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Industry news Seaside amusements Category C machines B2B Listings Latest machine charts Classified ads and opps Comment & Analysis Newsweek

COMMENT

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“European governments need to understand that we (the land-based sector) need a fair taxation regime and certain flexibility to adapt our products to the increasingly fast changing need of our customers.” 39

Pubs set to enjoy footfa SINGLE SITE

Close to a third of people many of them women - are set to enjoy the World Cup 2014 from the comfort of the UK’s bars and pubs, according to recent research. Forty-three per cent of the people who say they will take in games in bars and pubs are women, trade consultant CGA Strategy’s poll of 600 shows. Overall, around a quarter of bar and pub viewers will go and watch games in these locations even when England isn’t one of the teams playing. The results were released on the first day of the World Cup, June 12. “Televised football continues to be one of the strongest assets for pubs to drive footfall and create an atmosphere typically unavailable at home,” said CGA Strategy commercial director Tom Lynch. Other research suggests bars and

pubs could see beer sales go up 35 per cent while the World Cup is on. During the 2010 World cup, managed pubs sold 1,058 extra pints of beer, on average, while England were still in the tournament. Sales hit their peak in the last group qualifying match, in which the team faced Slovenia. Lynch said that the research indicates that international football brings in diverse demographics in a way not often seen for TV football in pubs “and arguably for pubs in general”. This offers a challenge to the conventional wisdom that World Cups “are all about blokes in the pub drinking lager,” he added. World Cups are actually more about a large-scale global event that brings mixed groups together, possibly in a way that no other does, believes Lynch. “It’s an opportunity for pub operators and drinks

Skegness set for ‘major RESORT REPORT

national hotel and restaurant chain has set its sights on coinA op stronghold Skegness. East Lindsey District Council has confirmed it has been approached by a developer interested in bringing a national name to the resort. Portfolio holder for economic regeneration Coun Craig Leyland told local press: “A developer wishes to bring a major national hotel and restaurant chain to Skegness.The site they have identified for this development is Pier Field.The developer is not yet in a position to formally name the hotelier or restaurateur.” Coun Leyland added:“No decision has been made to sell the site and any development would be subject to the full and proper planning process, with significant public consultation. The council is excited to consider the proposal, which could create a significant number of all-year

round jobs and raise the profile and appeal of Skegness as a resort.” Butlins’ resort director of 14 years Chris Baron said it was excellent news for the town. He said:“It sends out a clear, positive message that Skegness is open for business. It’s excellent news for the town.I’ve always thought that with Skegness being one of the top five seaside resorts in the country, it is disappointing we don’t have national hotel representation operating in the town. If we want the conference trade then we need to have these developments and then other businesses in the town will benefit.” Coun Leyland said:“In recent years Skegness has lost many well-known national brands from the high street, such as Marks and Spencer.The interest this developer is showing in Skegness shows a renewed confidence in


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INDUSTRY

Clampdown ensures there’s no bluffing the law

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Category C makes its mark

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Soundnet acquired by TouchTunes

footfall boom

K-based Soundnet, one of Europe’s leading suppliers of audio and visual content to bars, clubs and other venues has been acquired by TouchTunes Interactive Networks, the largest in-venue interactive entertainment network in North America. Soundnet operates throughout the UK and Europe and since 2000 has been providing audio and video content to digital jukeboxes and background music services in venues across the region. Earlier this year, the company extended its exclusive UK jukebox agreement with the Official Charts Company to supply its digital jukeboxes with the Official Singles Chart. Soundnet also recently launched the soundjack mobile app that allows consumers to select and play songs from a smartphone. This acquisition marks TouchTunes’ entry into the European market. Soundnet will continue to work exclusively with Sound Leisure in the UK supporting and growing the business together. With the continued success of the VHUB jukebox and the news that it is now the best-selling jukebox in the UK,Soundnet is looking forward to the future. The acquisition complements TouchTunes’ current business and adds a further 13,000 jukebox sites in Europe to TouchTunes’ existing 60,000 bars, clubs and restaurants across North America. The transaction is the first of a number of expected expansion initiatives as TouchTunes continues to develop and grow its product base and geographic reach. Charles Goldstuck, president and chief executive officer of TouchTunes (pictured) said:“I am delighted at the prospect of working with Simon Davis and his talented team at Soundnet. Our expansion into Europe is a priority for TouchTunes, and our coming together with Soundnet is the beginning of that strategy.”

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manufacturers to engage or re-engage consumers in the virtues of the great British pub.” Other findings are that 47 per cent of people with plans to watch the World cup in bars and pubs are in the 25 to 34 age group. Furthermore, a greater number of respondents - 50 per cent have indicated they go to bars

and pubs for Premier League games, compared to the proportion set to go for World Cup games. The Centre for Retail Research recently produced a report which forecast that football fans will be spending £2.58m in shops, restaurants and pubs during the World Cup if England get to the final.

major hotel chain’ boost

the economy in the area.” His sentiments were echoed by Baron, who said: “National retail chains looking at Skegness will hopefully reconsider, if we can encourage large hotel chains to come. It will help us put Skegness back on the map.” The two believe that if the interest shown materialises, it could spark other possible developments in the traditional seaside town, widening its appeal

and creating jobs. Baron concluded:“It would be a multi-million pound investment into the town and would create competition among businesses to drive up their standards. These hotel chains have massive databases of customers which they send offers out to, but currently Skegness has not been in their thought processes. I’m sure they’ll be some opposition to it, but I just can’t see a downside.”

ACQUISITION

UK-based Soundnet has certainly made an impression in the world of music content. So much so, that world giant TouchTunes has decided to buy it. A great tribute to British inginuity, and a real indicator that music continues to make its mark in the industry.

Alan Newham, European managing director of TouchTunes said: “Recent improvements in the state of the jukebox market in the UK make this an opportune time for TouchTunes to expand into this important market.This acquisition helps lay the foundations for TouchTunes’ growth strategy across Europe.” Simon Davis, MD of Soundnet,

concluded:“I am delighted to have signed this deal with TouchTunes. It has always been my ambition to work with the global market leaders and I look forward to the new challenges and much success.” The terms of the deal, which sees another UK company operating in the broader coin-op industry come under overseas ownership, are undisclosed.

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Happ leaves SuzoHapp

RESORTS

Workers at Bridlington-based entertainment venues have been told that their jobs are safe, despite Harrison Leisure, the company which owns them, going into administration.

PERIPHERALS

om Happ is exiting SuzoHapp Group, the manuTfacturer and distributor of

Bridlington coin-op staff jobs ‘safe’ arrison Lesiure, which owns the Bridlingtonbased Grade II listed Floral Pavilion complex, the Bayside Fun Park amusement arcade, Jerome’s Restaurant and a pair of ice cream kiosks,entered administration last month, with workers fearing for their livelihoods.After six months of negotiation, however, joint administrators Brian Johnson and Abigail Jones of Fisher Partners have been able to secure all 14 jobs and the employment of temporary workers.

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Email: al@sjc.co.uk

The company opened a Burger King franchise in 2007 which had to close due to a decline in custom at ‘great expense’ to the firm. Johnson told local press:“Harrison Leisure has borrowed from its bank in 2007 to build a twostorey unit on land it held on a long lease and to purchase a Burger King franchise. Unfortunately, the opening of the franchise coincided with the onset of the recession in 208 and visitor numbers fell dramatically. “The franchise had to be closed

at great cost to the company and despite efforts to market and sell the business last year, no offers or expressions of interest were forthcoming. In an effort to save the business, preserve jobs and maximise recoveries for the creditors, the directors and shareholders, through Harrison Leisure Acquisitions Ltd, set about the process of raising funds through a secured peer-to-peer lender and negotiating with the bank to buy out its debt and then buy the business and assets as a going concern

from the Administrators. “After six months of negotiation the deal was concluded with the Joint Administrators on May 16, 2014.” Johnson concluded:“The deal has ensured that a significant part of the Bridlington seafront has avoided being boarded up,the jobs of 14 permanent employees have been preserved as well as the jobs of temporary employees taken on in the summer season and the ultimate realisation has been maximised from the secured creditor.”

Project calls for a joined-up approach to maximise Cat C opportunity CONTENT

he importance of promoting CateTgory C gaming has never been more pressing, according to Project managing director Tony Boulton. He commented: “The B3 market has plateaued and although there is always the chance of a break through model changing the entire gaming landscape, more likely I think we have to accept this is

now a mature genre which offers very limited opportunities for growth and with no prospect of legislative changes in the pipe line. “Category C, which for many years has been the engine room for AGCs and bingo clubs, is essentially the only area that offers the potential to grow revenue and as an industry we must work towards developing the right product and allowing new models which come to market the precious commodity of time in order to engage with players.”

Boulton believes that the opportunity for growth needs to be nurtured carefully. “There can be no doubt that £100 represents an attractive jackpot,” he stated,“but as with all new prize levels it inevitably takes time to develop the right game profiles.What’s required are equal measures of patience, collaboration and a commitment to make things happen both on and off the gaming floor. The collective mindset has to be underpinned by positivity and the entire supply chain should be sharing information and insight in

order to come up with player-centric games. “Venues have a requirement to keep the offer fresh in order to be competitive on the high street and to encourage more people to walk across the threshold and experience what is safe, secure value for money entertainment. My concern is that if we don’t work to this or to a similar agenda we run the very real risk of wasting a scarce and valuable opportunity to create revenue within the low stake gaming space that is unique to AGCs and bingo clubs.”

components for amusement, vending and gaming machines. Happ has worked for the parts house for 28 years, most recently as executive vice-president. His father, Frank Happ, established Happ Controls in 1986. The Suzo-Happ Group was formed in 2004 by the merger of Happ Controls and Suzo International, which was founded 60 years ago in The Netherlands. After the Suzo-Happ merger, the group expanded with the addition of Advanced Electronic Systems, Starpoint Electrics and Dynamics Chinatec. The combined organisation has attained a global position in the amusement and gaming components and accessories market, serving more than 20,000 customers around the world. “Tom is leaving to pursue other opportunities outside the amusement industry and start the next chapter of his very successful career,” said Suzo-Happ chief executive James Brendel in a statement released by the company. He concluded: “We wish Tom luck in his new endeavours and are truly grateful for the positive impact he has had on Suzo-Happ through all of the many positions and capacities he has served in throughout the years. Tom will be truly missed.”


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INDUSTRY AMUSEMENTS LEISURE

B2B COMMENT NEWSWEEK CATEGORY C New stakes and prizes, new innovation and new ideas - how is the UK Cat C sector evolving? 10

Poker club owner fails to bluff the letter of the law SENTENCE

The Gambling Commission and the arm of the law have played a winning hand in their battle to counter money laundering and illegal gambling. In a legal first, the winning pot was imprisonment for the former owner of the Big Bluff poker club and a serious air of caution for the poker fraternity.

Cheshunt man became the first person in the UK to be jailed for running a money laundering scheme in connection with the operation of an illegal poker den after he was prosecuted by Enfield Council. He is also subject to confiscation of assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Ahmet Melin of Cheshunt was found guilty of five offences of money laundering under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 on Thursday April 10. On June 3 at Wood Green Crown Court he was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment for each offence to run concurrently. The trial judge told Melin that a prison sentence was “inevitable” pointing out that the money he made was not going back into the business and he was paying it into his own account and that modest people from modest backgrounds used the club as well as professional gamblers. He added that Melin had a long standing involvement with gambling clubs, that the operation was run illegally from the start with poker as its main function,

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that Melin was constantly pushing the boundaries through the use of false accounts, minutes and minimising his own role and that Melin regarded it as the local authority’s job to stop him from breaking the law. Melin was prosecuted after Enfield Council enforcement officers found the Big Bluff Private Members Club in Green Lanes, Palmers Green was actually a front for an illegal poker club and not a non-profit making private members club in line with its Club Gaming Permit. Commercial poker operations require a casino licence and Enfield Council’s policy is not to issue casino licences to properties in the borough. Because Big Bluff was operating large poker tournaments and all the profits from them were illegal they amounted to criminal assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act because Melin was withdrawing money from the club for his own purposes. The club was raided in 2012 by Enfield Council’s Licensing Enforcement and Trading Standards Teams, the Gambling Commission

and the Metropolitan Police.The Big Bluff Private Members Club has since stopped operating. Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Chris Bond, said: “Enfield Council took swift and decisive action when we found out the Big Bluff Private Members Club was a front for an illegal poker den. I’m pleased Enfield Council’s Licensing Enforcement,Trading Standards and legal teams worked effectively together to bring this prosecution which sends out the very clear message that we do not tolerate any illegal gambling in this borough. We will continue to take firm action against anyone stupid enough to break the law in Enfield.” Nick Tofiluk, the Commission’s director of regulatory operations (pictured),concluded:“This is an excellent example of how a local authority with Gambling Commission support is dealing with illegal gambling in whatever guise it is presented.The message is simple - if you offer poker in a club and are breaking the law, action can and will be taken.”

