLD and VAT. Rather than approach the advent of MGD with dread, however, the prevailing attitude among coin-op’s foremost manufacturers and distributors seems to be to grab the bull by the horns. The likes of RLMS Sales and AMG Leisure have already held open days this year, in Burton and Kings Lynn respectively, along with the annual summer Park Avenue event in London.All of these were arranged with a view to not only understanding what MGD is, but how best to cope with the new tax regime and, more importantly, how best to prepare for its introduction in February 2013. AMG Leisure’s director Mark Sowray was keen to point out that while time is tight, the onset of MGD represents opportunities to do off-season deals. He stated:“There is still a window of opportunity for operators to buy next year’s products now and still claim their VAT back. We have been working alongside finance companies who have put together some very attractive deals with lowseason payments to allow operators to purchase at this time of year.” Furthermore, manufacturers such as Concept Games believe that the implementation of MGD will see 20p machines with £8 and £10 jackpots play a very important role in all sectors.To this end, the firm has been actively preparing an extensive range of conversion kits with differing stakes and prize options in order to fulfil player requirements. Astra Games, long-established at the vanguard of creative machine manufacture, took the bold step recently to chair a brain-storming session in Blackpool ahead of MGD day.With a view to sharing ideas and resources, the company reassured delegates that despite the new tax regime it would continue to make a ‘massive investment’ in the UK coin-op sector. All sectors of the coin-op industry will, of course, be affected, not least the pub and club single site sector which accounts for thousands of AWP and SWP machines. To this end, the BBPA is urging pubs to get ahead of the


Coinslot OCTOBER 19 - OCTOBER 25, 2012

game and prepare for the introduction of MGD. It has called on the sector to take steps to ensure they are ready for the change, as licensees must register their machines ahead of January 1. Pubs can begin registering their machines from November 1. Not doing so could risk fines.To help pub owners and operators, the BBPA has published guidance on the process and how the new tax is calculated.“MGD is charged at 20 per cent of net machine taking and could affect the amount of VAT that can be reclaimed,”it said. The guidance also highlights the important issue of where responsibility falls under the new system. For managed pub companies, it is the responsibility of the company to register for MGD, whereas for all others, it is the responsibility of the lessee, tenant or freeholder. “Our key message is don’t delay, as MGD is now just around the corner,” said BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds. “This guidance should help pubs and pub companies in negotiating the new tax system.” GamesWarehouse,whose multi-media entertainment terminals form a large chunk of the SWP sector, has taken a proactive approach to MGD by broadening product choice. The company’s commercial director Andrew Henson stated:“What we’re trying to do is provide some choice. We’re looking at altering the menu and its layout, simplifying it to offer you more in terms of what games you pick on a site-by-site basis.” Jones Supernova, meanwhile, has taken the approach that if a game is innovative and - whisper this - addictive enough, the fact that the tax regime is about to change significantly is secondary and that buying one of their machines now so thatVAT can be reclaimed later is the obvious option. What is encouraging, along with manufacturers and distributors alike investigating every possible angle to make the transition to MGD a smooth one,is that leading accountancy firms such as PKF have got in on the act to offer their expertise and practical solutions to potential problems. Nevertheless, the road from AMLD to MGD is unlikely to be smooth.What operators can rely upon, however, is a raft of creative solutions in various guises from some of the UK’s most forward-thinking amusement and gaming interests.

SWOT ANALYSIS MGD STRENGTHS • Manufacturers and distributors have worked hard to offer whatever benefits they can to operators • Information about MGD and how to best address it is widely available WEAKNESSES • Fear of the unknown • A lot of ‘red tape’ for operators to wade through initially OPPORTUNITIES • Pre-MGD buys are VAT recoverable • New, creative ways of looking at gameplay and stakes and prizes • Re-thinking of business strategies can breathe new life into all links of coin-op chain THREATS • Potentially high short-term administrative costs for operators • Certain game genres may suffer


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Essential Guide to ... Machine Games Duty Market Perspectives TAXATION OVERVIEW

MGD leaves operators plenty to think about Richard Wild, director of VAT at accountancy firm PKF, has become closely aligned with the nuances of the coin-op sector, having worked with distributor RLMS to identify solutions for stakeholders as they prepare for the new tax. Here, he shares some vital tips on best practice that operators can use as they get ready for February 2013. hen it comes to preparing for MGD, operators need to be acting now, according to PKF’s Richard Wild. “It’s easy to leave things to the last minute; after all, MGD doesn’t come in until next year,” he said.“However, existing business are required to register for MGD before January 1 2013,so submit your application shortly after the system opens on November 2012 to make sure it is processed before February 1 2013 when MGD kicks in. Also your business will become significantly more complicated under the new regime, so start gearing up for it now.” Operators also need to understand how they will be affected.“Fortunately, many businesses in the sector will, at least in tax terms, be unaffected by the changes,” he advised.“So, for manufacturers, distributors and single site operators, it should be business as usual: i.e. all income remains VATable and all VAT incurred on purchases of machines and running costs remains fully reclaimable. However, those businesses making machines available for customers to play (e.g. pubs,AGCs and FECs) will see a significant impact on their business. “The abolition of amusement machine licence duty will bring significant savings but they are likely to be offset by the loss of VAT recovery on capital and running costs.” Wild warned, too, that stakeholders must understand that ‘cash is king’. He stated:“MGD applies to all games that offer a cash prize greater than the stake.A game which offers a mix of cash and non-cash prizes will therefore be subject to MGD, not VAT, if the cash element of the prize exceeds the cost to play.” AndWild was quick to back the view expressed in recent issues of Coinslot that it’s wise to invest in machine purchases sooner rather than later. “For those businesses making the machines available for customers to play, it will be cheaper (in VAT terms) to buy a machine and bring


