Theresa May’s shock announcement of a General Election is not only a U-turn for the Prime Minister, it could also move the industry’s triennial hopes off track as well.
“Yesterday’s announcement of a June General Election almost certainly changes the timings for the Government’s Triennial review on gaming machine stakes and prizes,” says Bacta’s CEO, John White. ”However, while the review may be delayed, the need for political action on the issue of Fixed-odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) remains urgent. These are dangerous, hardcore gaming machines whose £100 stake represents a constant threat to at-risk gamblers, and a glaring anomaly in our gambling regulation.
“We will be campaigning for all parties to recognise the need for substantial stake reduction on FOBTs. It is only through substantial stake reduction on FOBTs that we can protect consumers and create a socially responsible environment for gambling in the UK. The election is an important opportunity for political parties to show that they will be prioritising the safety of consumers over the balance sheets of a few multinational bookmaking companies.
Other industry trade bodies including The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers are focusing on the impact of Brexit in a General Election:
“Whatever the outcome, we need a government that takes decisive action to tackle rising costs for eating and drinking out businesses and provides clarity on Brexit,” comments Kate Nicholls, ALMR chief executive. “Employers need confidence and financial room to manoeuvre if they are to invest and grow. Over the coming weeks and months the ALMR will be working hard to make sure that all parties know how valuable the sector is and what needs to be done to enable businesses to succeed.”
“The debate around Brexit will be centre-stage, and we will be highlighting the key issues facing the sector,” adds BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds. “In the hospitality industry, we need to continue to attract those with the right skills, and keep trade with our neighbours as free as possible. Brexit also presents an opportunity to encourage the new government towards a more favourable tax regime, especially for beer duty. We will not hesitate to use the election to highlight both the challenges and the opportunities for brewing and pubs.”
Blueprint Machines is thrilled to announce a significant order has been placed for King of Games digital Category C machines by leading independent operator Essex Leisure.
The deal follows continued joint development, which has cemented the excellent performance of the compendium games. King of Games is the UK market leader for digital Category C, with performance at more than 25 per cent ahead of the competition. Over 4000 King of Games units were sited by the end of last year. This is roughly 70% of the digital footprint in the pub sector and growing weekly
Essex Leisure is one of the leading suppliers of coin-operated entertainment equipment and related leisure products in the South East, and the largest supplier of club fruit machines in the region. Trading for over 30 years, Essex Leisure is a family business employing more than 60 members of staff.
“It is fantastic to receive another large order from the independent sector and it has been great to work closely with Greg and the team at Essex Leisure,” said Blueprint Machines’ Managing Director, Simon Barff. “This order underlines the fact that King of Games is the undisputed market leader for digital Category C in the UK.”
“This order is part of an ongoing investment programme we have embarked upon with the King of Games product,” says Essex Leisure’s Greg Wood. “We are dedicated to promoting digital Category C product within the retail pub sector and King of Games help us to achieve this.”
One of the biggest names in cranes, Elaut of Belgium, has bought one of the premier redemption games manufacturers in the US, Benchmark Games.
“Benchmark is one of the most recognisable names in the amusement industry,” said Elaut CEO Eric Verstraeten. “The conclusion of the deal was reached after a long period of negotiation between the two companies.
“With this acquisition, we are now planning a major expansion to our range. Benchmark brings a portfolio of exception, entertaining, high-profit games and self-contained merchandise machines. The production facilities and staff at Hypoluxo, Florida, will be retained.”
Al Kress, co-founder and president/owner of Benchmark Games, commented that he was satisfied that the company’s products, its employees and the long tradition of research and development at Benchmark will continue under the Elaut banner.
The price of sale has not been revealed by either of the companies. Elaut not only intends to continue the design and manufacture of machines at Benchmark’s factory in Florida, US, but is considering adding more such facilities in the state.
The UK amusements and low stake gaming industry contributes close to £2bn to UK GDP, supports the employment of 34,000 people and pays some £270m of MGD and machine VAT, according to the highlights of a body of economic impact research conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) on behalf of bacta.
