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Blueprint Acquires Games Warehouse

02/01/2018 | No comments

Leading UK-based game studio Blueprint Gaming, part of the Gauselmann Group, has completed the acquisition of omni-channel gaming provider Games Warehouse from the Harbour Group.

The deal will see Blueprint significantly boost its operations, delivering a greater number of high quality games to the market.

Games Warehouse, based in Derby, UK, supplies innovative content to the global gambling market, with its games available across online, mobile and retail channels.

Popular titles, including Wild Bandits, Birdz and Gold Strike, are already live across numerous websites and retail outlets of some of the leading operators.

Staff members will continue to operate out of its existing office, where both the igaming and SWP machine teams will support Blueprint’s development plans.

Matt Cole, managing director of Blueprint Gaming, said: “We are very pleased to welcome the Games Warehouse team to Blueprint Gaming. They will support our growth by continuing to develop creative games as well as back Blueprint’s development efforts.

“We are confident that the fit will work very well and we look forward to creating some innovative games together.”

Brandon Bezzant of Harbour Group added: “Games Warehouse first created the SWP market and more recently successfully evolved into a standalone games developer for online and mobile.

“We are sure that as a part of Blueprint Gaming and the Gauselmann Group, the team can go from strength to strength.”

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RGA Calls for Fixed Levy on Gambling

13/12/2017 | 1 comment

The Remote Gambling Association (RGA) this week announced that it would urge the Government to introduce a statutory levy to replace the current system of voluntary funding for research, education, and treatment of problem gambling; and to ensure that the National Responsible Gambling Strategy is properly funded.

The current voluntary funding system, which is overseen by GambleAware, was originally established by the gambling industry to provide finances for a range of social responsibility projects, and full credit should be given to all those companies who have contributed to it regularly over the years. Without this support there would have been few or no specialist treatment services in Great Britain and less resource available for research and education.

“It has become increasingly clear that this system is no longer fit for purpose and this concern is presumably why DCMS in its Consultation on proposals for changes to Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures October 2017) posed a specific question about the future of the funding of research, education and treatment,” said an RGA spokesperson.

The RGA’s previous position was that it was not opposed in principle to the introduction of a statutory levy. After careful consideration it has now taken the decision that it should instead proactively seek the introduction of such a levy for which there is already a reserve power in the Gambling Act 2005. When it responds in January to the DCMS consultation it will adopt this line and propose ways in which an equitable and effective levy system could be implemented sooner rather than later.

Commenting on the proposal, the RGA’s Chief Executive, Clive Hawkswood, said:
‘There has been much to commend in the voluntary funding system, but if we are to combat problem gambling to the best of our ability and to minimise gambling related harm, then now is the time for change and for a fresh start. We are all disappointed that the current system has been the subject of so much criticism and has struggled with fundraising, but we need to put that behind us.

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Reflex Celebrates Exclusive deal with William Hill

13/12/2017 | No comments

Nine months after Reflex Gaming signed what was described as a ‘significant business win’ with William Hill, the UK based games creator has announced an exclusive supply deal with the leading bookmakers for ‘Einstein Eureka Moments’. The game, which resonates with the interests and preferred playing styles of a UK audience, will feature on the William Hill Vegas Tab, which is the home for exclusive content.

Reflecting on the latest success, which follows July’s deal with Tier 1 operator, BetVictor, Chief Product Officer, Mat Ingram, said: “I’m delighted the investments that we continue to make in R&D and the recruitment of what I believe to be the best design team in the business, is paying off with this latest agreement. Gaining exclusive supply contracts is a strong show of faith in our creativity and the ability to produce quality content that the market wants to play. Our team has enormous experience and a glittering track record in the development of credible and compelling content. Einstein Eureka Moments taps into the psyche of the British game player, a demographic which chimes with the William Hill business.”

He added: “While Reflex is still relatively new to the digital space we have the right combination of experience and hunger to make an important contribution to the sector and are looking forward to making more headway as we approach ICE London 2018 which represents a key opportunity for the company to demonstrate exactly what we can bring to the table.”

Julian Beck, William Hill’s Head of Game Development, stated: “We are delighted to see ‘Einstein Eureka Moments’ live on William Hill Vegas and confident that the game will resonate with our customers and perform well. Reflex Gaming is important to our exclusive strategy on content and we look forward to working on more unique content in 2018.”

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Machines Are Far From Only Gambling Threat for Kids says Report

13/12/2017 | No comments

New research published by the Gambling Commission shows that children are experiencing gambling in non-traditional locations – such as the playground or online. The data raises questions about the long term impact for children whose early experiences of gambling are in a consequence-free environment.

The figures show that new technology is providing children with opportunities to experience gambling behaviours through products, such as free-to-play casino games, social media or within some computer games, which do not have the same level of protections or responsible gambling messages as regulated gambling products.

The report also shows that the most common forms of gambling amongst children – bets between friends, playing fruit machines in pubs and clubs, and buying National Lottery scratchcards – are happening in locations that do not need to be regulated to provide gambling.

Tim Miller, Gambling Commission Executive Director said “We require gambling operators to have strong protections in place to prevent children from accessing their products and are actively reviewing how some, like age verification, can continue to be strengthened.

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Superbowl UK to Open Warrington Site

06/12/2017 | No comments

£1.9m bowling centre with arcade and ninja assault course confirmed in Warrington

Warrington’s Golden Square has confirmed a deal to bring 10-pin bowling company Superbowl UK to the town. The firm plans to invest over £1.9m to fit-out the former BHS store unit, where it will create 12 bowling lanes along with a kids’ soft play centre, ‘Ninja Tag’ assault course, amusement arcade, food diner and sports bar.