Man arrested after amusement arcade roof stand-off ARREST

man has been jailed following a police incident on the roof of an amusement arcade in Bridlington last A week. Michael John Campbell, of no fixed abode, appeared before magistrates in Beverley last week charged with assault by beating, harassment and using threatening or abusive behaviour, in connection with the incident. Campbell pleaded guilty to all three charges and was jailed for 26 weeks. Police negotiators rushed to the seafront last week, after Campbell refused to come down from the roof of the Forum on Esplanade. Campbell, who had been drinking, climbed on to the roof of the Forum, after a female alleged she had been

assaulted by a man who was inside Wetherspoons earlier in the evening. Police wanted to speak to him regarding the alleged assault, but he refused to come down. Two police negotiators talked to him, while other officers closed the promenade temporarily when the matter was being dealt with. An ambulance and the fire brigade were on standby, should Campbell have injured himself or become stranded. He was brought down safely into police custody and was taken to Scarborough General Hospital as a precautionary measure.


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Blackpool council sells entire stock of deckchairs BUSINESS

Claiming a dramatic drop in demand, Blackpool Council has sold off its entire stock of 6,000 deckchairs to a private company. Entrepreneur Maria Hopwood has bought them and plans to restore the canvas beach furniture which she will hire out or sell.

hester-based company Deckchairstripes, headed by Maria Hopwood, has invested more than £25,000 into a new business venture which includes the acquisition of all 6,000 of Blackpool beach’s iconic deckchairs. Traders, residents and tourists on Blackpool seafront said the news was a “shame” - and the sale of the deckchairs spelt the end of part of the resort’s proud heritage. Holidaymaker David Eccles from Wigan said: “When I was a child the first thing my mum and dad did when we came to Blackpool was to get a deckchair, but

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that seems to be a thing of the past now. I don’t know why the council would want to get rid of their deckchairs, but it seems fewer people use them, and that’s a sign of the times.” Judith Tunnicliffe, from Leeds, added: “It’s a shame because they are an iconic part of Blackpool. But the improvements along the Promenade have given people more choice when it comes to seating.” Promenade trader Paul Carpenter, owner of Rock and Gift Shop, said:“When I was a kid I used to see deckchairs on the beach for miles, and Blackpool is famous for that, so it’s sad.

They’ve taken away a bit of the heritage.” Collette Campbell,of Gifts Galore, added:“They will be missed. It’s a beautiful day today and they would all have been rented out if they were here. They still need a few because there’s not enough seating on the Prom.” A thousand windbreakers and 150 ticket machines have also been bought from the council. Hopwood said:“Heritage Deckchair Hire was borne from a mixture of high customer demand and the fantastic opportunity presented by Blackpool Council. It was by chance we came across the disused beach items from

Blackpool Council, and we took it as a sign to go forth with the new business venture. We’re utterly thrilled to be in a position to keep the iconic chairs in use - it would be an absolute travesty to lose this institution of the British summer.” The deckchairs are now available for hire for events, weddings, party venues and concerts. Blackpool Council said the deckchairs had been put into storage in September 2011 when their popularity declined because people preferred to sit on the Spanish steps built into the £100m new Promenade. Coun Graham Cain, cabi-

net member for tourism and leisure, said:“For decades the deckchairs were a familiar sight.However,over time they were used less and less until the service ceased in 2011.The new design of the seafront means people have more places to sit than previously. “We found the majority of people would sit on the new benches or the Spanish steps and there was no longer a demand for the deckchairs.The chairs had been in storage for the past three years but we recently sold all 6,000 of them. It is always a shame when traditions like this fade away but it is just a sign of the changing needs of our visitors.”

BBPA submits proposals to help small businesses

Pubco and bookmaker in World Cup promo

PUBS

COLLABORATION

mid ongoing concern over the cost of business rates to pubs, A the BBPA has submitted a series of proposals to the government focused on helping smaller pub premises.The proposals are contained in a submission to the Department for Communities & Local Government and HM Treasury, following their issue of a discussion paper on the future of business rates last month. The BBPA’s core proposal involves raising the threshold at which small businesses are defined.At present, the Uniform Business Rate has a rateable value threshold of £18,000 (£25,500 in London). In the 2013 Autumn Statement,Retail Relief was introduced for properties with RVs of £50,000 and below.This threshold could be used for the Uniform Business Rate split between large and small

businesses, says the BBPA. For a new threshold to have a positive impact, there would probably need to be a wider differential between the rates bills for large and small businesses. The BBPA also wants radical changes which would force local authorities to be more transparent, and list the reliefs that are available to businesses on their bills.The paper also reiterates the need for revaluations to keep upto-date with trends in the market, and the continued use of a ‘turnover’approach to determine an equivalent rental value as the most suitable option for the pub sector. It should be made easier for pubs to be revalued if their economic circumstances alter. The BBPA acknowledges that some of these

measures would come at a cost. There would need to be either a reduction in revenue generated from the business rates system,or larger businesses would need to shoulder more of the burden. Alternatively, more businesses such as those which operate online businesses would have to be brought within the scope of the business rates system. Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive, commented: “In the past year, the government has taken action to help pubs struggling with their rates bills. However, at up to ten per cent of pub business costs,rates remain a huge burden, and more reform is needed to get the burden down. I hope The Treasury makes this issue a priority. We also need to make it easier for pubs to be revalued if their economic circumstances alter and not just due to the current definition of a ‘material change’.”

dmiral Taverns has teamed up with bookmaker Coral to offer A both licensees and pubgoers free World Cup bets. Designed to drive footfall to pubs and get customers engaged with live televised football matches, the World Cup Football Jackpot promotion will give licensees a certain quota of free bets - for both them and their customers. The initiative will run in almost 200 selected Admiral Taverns pubs, all of which are within a halfmile radius of a Coral betting shop. Participating pubs have been given 200 £1 free bet coupons to offer customers to predict the outcome - win, lose or draw - of 15 matches from the World Cup group stages. In addition, customers watching any one of England’s three group matches live in a participating pub can use one of 100 £5 free bet codes on their smartphone via the Coral website. Admiral commercial manager

Simon Eyles told pub trade press: “The World Cup is a fantastic trading opportunity for pubs all over the country, especially given Brazil’s pub-friendly time-zone, and it offers licensees a chance to engage with current customers and to attract new ones.” He added: “Some in the industry might regard bookmakers as something of a competitive threat but we believe there are some great opportunities to build partnerships, and believe this initiative will serve as a great platform for further collaboration between Admiral and Coral.”


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2373-p08-industry_Coinslot NEW 17/06/2014 12:57 Page 1

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Scottish Parliament debates further measures to prevent problem gambling POLITICS

A debate in the Scottish Parliament last week highlighted how endangered the gambling environment has become thanks to the furore over FOBTs. Despite every single prevalence study confirming evidence of a low propensity of problem gambling, media hungry MPs have driven their profiles on the back of an anti-campaign bolstered by general hostility to fixed odds terminals. Unfortunately, this blurring of willing ignorance and dismissal of facts is getting worringly close to affecting the broader industry.

ast week, the Scottish Parliament debated problem gambling, with Stuart McMillan (Scottish National Party, pictured) asking the Scottish government what action it is taking to promote awareness of problem gambling, given its impact on communities. Derek MacKay (Scottish National Party) responded: “I recently led a summit that considered one aspect of the issue: the prevalence and concentration of betting shops in our town centres. Following the summit,we are considering a range of proposals that are aimed at tackling the problem. For example, we are looking at what planning policy can deliver. “Together with the other devolved administrations, we recently wrote to the United Kingdom government to encourage it to maximise all the options that are available to address the public health concerns that are associated with gambling.” McMillan added:“The minister

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will be aware that I recently secured a members’ business debate on problem gambling and fixed-odds betting terminals. I subsequently wrote to all 32 local authorities to ask them to consider inviting speakers from Gam-

blers Anonymous into schools to speak to pupils. A number of authorities, including Inverclyde Council, agreed to do that.” He then asked:“Does the minister agree that providing education for young people on the dangers of gambling is important? Does he welcome the move by councils to do that? Can he say more about his thinking as a consequence of the summit that he led?” MacKay answered:“The summit will produce a report of all the issues that we discussed.We heard from many experts and directly from communities, and we worked closely with local authorities. The Scottish Government agrees that a preventative approach to problem gambling is important. The preparation of young people for adulthood involves alerting them to risks.We thank Mr McMillan for his proactivity on the issue and hope that local authorities, in partnership with us, will do all that they can do to raise awareness of the risks.”

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Overseas visitor and staycation levels continue to rise TOURISM

recent report from the Office for National StatisA tics shows that the trend for a

rise in visits to the UK by oversees residents is continuing, while the number of visits abroad by UK residents has fallen slightly. Holiday visits to the UK remain strong and have risen by 18 per cent from January to April this year as compared to 2013. Furthermore, higher numbers of Brits are choosing to holiday at home. The new ONS report supports this trend, with statistics showing that the recent rise in visits and earnings from overseas visitors to the UK has continued, and were seven per cent higher in the February to April period than they were the year before. Meanwhile, holiday visits to the UK remain strong and have risen by 18 per cent from January to April this year. With staycations on the rise, the number of visits abroad made by Brits has fallen by one per cent between February-April 2014 as compared to the same period in 2013. Barclays’ head of hospitality and leisure Mike Saul stated: “Destination UK continues to be a major draw and with recent research forecasting overseas tourist spend in the UK expanded edition of its Statement growing by 34 per cent to of Principles which sets the frame- £27bn by 2017, this trend is work within which the Commis- set to go from strength to strength. sion works.

Commission publishes further changes to LCCP LEGISLATION

Gambling Commission has further changes to Tthehepublished Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice that apply to licensed gambling operators. These changes, which take effect on or after 1 August 2014, relate to improvements on the display of licensed status for gambling websites, notification of suspicious activity report unique reference numbers to the Commission, controls on the use of payment processors, and requirements for greater transparency on the risks to customer funds.

The changes follow extensive public consultation and the announcement of new controls. The publication of all these LCCP changes ensures operators have at least three months in which to make any necessary adjustments in order to comply. It also ensures that those applying for licences following enactment of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill are clear what is required of them from the outset. In addition to these changes, there is a further review to strengthen those licence condi-

tions and codes and associated technical standards relating to responsible gambling.This is being led by Gambling Commissioner Rachel Lampard. The Commission will release information on the testing strategy for compliance with its remote gambling and software technical standards in May.This will include, for example, changes to allow for the transition of games currently offered in the British market by those presently licensed overseas. The Commission will also be consulting on an updated and slightly

Warning after knifeman robs Essex arcade CRIME

perators in Canvey Island and Southend are O on alert after an armed robber stole hundreds of pounds from a local arcade. A masked man burst into

Benfleet Amusements on Tuesday last week at around 7pm and threatened staff with a knife he was carrying. Terrified, they gave the attacker a small threefigure sum in cash and he fled from the premises.

Detective sergeant Phil Smith of Essex Police said: “Whilst he managed to get away with only a relatively small amount of cash he caused fear and trauma with staff at the arcade. “We are appealing for witnesses or anyone who

knows the suspect to come forward to identify this person.” The suspect was wearing a balaclava, blue jeans and a t-shirt. He is believed to be white,aged in his mid30s and about 5ft 6ins tall and of stocky build.