The purpose of the research was to provide a fact-base of insights and was undertaken in the period July to September 2015. The sources used include publicly available data from gambling and other bodies including the Gambling Commission, H2 Gambling Capital, HMRC and Local Authority licensing returns database as well as interviews with industry players with businesses operating across the major industry verticals.
Using analytical tables provided by the Office for National Statistics, the industry contribution to UK GDP has been calculated at £1.9bn, a figure which bacta CEO, John White believes reflects the status and importance of the industry on the national stage. He explained: “Successive governments have made it crystal clear how much importance they place on evidentially backed arguments. To be able to present our case for progressive and fair legislation backed by authoritative economic insights provided by a highly respected organisation such as PwC has been invaluable.”
For the 16th year, Steve Hawkins will again be organising a Golf Day, on behalf of BACTA’s London & Home Counties Region,.
The event is planned for Tuesday 23rd May 2017 and once again be held at one of the region’s most prestigious golf courses, Moor Park, Rickmansworth, Herts.
Moor Park is a Grade 1 listed mansion set within several hundred acres of parkland. The High course is a truly magnificent course and has hosted both professional tournaments and E.G.U. national events. Steve has decided to hire some extra golf buggies so that each team has two which will be included in the price.
The days’ format will be as follows:
11:30am First tee off time
7.00pm – 9.00pm Dinner, entertainment and charity raffle
This event promises to be the “must do” event for the London & Home Counties region and your support is greatly encouraged and appreciated.
“Over the last 15 years we have managed to raise over £120,000. Charity raffle prizes and sponsorship of holes is a major contributory factor to raising money for the regional charitable trust, and your donations and/or sponsorship for the day will be greatly appreciated. Should you kindly wish to donate or sponsor any of the above please contact me directly on the number detailed below,” says Steve.
If you require any further information, please contact Steve Hawkins on 0344 800 1333 or email@example.com.
Following what Managing Director, Quentin Stott described as ‘a hugely successful ICE’, Reflex has continued its positive start to 2017 by signing a supply contract with Gameiom Technologies. The deal will see Gameiom, whose CEO is experienced industry thought leader, Stuart Carr, supply Reflex with its Remote Game Server (RGS) enabling the deployment of game content through to major operators such as William Hill.
Commenting on the deal, which was signed within weeks of ICE, Quentin Stott said: “We’ve come a long way in the 15 months or so that we first entered the digital market. The deal with Stuart and his team at Gameiom is another important piece in the digital jigsaw for Reflex. In many ways Gameiom is a perfect partner. We share the same values, we both have a ‘can do’ approach to business and we are both hungry for success. There are a number of landmark agreements and initiatives in the pipeline which will be concluded shortly. I am confident that Q1 will set the tone and serve as a marker for the remainder of 2017.”
Stuart Carr added: “It has been a busy period for Gameiom. We have added five key management positions to strengthen our product and platform capabilities, we’ve been granted a combined UK GC Remote Operating Licence, gained a Gibraltar B2B licence to provide remote gambling services to online casinos, appointed Viv Anderson MBE as Brand Ambassador and completed this agreement with Reflex.
“Like ourselves, Reflex has a strong and independent identity which the market respects and which in part at least, underpins the huge success it has achieved in bricks and mortar gaming, where it is a major supplier of equipment to the pub, club, bingo, AGC and FEC sectors. I am confident that the Reflex team, headed by Quentin Stott and Chief Product Officer, Mat Ingram, will replicate that success in the digital space.”
As endorsed at the Divisional meetings last month, it was agreed to encourage members to join the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Parliamentary Group.
The FOBT APPG, chaired by Carolyn Harris MP, is campaigning for a stake reduction on FOBTs, and brings to together MPs from all parties along with Members of the House of Lords. Bacta has been a supporter of the Group for the last year, along with Novomatic and Praesepe, amongst others.
The Group conducted a six month inquiry into the impacts of FOBTs and at the end of January published its report which can be viewed at www.fobt-appg.com
The next stage of the Group’s work includes gathering evidence on the number of smashed machines and analysing the Government’s Review of Stakes and Prizes when it is announced later this year.