Coinslot OCTOBER 19 - OCTOBER 25, 2012


it into use before February 1 2013.This is because you can currently reclaim some of the VAT you pay on the purchase of the machine, whereas after February 1 2013 you are unlikely to be able to reclaim any of it. “Whilst the actual amount of VAT ultimately reclaimable will vary from business to business, buying a machine that will first be used after February 1 2013 is likely to be significantly more costly.Actual use of the machine before February 1 2013 is extremely important in order to crystallise the VAT recovery.With this in mind, you may wish to think about buying any new machines this year, so that they can be delivered, installed and in use before MGD comes in.” Operators should also be reviewing VAT recovery on running costs, said Wild.“After February 1 2013, if you are subject to MGD on your income, the amount of VAT you can reclaim on your business running costs will fall.This is because VAT on overhead expenses is normally only recoverable in the proportion that VATable income bears to total income. “So, broadly speaking, if half of your income is going to become subject to MGD (and therefore exempt from VAT), you will only be able to reclaim half of the VAT on your running costs. However, that income-based recovery method is not compulsory, and we can help you explore whether any other methods (e.g. floor-space, costs etc) will give a better level of VAT recovery.” Planning ahead for purchases of prizes is another angle operators can look at.Said Wild:“If you buy a single batch of prizes for both redemption machines (subject to VAT) and to place in pushers (subject to MGD), you will only be able to reclaim the VAT on that invoice at your overhead VAT recovery rate,even though the vast majority of those prizes may relate to the redemption machines.You should con-

sider whether your supplier can give you separate invoices; one for your VATable income streams, and one for your MGD income streams, in order to maximise VAT recovery.” It might sound obvious, but Wild also noted that operators must be able to understand when 20 per cent means 20 per cent.“Currently, when working out the VAT due on machine income, the takings from the machine are treated as VAT inclusive,”he said.“So, £120 in a machine means VAT of £20 (equivalent to 1/6). However, MGD is paid on top of a machine’s net take, so £120 means MGD of £24; £4 more. So, the net take from a 20 per cent machine will actually fall by four per cent; equivalent to the VAT rate being 25 per cent! “Not only this; under the new regime the value of VATexempt income will be £120, whereas under the current regime the value of VATable income is £100. Bearing in mind that VAT recovery on running costs is normally calculated based on income, this effectively inflates the level of VAT-exempt income, as compared with VATable income, creating something of a double-whammy.” Additionally, operators should ensure that they aren’t caught on the MGD hook.“Anyone entitled to a share of the income from a dutiable machine could be liable to MGD on their share if the licensee is not properly registered,” Wild cautioned.“The MGD register will be publicly available, so operators will be able to check that their customers are registered for MGD, to avoid them being pursued by HMRC for any amounts under-declared.” And last but not least,saidWild,get advice.He concluded: “The interaction of VAT and MGD means that life in the leisure and gaming sectors is going to become significantly more complicated than it is currently.Taking early advice, from people that know the sector, could save you significant sums in the long run.”

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Essential Guide to ... Machine Games Duty Market Perspectives COMMENT


Business strategies will need re-examining MGD is coming and while the industry must face up to some harsh realities we must also look for opportunities, believes Coinslot editor Chris Murphy.

Future can be bright if preparation is right Mike Maas, CEO of Games Warehouse’s parent company AMI, spoke candidly about the firm’s wholesale re-focus since the government announced the terms and conditions of MGD. hen news of the introduction of MGD first broke cover, one of the more shocking elements contained in the announcement was that skill with prize (SWP) machinery would be ensnared by the new tax regime. For many in the industry, it was unthinkable that HM Treasury could conceive of such a move given that the skill genre has not exactly enjoyed propitious times of late. Understandably, despairing heads disappeared into nervous hands as the sector prepared for a bleak future. But that was then and this is now.And Games Warehouse, among the leading exponents of skill-based content in the market place, has responded to the MGD challenge with a demeanour usually reserved for a sector that’s been given a legislative boon as oppose to a tax headache.If you’re anticipating a damage limitation exercise, you’d be mistaken - the firm has boldly chosen to present MGD as a vehicle for new opportunities rather than lead its customers to the relative safety of the nearest bunker. So, for the first time we have - in Paragon Version 6 - an SWP that can also be a Category C or D product.As you read this, testing has begun to see how the hybrid concept will perform.According to Games Warehouse, this exploratory phase could represent one of the most extensive product testing programmes the industry has ever seen, involving as it does more than 100 machines out on site with at least a dozen different operators and a cross-section of retailers. Version 6 was given its official airing in front of operators earlier this month at two dedicated seminars, one in Fareham,the other in Leeds.Speaking briefly at the latter event, the CEO of parent company AMI Group, Mike Maas, attempted to convey the manner in which Games Warehouse has risen to the MGD challenge. He told delegates: “I get here about once a month these days and I will tell you that when I was in the office yesterday there was more energy, more enthusiasm, more palpable excitement than I have seen in at least a year.


Coinslot OCTOBER 19 - OCTOBER 25, 2012

“We are maniacally focused on this MGD opportunity. We see it as just that - an opportunity - not just for us but for all of you.The team is focused, energised and excited. We can’t wait to get this into the market.We see it as the opportunity for the industry to ‘uptake’ again and we’re excited about that.” In essence, Games Warehouse has taken what it sees as the main threats posed by MGD and identified ways that they might be negated. Looking at those threats, the firm has already acknowledged that SWP cashbox is at an all-time low.And the new tax obviously means that operators will no longer be able to recover VAT against the cashbox.There is also the risk that a second or third AWP cashbox might be better than existing SWP takes in many locations. Retailers might also be prepared to rent further AWPs rather than revenue share and competitors are likely to view Paragon terminals as ‘kit’ opportunities for Category C or D content. Having weighed up the threats, the firm came back with what it saw as a selection of definitive MGD opportunities. Firstly, the removal of AMLD will increase the viability of additional AWP product. Add to that the prospect that retailers might be reluctant to dispense with SWP due to customer demographics and the need to offer more choice on site.The firm also predicted that increased demand for new and used AWP equipment is likely to stretch the finances of operators.Another factor in favour of SWP product is that hi-tech AWPs tend to be lost on new players. A cursory examination of Games Warehouse’s Version 6 offering suggests that virtually all those boxes have been ticked. Clearly an incredible amount of thought and innovation has been applied to its development and credit where it’s due, the firm has strived to offer the market a set of solutions to a problem that hitherto never existed.What will be interesting is the way that operators respond to the initiative.There’s no understating the possibility that this could be one of the most vital product tests that the SWP sector has ever undertaken.

chris murphy foreword as long as I can remember, the industry has sought avoid being subjected to a gross profit style tax like Ftheortoplague. We’ve heard it from high-ranking coin-op veterans over the years that the last thing we needed was an ‘ad valorem’ tax regime being foisted upon operators. It was deemed undesirable to say the least. In the end, the bean counters got their way and as of February 2013 machine games duty will kick in with full force, paving the way for what many believe is a hugely uncertain future going forward. But to look at where we’re going, we have to look at how we arrived at this point in time. For that you don’t have to search too far back - only as far as the Linewebber case which aimed to strike a blow for fiscal neutrality for machine operators in the European Courts. The introduction of MGD was borne of that ruling and all those huge VAT repayments that followed - simple as. This was a well that potentially the industry could have returned to time and again; and the government recognised it needed capping - permanently. Machine games duty does just that. It applies a tourniquet that will effectively cut off any further claims, while simultaneously getting rid of amusement machine licence duty - a tax that was allegedly costing more to administer than the sum it generated for HM Treasury. So where does this leave an industry that can be somewhat averse to change - especially when it comes to tax and legislation? The harsh reality of the situation is that the tax is here to stay and it’s time to start looking at where there might be some benefits for the business. And by benefits we mean opportunities. MGD will force stakeholders to re-examine their business strategies, which in many respects is no bad thing. Key to tackling MGD will be navigating a way through what are likely to be uncertain times ahead. And the truth of the matter is that most operators won’t really know how the land lies until the duty has had several months to bed in. Thankfully, as some of the contributors to this Essential Guide have explained, there is plenty of advice for those who seek it out. But the one piece of guidance that remains constantly to the fore is that the time to act is now. Whether it’s a case of making vital investments in your business before the VAT window closes or getting ship shape for that February deadline - don’t leave it to chance and don’t leave it too late.