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Metal robbery leaves Dreamland with £30,000 bill

Email: al@sjc.co.uk

MPs support grows for tourism VAT motion VAT

AMUSEMENT PARK

ross-party support is growing amongst MPs C for an early day motion

The sentencing of two men will be little comfort for the Dreamland amusement park, after their actions cost it thousands of pounds. he two men that left Margate’s Dreamland amusement park with a bill for more than £30,000 have been sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court. Michael Nelson,22,a Canterbury resident, was given a 20-month jail sentence - suspended for two years - after he admitted burglary. He was also put under partial house arrest for six months and is unable to leave his home between 7pm and 7am. Richard Champion, 21, also of Canterbury, received a two-year jail sentence for handling stolen goods, possessing an offensive weapon and being in breach of a suspended sentence. Passing the sentences, Judge Heather Norton told the two men: “These premises are well-known to everyone in Kent. It is also well known how often these premises are targeted by thieves.

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“It is in some respects an iconic location and one in which the people of Margate deserve to have money spent on, in order to restore it to its former glory. They don’t deserve to have it wrecked.” A heritage development official told the court that a “significant” amount of damage had been caused to brickwork and pipework in the women’s toilets on the Dreamland site. Brass balustrade items, which had a low resale value, were in fact the original 1930s fittings and would cost more than £30,000 to replace, the court also heard. Prosecutor John O’Higgins said other break-ins had occurred at the amusement park since it closed down and the total figure of £30,000 couldn’t “be put at the door” of just Nelson and Champion. He told the court that three men were seen acting suspiciously near

the site on July 6 last year:“One man was inside Dreamland and metal was being passed to two others who were on the outside and placed into two containers. “The police were called and when they arrived the three were seen standing next to a metal bin container with ornamental fixings inside and a blue barrel containing other metal.” O’Higgins said the three ran away

and Nelson crawled underneath a lorry, but when one of the officers went up to the vehicle,Nelson came out and casually tried to walk away. He added:“Unfortunately he was covered in dirt and was arrested. He later told police: ‘I didn’t do nothing.’” Champion was arrested after police found a letter at Nelson’s home indicating the pair were known to one another.

Operator speaks out over tourist office opening hours TOURISM

n amusement park operator has spoken out A against the decision to reduce opening hours at Hayling Island’s tourist information centre. The centre used to be open seven days a week, including certain bank holidays, but Havant Borough Council said it saw fewer visitors during weekends last year. Marshall Hill, a co-owner of Funland Hayling Island

The centre is now open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, but will be closed on Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays. During the peak season, from July 28 to September 6, it will only be open from 9am to midday on Saturday. The centre is now one of the only places in the area said the decision would visitor information at week- to find out about accommohave a negative impact on ends. If the council needs to dation, attractions and tourism at the resort and save money, the centre places to eat, after the one should be closed at quiet in Havant was closed to save made little sense. He told local press: “It’s times,not during busy week- the council £93,000 a year. Robin Walton, who leads ridiculous to stop providing ends in the tourist season.”

the Discovering Hayling heritage group, said:“There might be a case of closing it up until Easter but then throughout the summer and early autumn, I would have thought it was very short-sighted in lights of the developments we have around the Second World War. It’s very sad.” Bob Haddock, who runs Hayling Seaside Railway, commented: ‘We should support the tourist industry, which brings about £60m per year into the borough.’

backing the campaign to reduce VAT for the tourism industry So far 16 MPs have signed the EDM, which calls on chancellor George Osborne to introduce a sector-specific VAT reduction for certain tourismrelated products, including accommodation and attractions. It has been signed by a number of coastal MPs, including Brighton Pavilion’s Caroline Lucas, Torbay’s Adrian Sanders and Worthing West’s Peter Bottomley. The Cut Tourism VAT campaign aims for a reduction of VAT from 20 per cent to five per cent for hotel accommodation and other tourism related services. The UK is one of only four EU countries that do not offer a reduced rate, and Cut Tourism VAT believes doing so would stimulate employment, growth and investment. The group has the backing of more than 500 businesses and is led by Butlins operator Bourne Leisure Group, attractions operator Merlin Entertainments and the British Hospitality Association. 28 MPs debated the proposal in February but Treasury minister David Gauke rejected their calls, saying there was no evidence linking VAT rates and tourism activity.


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10 The Essential Guide to Category C machines

31 B2B listings and industry marketplace

33 This week’s machine charts

Essential Guide to... Category C Antique regulations

Mixed results

Two-pronged assault

Cat C products produced before 31 August 2007 are defined as legacy machines by the Gambling Commission and require a minimum payout of 70 per cent. Newer breeds of Cat C games are subject to no minimum payout regulations, but must clearly communicate to the player their category, payout percentage and whether they are compensated or random.

Since the outcome of the government’s Triennial Review raised the maximum jackpot on Cat C machines to £100, different venues have reported varying results. Pub goers are responding well to the changes, showing a renewed interest in the sector, while AGC goers have been less keen, thanks to the diverse range of machines already on offer.

Cat C games are increasingly being produced with both the online and land-based sectors in mind. With the right application of intelligent design, games can be developed that are a success with both cabinets and mobile platforms.

KEYNOTE 34 Classified sales, job and business opps

Unique strategy the blueprint for success Products old and new are posting good results for Blueprint Gaming, as the company looks to lead the charge with innovations in multi-player and online gaming. ome months into the era of £100 jackpots, Blueprint Gaming is happy to report that even its initial batch of converted games are performing well.“We have been looking at the various game profiles and in reality we are in a good place,with all of our new £100 games and converted £70 games performing at the top end of the market,” said sales and operations manager, Andy Hall. The company has reached this positive position thanks to an uncompromising attitude towards originality. “We believe in innovative game design rather than copying other games in the market,” said Hall. “This is vital to the long term earning potential of a game and to the longevity of this market sector.” Even Blueprint’s back catalogue has seen increased performance following the introduction of the new stakes and prizes.“We have also seen a growth in income across some of our older titles on our digital platform as the balance of stake to payout delivers a more balanced game delivery,” said Hall. Part of the secret behind Blueprint’s strong Category C results are found in the way in which it designs games for the online and bricks-and-mortar industries. “Blueprint is unique in the way in which it is set up,”said Hall,“having a development stream for our digital products which starts in the online world and is then filtered down through each category through to Cat C.” This creates a range of benefits, not limited to the ability to gather customer feedback and build a brand identity before

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games hit the floor in land-based operations. “The strength of customer recognition is clear to see for us,”said Hall,“but we have to recognise that not all coin-op players play online and we must ensure that we take into account the drivers for player interaction across all mediums.” With the online market open to users from around the world, Blueprint’s designers are careful to make sure that the games they create appeal to specific markets and specific players.“It is key that game designers take into account the players in each sector and what drives their play patterns,” said Hall.“In every sector and across each type of venue play styles will change and taking a one size fits all clearly wouldn’t and doesn’t work.” Blueprint has recently been focussed on bringing community and multi-player Cat C titles to market, trumpeting their potential to boost the cashbox in new and exciting ways. “We believe that the possibility for players to share in each other’s good fortune is an obvious driver of the popularity of these types of games,” said Hall,“but you cannot take away from the fact that the base game has to hold the appeal of the players to start with.” The company is on the verge of launching its first games designed with this philosophy in mind. Prioritising the single-player quality as well as the multi-player potential. “Our Community game has been built on this basis,”said Hall,“and we are looking forward to getting the first units out on site within the next week.”


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Essential Guide to ... Category C Sector Overview SWOT ANALYSIS

We do like to be beside the Cat C side SWOT ANALYSIS CATEGORY C STRENGTHS • Growing numbers of manufacturers and distributors getting involved in the progression of the sector • £1 now universally seen as an ‘impulse spend’, therefore £1/£70 stakes still acceptable to players • Cat C is very much ‘part of the furniture’ in pubs, AGCs and bingo, therefore very approachable/non-intimidating from a player perspective WEAKNESSES • Competition from other forms of digital entertainment • Reduced consumer spend • Value for money from player’s perspective can still be questionable in certain subgenres

An ever-growing band of coin-op stakeholders have enjoyed the boost that January’s Triennial has handed them, reinforcing the underlying belief that AWPs can continue to be prolific cashbox earners, regardless of their guise in terms of what is ultimately presented to the player. he Category C sector, or AWP if you prefer, as evidenced by the machines and content showcased in Coinslot this week,has staged something of a renaissance on the back of the longoverdue Triennial prize uplift to £100. Major players in this significant coin-op soft gambling genre have some seriously strong offers despite the much-advertised decline of the traditional UK pub.The obvious positive response to pub closure rates is of course that it’s as much about the cream rising to the top as it is about the unfairness of the Smoke Ban, the price of a pint and the fact that adults with smartphones can play casino games any time,any place anywhere. Furthermore, as a number of coin-op stakeholders have brought to the attention of Coinslot,the pubs that have survived tend to be popular, well-frequented and keen to site as much Cat C entertainment as is permitted. With the above challenging backdrop, latest £1/£100 stake and prize levels notwithstanding, the Cat C sector has developed into a multi-strand concern that looks strong enough to support the needs of pubs of all types, rather than becoming fragmented to the point of collapse. Let’s

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not forget, as well, that there are plenty of AGCs and bingo halls that have Cat C machines on site and both the above styles of venue have been keen to get involved with taking the latest available equipment. While the timing of the latest Category C prize uplift within,while not perfect,gave January’s EAG International a bit of a boost in terms of prototype products and talk of potentially full cashboxes, the recent Park Avenue Open Day saw a number of marketready machines, illustrating the industry’s faith in the sector. Given its maturity in the marketplace,the Category C sector now boasts many distinctive styles. hi-tech, lo-tech, reel-based, video-based, community and the latest initiative Cat C Lite,with the unifying elements being the £1-£100 stake and prize level and gameplay which continue to tread a fine line between its skill and random elements. Compendiums are becoming much more mainstream too and let’s not forget the innovative digital platform iPub either, which has encouraged a wider player base.The unifying factor of all the above, however, is an ability to entertain a large customer demographic with relatively easy-to-understand gameplay and features.

In addition to the Cat C machines deployed in the 49,000 pubs across the UK, there are a further 47,000 AWPs across all gambling sectors in the UK (AGC, bingo, LBO and casino) according to the latest available BBPA and Gambling Commission figures.Add to the above numbers those in operation in working men’s clubs and service stations and one could reasonably estimate that there are more than 100,000 Cat C machines on site in the UK. Despite coinop contraction, therefore, a massive opportunity exists for healthy competition and additional innovation. Judging by evidence based on the Northern Showcase, the South West Show and Park Avenue - and of course the sheer volume of new Cat C products seen in this very publication in recent weeks, domestic manufacturers, distributors and supplier know precisely how to meet the needs of both the operator and the player. The bottom line is that the AWP sector is now the proud owner of a prize figure that actually means something, and because of this it can build on the hard work it has undertaken ever since the maximum payout would only just about pay for your taxi fare home.

OPPORTUNITIES • Community, compendium, video-based and multi-stake games on the rise • £100 prize level is a meaningful amount to players and has afforded developers greater creativity • Updatable content via dongles/CDs/online lessens need for shipping, reducing costs and making it easier to bring new games to market THREATS • Mobile gaming on tablets/smartphones/laptops • More pubs becoming food-led


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Essential Guide to ... Category C Market Analysis MULTIGAMES

VIEWPOINT

A new dawn for Cat C

Category C production lines gathering momentum We’re now beginning to see a whole new batch of inventive Category C games rolling off UK production lines, six months since developers and manufacturers were first able to get their teeth into the new stakes and prize levels.

RLMS sales director Tony Glanville sees a buoyant future for Cat C, with multi-player machines and game compilations leading the charge. oinslot: How have operators responded the introduction of the new £100 games? Tony Glanville:We knew from the reaction we received at EAG if the product was good, there was a healthy demand from the market. Our sales so far on Category C product have been strong and our year-onyear sales have seen a significant uplift since the new jackpots were introduced.This is a clear indication that the players are responding positively to the new jackpots and operators are sourcing product to meet the demand from the players.