LaSalle Investment Management’s national director, Gavin Ingram, said he is delighted to finally confirm Superbowl UK for Golden Square. He said: “We are obviously delighted that Superbowl will be bringing its fantastic family offering to Golden Square and Warrington. We work closely with our on-site team and listen to what our customers want at the scheme, and we’re sure that they’ll be thrilled by this newest addition.”

 

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Gambling Commission appoints James Mackay as Executive Director

06/12/2017 | No comments

The Gambling Commission has announced the appointment of a new Executive Director, James Mackay to lead the competition for the next licence of the National Lottery – a role which will include shaping and running the competition ahead of the new licence beginning in 2023.

The licence to run the National Lottery is awarded by the Gambling Commission and we run a competition process to decide who will hold the next licence. Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd hold the current licence which expires in 2023.

James, previously Head of Regulatory Policy at Rail Delivery Group begins his new role immediately.

Gambling Commission, Chief Executive, Sarah Harrison said: ”I’m delighted to appoint James Mackay as Executive Director to lead the competition for the next National Lottery licence. The Gambling Commission’s strategy makes clear our commitment to regulating the National Lottery in a way that grows its value as a public asset, ensuring it makes the maximum contribution to society, culture and the economy. The competition for the next licence, from 2023, will be a key project for the Commission over the next five years.

“James brings with him a wealth of experience in economic regulation in complex markets, successful programme delivery and strong stakeholder engagement – all of which will be critical in developing a robust and effective competition for the National Lottery of the future”.

Executive Director, James Mackay said: ”This is an exciting and important piece of work to lead and I’m delighted to be joining the Gambling Commission at a time where the future of the National Lottery and its contribution to society will be debated and reviewed.

“There is a fantastic opportunity to transform the way the lottery works and ensure it is fit for purpose over the coming decades, whilst at the same time ensuring that players are protected.”

James was previously Head of Workforce Efficiency at Monitor, and before that he was Head of Regulatory Policy at Heathrow Airport PLC. He has also held senior roles at the Civil Aviation Authority and the General Medical Council.

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Brighton Pier Group buys indoor golf

06/12/2017 | No comments

The Brighton Pier Group has spent £10.5m on acquiring the Paradise Island Adventure Golf chain of indoor mini-golf sites.

There are six locations in the group, all in the UK:  Glasgow, Livingston (both in Scotland), Manchester, Sheffield, Cheshire Oaks and Derby (all in England).

The purchase has been funded through existing bank facilities and by raising £3m through a sale of new shares. The venues are all in high-footfall retail and leisure centres.

The purchasers own Brighton Pier, which is the fifth most visited tourist destination in England with 4.6m visitors in 2015. It is 1,722ft long, jutting out into the English Channel and the longest pier in the country.

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Teddy Clark dies, 81

01/12/2017 | No comments

One of the best-known UK seaside operators, Teddy Clark, died on Tuesday aged 81. Originally a member of a travelling showman family, Teddy was in the amusement industry at Withernsea on the English east coast, from his earliest years. His family stopped travelling in the late 1950s and with his father, Teddy set up a small arcade at Skipsea near Withernsea. Teddy shortly afterwards opened his own location in Withernsea.

He grew his business, under Teddy’s Amusements over the years until it encompassed 30 seaside arcades and adult gaming centres. Son William joined him and helped to expand it together with his sisters. They subsequently sold their FECs 15 years ago and 18 months ago the adult gaming centres were sold to Praesepe, the Gauselmann Group operator.

Teddy, who had overcome some health difficulties in recent years, lost his wife, Patricia 11 years ago but found happiness with Annette. In addition to William, his son, he leaves two daughters, Vanessa Birch and Kay Clark.

The funeral will be at St. Chad’s Church, Otley Road, Far Headingley, Leeds, LS16 5JT at 11.30 on Thursday, December 14. The family has requested no flowers but donations to Queen’s Centre for Oncology, Castle Hill Hospital, Cottingham, HU16 5JQ.

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Phil Mander Loses His Brave Battle

29/11/2017 | 6 comments

It is with great sadness that Coin-op Community reports the death of Phil Mander over the weekend.  Phil spent a great deal of his life battling severe ill health and yet despite this, he worked diligently in the industry for a number of companies including JNC, Sega and CVA.

Phil’s funeral will be held at Trowbridge Crematorium at 11.30am on Friday the 15th December and afterwards at Avebury Sports and Social Club.

Many of you will remember last year, in cooperation with Phil’s close friend Terry Farr (pictured with Phil right), Coin-op Community ran a fundraising campaign to ease some of the financial suffering that Phil and his wife Mandy were undergoing due to Phil’s ill health. Together we raised almost £7,000 which made a massive difference.

“Phil was so touched and grateful for all the support from his former colleagues and friends in the industry and the money raised was literally life-changing,” says Terry.

We will bring you a longer tribute to Phil in next week’s newsletter.

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LBOs Look For Calmer Waters for Expansion

29/11/2017 | No comments

Reuters news service reports that Paddy Power Betfair and William Hill are in talks with Australia’s CrownBet as they seek expansion opportunities outside of the UK.

Paddy Power Betfair, which runs betting shops in Britain and Ireland, has had discussions with CrownBet, the online gambling firm that is 62 percent-owned by Crown Resorts, while rival bookmaker William Hill confirmed last week that it was in “very preliminary discussions” with CrownBet about a possible combination with its Australian business.

This follows threats by the Government to cut the stake on B2 machines from £100 a spin to between £50 and £2, once the current 12-week consulation period is over.

Ladbrokes Coral , another British betting shop operator, held unsuccessful deal talks with online rival GVC this year.

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