There is a small cost of £100 to join the Group. You will not be required to do anything else as an Associate Member, but will be listed on the website and will receive information about meetings and events which the Group holds.
To join the APPG, please email Kenneth.Pritchard@interelgroup.com or contact Linda at bacta.
Founded less than four years ago, G-Squared Games’ history may be short but the company’s impact on the UK category C sector has certainly been sweet for operators seeking innovation and increased choice.
G-Squared’s quirky games and light-hearted presentation belie a passion for producing high- earning games for a loyal and increasing band of operators. Customers have warmed to a succession of engaging titles, already numbering 16 in total and including Moo York Moo York, Live and Let Pie, Meerkats in Black and Corn of the Dead.
This January’s EAG witnessed the launch of Casino King, G-Squared’s cat C digital 12 game compendium which has secured the approval of all major pub retailers and is already uplifting revenues on a wide variety of sites.
This week G-Squared celebrates the production of its 5,000th machine; it’s a Casino King and forms part of a shipment to Alan Davis Automatics.
G-Squared’s Andrew Powell explains: “The popularity of our games has grown steadily, to the point where our Aylesford manufacturing plant will be working at full capacity for the foreseeable future, producing both reel-based games and digital product. Demand for Casino King continues to grow and we’ll shortly be releasing The Good, The Bad & The Pugly, a stunning new game concept featuring a lapper board and chase game,” confirmed Andrew.
Fiercely independent and with a deep understanding of the issues confronting today’s operator, G- Squared has already delivered many firsts, including full online 4G connectivity at no cost to the operator.
G-Squared’s full order book should come as no surprise. Uplifted revenues and a commitment to sustained development have already secured the company many fans in the operating community.
TouchTunes, the largest in-venue interactive music and entertainment platform in North America and ∫ the leading global provider of music and branded entertainment media, today announced a definitive agreement to merge their businesses. The companies will leverage their complementary, best-in-class products and services to accelerate innovation and growth and to help their customers and partners increase revenue and consumer engagement.
Commenting on the deal, Ross Honey, TouchTunes’ President & CEO, said, ”This agreement represents a major step forward in our global growth plan. PlayNetwork’s global reach, strong customer relationships and approach to creating engaging music and media experiences are a perfect complement to TouchTunes and will help us expand into new markets and offer new opportunities to our operator partners.”
Craig Hubbell, CEO of PlayNetwork said, “Our merger combines two best-in-class companies to become a global market leader for music and media services. Together we have the financial strength and expertise to better serve our customers with the expanded products and service capabilities they need to increase consumer engagement, in venue and beyond.”
Eric Sondag, a Partner at Searchlight Capital Partners added, “This acquisition opens a new chapter for both TouchTunes and PlayNetwork, and will create opportunities for fast-tracked growth across the product portfolio of both companies.”
In addition, TouchTunes also announced that it had acquired certain assets of El Media Group, a New York based background music and services provider.
Following the success of kids sized Hello Kitty Air Hockey table Sega is excited to add the ever popular Sonic-branded version to the range.
Sonic Baby Air Hockey table is beautifully crafted with official branding that is cute, bright and attractive making the game perfect for any FEC. The smaller playfield and lowered height are specially designed to encourage kids to enjoy this classic arcade game. Sonic Baby Air Hockey features LED scoring and timer in the playfield. The fun Sonic themed sounds are bound to keep kids happy. High-quality, durable parts, scratch resistant play field and reinforced structure, means Operators can be happy too.
Sega has had tremendous success with Sonic Basket Ball and Sonic Air Hockey, and so the company expects the new addition to the family to do just as well. Operators can add the optional ticket vend unit to Sonic Baby Air Hockey to make the game ticket redemption. The game measures 193cm Deep, 99cm Wide and just 69cm high (76”D x 39”W x 27”H).
Sonic Baby Air Hockey is now shipping, so contact your local distributor now, or Sega direct on +1 847 364 9787 or +44 (0) 208 391 8090 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org