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CS: What effect has the increased jackpot had on the overall health of the Cat C sector? TG:The introduction of a new jackpot brings an instant rush to the market across all sectors.The pub market was first to move after the introduction of £100 games, as there was an abundance of upgrade kits available and a range of new games. For theAGC and bingo market the process was slower, with a smaller amount of £100 product available at the time of introduction.The majority of new games for the AGC and bingo sectors were fed into the market in the Spring.Our first major success with a single player product for the AGC sector was with Astra’s R-Cade, a stunning compendium of games from theAstra and Bell Fruit Games camps, which has now been followed up by Hot Spot Deluxe, itself another compilation of games. Both products offer the operator and player flexibility and choice with a range of games covering non-complex game styles as well as feature packed high-tech games, so on a single carpet space the player is offered the full spectrum of game styles within one product. CS: What changes in machine design have you noticed since the new stakes and prizes were introduced? TG: In the AGC and bingo markets we have seen interesting developments with stakes and prizes.A lot of research was undertaken last year, with operators and players, and the consensus was that 30p and £25 was the best balanced stake and prize ratio within the AGC and bingo sectors.As a result manufacturers looked to blend this into their new game offerings. Astra on the Bullion Bars and PartyTime Streaks fixed the stake at 30p, with the main prize being £25.This value can then repeat producing a ‘roll’ of wins, with the player being informed to watch out for ‘the streak’ which produces a £100 award. Project took a similar approach to the stake, fixing it at 30p, but allowed the Coinslot JUNE 20 - JUNE 26, 2014

alex lee foreword rom what I’ve seen at Park Avenue, the Pines hotel in Chorley (home of the Northern Showcase) and Fadvertised in this very publication, the UK coin-op

player to play for a £100 win. Empire were not prescriptive and offered their Gold Run Arena in a multi stake format.The operator could have the product with the £25 main award, with repeats similar to Astra, or offer the maximum award of £100 on both the base and top games. The other key area that has changed is the commercial approach, with suppliers recognising that operators would be faced with a significant capital outlay and in a large number of cases would be unable to reclaim the VAT. To help, suppliers provided different approaches to ease the burden. For example, Project allowed operators the ability to swap a game within 90 days of purchase.Astra and Empire,on their multi-player products, presented operators the option to purchase over a six month period, thereby spreading the cost and essentially offering a ‘pay as you earn’ facility. Both approaches were warmly received by the market and Project,Astra and Empire should be applauded for their foresight and willingness to support the industry. CS: What is the attraction of community and multiplayer style Cat C games? TG: Our main focus with the introduction of the £100 has been with multi-player games from Astra and Empire.These styles of products offer a sense of theatre to the venue they are in.The machines are big and bold and have that all important ‘walk up factor’. From the players perspective, the thrill of achieving the top feature is the key to the game.The Astra and Empire multi-players have a similar top feature which involves a secondary set of reels that, once triggered, spin off and keep going until a losing combination is brought into view.The players love that feeling of anticipation, not knowing how many times those giant reels are going to spin and drop in wins.

industry has once again proved that it can produce compelling games that the public is prepared to pay for in order to play. The Cat C (or AWP) sector is has long established itself as a soft gambling staple and an inevitable byproduct of its longevity is that it has become one of the most varied categories in the UK coin-op sector. While reel-based play still remains, familiarity in the case of the AWP hasn’t bred contempt. We all know that this style of gameplay won’t last forever, but the fact of the matter is that this pub staple now serves a dual purpose. It’s still the quintessential pocket-money change entertainment product, but now carries a top prize that is actually worth chasing. Continued research and development with reference to broadband connections, online updates, the synergy between coin-op and apps and the interconnectivity of products across an entire estate is of course being rigorously carried out behind the scenes, yet the future for Cat C gameplay has not been written. Without doubt, the AWP has already started its journey on the digital path, which will hopefully lead us all to a full cashbox at the end of the rainbow. When, eventually, the digital AWP becomes the norm, there’ll be plenty of nostalgic mentions of those mechanical reels that have paved the way for future development and creation. Furthermore, there are plenty of respected stakeholders in the industry that believe that to do away with the mech reel altogether would be an act of folly. We do know, however, that the UK coin-op sector is consistently good at producing games that stand up to both player scrutiny and the test of time – and often this is down to increased discussion with distributors who have built up good relationships with operators. It doesn’t take me to tell you that the most recent £1/£100 products that have emerged from the UK’s leading manufacturers are actually pretty good. In this sector, by and large, the products speak for themselves.


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Essential Guide to ... Category C Market Analysis NEW ENTRANT

PUB SECTOR

A strong start for 24 Seven Relative newcomer 24 Seven Gaming has found success in Cat C by appeasing a diverse player base with high quality design. change in Cat C jackpots has lead to more than just increased engagement. Companies new to the sector have been stimuTlatedheplayer to bring their own unique approaches to the market, driving innova-

Mixed fortunes for Cat C at Young’s Young’s has fully embraced the new generation of Cat C products, despite tough times for the wet-led pubs in which leisure machines traditionally flourish. he Young’s estate of pubs made a bold and wholehearted leap into the new era of £100 Cat C machines, opting to replace its entire portfolio of machines with new models.“In order to try to achieve maximum player impact for the new £100 machines we took the decision not to have any on-site conversions of existing £70 models,”said commercial manager Bill Epsley. However, with the early part of the year a naturally quieter season for the UK’s public houses, it has taken time for players to take to these new machines in earnest.“January is generally recognised as being a quieter time of the trading year, so perhaps it is not the ideal time to launch any new product,” said Epsely, “but even taking the [new set of machines] into account it still took a few weeks following installation before our customers started to recognise the attractiveness of the £100 prize.” Taking the opportunity to upgrade its hardware across the board has also resulted in added benefits, as the advances in technology made over the past few years are introduced into the £100 machines.“I think one of the greatest benefits I’ve noticed is that of live/active hoppers which have greatly reduced the need for refilling,” said Epsely. “This has delivered a real benefit, particularly in tenanted and leased estates where, historically, regular refills were generally at best irregular and at worst non-existent.” Epsley believes that gaming machines in Young’s pubs are fighting a tough battle against the pull of bookmaker’s Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, but that Cat C games still have the potential hold player’s attention.“I think we all recognise that our player base has shrunk significantly over the last decade

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or so, particularly since the proliferation of FOBT’s,”he said,“but for pub goers I think the Cat C machine still provides the opportunity to have that little ‘flutter’” in comfortable surroundings whilst enjoying a drink with friends or colleagues.” Looking ahead, the future for Cat C machines in modern pubs is not rosy, with the types of venues most commonly associated with these games going slowly out of fashion.“I think we need to accept that Cat C machines, and indeed leisure machines in general, have historically tended to be a key feature of the traditional ‘wet-led’ pub,” said Epsely,“but the pub world has been evolving and post-smoking ban these venues continue to be the most vulnerable to either closure or re-positioning as food focussed operations.” With landlords needing to adapt to stay afloat, the increase in food-centric establishments is creating an environment that is less friendly to gaming machines.“Many pubs are now serving a much wider customer base by offering good restaurant quality food a greater selection of drinks,” said Epsley.“All within a comfortable and contemporary environment, far removed from the smoky maledominated pubs of the past and therefore, often, the presence of any machines in these ‘new’ venues can stand out and conflict with the ambience they seek to create.” In order to secure the future of Cat C games, and pub-based gambling in general, Epsley notes that it is important to establish a regular schedule of governmental evaluation.“I think most will welcome the return of the triennial review of stakes and prizes,” he said, “as it sets a formal timetable and removes uncertainty for manufacturers,operators and end-users alike.”

tion and quality Chief among these new adopters is 24 Seven Gaming, which brought a selection of Vegas-style machines to operators around the country. “Overall we believe that the increased jackpot has been a positive one, especially for new entrants into the market place like us,” said managing director Simon McCarthy. The company’s early success has also been boosted by a demand for variety in pubs and AGCs. “The customers and retailers alike are very supportive of a varied supply chain, therefore our product has as much chance as any other product in the field to achieve market acceptance,” noted McCarthy. 24 Seven has seen players respond well to the range of products it has designed especially for the £100 jackpot, with a wide selection of games a key component of it’s success. “In our opinion players have accepted the new £100 prize in the UK Cat C sector, as we have seen a good response to it,” said McCarthy. “The uplift in both the game performance and the diverse game styles that have resulted have been extremely encouraging. In fact, the increase in stake and prize on the Cat B4 (£400) has been more challenging.” Cat C players come from a wide range of backgrounds and are playing games in a diverse range of venues. Attempting to cater for this variable selection has been a challenge, but one that 24 Seven has risen to. “The game style on Cat C product is somewhat ‘bespoke’ as we try to cater for the diverse player base,” said McCarty, “and it is all about entertaining the player and giving them some ‘fun time’ on the product. We are in the amusement with prizes business, so we are guided by how our product is accepted by the player base.” The company has been able to meet the unpredictable needs of players by maintaining an ongoing open dialogue with its operator customers. “We have a range of design options and directions to offer the player,” said McCarthy, “so keeping close to the site feedback is imperative for us - this guides us in our future games design process.” This includes ideas that have not yet made their way to market for 24 Seven, but which could bear fruit in future. “The community and multi-player aspect of Cat C is something that we as yet have not engaged with,” notes McCarty. “We have a watching brief on this aspect of the business.”


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Essential Guide to ... Category C Market Perspectives GAME DESIGN

SUPPLY

Gamestec highlights innovation priorities Gamestec commercial director, Peter Davies, tells Coinslot how his company has helped to put £100 Cat C machines at the forefront of people’s minds and also touches on innovations that are driving the sector toward new horizons. oinslot: How have your venues communicated the increased jackpot to your customers and their players? Peter Davies: Our customers in the pub sector have used a variety of marketing material and media to promote the new £100 jackpot.Typically this has included machine header boards, posters, beer mats, tent cards and, in some cases, direct email campaigns. In addition pub staff have received briefing information to allow them to actively inform customers of the new jackpot.This method is easily the most successful form of promotion and should be a continual process. Staff engagement with machine players is key to maximising machine profits. By identifying, recognising and informing customers of new games and features as they arrive in venue, retailers can ensure continued interest, repeat visits and an influx of new players.At Gamestec, we provide considerable support for our customers in terms of product awareness and will continue to develop and refine this backing to ensure best ‘bang for buck’.

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CS: What innovations will help to further boost the Cat C sector? PD:When considering what we would like to see regarding game and technology developments and innovations, it broadly falls into three main categories. Firstly, we aim to ensure that machine players come back to play our games.The second objective is attracting and keeping new players and, thirdly, improving operational efficiencies. There are a number of innovations already in operation or development that are worthy of note.They include products such as iPub, Gamestec’s digital gaming platform, which offers players choice of games they would not ordinarily find in pubs such as casino style slots, roulette and poker alongside Deal or No Deal. All of these game styles represent an appealing offer to new players. A perfect example is Win Fall from BellFruit Games. Coinslot JUNE 20 - JUNE 26, 2014

It delivers an exciting blend of traditional reels,high quality digital display and an incredibly strong brand/licence. Operationally, we utilise processes such as intelligent float management, which greatly helps to ensure that machines run optimally and reduces the need for manual refloats. We would like to see exciting new game designs that fully embraces the new jackpot levels and appeals more widely to players, supporting a strong cross sector and brand recognition to give these customers a truly focussed all-encompassing experience. We also want to see improved ‘on machine’ marketing and advertising areas to promote new games and features. Furthermore, we need to embracing social media to encourage community based play that contributes to enhanced entertainment and better value for money.Additionally, there has to be an improved focus on player recognition and loyalty rewards. Elsewhere, we look to improved machine peripherals and software security and adopting a forward thinking and progressive approach to aligning an analogue and digital offer with a common platform which supports technology, game design and importantly player protection.