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Essential Guide to ... Machine Games Duty Market Analysis BINGO/AGC OPERATIONS


Taking the positives from MGD Although the government taxation levels have been set too high, Machine Games Duty is set to give operators a freer hand in terms of machine selection, according to Praesepe CEO, Nick Harding. oinslot: What are the ramifications of MGD in the context of your bingo and AGC operations? Nick Harding: I think the government taxation levels are too high and I don’t believe MGD is the ‘tax neutral’ regime that we were sold. Clearly, HMRC will have to look carefully at the implications of the high rate and its impact on the industry.The alternative analysis is that MGD has been cynically manipulated to increase tax revenues and in the process has created far more losers than winners.

reduce the cost burden of a £1,000 licence. This has meant that businesses have not been trading properly and that the machine mix has been incorrect. MGD will give operators a freer hand in terms of machine selection and venues will serve as a test bed for us to gauge the commercial benefits of having higher machine densities.The mix of machines will be more realistic, players will be able to graze from one machine to another and sites will look much busier. One of the important consequences of MGD will be a dilution of our collective obsession with average take per machine and a switch of focus to total net receipts CS: What positives can operators take for a site which is a much healthier and profrom the onset of MGD? NH: Many operators, ourselves included, gressive perspective to take.We have some have probably taken out more machines 600 machines in warehouses which we will than they should have done in order to be putting out to work and we will see what






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the outcome is. Clearly, if it’s commercially successful it will represent a sales opportunity for the manufacturers in the fullness of time. CS: Are any machine gaming categories likely to be more affected (in a positive or negative way) by MGD than others? NH: Obviously we will be siting more B3s, but I think Category C and D could also be impacted positively. CS: One view is that low-stake, low prize gaming will thrive beyond February. What is your view on this? NH: I think ‘thrive’ is too strong a word, but certainly when the requirement to acquire a new licence is removed I can see businesses becoming more courageous in the way they experiment with the product mix. In turn, manufacturers might be a bit bolder in the way they approach new regulation Category C game development.We have had a good response to new Cat C but the volume of new games coming to market has been disappointing. I am hopeful that manufacturers might be prepared to have a bit of a go with new Cat C which could represent one of the winners arising from MGD. CS: What strategy do you intend to adopt in order to maximise revenues in the wake of MGD? NH:The Praesepe businesses will all be working to optimise machine income which is a much more sustainable and longer-term strategy than simply maximising income.We will achieve this by finessing the product mix, exploring new opportunities in partnership with the manufacturers and applying the innovations in product that we hope to see with our own innovations in marketing and retailing.

Fiscal neutrality is all we want Miles Baron, the new Bingo Association CEO, believes that the future of a number of bingo clubs could be threatened under the new tax regime. chief executive officer of The Bingo and The National Bingo TGameheAssociation Association, Miles Baron, has several forthright views on Machine Games Duty, which is due to be implemented on February 1, 2013. Baron, who took over as Bingo Association CEO earlier this month, told B2B: “The Bingo Association believes that 20 per cent MGD is not fiscally neutral. It could impose up to an additional £9m burden upon the industry.” The Bingo Association believes that 17 per cent to 18 per cent MGD is a far more realistic figure reflecting the current tax burden on machines. Baron revealed that the trade body and its advisors, Ernst & Young, are in on-going discussion with HMRC to understand better and challenge the methodologies and assumptions used to calculate MGD. He added: “The Bingo Association notes and welcomes the comments of the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee that if the rate of MGD raises more than a revenue neutral figure, the Chancellor should reduce the new rate.” On a more sober note, Baron believes that many UK-based bingo halls could be under threat after the implementation of the new tax regime. He stated: “A possible 150 community based bingo clubs could be at risk of closure through the introduction of an aggressive MGD rate. They are already at risk with an average net profit of £70,000 or less.” The Bingo Association supports the longer term objective of tax harmonisation across all gambling activities at a consistent rate of 15 per cent. A former operations director of Mecca Bingo and latterly sales and marketing director, Miles Baron had been with Mecca for 29 years. Baron is a graduate of Bradford University and Leeds University Business School where he completed his MBA.

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Expect to see more hybrid machines John Powell, IOA chairman, spoke to B2B about the implications of Machine Games Duty and his group’s approach to the new taxation system. 2B: Will operators have to dramatically change their business models as a result of MGD? B John Powell: No they won’t.This is a tax on the takings of a dutiable machine being supplied by a location for example a pub or a club .The operator supplies the site and the site supplies the player. The operators’ taxable position remains unchanged apart from needing to ensure that the locations he supplies are registered for MGD. B2B: What is the IOA’s ‘party

line’ on the new tax regime now it is almost upon us? JP:We are working to ensure a consistent approach.The first priority is to ensure systems are developed to cater for this tax.As operators, we will still have machines sited that are operated under the existing VAT regime so additional fields have to be provided to cater for MGD. B2B: Will the balance of types of equipment that you operate dramatically change in 2013 and which product sectors do you think will thrive/suffer? JP:At first there will be little change. There will be opportunities in the club sector where the old Amusement Machine

Duty Rates have become a big disincentive to clubs. SWP products will be hit again being taxed at the higher MGD rate.This will hurt this product coming so close after the redefinition of SWP characteristics by HMRC .We would expect to see more hybrid machines with SWP, Category C and D content. B2B: Can you foresee a glut of machine deals being done between now and February? JP:A lot of business is contracted so the introduction of MGD will not impact on this. B2B: Are there any positives that can be taken from the new tax regime or do you see it as simply another government attack on soft gaming? JP: The move away from joint and several liability for Amusement Machine Licence Duty and largely funding this tax in advance is a plus. MGD simply plugs a gap in Treasury finances brought about by the inconsistent application of VAT due to the complexity of betting and gaming taxes.

