Well the recent Irish Show at the new revamped Red Cow Hotel, Dublin was hailed as a success, and I’m sure it was, there was a great buzz about the exhibition and people appeared to be spending which was great news for the exhibitors.
Many thanks to GamBet’s John Purcell and Susan Feery for their superb organisation of the exhibition and for their kind free drinks party on the first night of the show, and also for allowing the charity raffle once more.
The charity raffle raised 800 euros and I would like to thank the following companies/people that donated prizes:
Coin-Op Community – Cummins Allison – Sound Leisure – Innovative Technology – GeWeTe – Blueprint Gaming – 7’s Above – Whitehouse Leisure – Bob and Kathy Hepworth HC Terminals – Harry Levy – Bandai/NAMCO – Dransfield Novelty Co – Instance Automatics – Crown Direct – Red Cow Hotel – Carnaby Gaming – Jim and Ann Casey – Novelty World – JC Gaming/JC Cables & Spares – ITP Imports
I would also like to a big thank you for Derek and Maggie Lynch, Chris and Miro from Carnaby Gaming for ensuring safe transportation of some of the raffle prizes, to Mick Kennedy for acting as MC, Roy Deeming for all his help with the tickets and prizes and a massive thank you to all of you that bought raffle tickets , without you there would be no raffle, and this has become as much a part of the Irish Exhibition as the exhibition itself and it’s something that both exhibitors and visitors alike look forward to.
The pursuit of a fun experience and the chance to win money, have been identified as the two most important motivations for UK amusement machine players, in a large scale consumer survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) on behalf of bacta.
The PwC Consumer & Industry Insights is the largest body of research conducted on attitudes towards amusements machines and involved online surveys and face to face interviews with a sample of 2,297 current/lapsed players and 2,500 non-users of amusements machines.
The General Election and the Triennial Review
The announcement last Tuesday of a General Election on June 8th caught everyone by surprise. Our immediate thought was what were the implications for the Government’s review of stakes and prizes? An announcement was expected in May with the launch of a consultation document that would have given us the clearest view yet of what Government thought of our proposals for stake and prize increases and crucially the maximum stake on B2s. That announcement will not now happen.
That does not mean the review is dead. We are currently entertaining all the options that might arise on 8th of June and planning accordingly and our lobbying will not cease. I am loathe to make predictions in this increasingly unpredictable political landscape but my best bet is that the Conservatives are returned with a majority, perhaps smaller than opinion polls suggest at the moment. There will be some small changes in Cabinet and Ministerial posts and then it will be back to normal but with a strengthened Theresa May. For us any changes at DCMS will likely delay the consultation announcement until the Autumn. We will of course push for it sooner and if Tracy Crouch is reappointed Gambling Minister that is a possibility. I will continue to advise members if things arise which alter that assessment.
What we really need you to do is keep up the momentum of the work we have done so far, and to use the opportunity of the election to continue or renew dialogue with prospective parliamentary candidates. Can we urge you to write or preferably go and see candidates, many of whom will be re-elected come what may, to explain our position on the review and to seek their support where it hasn’t been previously given. We will be writing to you again over the course of the campaign with material you can use to explain the position. Go to candidate hustings and invite them to your premises. It is all grist to the mill and prospective MPs are very alive to what people say. If you need us to help please pick up the phone.
The £1 coin
Another issue mentioned last time, was the problem members were having with the new £1 coin. Please do send me evidence of the problems you are having. I have already written forcibly to the Royal Mint and asked that withdrawal of the old £1 coin is delayed until we can get to the bottom of why rejection rates for the new coin are so high on parallel mechs.
Hopefully the fine Easter weather will have helped improve the mood, particularly of those operators at the seaside, where I am hearing it has been a great Easter holiday this year. With all the blows, costs and policy delays the industry has suffered over recent years it is nice to have something positive to talk about.
Local Risk Assessments – operators take note
We have this week received a letter from the Gambling Commission about the failure of many establishments they have inspected to understand their obligations under the LCCP in respect of local risk assessments. They found that often the risk assessment was held at the Head Office and not at the site to which it should relate. Staff there were often ignorant of the contents of, or indeed requirement for, a local risk assessment. Smaller operators whilst more likely to have the risk assessment to hand were simply adopting the bacta template. This is meant as a guide for members to complete with their own localities in mind when assessing local risks to the licensing objectives. One positive from the exercise was that non -bacta members were much more likely to fall foul of the LCCP requirement.
AV testing in pubs
Can I remind Division 2 operators and pubco members that Age Verification testing is being undertaken in pubs. It is important pub customers are aware of their obligations. If anyone wants to discuss this further please contact bacta’s Head of Compliance, Phil Silver.
Talking of Phil, members will be disappointed to learn that Phil has signalled his intention to retire from bacta on 23rd November, the date of bacta’s Convention this year. I am sure you will want to come along on the 23rd to pay tribute to a man who has, and continues to devote incredible energy and diligence to the service of our sector. Phil has been shortlisted for the Senior Compliance Officer of the Year Award at next week’s Gambling Compliance Awards dinner. It would be a fitting tribute if he won.
Agendas for the May/June round of Regional Meetings will be sent out shortly. If anyone wants anything on the agenda please let me or your Regional Chair know asap. There is a lot to discuss and I would appreciate member’s views, not least on ways in which we can reform our Regional meetings!
Can I ask members in Division 1 (and I know you are busy), to keep an eye out for an email from Parveen next week about Tickets2wishes. This is a brilliant idea pioneered by James Miller of Fun Station, and your new Vice-President. I mentioned it in my last WW and it consists of you ordering from us a tube and promotional material that encourages your customers to donate unwanted redemption tickets to Rays of Sunshine. You pay over the cash equivalent (which you can match if you like) to the Bacta Charitable Trust; the BCT adds it all together and hopefully gives a big fat cheque to Rays at the end of the season.