Building a Cat C Empire Making the new generation of £100 games a success has presented Empire Games with challenges, but, as director Craig Beer explains, the team are meeting them head on with a slew of creative ideas. oinslot: How have players responded the introduction of the new £100 games? C Craig Beer:The early indications suggest that where the pub market has replaced previous £70 jackpot machines with £100 versions there has definitely been an uptake in the net cashbox revenue.That appears to be particularly the case with dedicated £1 stake on some digital offerings.The complication comes in locations such as bingo halls,AGCs and FECs where players are presented with a much broader choice of variable stake and prize options. In order to address this we have tried to offer a more ‘legacy’ style game with a £25 jackpot which can repeat up to seven times. CS: Would you encourage further revisions of the Cat C stakes and prizes in the future? CB:Yes - it is imperative that we continue to seek parity with the LBOs in whatever form that takes.We have to be conscious, too, that the last review of machine stakes and prizes took significantly longer than the Triennial Review process that we had become accustomed to. CS: What challenges in game design have you noticed since the new stakes and prizes were introduced? CB: It is difficult to persuade players to migrate from their ‘favourite’ legacy style games, which claim to offer a better stake-to-prize ratio. However, this is what we are trying to do with games offering 19 repeat wins from as little as £10 through to games offering three repeat wins on £50 games. CS: What are the features that make Cat C an attractive proposition for players, when compared to machines of a different category? CB: Being able to repeat the jackpot in various amounts always appeals to the player.We are also firm believers in the concept that players are able to go home happy regardless of the amount they have won, so long as they have won something!


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Essential Guide to ... Category C Market Perspectives MANUFACTURING

OPERATIONS

Multi-line success for Reflex Gaming

£100 jackpot hits the mark for Praesepe A dedication to game over jackpot has made the £100 jackpot Cat C machines an early winner for nationwide operators, Praesepe. idely regarded as one of the UK industry’s leading machine experts, Nigel Davis, head of W machines at Praesepe, believes the approach

Following a period of transition following the introduction of the new £100 jackpot, the Cat C market is responding well to the innovative machines emerging from Reflex Gaming.

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ith the era before a Cat C £100 jackpot firmly consigned to the past, manufacturers such as Reflex Gaming have been given the space to demonstrate their true potential. “The sector is now in full swing delivering new games designed specifically for the £100 level, rather than updating historic models,” said managing director Quentin Stott,“and this has seen some manufacturers move ahead of others. I’m delighted to say that Reflex has released some truly fantastic models since the introduction of £100.” The rate of adoption for these machines designed exclusively for the updated stakes and prizes was initially stymied by a desire to retrofit machines already in the field.“The new £100 jackpot level has been well received by the player,” said Stott.“At the time, there was a lot of pressure for the industry updating, so many machines which were already in the market, but that is now behind us and we have had positive feedback from the players.” The success of Reflex’s new machines has been built,in part,on the company’s wholehearted adoption of a multi-stake structure. Depending on how much a player wagers on each

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spin, different reel bonuses and win lines become available.“We have found that the new prize level has been well received by players and a multi-stake approach has worked well for us,” noted Stott. With players now appearing to be firmly in favour of the new £100 jackpot, there’s a temptation for the industry to rest on it’s laurels, but Stott believes that this would be a mistake. In his view, the gaming community should continue to gather material that supports further revisions to Cat C stakes and prizes. “We’re now working in a world of ‘evidence-based’changes to stakes and prizes,” he said.“It’s vital that manufacturers, operators and retailers work in harmony, pooling information, so that we can present a robust argument for change in future.” He argues that no matter how strong a new machine is, players will eventually hunger for something new and that the industry needs support from Westminster to remain afloat.“It’s clear we’re in a fashion-based industry and things need to change and be refreshed on a regular basis to keep our player base engaged,” said Stott. “Our aim has got to be to demonstrate this to our regulators and policy makers.”

adopted by the company to the £100 jackpot is paying dividends. “The impact has been very positive indeed,” he said, “and overall we are very pleased at the way in which the manufacturers have interpreted the £100 opportunity and the response the games have received from our customers.” This success has emerged off the back of a proactive study undertaken by the company during late 2013. “The focus group research we undertook last autumn, and which we shared with our colleagues in the manufacturing sector at November’s Machine Symposium, has proved incredibly useful,” said Davis. “It has helped us to gain the maximum benefit from the new jackpot and, as importantly, helped us to avoid the pitfalls which our players signposted in the research. Our key strategy has been to introduce new games on £100 and not to convert existing and popular games from £70 to £100. We see £100 as being the best offer to date and one which can compete, and indeed beat, that offered by legacy machines.” Although the first thing that will attract players to the new Cat C games may well be the increased jackpot, Praesepe understand that to really engage the player, you must build a game that’s exudes quality at every stage. “From the outset we took the strategic decision not to focus on the new jackpot level but to focus on new games,” said Davis. “We have used every channel possible including digital, SMS, POS window displays, stickers, posters, tent cards, as well as our new Jackpot FM internet radio station to push home the message. We have also made certain that our customer-facing staff are fully briefed and aware of new game deployments in advance of them going live. The human element of being able to ask staff how a game plays is really important but frequently overlooked.”


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Essential Guide to ... Category C Products BELL-FRUIT GAMES

REFLEX GAMING

Two strong performers from BFG and QPS

Relfex flexes its Cat C muscle

The ever-popular Deal or No Deal licence continues to pay dividends for Bell-Fruit Games as they prepare to debut a new crimethemed Cat C title. ell-Fruit Games, and its sister company QPS, have a brace of strong performing games for the Category C sector with Deal or No Deal Midas Touch and Bank Job the Getaway respectively. According to the Nottingham-based manufacturer, both titles are showing plenty of promise on test. The former has been approved by Marston’s with the latter achieving approval from Mitchells and Butlers. The Bell-Fruit model is the latest in an illustrious line-up of games bearing the incredibly successful Deal or No Deal brand. It comes loaded with an array of exciting features designed to keep players entertained and coming back for more. Included is the Golden Game feature, which activates if, after playing Deal or No Deal,the player’s box has a gold phone symbol lit. When the golden phone symbol appears players can exchange their win to play the Golden Game and go for the Mega Streak. The QPS model, Bank Job the Getaway, comes to market with an instantly recognisable Cops ‘n’ Robbers theme.The test facing players is to beat the ‘bobbies’ and escape the ‘choppers’ as they play for swag bags and big prizes. Both games are geared up for the new £100 jackpot are are switchable to Category D stake and prize configuration if desired. Commenting on the two games - and the Cat C sector in general - BellFruit sales and marketing director John McLoughlin said:“We’re obviously delighted with the response from the player base to our new models which are showing

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a healthy performance on test. Our game design team has a rich heritage of producing great Cat C titles and these two latest machines demonstrate that perfectly.” He added:“More generally on Cat C, it hasn’t gone unnoticed at Bell-Fruit the opportunities arising from the acquisition of the Nobles’ arcades by our parent the Astra Gaming Group. One of the key benefits of this deal will be the ability to work with the Nobles team on new product development and testing.That process will drive more innovation and result in better games for our customers;it’s something we are all genuinely excited about.”

Reflex Gaming continues to make good on its commitment to the Cat C market, with a host of new games for the single site and arcade sectors. Category C sector continto be extremely important Tforheues Reflex Gaming. The company currently has three machines for the single site sector; namely Eastern Promise, Hot Shots and Fiddle A Fortune. Eastern Promise has a threereel base game and offers multiple stake options from 25p to £1. On 25p only one win line is active and on 50p and £1, five win lines are activated. Players must spin in a fruit win or collect numbers to advance up the trail to the cash matrix, where they can either collect or exchange to play the feature. Normal feature entry can be boosted via a red jackpot symbol on reel three. Once in the feature, players collect three lamps to activate the super board, allowing the player to collect Super Shots and Mega Shots. The Sheik’s Feature is a Take It or Leave It style played with either one or two grids open. Hot Shots has a snooker theme and a multi stake option with spins every game on 50p and £1 stakes, offering the player the chance to build up wins and enhanced feature games. With a 25p start the bonus board is not active, but it is activated on the higher stakes. Players must light three Trophies to activate the money feature and light more to eliminate the lower values. The Prize Money feature is a Take It or Leave It style feature and players must collect Mega Cash Shots in the game to add cash to the Mega Cash Meter. Fiddle ‘A’ Fortune takes players to the Emerald Isle. Once again it offers multi-stake/multi-win-line options, with one win line becoming active on 25p, five win lines on 50p and five win lines and a bonus red feature active on £1. Normal Feature entry may be boosted to

Super Start or Mega Start via the red Fiddle a Fortune symbol on reel three. For the arcade sector, Reflex Gaming has the Apollo £100 digital Category C housed in the attractive Starlight cabinet. This is a 5 game, single monitor, video compendium featuring three reelbased games, one poker and a roulette, namely: Lady Luck, Bank Raid, Lady Luck Around The Clock, Poker Mania and Roulette. All of these games offer a multi stake (25p/50p play), with a £100 jackpot. “Reflex remains dedicated to providing quality Category C and Cat C Lite products to the single site and arcade and bingo sectors. It is still a fashion-led area and very competitive, however, now that the £100 jackpot has bedded down, we are seeing a steady growth,” said managing director Quentin Stott.


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EMPIRE

Latest Empire model set to run and run Empire is hoping to spark a gold rush with it latest machine, a jackpot filled Cat C machine that promises long-lasting enjoyment. mpire’s latest assault on the Category C sector comes in the form of Gold Run. EAccording to the company, this new model, with its upright style,is designed to keep players entertained for hours on end. It is available in both Category C and Category D options. Explaining the basic appeal of the game, Empire managing director Craig Beer commented: “Gold Run offers a traditional style game format with some exciting enhancements that we feel are sure to keep the players guessing as to why wins appear to come out of nowhere.” Players spin the reels in the hope that they can gain either winning symbols featuring a

range of single,double and jackpot‘Gold Bars’. They also have the added benefit of nudges to help them or the chance of gaining a ‘Gold Run’ symbol on the middle reel sandwiched between two gold bars.Achieving this affords access to the‘Gold Run’top box feature where bigger wins and more theatre await. Wins continue to be spun onto the win line and the awards accumulated into the player’s bank display. Should the player gain the ‘Gold Run’ on the centre reel, this is the part of the game where the ‘Gold Run’ streak really kicks in. In summary, Beer concluded: “This is a must-have game that will definitely stand the test of time and will be popular with players for years to come.”