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Essential Guide to ... Machine Games Duty Products GAMES WAREHOUSE

The perfect solution The February 2013 (v6.0) Paragon software release from Games Warehouse could offer the perfect solution for operators and retailers seeking a viable MGD opportunity. urrently on extended site test in a range of site types throughout the UK, the new operator configurable Content Menu in Games Warehouse’s v6.0 Paragon software release consists of four distinct ‘zones’ - Casino (Cat C), SWP, Penny Arcade (Cat D) and Tournament/Play-for-Fun. Operators are free to select any combination of one to four of these zones depending on site profile, permit availability and/or preferred MGD rate. The maximum number of games per screen page is four but the game ‘reservoir’ is unlimited, meaning that no games will ever be removed in the future. Within the Casino (Cat C) zone, the


focus is on casino-style table gaming applications in order to maximise the single-screen Paragon format and also clearly differentiate the product from existing reel-based AWPs within any site. The key games within this zone are Roulette, Blackjack and Super-X Bingo, and all are brand new developments. A low-cost Hopper Modification Kit (£29.00) increases the normal Paragon float level to £300 and bespoke Livery and Decal Kits and point-of-sale materials are available. “It is widely believed that the replacement of AMLD/VAT with MGD will increase the viability of additional AWP machines,” Games Warehouse said. “However, ‘more of the same’ is a short-

sighted view, and the more switched on retailers and operators should be reluctant to dispense with SWP, due to the need to offer genuine choice to an increasingly diverse range of potential players within the single site environment. “In addition, retailer demand for quality AWP equipment would logically stretch the capital expenditure budgets of operators. Finally, the high-tech AWP game format is clearly alien to the new genera-

tion of players and the appeal of the genre continues to decline. “With low AWP density potentially providing thousands of spare machine positions, the ‘hybrid’ approach being offered by the v6.0 Paragon software - that includes a new ‘direct entry’ version of Roulette and is available at zero additional software cost - could very well be the MGD Solution that the industry is seeking.”






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Ready for MGD day! Leeds based Concept Games have prepared a whole array of conversion options for inland and seaside operators in readiness for February 1, 2013. oncept's David Garforth believes that the advent of MGD will see a glut of C exciting experimentation in the UK coinop industry. He explained:“The psychological restraints of AMLD have prevented many operators from experimenting with several stake and prize options which we have always felt are very strong and from Feb 1 - all operators can use options that they would never previously have risked.” He added:“Over the last few years we have seen lower stake machines play a major part in operating but the 20p machines have always been overlooked as operators have always been wary as to whether the increase in take would be sufficient to justify the higher licence duty.” Garforth feels that 20p machines with £8 and £10 jackpots will now play a very important role in all sectors and Concept have been actively preparing an extensive range of conversion kits with differing stakes and prize options in order to fulfil player requirements. The other major factor has been the change in Technical

Standards which looks to bring greater appeal to Cat C higher and lower stake products. Concept has completed its range of kits to fit all Electrocoin base models plus four of the popular three player machines originally manufactured by Mazooma.These kits all feature double hoppers paying out silver wins on smaller jackpots when 10p is used. This is a very important factor in Cat D operating, believes Garforth. He continued: “Our machine conversions have always enjoyed that all important ‘little and often’ feel with silver wins.” The manufacturer has also created its own Genie Entropy or Deltronic system, which is able to convert any machine with a cash payout over to ticket redemption. This allows classics such as Pacmanball, Cash Kong, Donkey Derby, London Bus and many other novelties to pay tickets instead of cash. Garforth told B2B that this inclusion of ticket payout has given many of these machines a completely new lease of life.

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Deals to beat Skill Ball Zingys aren’t just for the tax man Christmas - they’re for life! With MGD just around the corner there is an awful lot for operators to consider. AMG Leisure has been very active in trying to piece together particular deals to try and beat the tax impact. distributor AMG Leisure has a number of deals in place to help operaLtorseading cope with the onset of MGD. These include deals with finance houses such as Aldemore bank. They have tailored finance packages that allow the customer to pay the VAT as a deposit (which they can reclaim) and pay small monthly payments for 11 months and pay the balance of the machine on the twelfth month. This means they don’t lose the VAT and can operate the machine on site at a very low monthly outlay for almost a year. With this in mind, AMG Leisure held an open day on 18 October at their Kings Lynn depot on the east coast. The firm showed a lot of new products that normally would be saved for the January EAG, but timing is of the essence with MGD on the horizon. AMG Leisure’s Mark Sowray commented: “We have a lot of new products, including pushers, novelty, redemption, AWPs, B3 and also a lot of special offers on our used equipment on the day. We believe that lower level gaming is well worth investing in at present with the MGD tax rate set at 5 per cent. We have a few AWPs performing very well on category D particularly Reflex gaming’s Lady luck around the clock, with ‘de-reg’ features, eye catching belly glass lighting and excellent game play. This is a real winner going into the New Year.” Lady Luck can be viewed along with others on AMG Leisure’s website. Another bonus of the AMG open day was that Linda Malcolm from BACTA was on hand specifically to handle MGD-related questions, giving operators an opportunity to gather information on what they will need to implement in the New Year. AMG also laid on a hog roast and refreshments for all guests. The firm was joined by Eservice, who will be showing the vast range of spares that they offer.

There’s a big advantage in buying before 1 February 2013, especially if you are an FEC, AGC or bingo operator, according to Supernova Games, designer and manufacturer of arguably this year’s most successful SWP, Skill Ball Zingy. ave Jones,director of Jones Supernova, believes that now is the hour when it comes to equipment buying decisions. He stated:“In our industry, many products are fast moving in terms of being a fashion item with a relatively short shelf life before the next model (i.e. of B3, Cat C, etc) comes along. Understandably then, many operators will want to leave their 2013 purchasing and investment decisions until they view the latest models at next year’s EAG show. However, to those operators where VAT reclamation is important to their business, this is leaving it too late, as they need to purchase equipment and have it operating within their premises before the 1 Feb 2013 introduction of MGD, if they are to maximise the VAT reclamation opportunity.” He continued:“Whilst Skill Ball Zingy was launched this year, such has been the success of the model, it will well and truly be a product for 2013, by those operators who will want more of them, or those who didn’t take it this year, but will be looking to next year based on its reputable performance and popularity with players. So for this sector, buy now or at least before Christmas to take advantage of both higher footfall and reclaiming VAT.” Many operators have said that they intend to purchase more Zingys next year in order to take advantage of the machines increased revenue potential when banked in multiples of four or more so it seems logical to invest before February 1 as the machine’s long life performance is guaranteed. The market for Skill Ball Zingy is extending, and a number of single site operators are getting involved, to operate the product in other sectors such as bowling alleys, motorway services and pubs. In these cases, where the purchaser is once removed from the site owner, then there is no issue in being able to claim back VAT on the purchase of Zingys, even after the introduction of MGD.Indeed,there will be a second addition to the range, Skill Ball Zingy 4S (Four Seasons), targeted specifically for the pub sector. Jones added:“To broaden the appeal of the product even further, we will also be introducing a ticket redemption version in 2013, which will also be promoted through our distribution partners