It is with great sadness that we advise of the passing of Dave Perry. Dave sadly passed away on the 12th of April. His life was spent in the industry that he loved with over 25 years at Project. His wife Sue and his family would like to invite you to celebrate Dave’s life on Friday 12th May, 1.00pm at St Peters Church, St Albans AL1 3HG and afterwards at The Rose and Crown 10 St Michael’s Street, St Albans AL3 4SG. If you wish to attend please email Tony Boulton at firstname.lastname@example.org
BANDAI NAMCO Amusement Europe Ltd. Is reporting phenomenal interest in its range of Super Girls DC Comics plush characters.
Featuring Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Supergirl, Catwoman and Batgirl, the posse of 27cm plush is powering its way off the shelves according to Darell Simmonds, EMEA Sales Manager- Prize Division. “Traditionally there has not been that much out there specifically for girls and this range appears to have really captured the imagination of players,” he says.
It is not only the amusement sector that is in thrall to the super heroines – TV and film releases show that it is the ladies’ turn to shine. The Supergirl TV Series was a huge success on Netflix last summer and will soon be back for a second series. In addition, this June will see the release of the hotly anticipated Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot. We will also see more of Harley Quinn in a spin-off movie, according to reports from Hollywood. Even Lego has now introduced a range of DC Super Hero Girls characters to its range.
“Not everything for girls needs to be pink and about princesses,” adds Darrell. “Our range of retail-quality plush characters have got real girl power.”
It’s very nearly a year since IHL Tech launched SmartEXCLUSION and what a year it’s been, helping close to 2,500 self-excluders find the support they need. CTO, Paul Harris, reviews the year and previews some important new initiatives that will come on stream during 2017.
TouchTunes’ Playdium, which has harnessed the power of technology to boost income and put the jukebox firmly back on the map, has avoided ‘M25 Syndrome’ and is performing well in venues the length and breadth of the country. Real-time data from the Playdium jukeboxes sited in pubs, clubs and other entertainment locations, confirms strong performance figures from Inverness to Ipswich and Aberdeen to Aberystwyth!
As we approach Easter, fairground operators are being advised by the Gambling Commission to ensure they follow the rules for buying, maintaining and operating gaming machines.
“Given that the Easter break is the traditional start of the season for fairground operators, we are reminding them to brush up on the rules for gaming machines, and comply – ahead of any compliance checks – carried out by local licensing authorities,” said a Commission release.
Key points to remember are:
- Low-stake (category D) fruit machines can be made available at fairgrounds along with coin pushers and crane grab machines
- Higher stake gaming machines (category B and C), like those typically played in arcades and pubs, are not permitted
- Fairground operators must source all their machines from Gambling Commission licensed suppliers
- All employees working with gaming machines must be at least 18 years old.
An easy to print quick guide to the rules for fairgrounds is available on the Commission website, as well as details of the stakes and prizes for category D machines.
Live 5 Gaming is thrilled to announce that it has been awarded its Alderney Gambling Commission licence.
“At the beginning of the year we hosted a delegation from the Alderney Gambling Commission at our offices in the beautiful Hilton Hall near Wolverhampton,” says Chief Executive of Live 5 Gaming Lloyd Butler. “They were able to view the complexities of our business first hand. We are delighted that they have chosen to grant us our Alderney licence. This is another massive step forward for Live 5 as we seek to strengthen our position in the mobile marketplace.”
“Several of our games have been ordered by blue chip clients and our development schedule is being increased to meet demand,” adds Chairman Roy Howell.
About Live 5 Gaming
Live5 was created to capitalise on the huge growth and opportunities in the online/retail sectors. Live 5 fully focuses on quality content development.
Live 5’s core values are:
DEVELOPING & RETAINING RELATIONSHIPS
DELIVERING ON TIME.
Ahead of the advent of British Summer Time last weekend, Britain’s leading amusement and leisure parks called on the Government to shift UK clocks to Central European Time, putting the UK one hour ahead of GMT in winter and two hours ahead in the summer – creating lighter evenings all year round.
Such a move would create up to 80,000 new jobs and boost the economy by £2.5-3.5bn a year, claimed BALPPA/
It would also reduce carbon emissions – 447,000 tonnes of CO2 on winter calculations alone – improve public health by encouraging more outdoor activity and prevent some 80 road deaths a year, saving the NHS £138m.
Leisure day visits make up about 50% of the tourist industry and are currently constrained by the early advent of darkness in the winter months. By putting the clocks forward by an hour all year round, visitor attractions would benefit significantly.
Paul Kelly, Chief Executive of British Association of Leisure Parks Piers and Attractions (BALPPA), commented:
“BALPPA is strongly in favour of UK time being shifted permanently ahead by one hour. This simple, relatively low-cost change would have far reaching positive benefits for the tourism and hospitality industry, as well as on health, wellbeing and crime across the UK’’.
“We will continue to lobby government to secure this important change which would provide a vital boost to domestic tourism in what are otherwise challenging times for the industry’’.
BALPPA is the trade association that represents the interests of owners, managers, suppliers and developers in the UK’s commercial leisure parks, piers, zoos and attractions sector. Our organisation speaks for over 300 members, including iconic attractions such as Alton Towers, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Brighton Pier, Bristol Zoo, Clacton Pier, Drayton Manor, Gulliver’s World, Lightwater Valley, the London Eye, Skegness Pleasure Beach, Teignmouth Grand Pier and Thorpe Park.