Coinslot JUNE 20 - JUNE 26, 2013


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Essential Guide to ... Category C Products RLMS SALES

STORM GAMES

Storm Games Cat C goes from strength to strength The Cat C offering from Storm Games has helped propel the company into a positive position midway through 2014, with more releases to come as the year unfolds. t Storm Games the pub and club markets have always been, and continue to be, the company’s A core. As a company, Storm Games has one of the

The boys are back in town RLMS has in stock two of Astra’s classic machines, repurposed for the new £100 Cat C jackpots and ready to replace their well loved ancestors. hen Astra released the iconic Party Time and Bullion Bars titles as £100 versions at EAG 2014, it caused a real stir within the AGC and Bingo operating fraternity.Almost every arcade or bingo hall in the UK features one or both of these outstanding games on previously introduced jackpots. Astra gave great thought to the reintroduction of these games, as they recognised that existing product in the marketplace needed upgrading and replacing.This need was driven by wear and tear on well loved machines. Party Games and Bullion Bars have been real workhorses in the Cat C sector for a significant amount of time and with their existing machines showing their age, many operators were keen to find replacements. They required something that appealed to players as a game, provided visual impact and utilised the latest technology to provide a sound and reliable operating platform. Astra decided that the best thing to do was bring back the old favourites, now housed in the new WOW cabinet, which provided the visual impact and reliable technology, along with the added bonus of being able to offer awards of up to £100. “Astra was sensitive to the player’s needs and balanced the game in such a way that the feel of was reminiscent of its old favourites, so the tran-

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Coinslot JUNE 20 - JUNE 26, 2014

sition for the player from the older product to the new Bullion Bars and Party Time Streaks was effortless,” said RLMS sales director, Tony Glanville. They were also very mindful of the operator’s needs in a challenging economic environment. The company reduced the price of the multiplayer games, making them far more affordable to operators and introduced a repayment package over a six month window,smoothing the payment schedule and allowing operators to ‘pay as they earn’. Astra also recognised that operators need to have flexibility within the product and offered the operator not just the £100 version, but also the capability to switch the machine to 20p/£10 - which currently only attracts MGD at the five percent rate - and also the ability to switch to Category D at 10p/£5.This also provided operators the facility to move the machine around their venues or estates, allowing the product’s flexibility to enhance its residual market value. “The Party Time and Bullion Bar Streaks are the ‘reel deal’and offer a premium product with great in-built flexibility, coupled with a very attractive commercial proposition,” said Glanville.“If you have not got one yet you really need to be speaking to the team at RLMS Sales, so you don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity.”

largest portfolios of digital titles for the pub market, being one of the first companies to show a real commitment to the sector by investing in digital gaming, almost a decade ago. Storm believe that they are bucking the trend economically in 2014, reporting a a strong year for the company to date as it continues to sell large volumes of both the licensed ‘Eyegames’ Cat C offering and the unlicensed ‘Street Casino’ Cat C / B4 switchable products. Storm have also now launched a Cat C lite package and a new and updated Paragon and Infiniti Cat C conversion kits, with new content launching every quarter on all our product ranges. Richard Sheldon, managing director, commented: “Our investment in new staff and premises is paying dividend for us. We have a big line up of new games in the pipeline including our biggest game to date ‘Captain Cashfall’ as well as new hi-tec digital slots and other content too. In addition, our Popeye branded games continue to serve us well and new Popeye games will also be available towards the end of the summer. “Storm Games has now nearly 3,000 digital kiosks in the Cat C and B4 market and high quality content is important to our customers in maintaining our cashbox’s and this is one of the many reasons our customers remain so loyal and our sales continue to grow, year on year”


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ASTRA GAMES

Astra hits the spot with Hotspot Deluxe Player choice is key for Astra with its new AGC and bingo release, Hot Spot Deluxe, offering up to 18 different Cat C titles designed for the new £100 jackpot. stra Games has quite literally hit the spot with its latest offering for the Cat C A market, in the form of Hot Spot Deluxe.

Rogers. He noted that:“With its stunning array of entertaining game titles, this latest Astra launch can be tailored to suit the Designed from the ground up to entertain requirements of any operator and bring a players in the arcade and bingo sectors, this fresh touch to their venues. “The current game pack comprises a machine represents Astra’s latest release in compelling mixture of top performing Cat the iconic FV623 cabinet. Hot Spot Deluxe brings player choice C titles from the Astra Games and Bell-Fruit right to the fore,with a pre-loaded selection Games stables.They feature alongside some of no less than 18 games accompanied by brand new games that are simply bristling Astra’s innovative ‘wall package’ that allows with exciting new features. With trails, the operator to showcase as little or as many roulette gambles and free spins, there really is something for every player.Housed in the titles as required. Explaining more about Hot Spot Deluxe FV623 cabinet, with its slim lined design was sales and marketing director Alan and vibrant artwork, this machine is ready

to add an enticing new gaming dimension to any arcade or bingo hall.” Rogers was also keen to emphasise the positive impact that the new £100 payout has had on the Cat C genre.“As with any Triennial Review, there were equal levels of high expectation and uncertainty as to how the market would respond to a £100 Cat C jackpot,” he said.“We’re happy to say that the players have really warmed to the new payout and, interestingly, we’re even beginning to see players who had drifted over to LBO style products migrating back to Cat C. Evidently, in Cat C, they see a game that can be both rewarding and entertaining to play.”

Coinslot JUNE 20 - JUNE 26, 2013


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Essential Guide to ... Category C Products BLUEPRINT GAMING

BLUEPRINT GAMING

Blueprint leads the digital charge The diversity and fast-response afforded by digital Cat C machines has driven Blueprint Gaming to deliver a strong range that appeals to all players. lueprint Gaming has pioneered digital Category C product in the UK with its King of Games compendium, which is consistently providing high income levels and driving ever growing numbers in the pub sector.The success of King of Games, housed in the Gauselmann Genie cabinet, is due to the constant focus on content management and updates, with new titles and proven cross-platform, top-performing slots building on this strong base. Of the current crop, Luck of the Irish,

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Coinslot JUNE 20 - JUNE 26, 2014

a five winline multi stake game, is performing very strongly, as is Superspins Bar X. Golden Pharaohs, a slot-style game and casino style games, like Hotpot Roulette the Chase the Ace, are becoming increasingly popular with players. Blueprint Gaming has added a new game, Black Jack, in which players try to beat the dealer to win the jackpot. “The implementation of the £100 jackpot went incredibly smoothly and now we are seeing great cashbox returns on the new prize levels,” says Simon Barff,

managing director of Blueprint Gaming’s machine division. “What sets King of Games apart from other digital compendiums is the quality and strength of the game content. We are constantly monitoring the games that players enjoy and using that information to feed back into the games design process, all while taking successful titles from one sector and translating them across to provide players with the best in class. It is vital to ensure that there is a true balance of game styles on each machine to entice both core and casual players.” Blueprint has now introduced a new digital Category C compendium called Super Slots 100, which is housed in the attractive chrome-surround Genie cabinet. Designed to drive new footfall and additional VTP, Blueprint are already seeing good early results across a number of retailers’ estates. Andy Hall, Blueprint’s sales and operations manager reported: “This compendium was driven from the knowledge gained from our connected estate and the strength of our slot games on the existing King of Games compendium. Blueprint has been working closely with retailers in the pub sector to bring a different mix of game content to the environment. We are seeing that slots-style games can drive additional income to sites and bring back lapsed players. We are seeing extremely encouraging VTP and income levels and will roll out additional units over the coming weeks.”

Innovation is key for Blueprint The reel-based products from Blueprint Gaming continue to champion originality over reliance on re-working the company’s existing back catalogue. lueprint Gaming continues to bring fresh ideas to the Category C sector B with its latest releases. This has been a great year for Blueprint, with a series of high performing titles including Alice and the Mad Hatter and Paddy’s Payday, which received full retailer approvals. These were followed by Viva Las Vegas, which dazzled players with its multiple lapping boards and Roulette Riches secondary feature. Viva Las Vegas once again bagged a full house of approvals, confirming the strength and depth of the company’s products and the design capabilities of the Betcom team - who are the brains behind the Blueprint reel-based products. Alice and the Queen of Jackpots revisits the popular Wonderland theme and is already gaining strong retailer support after proving its prowess over an extended test period. “The strength of our machines is driven through innovative game design,” said Simon Barff, managing director of Blueprint Gaming’s machine division. “We do not the follow the premise of some other suppliers who simply turn out copies of existing titles. We have seen time and again that this provides only short-term returns with shorter site life and reduced residual values. Manufacturing should be about the quality of the products, game innovation and player satisfaction, not plagiarism.”


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JABRO GAMES

Hit the jackpot with Jabro New entries into the Cat C and Cat C Lite markets has positioned Jabro as an exciting provider of high quality gaming entertainment. Games has added a brand new cabinet, The Jab Cab, to its existing range. JTheabro product was originally designed by Jem Symmonds and then re-engineered by Jabro Games with a number of improvements. The new cabinets are being built at the Jabro factory in South Wales and orders have already been delivered for the UK and export markets in Europe. Jabro now offer a range of four different cabinets to choose from, with four categories on offer: Cat C, B4, B3A and D. Operators can simply select the category and choose whichever cabinet that is right for their requirements. The Jackpot £100 Cat C and Jackpot £400 B4 models are available direct from Jabro, offering easy payment terms to both old and new customers. Since launching the new dual screen digital products ear-

lier this year the Cat C/Cat B4 products have become best sellers. Some of the latest games to appear on the Jackpot £100 and £400 models are Storm Bar X,a popular version of the classic with a freespins feature, and Dragons Gems, a new 20 line slot with transforming symbols. For the club, bingo and arcade market, Jabro highly recommends its casino style dome top cabinet with high capacity hopper and note validator fitted as standard. These are ideal for locations looking for a complete ‘casino in the club’ style product. Jabro are offering both the Cat C and B4 packages with a range of higher percentage payout versions to suit more venues.The company now also offers its range of products with the option of upgrading to the NV11 note recycler for

note payout functionality. Building on the success of its latest range of multigame Cat C and B4 products, Jabro will be both building and selling a new product called Street Casino Lite.The machine has ben developed in association with Storm Games and is now available as a new 20p play £10 Jackpot Category C product, which is also switchable to a 10p play £5 Jackpot Category D product. Street Casino Lite is priced from £1695. This new low stakes product qualifies for the five percent Machine Games Duty and has a switchable percentage to suit pub, bingo and arcade venues. Street Casino Lite features five games on the menu, including Bar-X and Popeye branded titles.

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Whether your market is low stake high volume gaming, remote, land-based casinos, bingo, betting or amusements there’s only one publishing house that’s really connected. The publishing division of GB Media is responsible for the award winning titles International Casino Review, Betting Business interactive and Coinslot, as well as the official ICE catalogue. For a unique window on the world of gaming, simply contact us on +44 (0) 1204 396 397 or email us at jsullivan@gbmedia.eu.

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Essential Guide to ... Category C

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Products 24 SEVEN

24 Seven prepares to Wok Around the Clock 24 Seven is so confident about its new game that it wants to get it into the hands of operators around the country as soon as possible. So much so that they are bringing in a partner to offer the game via part exchange, along with the company’s usual suppliers. 4 Seven is taking a fresh approach to the Category C sector with its second game for single sites,Wok Around the Clock. First seen at EAG, this game has been designed with Heber (Pluto 6) technology and it is housed in the new Orbit Plus cabinet, which 24 Seven has had designed in collaboration with it’s manufacturing partner.The new cabinet comprises of an integral pay tray along with an innovative door-frame, which has the option for illumination. “We believe that the new game and cabinet continues to show our long-term commitment to the UK Cat C analogue market place,” adds Simon McCarthy, managing director. “Wok around the Clock sees 24 Seven take a completely different approach in a bid to explore the new possibilities of the £100 prize.We wanted to take our game design to a

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different level with several additional features to maximise player enjoyment.” In a bid to support the independent operator, 24 Seven has also made Wok around the Clock available to be built by G-Squared Games.This offers operators the possibility to take advantage of trade-ins, if they so desire. For new models of Wok Around the Clock, operators can contact 24 Seven’s experienced distribution partners,Wessex Coin and Blue Monkey Gaming. “Wok Around the Clock has performed extremely well on site trial and we are already receiving orders for the next stage of retailer testing.We are very happy with the twin-pronged approach of putting the game out in the Orbit Plus Cabinet and via G-Squared Games.We believe that this reflects the current needs of the Category C sector,”concludes Simon.

Coinslot JUNE 20 - JUNE 26, 2013


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think we achieved this. It is always great to bring staff from the UK, Ireland, Germany, Russia and Spain together. We all had a brilliant night and everyone went home with a commemorative coin marking the birth of HRH Prince George of Cambridge a fitting tribute to mark our Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2014.� Towey stated: “The Queen’s Awards are one of the most prestigious business accolades in the UK and we are honoured to have received the award this year. Being the third Queen’s Award in the company’s history we wanted to mark the occasion with a party for all of our European staff, celebrating not only the Queen’s Award but three years’ of exceptional growth and record sales.� He added: “By the end of the year we

TRADE ASSOCIATIONS

“With the establishment of an office in Europe, GSA will be working and consulting with all stakeholders from both the regulatory and policy domain as well as the industry.�

taff members from Innovative Technology’s European Offices were in Oldham on Friday night to see the company receive the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2014 from the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester Warren Smith. The evening got off to a great start with a bucks fizz reception in the sunshine, before the Lord Lieutenant presented the official Queen’s Award to Chairman David Bellis MBE and managing director Aidan Towey. After a few official photographs to mark the occasion, guests enjoyed a three-course meal and danced the night away into the early hours. Marketing executive Dayna Patterson, who organised the event, said: “We wanted to arrange a really good party to celebrate our third Queen’s Award and I

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GSA OPENS NEW OFFICE IN BRUSSELS s part of its global collaboration initiative in the creation of standards for the A gaming industry, The Gaming Standards Association (GSA) has established a satellite office in Brussels, Belgium. “Work in the creation of GSA’s Online Gaming Standards is progressing at a fast pace, and Europe has been a leader in the adoption of regulation for online gambling and betting,� the association stated.