RLMS Sales and Regal Arcades. In this case,as redemption machines fall outside the MGD scope, reclaiming VAT will not be an issue. Supernova Games do not believe MGD will necessarily be a bad thing for the SWP genre. Jones concluded: “Yes, it’s disappointing that SWP was caught in the same net cast by HMRC, which is blatantly unfair, particularly at the highest rate, but in Skill Ball Zingy, we know we have developed a game of skill which makes it a credible investment for operators right across the market sectors.”

Don’t take a gamble on MGD

Find out if your business will be a winner or a loser after 1 February 2013. We can work out whether your business will be better or worse off under MGD, and highlight any changes to your VAT accounting or systems that will help you minimise the impact of the transition. In any event, talk to our tax experts and we can assist you with issues such as: UÊ liability and registration for MGD UÊ VAT / MGD treatment of income streams UÊ VAT recovery on machine purchases and running costs UÊ retrospective claims for VAT overpaid on gaming machine income UÊ general accounting, VAT and tax advice Stack the odds in your favour. Take advice, and be ready for the change.

Please contact Richard Wild Director of VAT on 01473 320744 or email

WWW.PKF.CO.UK PKF (UK) LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC310487. A list of members’ names is open to inspection at Farringdon Place, 20 Farringdon Road, London EC1M 3AP, the principal place of business and registered office. PKF (UK) LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority for investment business activities. PKF (UK) LLP is a member firm of the PKF International Limited network of legally independent firms and does not accept any responsibility or liability for the actions or inactions on the part of any other individual member firm or firms.

Coinslot OCTOBER 19 - OCTOBER 25, 2012

2286-p11-22-Essential:Coinslot NEW


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Page 9

Essential Guide to ... Machine Games Duty Products RLMS SALES


Helping to dispel MGD Urban myths

Astra to leverage opportunities from MGD

Phil Boulton, MD, RLMS Sales, told B2B about his company’s efforts to better serve the UK coin-op industry and to dispel some of the untruths being spoken about the onset and implications of MGD. tallise the VAT recovery. t RLMS Sales, we’ve been living The challenge we all have as with MGD for what seems to stakeholders is a trade show in be the best part of 2012, the third week of January. If through our need to learn and our reclamation of VAT is important involvement with PKFAccountancy to your business, then placing firm, yet, with less than one month orders at the show and expectto go before registrations open for ing build, delivery and time to operators (who make machine operate them all in the last games available for the public to play) week of January may not be there is still a huge knowledge gap practical! out there. One key message now The other challenge is that coming out from machine distriboperators feel they need to wait utors is “Buy now!” to be able to to see the most up to date claim back a large part of the VAT models at EAG. For sure, there element of the capital purchase.To will be new model developthe cynical, this may appear as a ment right throughout 2013 simple sales ploy. However, it is that (and beyond we hope) howsimple. Operators will save money ever, a lot of the first wave of on MGD-payable gaming machines 2013 models,have already been they purchase now and have in developed. They are in various operation in January. Fact. However, use of the machine before 1 February 2013 stages of being tested and we will be able is extremely important in order to crys- to sell with confidence later in November


and December for delivery in January… again, to beat the VAT reclamation deadline. Our showcase event at Burton Albion recently afforded an excellent opportunity for customers to both play some of these models and also discuss with PKF any concerns, opportunities, or just a chance to dispel an urban myth or two that they may have had. Of course, our industry is well renowned for innovation and creativity, whilst sticking within the Technical Standards guidelines.The new fiscal treatment of stakes and prize will have developers salivating over new styles of play (“MGD Friendly”) and there will be games in early development right now, I’m sure. I would class these as the second wave of 2013 models, once they have been fully tested and proven.They may miss the VAT reclamation timeline but there may be benefits in other ways. I guess it’s watch this space for all of us!


VAT and MGD - is your life about to become more complicated? Richard Wild, Director of VAT at PKF, highlights some of the risks and opportunities arising from the switch to MGD. any businesses in the sector will be unaffected by the introduction of M MGD: manufacturers, distributors and single site operators should still pay VAT on all their income and recover VAT incurred on all purchases of machines and running costs. However, there will be a significant impact on those businesses making machines available for customers to play (e.g.AGCs,FECs and pubs).The abolition of AMLD will bring savings, but these will be offset by the loss of VAT recovery on capital and running costs and, potentially, increased taxation on their takings. The introduction of MGD will bring with it some significant costs, and some opportunities. For example: • Many businesses, typically AGCs, may find themselves with no VATable income after 1 February 2013, meaning there is no entitlement to remain VAT registered, so Coinslot OCTOBER 19 - OCTOBER 25, 2012

they will have to de-register.This can bring with it a substantial one-off VAT cost because, unless the amount is negligible, businesses have to pay to HMRC the VAT on the value of their assets at the date of de-registration. For example, if an AGC’s business assets (including machines) have a market value of £100,000,VAT of £20,000 would be due. However, even the smallest level of VATable income can allow a business to remain VAT registered - a vending machine or a couple of video machines could enable the VAT registration to continue, and thus avoid this significant cost. • Income from a crane filled with toys is currently subject toVAT at 20 per cent.After 1 February 2013,attach a £1 coin or £5 note to the prizes and voila, the same income would be subject to MGD at 5 per cent.Not only that;theVAT inclusive cost of the prize can be deducted from the cash takings

when calculating the MGD liability, too. • If,after 1 February 2013,around half of your income becomes subject to MGD, the normal rule is that you will only be able to reclaim half the VAT you incur on overhead costs. However, different methods of VAT recovery can be agreed with HMRC and there is often scope to agree an apportionment method that achieves a better level of recovery. If you want to minimise the disruption from the transition to MGD, sitting back and waiting until February is not an option. Get advice now, so that your business is ready for the change.