PINBALL ‘SOUND MASTER’ JOINS PINBALL TEAM Jack Pinball has announced that pinball ‘sound master’ David Thiel Jhasersey joined the team.


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F ECONOMIST AT THE BRITISH CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE

Looking beyond London Tourism body VisitBritain is looking to encourage overseas visitors to venture beyond London and explore what else the UK has to offer. Its new report, The Beyond London Challenge, looks at a variety of strategies to entice visitors from both mature and emerging markets to all parts of the country. “We need to encourage people to come back time after time,” said VisitBritain’s director of strategy Patricia Yates.

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will have a new state of the art head office building and with expansion very much in our current plans we have a number of exciting career opportunities across the globe.” Next month, David Bellis MBE and Peter Dunlop will represent Innovative Technology at Buckingham Palace when the Queen invites all of this year’s winners from across the UK to a reception at the Palace to recognise their outstanding business success.

Thiel is working on The Hobbit pinball game, which will be released later this year and distributed in the UK through Pinball Heaven. “The Jersey Jack Pinball sound system is fantastic, and with a headphone jack players will discover that it is even more fun to play pinball when you can hear your game,” Thiel stated.

ments industry but also the regulators, particularly the UK’s, who seem so indifferent to the argument that the majority of gambling comes in the shape of the National Lottery. Surprise, surprise, lotteries made a bright start to 2014, with first-quarter on first-quarter sales increasing by 8.9 per cent, the best opening to a new year since 2012. According to the latest report from the World Lottery Association, the growth in global lottery sales was again grounded in strong performances from the Asia-Pacific and Latin American regions, with additional contributions from the North American market and, surprisingly, the European region. Sales among participating European

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lotteries increased by 4.2 per cent on aggregate in the first three months of 2014, as against the first three months of 2013. The silence that could almost deafen you whilst reading your copy of Coinslot is that coming from the antigaming and gambling lobby whose tight lipped shtummer stance is disappointing to say the least. Has anyone considered the fact that the stench of problem gambling emanating from the National Lottery is actually not Chanel No 5, and that those who suggest so have not lost their sense of smell - the’ve just read the catalogue of official reports and surveys on problem gambling that confirm time and time again that lotteries, especialy government backed ones, are more dangerous than arcade machines? Coinslot JUNE 20 - JUNE 26, 2014

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Listings REDEMPTION SPECIAL OFFER FROM HARRY LEVY

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hroughout June, Harry Levy Amusements is offering free delivery of the company’s Ticket House crane. This house-shaped, single player crane gives a prize every time by picking up bundles of tickets. It is ideal for players who are keen for a few more tickets for that special redemption prize.

SWP SEARCHING FOR GOLD eturn to Pharahoh’s Gold is the latest SWP machine from Supernova R Games. Available in the UK through RLMS Sales, the game follows the tremendous success of Skill Ball Zings, which became yet another example of Supernova breathing new life into an iconic game. Based on £1 play, players have to use their skill in shooting coins to drop them into a pot of gold, as well as other symbols which can either win added time or even cash wins. As Gold coins are collected in the pot, other symbols have to be avoided which could empty their collection. At the end of the allotted time, there is a further game of skill, whereby the player has to shoot a swinging pendulum target in order to release the winnings. Success increases with practice.

CASH MACHINES MAXIMISING ON-SITE REVENUES n-site cash machines result in maximum return for minimum effort, and O DC Payments has the ideal solution for all amusement and gaming venue operators. “A fully managed cash machine is ideal for sites where there is a high demand for cash and when you want your ATM machine to have absolutely no call on your own resources or manpower,� the company said. “Simply get on with running your business and let DC Payments look after all aspects of managing your cash machine and keep it working hard for you. Coinslot JUNE 20 - JUNE 26, 2014

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PUBS M&B ACQUIRES THE MAJORITY OF ORCHID ESTATE

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itchells & Butlers (M&B), one of the UK’s largest operator of managed pubs and restaurants, has acquired the majority of the activities of the Orchid Group, including 173 predominantly freehold pubs and the Orchid head office. The purchase price, paid entirely in cash, is ÂŁ266m. In addition to the 173 pubs - of which 158 are freehold or long leasehold - M&B said the transaction would result in cost savings and synergies of at least ÂŁ6m a year due to the “rationalisation of support functions and combination purchasingâ€?. Commenting on the deal, Alistair Darby, chief executive of M&B, said: “The acquisition of the majority of the Orchid estate will accelerate Mitchells & Butlers’ growth and present significant opportunities

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for value creation through cost savings, synergies and the conversion of Orchid pubs to Mitchells & Butlers brands. The owners of Orchid have retained a number of leasehold sites. As M&B has acquired the company’s head office, it has agreed to provide services to these sites for a period of up to 15 months. Looking to the future of the acquired properties, M&B said it intends to add 77 of the venues to its Heartland portfolio of ‘value’ pubs. “Many of these sites have recently received investment and will be able to continue trading at their current strong sales and profit levels, further benefiting from purchasing synergies as a part of the enlarged M&B group,� the company stated. “A small number may be considered for disposal.�

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This Last Week Week Name / Manufacturer

This Last Week Week Name / Manufacturer

This Last Week Week Name

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1 2 3 4 5 7 6 8 9 10

DOND Winfall BFG DOND Lucky Streak BFG DOND Powerplay BFG DOND The Big One BFG Worminator QPS DOND Pure Gold BFG Bank Job - Rob the lot QPS DOND Crazy Chair Gold BFG Mega Rich BFG DOND Time to Play BFG

Taken from a representative number of sites around the UK Supplied by national operator

2 1 3 4 7 6 5 9

Slotto 500 Astra Magic Lotto Ultra Novomatics King of Slots Blueprint Triple 8 Barcrest Triple 7 Barcrest Casino King TS22 Project Lady Luck Reflex Mega Bars Big Hit Project Big Party Astra Rainbow Riches Community Cash Barcrest

This Last

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1 2 3 8 7 6 9

Encore T7 (GP3) SG Gaming Encore T7 (GP2) SG Gaming Magic Games 100 Ultra Novomatic Encore T7 (GP1) SG Gaming X3000 Multigame Amatic Magic Games 3 Novomatic Free Play 70 Project Triple 7 (GP3) SG Gaming Find the Lady 2 card Project Bullion Bars Streak Astra

Based on data from a minimum of 10 locations. Supplied by Praesepe

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1 2 6 4 5 3 7 8 9 10

Members clubs This Last Week Week Name / Manufacturer

Taken from a representative number of sites around the UK Supplied by Amusement Equipment Co Ltd

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

Highest Earning Tracks on Sound Leisure jukeboxes This Last

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1 2 4 5 6 3 7 8 -

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Based on data supplied by Soundnet

Albums

Based on data from four sites Amusement Equipment Co Ltd

This Last Week Week Name / Manufacturer

Magic Games U/R Novomatic Free Play 70 Project Magic Games S/D Novomatic Pure Gold Project Super Big 7 S/D Electrocoin Party Time Arena (4 Player) Astra Win Wall Celebrity Astra Magic 7’s Electrocoin Party Time Classic (3 Player) Astra Rainbow Riches Party Barcrest

www.soundnet.net

Bullion Bars (3 Player) Astra Party Time Classic (3 Player) Astra DOND (3 Player) Bellfruit Golden Games (3 Player) Mazooma Adders And Ladders (4 Player) Vivid Rainbow Riches (3 Player) Empire Party Games (4 Player) Astra Party Time Arena (4 Player) Astra Party Time (3 Player) Astra Goldrush Stampede (4 Player) Mazooma

FEC - adult 1 2 3 4 5 6 9 10

UK Jukebox Chart http://www.sound net.net/

This Last Week Week Name / Manufacturer

CATEGORYB4 (£2/£4000 Max)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

22 Jump Street Maleficent X-Men: Days of Future Past Edge of Tomorrow A Million Ways to Die in the West Godzilla D-Day 70 Years On: Live from the Royal Albert Hall 2014 Postman Pat: The Movie Grace of Monaco Bad Neighbours

MUSICCHARTS

FEC - family

AGCs

22 JUMP STREET

1 2 3 4 5 7 6

Based on data supplied by a representative number of UK sites Supplied by RLMS Sales

CATEGORYD (10p/£5 Max.)

33

This Last WeekWeek Name

KASABIAN: 48:13

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

2 1 4 5 8 9

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Downloads This Last WeekWeek Name

Based on data from representative sites. Supplied by sector professional

ELLA HENDERSON: GHOST

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1 3 2 23 8 4 5 3

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  Recruitment

MECHANIC/TECHNICIAN GERMANY H B Leisure are a well established leisure company with operations at many of the major theme parks in the UK and Europe. We have a vacancy for a Mechanic/Technician to maintain, service and repair Go Karts and associated equipment at our operation in Heide Park, Germany.

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2373-p38-39-Comment_Coinslot NEW 17/06/2014 13:42 Page 1

38

Coinslot June 20 - June 26, 2014

Comment Find time to call in at your local

“Quick game on the fruity, anyone?”

alex lee comment hile the ALMR and the BBPA do their bit for the pub sector, BACTA is pretty committed to UK pubs too - and for several good reasons, certainly too many to list in a comment piece as short as this one. In addition to the obvious benefits of having a quiet pint or two and socialising with friends and/or family, there’s some seriously good coin-op entertainment on offer down the boozer. I know this for a fact as despite my days of top shelf runs and yards of ale being long gone, I still pop down the local from time to time to sample the wares both behind the bar and on theAWP,SWP,pool table and jukebox. Let’s not forget the small matter of the World Cup either. Even if England have crashed to their second successive inglorious defeat by the time you read this, that’s no reason to stay in and be miserable. Besides, it would hardly be the first time. I don’t know if this mirrors anyone else’s view, but I quite enjoy watching a high quality neutral game in the environs of a pub.At least I know my remaining few hairs won’t turn grey with the stress. Of course, my personal love for pubs and bars goes above and beyond the simple pleasure of drinking booze. Let’s not forget that pubs contain some of the greatest coin-op entertainment there is. I still enjoy the

W

ritualistic behaviour around a pool table, such as establishing if it’s winner stays on, do two shots carry and how many shots do I get on the black in the event of a foul. Furthermore, as a self-confessed quiz addict - and wannabe know-all - I’m rather partial to shoving a few coins in the nearest SWP. I hope that BACTA continues to work closely with the likes of the IOA,the BBPA and the ALMR in order to better deal with the issues affecting pubs and bars. Not only am I a fan of pubs per se, but the coin-op entertainment within - and the behaviour it elicits from those who get involved - has always been a constant source of fascination for me. Take coin-op away from a lot of pubs and those premises wouldn’t be half the places they are. For coin-op in public houses to really succeed, it’s not necessarily about reinventing the wheel or formulating the ‘killer app’, but more about working collaboratively to maximise those cashbox takings. In the same way that UK holidaymakers must make the effort to visit domestic seaside locations (and it seems they’re doing just that based on all the recent statistics), we must all find time to pop down the boozer - and encourage others to join us. Remember, if you’re driving, the money you save by not getting leathered can always go in the AWP, the SWP, the jukebox or the pool table.