Astra Games design director, Andy Dinning, demonstrates how, with a-Serve, one of the UK’s leading game design forces is preparing for MGD.

man than I once said: ‘you can be certain of two things in life: “deathAonlywiser and taxes’. We have no way of knowing what Benjamin Franklin’s opinion on MGD would be, but here at Astra we know that our customers rely on our creativity and innovation. The Astra team was charged with not looking at MGD as a prohibitive wall, but rather as an opportunity to get the best and most creative minds in the industry to invent, create, surprise and simply blow our customers away with what we can deliver. Using a-Serve’s state-of-the-art technology, a product future proof in design and thereby built to cope with any and all eventualities that can be thrown at it, we have explored the outer limits of what can be achieved. And we have once again pushed back the boundaries of game design. With the benefits of a true digital platform, no new regulation will hold us back. In fact, it will only serve to inspire further creativity. What we have produced is creative, exciting and revolutionary. Something that every Astra customer demands - and something that Franklin could be truly proud of.”

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1 3 2 4 5 6 7 8 10 -

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2 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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4 2 1 5 3 9 7 6


Based on data from four sites Amusement Equipment Co Ltd

FEC - adult

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Al Murray All Hail to the Ale JPM Alices Wonderland Reflex Lucky Casino JPM Cash Ahoy BFG Magic 6 JPM

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Based on data from four sites Amusement Equipment Co Ltd


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

4 2 1 5 3 9 7 6

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Advertising and Subscriptions: Coinslot International, Bolton Technology Exchange,33 Queensbrook, Bolton BL1 4AY Tel: 01204 396 397 Fax: 01204 392 748 Printer: Stephens & George Opinions expressed in this publication should not be regarded as the official view of GB Media Corporation Ltd, except where stated. Views, opinions and recommendations contained in this publication are put forward for consideration only. No action should be taken in reliance upon any such views, opinions or recommendations. GB Media Corporation Ltd nor contributors accept any responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person howsoever caused or arising as a result of or in consequence of action taken or refrained from in realiance on the contents of this publication. © GB Media Corporation Ltd, 2011. All rights strictly reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission is given, full acknowledgement of author, publisher and source must be given.

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42 43 53 43 48 43 39 41 40 34 44 55 39 42 44 54 36 35 33 39 43 32 27 35 43 44 55 35 43 42 50 42 45 47 38 46 37 43 42 27 32 54 35 50 30 35 49

374 374 373 371 366 365 362 356 354 353 351 351 349 349 349 349 348 347 346 346 345 342 339 339 339 338 337 336 336 335 334 330 329 329 327 326 325 322 318 317 317 317 313 313 312 312 310

48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94

Team Name

Manager Name

Eurocoin Scouser Simon Black Cats Yaweeshite Utd Absolute Reamsters Dan the Eurocoin Man Crank It Up E-Service Watlings Winners Squeaky Balls Shine Real TC2 CDF North of Watford 1 All I Do Is Cook Music2MyEarsMancini Shopper's Luck 2 North of Watford 2 Pride Park Playboys Eurocoin Oh Yeah Paragon Academicals Josh@E-service Fergus The Pug II AMS Golden Balls Birchwood 2 Hot Shots Hayes Jo's Assets Playmore Ltd E-Service Busby Babes TheBetterBeGoodClub Awsome Guys Showboat Allstars Clarky's Boy'z Hard Knocks The Stonkers Marcus Maximus Mothys Marvels Ock I The Noo 2 Ock I The Noo Essex Boys 2 Essex Boys 1 Tyries Twinkletoes Bursnell's Bullets Cosmic Girl Feckless Ruckers AMG Masters 1 Marcus Evans's Marvels Absolute Ranksters Crooksy's Boys Jabro Boyos

Steve Smith Simon Holmes Kevin Temple Alex Lee Daniel McLeod Richard Walton Steven Brown Luke Watling John Shaw Nick Langham Paul Wilson Louise Heyden John Shaw Steve Garrett Paul Wilson Nick Hardy Roger Atkinson Nick Hardy Josh Salsi John Ferguson Roger Jarrett Peter Hemmings Charles Hayes Joanne Crooks Andrew Shaw James Pearl John Saw Cookie Monster Ray Harris Lee Clarke James Illingworth Mike Switch Marcus Symonds Scott Yarham Ashley Temple Ashley Temple Steve Hawkins Steve Hawkins Matthew Tyrie Jo Bursnell Eileen Fleming Chris Murphy Mark Sherwin Stoo Evans Alex Lee Nathan Holmes Tony Brookes

Weekly Points

Total Points

Current Position

36 37 41 48 38 38 39 43 40 37 24 26 29 36 19 23 50 53 26 31 43 38 47 41 34 35 34 44 48 23 38 39 42 34 39 48 36 37 30 44 41 28 39 44 30 38 41

309 309 309 309 308 308 304 304 300 297 296 295 294 293 291 291 290 290 286 285 283 282 282 281 280 278 275 275 274 273 273 270 270 269 269 268 266 266 265 264 262 261 261 261 260 260 256

95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139

Team Name

Manager Name

AMG All Stars Jorzoe Utd Hand Me Downs Portman Road XI Dream Team Army Matt is E-Service Shells Strikers Opinionated Yorkshireman Shopper's Luck 1 Rachel's Rockets Jacksons Super Blues AMG 1st Team Push Of The Edge SAS FC Shopper's Luck 3 Birchwood 3 Dibbs 11 Seethee at'top Parklands Dream Team Come4U! Harry's Happy Hippies Rodneys Plonkers EeBahgum Deladiyboys Rickys Boys Candy Queen FC Bens Boys AMS - Jack's My Boy! Holty's Halfwits Dark Knights Newminators 1991 Delayzigits Pam's Posers Babs Bingo Boys Welsh Wizards Birchwood 1 Warwicks Winners Warwicks Eleven Towie Utd Ace Allinson Buckfast Wanderers JW's Dream Team Warwicks Dream Team Sherwin The British Beauties

Mark Sowray Dave Jefferson Carl Edenborough Stoo Evans Lewis Sullivan Matt Pugh Michelle Martin Simon Shaw Steve Garrett Rachel Ferguson Phillip Nelson A Cartner Harry Leavme David Holmes Steve Garrett Peter Hemmings Tracy Dibben Simon Shaw Cameron Sullivan Reece Newman Harry (not) Redkapp Rod Haggett Simon Shaw David Delay Andy Bowler Jessica Sullivan Ben Hart Jason Jarrett Tony Holt Ed Knight Reece Newman David Delay Pam Barton John Carpenter Tony Brookes Peter Hemmings Warwick Tunnicliffe Warwick Tunnicliffe Guy Weller Clare Allinson Harry Peavy Warwick Tunnicliffe Warwick Tunnicliffe David Sherwin Carol Weller