McNally calls for renewed Blackpo

This week’s look at in west coast and an

alex lee media watch lackpool’s thwarted casino dream needs to be revived if B the resort is to become a top tourist destination once more, it has been claimed, according to the Blackpool Gazette. Lord McNally of Blackpool made a passionate rallying call to encourage government ministers to sit up and take notice of the problems the town is facing. He warned the resort risks reaching the point of no return unless immediate action is taken to revitalise the economy and bring in more people. In a speech at the House of Lords, he listed the failed casino bid as a “missed opportunity” but said there are plans that could create much-needed jobs in the resort if they are properly supported by the Government. Among them he listed the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s draft growth deal to boost the county’s economy by £3bn over the next 10 years. Lord McNally said: “I worry that, without concerted effort by both local and national gov-

ernment, the town could reach a tipping point which would make regeneration impossible. I still believe that the casino option should be revisited to revitalise the economy and to use Blackpool’s unique brand name to create a multi-activity resort, as has happened with many successful regenerations around the world. Blackpool urgently needs a coherent and co-ordinated programme of measures which will reverse the decline and create a benign circle of confidence and growth.” Blackpool Council said little had changed since the casino bid was thrust back into the spotlight earlier this year when David Cameron told The Gazette he would “look favourably” on a fresh licence application and the council was still looking to speak to the Government about the issue. At the time, council leader Simon Blackburn said: “We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this further and to consider how this might help us

to develop the Central Station for the benefit of Blackpool’s residents and economy.” A council spokesman added that council bosses were still looking to have a conversation with the Government about the matter, adding: “Our opinion has not changed.” Elsewhere, tourist beaches across the Norfolk region are wearing sunny smiles after being given Blue Flag awards six months after they were given a black eye by the worst storm surge for 30 years, according to the Eastern Daily Press. The region’s Blue Flag beaches are as follows Cromer - The archetypal bucket and spade beach, close to the landmark holiday pier and crab boat fleet, which is also a popular spot for surfers enjoying and learning their sport. Sheringham - A beach of shingle and sand set among the rocky sea defences, overlooked by colourful beach huts, with a trail of maritime heritage


2373-p38-39-Comment_Coinslot NEW 17/06/2014 13:45 Page 2

Coinslot June 20 - June 26, 2014

“It sounds as though Park Avenue was a high quality event with some amazing new products and a high calibre of visitor. I couldn’t make it, so when I asked Joyce to be my representative, I actually only meant in a chatting and drinking wine kind of way.”

8

39

TO COMMENT ON ANY ARTICLE

Email: al@sjc.co.uk

STEPH NORBURY, COIN-OP COMMUNITY

“ ”

quote unquote

“US-based family dining and entertainment company Chuck E. Cheese’s expects virtual tickets to become an increasingly larger part of the redemption market in the next 10 years.”

Euromat discusses future of European gambling markets

SIMON LIDDLE, INTERGAME

“Domestic tourism could give the UK’s economy a £15bn boost in 2014, as the number of Britons taking a holiday at home has more than doubled in three years.” MELODIE MICHEL, BIG HOSPITALITY

“ENADA (the Italian coin-op trade show) is an indispensable expo for the sector and which I obviously hope will grow in the future, as it is a real driving force for our businesses.” CORRADO LUCA BIANCA, NATIONAL SECRETARY, SAPAR

eek’s look at industry-related stories brings contrasting fortunes for the east coast, the coast and an old bingo hall in Dundee.

lade. The district council’s cabinet member for the coast Angie Fitch-Tillet said: “It is something for the community to be proud of. The clear-ups have involved volunteer litter pickers as well as council staff and contractors in a team effort.” After the worst storm surge for 30 years in December smashed seafronts, she just wanted to get the proms cleaned up and holes filled in to make them safe. “Winning the awards is a big boost to promoting our tourism,” added Fitch-Tillett. The awards are handed out by the Keep Britain Tidy group, whose coastal awards co-ordinator Lynsey Atherton said: “It is incredible that sites have been cleared up ready to welcome the visitors.” Extra checks were done after the December damage to ensure resorts initially judged checked last summer had bounced back. North Norfolk’s four was on a par with Poole, Torbay, Bournemouth, Tendring along

euromat politics year’s Euromat general assembly reiterated the call Tforhis effective regulation of the

ackpool supercasino bid

museums on the promenade. Mundesley - Sandy shores have made the seaside village a popular bathing spot since Victorian times, with cafes, bars and putting on the clifftop above. Sea Palling - Remoter than the main resorts, but a real favourite with families seeking a quieter location among the dunes, and with sands boosted by offshore reefs. Southwold Pier - A sandy beach, overlooked by colourful beach huts and close to Southwold’s many cafés, shops, pubs and restaurants as well as the town’s thriving pier and boating lake. Lowestoft South Claremont Pier - A swathe of fine sandy beach that is popular with families and close to the attractions of this typical seaside resort, including a Victorian putting green, amusements and the Claremont Pier. Determined efforts all along the coast have repaired smashed proms to restore facilities needed to win the acco-

The European Gaming and Amusement Federation, Euromat, gathered in Bucharest, Romania, on May 31 to hold its annual general meeting and discuss the direction of both terrestrial and online gambling.

with the Isle of Wight - which topped the overall table with four Blue Flags and 13 seaside awards. And finally, the derelict bingo hall, once the Rialto cinema, in Dundee, could soon be demolished to make way for 12 flats if a planning application by Ramsay’s Properties is successful, according to the Courier. Site owner Ramsay McBain said: “I’m Lochee (in west Dundee) born and bred so it is good to do something for my home town, as it were. I remember when the Rialto was a bingo hall. It was a local institution.” The Rialto Cinema opened in 1928 and was the first in the city to show “talkies”. It closed in 1962 and was converted to a bingo hall.

gambling sector - in other words, regulation that would ensure a level playing field across the industry and successfully tackle illegal gambling. Against the backdrop of the rapid rise of online gambling, land-based gambling operators cannot compete when European governments continue to introduce regulations that create preferential frameworks for the online sector both in terms of regulatory requirements and taxation leaving the land-based sector at an unfair and unjustified disadvantage. Annette Kok, president of Euromat, stressed the fact that: “European governments need to understand that we (the landbased sector) need a fair taxation regime and certain flexibility to adapt our products to the increasingly fast changing need of our customers.” Looking back on the past year, Euromat engaged with the EU institutions in Brussels, ensuring that Euromat’s call for a level-playing field was included as the EU looks more carefully into the regulation of online gambling. At the same time the Federation continues to provide assistance to national members. A unified voice of support was given to the Hungarian sector where national legislation eradicated the gaming machine industry outside casinos overnight. Euromat continues to monitor ongoing legislative processes across the

EU, and raise awareness with the relevant national authorities - in particular when online operators are benefitting from preferential treatment. Euromat members were also joined on this occasion by two distinguished guest speakers. Member of the European Parliament Cristian Bu oi (Romania) gave an overview of the European Parliament’s views on gambling and highlighted the need for a level playing field for all gambling activities across the EU. The President of the newly created National Office for Gambling in Romania (ONJN),Odeta Nestor, discussed further on the issue of regulating online gambling and her plans for the ONJN. The meeting was also attended by one of the ONJN’s directors, Marius Pantea, reflecting the good collaboration that Euromat and its Romanian member associations, ROMSLOT and AOPJNR, have with the national regulator. The Federation released its annual industry figures, which served to underscore the difficult period the industry is facing due, in part to the rise of online gambling and the EUwide recession. The figures show that between 2010 and 2011 turnover across the EU fell by 3 per cent to €20,820,406,000. This year’s meeting also saw the re-election of Annette Kok (Netherlands) as president, Helmut Kafka (Austria) as first vice-president, and Roberto Dongiovanni (Belgium) as treasurer of the federation.


2373-p40-newsweek_Coinslot NEW 17/06/2014 13:38 Page 1

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Coinslot June 20 - June 26, 2014

8

Newsweek REGISTRATION OPENS FOR EIG egistration is now open for the 2014 edition of EiG, which takes place at Arena Berlin, Germany on October 21-23. The organisers believe that EiG is “no longer a conventional conference”. “EiG is about freedom,” Clarion stated. “The freedom to think, the freedom to explore, the freedom to engage and the freedom to meet in the way that suits you as a consumer of information and insight. EiG 2014 is now a vibrant, contemporary global gaming space.”

R

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Dates announced for Enada Rome nada Rome is returning in October to plaudits from the country’s amusement trade association, SAPAR. The 42nd edition of Enada Rome will be held from October 15-17 at the Italian capital’s Fiera di Roma expo centre. The event is set to bring the latest in gaming, video lottery terminals and amusements to Italy, with tickets now on sale to all industry representatives. Enada organisers recently hosted the Assembly of the Delegate Members of SAPAR – Italy’s national association of public recreational SAPAR chairman Raffaele Curcio said he was attraction equipment. very satisfied with the participation in the

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PLAY BALL! he fifth annual UK Pinball Party takes place at the Puma Daventry Court Hotel in Northamptonshire on August 29-31. This year’s guest of honour is game design legend Barry

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Oursler, who was responsible for designing a host of classic pinball games, including Solar Fire, Defender, Cyclone, Pin-Bot, Hurricane, Dirty Harry, JackBot and Junkyard. Oursler will be on-hand all weekend to meet Party guests and

sign autographs and will be our special guest speaker for the gala dinner on the Saturday night. 20 YEARS FOR VENDING ASSOCIATION he European Vending Association (EVA) has announced the date for its annual gen-

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assembly.“It is an excellent omen, considering the future of the sector, which is awaiting encouraging responses on behalf of the current government,”Curcio said.“In fact, the delicate Article 14 of the Fiscal Bill which foresees important intervention by the executive in the gaming sector is at the approval stage.” According to SAPAR’s national secretary, Corrado Luca Bianca,Enada remains a vital outlet for the country’s gaming industry.“[It is] an indispensable expo for the sector, and one which I obviously hope will grow increasingly the in the future, as it is a real driving force for our businesses.”

eral meeting and conference. The event is celebrating its 20th outing this year, with members from the continent’s vending sector descending on the Belgian Comics Museum for a day of talks that includes a review of the show’s two decades of history. The EVA AGM 2014 is scheduled to take place in

Brussels on the 11 December, 2014.

EDITORIAL Editor: Alex Lee Email: al@sjc.co.uk Tel: 07772 280 299 Assistant Editor: James Walker Email: jw@sjc.co.uk Tel: 07816678021 Managing Editor: Ken Scott Email: ks@sjc.co.uk Tel: 01273 699 900 ADVERTISING SALES Kathryn Norris Email: knorris@gbmedia.eu Tel: 01204 396 397 Fax: 01204 392 748 SUBSCRIPTIONS Sarah Haworth Tel: 01204 396 397 DIGITAL VERSION Marc Lawton Email: mlawton@gbmedia.eu Tel: 01204 396 397 PRODUCTION Designer: Gina Lloyd Email: gl@sjc.co.uk Ad Production & Pre-Press: Dave Roderick Email: gdk@sjc.co.uk PUBLISHER Director: John Sullivan GB Media Corporation Ltd, Bolton Technology Exchange, 33 Queensbrook, Bolton, BL1 4AY Tel: 01204 396 397 Fax: 01204 392 748

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Calendar JUNE 2014 18-20 Asian Attractions Expo, China National Convention Centre, Beijing, China www.iaapa.org/ AsianAttractionsExpo

JULY 2014 8-10 World Gaming Executive Summit W Hotel, Barcelona, Spain www.terrapinn.com/InterGES2

AUGUST 2014 12-14 Australasian Gaming Expo Sydney Exhibition Centre, Sydney, Australia www.austgamingexpo.com

SEPTEMBER 2014 2-4 Entertainment Arena Expo, Romexpo Fair Ground, Bucharest, Romania www.earena.ro 2-4 Playfair at SALTEX 2014 Royal Windsor Racecourse, Windsor, UK www.playfairuk.com

23-25 Euro Attractions Show, RAI Exhibition Centre, Amsterdam, Netherlands www.iaapa.org/eas 30-2 LIW 2014 NEC, Birmingham, UK www.liw.co.uk

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Notes for contributors: Coinslot welcomes the submission of articles for consideration by the editor with a view to publication. Submission of an article will be held to imply that the article contains original unpublished work which GB Media Corporation Ltd may lawfully publish. All submissions are made at the owner’s risk. © GB Media Corporation Ltd, 2013 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 given, full acknowledgement of author, publisher and source must be given.

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