B 2 B

Weekly Points

Total Points

40 33 45 49 40 28 41 36 25 28 29 36 23 34 47 35 31 21 36 25 43 39 28 33 30 37 38 45 49 35 24 29 36 40 45 36 30 37 26 28 45 41 44 30 22

255 250 248 247 246 245 241 238 237 237 236 227 226 224 224 222 219 217 217 215 214 213 206 202 198 198 198 198 198 195 193 187 185 180 177 172 169 169 154 154 154 143 137 132 112

Coinslot OCTOBER 19 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; OCTOBER 25, 2012

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Coinslot October 19 - October 25, 2012

Comment Research into Category B2 is long overdue

chris murphy comment here was some good news last week with the announcement that Category B2 machines will finally be subject to more meaningful research. The Responsible Gambling Trust has grasped the nettle and will be putting the genre through its paces in order to fully understand what effect it has on problem gambling. Does the high-octane thrill of £100 per spin on an electronic roulette machine really have the power to give a gambler more trouble than he can borrow? Well now it looks like we’re going to find out. On a more positive note still, we can perhaps look forward to a cessation in the battle of words that appears to have found its way into these pages more times than we’d care to see. While the B2 argument has given up some good copy occasionally, there was always the risk that the longer it went on the closer it veered towards the mundane. As debates go, this one was beginning to lack the kind of focus and clarity needed to keep the really important issues firmly on the right track. The sensible way forward now is to allow the RGT to get on with the not so small task of achieving what nobody has so far been able to do - define the B2 genre and deliver some much needed professional analysis that can help shape gambling policy. From a political perspective, the RGT’s intervention must have come as a blessed relief; and it’s highly likely that legislators will welcome any data that ensures that future decisions can be backed up by empirical evidence rather than hot air and promises. But what’s especially interesting and, possibly, frustrating in equal measure, is the way in which the mood surrounding B2 has swung back and forth. It was Tessa Jowell who first put FOBTs on probation, then the CMS Select Committee put them on parole, and now it appears they’re back on probation again.This one could run and run.

RGT’s Marc Etches is committed to filling the gap in B2 evidence


Who’s better, who’s best?

Some big claims have the casino market a

alex lee media watch s bowling centres increasingly look to cater to famiA lies, amusements are proving to be an indispensible attraction, according to the Intergame website. Bowling is among the most popular leisure activities globally. Simplicity is often the key to great games and, because as a concept it is so easy to grasp, bowling attracts players of all ages and all levels of ability. Although it is certainly true to say that in some markets the bowling market is relatively static, elsewhere stateof-the-art bowling centres are drawing customers in their droves. In today’s economic climate, of course, the majority of consumers are seeking the most value for their money. Consequently, bowling now competes with a host of other leisure activities. Operators have long known that to offer

food and beverage outlets and other forms of amusement alongside the game itself helps deliver a more wellrounded entertainment experience. In today’s climate, these secondary amenities most notably arcade amusements - are becoming increasingly important. “Retaining customers,” said Ricardo Cuppi, new centre product and segment manager at bowling manufacturer QubicaAMF, “has always been a major goal for all locationbased business operators but now it is more important than ever before.” Meanwhile, an $11.7m win at a London casino by top American poker player Phil Ivey has been referred to the British Gambling Commission, a source familiar with the casino confirmed after media reports surfaced that the payout was being withheld.

Ivey hit a winning streak over two nights in August playing punto banco at Crockfords, Britain’s oldest private gaming club, according to The Daily Mail. The source, who declined to be identified because he has been asked by Crockfords not to speak about the case, confirmed the accuracy of the Daily Mail report. The source did not provide details of why the win was referred to the Commission, which regulates commercial gambling, and said the casino has not had contact with legal representatives for Ivey. Both the Gambling Commission and Crockfords declined to comment. Punto banco is a form of the baccarat card game favoured among high-rollers. Ivey, 35, has won eight World Series of Poker bracelets and more than $6.2m during his career. With his sixth-place ranking in the WSOP and his

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Coinslot October 19 - October 25, 2012

“The European Attractions Expo came to a close in Berlin, Germany, on Thursday (11 October), with the event proving an important one for the pay-to-play industry.”





“ ”

quote unquote

“Speeches by party leaders at party conferences are rather like a Chinese meal. They taste good at the time but you are soon starving. Today’s speech by the PM was no better or worse than his previous speeches.” BACTA’S PETER BINGLE ATTENDS THE TORY PARTY CONFERENCE.

“It’s difficult to imagine a European amusements and attractions event with better transport options and certainly not one now accessible by cable car across the Thames! In 2012, EAG International Expo’s visitors travelled from 61 countries so transport links and a choice of good quality hotels are extremely important.” EAG CHAIRMAN MARTIN BURLIN PAYS HOMAGE TO EAG’S EASY-ACCESS CREDENTIALS

“I am delighted to take up the role of director of commissioning at the Responsible Gambling Trust and am thrilled to be able to assist the charity to establish effective and robust evaluation processes for its funded activities, as well to develop and implement its emerging research strategy.” JONATHAN PARKE ON HIS NEW ROLE AT THE RGT

big claims have been made in industry-related press articles of late, in the bowling sector, sino market and even from a regulatory standpoint.

penchant for playing highstakes, the organisation calls him “arguably the best poker player in the world.” And finally, it seems that the Gambling Commission has gone all high-tech, according to a story in The Gambling Commission is an important regulatory watchdog in Great Britain since it is tasked with keeping the industry free of crime, protecting children and vulnerable people from being harmed and ensuring gambling is conducted both

fairly and transparently. They were faced with the issue of having around 25 per cent of their employees working remotely as compliance and enforcement managers since the demands of these positions leaves little opportunity for face-to-face meetings amongst colleagues, they needed to find a way to keep home based employees engaged with head office colleagues so that everyone could work better together. In addition, the Commission’s current voice platform, Cisco Unified Communications Manager, needed to be upgraded in order to continue meeting their particular business challenges. As a respected IT service provider with a successful track record in delivering solutions for complex data networks and other critical corporate technologies, 365iT was able to offer the

Gambling Commission the right answer to their needs. Since 365iT have for some time been in partnership with world-class network technology vendor Cisco, they recommended, designed and fully deployed the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) for Unified Communications as the remedy to boost the Gambling Commission’s IT and business operations. Not only had 365iT forged a trusted relationship with the regulatory body over several years of providing solutions for them, the Gambling Commission saw the strategic value of the proposition to use Cisco’s UCS in that it provides an integrated system that can be easily managed from a centralised platform. Cisco UCS is able to unite a company’s servers, network, storage access and virtualisation into a cohesive system.

Osborne needs to get his sparkle back BACTA’s political expert Peter Bingle attended the recent Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham and felt that there were few highlights, bar the performance of Boris Johnson.

peter bingle politics t was a curious gathering in Birmingham. The first point to Imake is that the ICC is a terrible venue for a party conference. It has no atmosphere and you could spend the entire week trying to find the conference hall. I am sure that in years to come they will find the mummified remains of elderly Tory delegates who got lost and were never found again! The second point is that this was the mid term conference in a fixed term parliament. Many people therefore decided to stay away. I hope they return next year. I have my doubts.The third point is that the mood was flat.The Hyatt Hotel was barely full on the Monday evening. In days of old it would have been overflowing. The fourth point to make is that with the exception of Bozza (Boris Johnson) there were no great speeches. Bozza had taken a large dose of loyalty pills and almost behaved himself. He was the only senior Tory who combined insight, humour and conviction. Judging by his reception when he arrived at Birmingham New Street station and the views of countless cabbies the idea that his brand doesn’t work outside London is complete tosh. I am starting to believe that Bozza is the only Tory who can deliver a working majority at a general election. The fifth point is that the Chancellor was curiously subdued. What has happened to his swagger, disdain and confidence? I had the chance to talk to George at the Telegraph Party where he was as charming and funny as ever. His speech was low key and contained no real red meat or any element of surprise. Perhaps the criticism he has had to endure since the Budget has taken its toll. I want to see George back to his brilliant best. The sixth point is that there

were a large number of Tory MPs who simply did not turn up. It was Tory MP-light and this had an impact on the atmosphere, buzz and quality of delicious gossip. This year's conference was dull. The seventh and last point is that you can tell how well a party is doing by the number of commercial exhibitors. On this basis, the Tory Party needs to re-engage and re-energise its relationship with the business community.There is still no Tory version of Geoffrey Norris at Number 10 which two years into government is not just baffling. It is a serious mistake which could have huge implications for the government in 2015. I was pleased to catch the train back to London. I had lots of good meetings and my clients had a good time. I have to admit, however, that after 32 years of attending conferences I am beginning to have my doubts about their value. I have long believed that you only do things at conference that you can’t do better in London. I think it is time for my industry to have a complete rethink about the advice they give to their clients on whether or not to attend. So when the House of Commons returns what if anything has actually changed? Nick Clegg looks more hapless than ever. Ed Miliband is now a One Nation politician with his copy of Sybil under his pillow.And the PM got through.Does any of it matter? Not really, but the Chancellor needs to get his sparkle back or the PM will really be in trouble. As for Andrew Mitchell who was clearly told not to come to Birmingham it simply isn’t tenable for him to keep his job as Chief Whip. His imminent demise is the one thing that makes Tory MPs smile!

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IAAPA toasts EAS attendance growth EXHIBITIONS

The Euro Attractions Show continues to pull in a growing number of qualified buyers each year, with numerous UK-based leisure groups striking up new business relationships at the 2012 edition of the IAAPA-run expo. he number of registered visitors on the second day of the Euro Attractions Show (EAS) 2012 was up 16.6 per cent on last year’s event, according to preliminary data from organisers,the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). As of 2pm on the second day of the show, which took place last week at Messe Berlin, Germany, 7,774 visitors had walked onto the show floor, compared to 6,668 at the same time last year. And while IAAPA anticipated a number of additional delegates would visit the show on its last day (Thursday,October 11), the second-day figure had already sur-


passed the grand total of 7,052 guests in 2011. Numerous UK-based coin-operated amusements and leisure companies were in attendance at EAS 2012,including major supplier JNC Sales; Formula K, the go-kart group; PMS International, the plush and redemption products specialist; and Embed-Playsafe,the diversified back-office systems and player loyalty services provider. Suzo-Happ Group exhibited at EAS for the first time this year, with a joint stand from its UK and German offices.“The show was well attended and there were plenty of enquiries on the Suzo-Happ booth, mainly

for change machines, note and coin counters and our LED products,” commented the company’s John Vallis. “It is not usually the type of show we in which would exhibit our products. However, from the orders we closed and the enquiries we took, we would definitely consider exhibiting next year.” Steven Beverley of PMS International, added:“The show was hugely successful for us. In terms of orders, new customers and interest in our new items we easily outperformed 2011. “The quality of customer was good and footfall was excellent.The first two days we were non-stop busy. The show times of


11am to 6pm were perfect as the expo had a real buzz. It felt more focused and concentrated without the‘lull’periods you can sometimes get at these events. “We received great feedback on new licenses such asAsterix and Power Rangers, and new incarnations of Littlest Pet Shop, My Little Pony and Skelanimals were very popular with customers,” Beverley added. “We also did well with existing favourites such as Nintendo, Scooby and the Talking Friends range.” The total number of qualified buyers visiting EAS 2012 was 5,427 on day two of the expo, up 21.2 per cent on the 4,479 reported last year.



16-18 5th Balkan Entertainment and Gaming Expo (BEGE) Inter Expo Center Sofia Bulgaria

16-18 ENADA Rome 2012 New Rome Trade Fair, Rome Italy

19-20 Surexpo 2012 Expo XXI Warsaw Poland

26-27 Forbes 2012 Prague Czech Republic

UK EVENTS NOVEMBER 2012 6 BISL Annual Conference Lord’s Cricket Ground London UK

13 GamCare Conference IET London,

22 BACTA Convention & AGM QEII Conference Centre London UK

INTERNATIONAL EVENTS NOVEMBER 2012 12-16 IAAPA Attractions Expo 2012 Orange County Convention Center Orlando Florida, US

13-15 SAGSE Buenos Aires Costa Salguero Convention Centre Buenos Aires Argentina

PETITION PAVES THE WAY FOR DEBATE IN THE HOUSE The government petition threshold required to spark a Parliamentary debate on the beer duty escalator has been passed. More than 100,000 people have added their names to the growing campaign which was launched by beer brand Hobgoblin back in February. Support has been immense, attracting big names from the pub sector and trade associations including the British Beer and Pub Association and the Campaign for Real Ale.

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds commented: “Thanks to the huge numbers who are supporting the campaign, this should be a real wake-up call for the government. I hope even more people will now sign, as further huge annual tax hikes must not go ahead. They are hurting pubs and destroying our ability to create much needed jobs.” MGD OPPORTUNITY AT CONVENTION Trade body BACTA has invited firms who have potential solutions to the MGD conundrum to come forward at its Convention next month. According to the association, there will be a 10-minute slot for each firm to demonstrate its products on the day, although this was dependent upon the response from interested parties.


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