The Guardian newspaper reports that a decision on B2 stakes could be made as early as tomorrow and Theresa May risks a defeat in the House of Commons unless she goes for a £2 stake.
It is believed that Iain Duncan Smith is leading a group of around 25 Conservative MPs in a bid to persuade May ‘not to waver’ in the face of last ditch lobbying by bookmakers. The group has written a letter, which has been seen by The Guardian, saying it is the Government’s ‘moral duty’ to restrict FOBTs, which they say “are causing many social harms and leading to huge financial losses for those who can least afford it.”
“Given the support for a £2 stake from every other political party, the strength of feeling among Conservatives means a more lenient approach would put May at risk of becoming the first prime minister to suffer a defeat on a statutory instrument since James Callaghan 40 years ago,” states the paper.
Rank Group has appointed John O’Reilly to the position of CEO to replace Henry Birch. O’Reilly was previously with William Hill and Ladbrokes for 25 years, where he developed online betting operations and expansion outside of the UK. O’Reilly left William Hill this time last year and will start at Rank on May 7.
Rank Chairman Ian Burke said O’Reillybrings with him “a wealth of gambling industry experience, particularly in digital. His impressive reputation and track record for delivering growth mean he is well-equipped to drive our performance going forward,”
O’Reilly stated, “I am excited to be joining Rank, a company synonymous with the UK gaming industry. Rank has very strong brands which resonate with customers and a growing digital offering and I look forward to building on this strong platform and taking Rank onto its next stage of development.”
Injustice Arcade; the DC Comics themed card-vending arcade game developed and manufactured by Raw Thrills and exclusively available from BANDAI NAMCO Amusement Europe Ltd. (BNAE) has been wowing the players at Brean Leisure’s Unity Farm Holiday Park.
Mike Childs, Arcade Manager at Unity Farm, commented, “At first, we thought it was a bit of a slow burner, but by the second week on site, it was on fire!”
“The concept of collecting a set of cards works particularly well on a holiday park where there is a lot of repeat business,” says Geoff Spencer, regional sales manager. “The cashbox figures on Injustice at Brean were incredible for just a couple of weeks on site. We can really recommend this title for other holiday parks looking to feel some heat this summer!”
Each play of Injustice Arcade vends one of 200 collectible cards starring one of the DC Comic Universe characters with famous Heroes including the likes of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman as well as some of the most sinister villains, including The Joker, Harley Quinn and Bane which can then be used to be played in the game. Players can build a unique team of three in any combination or put characters together that have compatible abilities to unleash a devastating super attack!
Justice League, released in 2017 was the latest in a string of hit movies featuring the DC Comics characters, which included Wonder Woman and Suicide Squad. This year, fans are eagerly awaiting Aquaman and Shazam! while Wonder Woman 2 is in pre-production for release in 2019. “DC Comics characters are constantly relevant to kids today through the marketing around the movies, which is making them as popular as they have ever been,” adds Geoff. “We are definitely seeing the massive marketing around the movies as a benefit when it comes to our range of DC Comics themed games.”
Brean Leisure operates two arcades – one at Brean Leisure Park and the other at the Unity Farm Holiday Park Unity Park is one of Somerset’s top camping and caravan parks with various caravan, lodge and glamping options, situated on the doorstep of miles of golden beaches.
Max Davit of GT Promotions City Slots brand has taken delivery of his latest batch of Blueprint Alphastar Category C Community machines. With this latest installation, the forward-thinking independent company from London and the South East now operates in excess of 100 Blueprint machines.
Max commented, “As a result of working closely with Gaming Solutions on the Blueprint brand and the innovative game mix we are seeing continual growth which has made the latest investment an easy decision.”
David Sherwin of Gaming Solutions added ‘With as many as 14 playing positions in some of GT Promotions’ shops it highlights the upward trend that Blueprint Cat C & B3 is delivering. It’s a delight to work with a switched-on operator such as Max.”
Bacta and CORCA, the Committee of Registered Club Associations, have agreed an informal programme of co-operation on matters of mutual interest, following a meeting between senior representatives of the two organisations. Facilitated by Dransfield Managing Director, Chris Haley, who also serves as Bacta Treasurer, the meeting was chaired by Lord Smith of Hindhead, CBE, Chief Executive of the Association of Conservative Clubs and a leading contributor to the Licensing Act 2003 Select Committee review.
Expanding on the meeting, Bacta Chief Executive, John White, said: “Our aim is to build on our relationship with the club sector, part of the industry that many Bacta members know well and are active in. Chris Haley and myself were given the opportunity to talk about Bacta and the initiatives that we are undertaking across a range of topics and issues. The FOBT political lobbying campaign that we have been driving alongside a myriad of social, religious and cultural groups was of significant interest to our colleagues at CORCA as was our commitment to social responsibility and the work we are undertaking with the PPL on music licensing, specifically the legal status of using personal licenses to stream background music in-venue.”
Peter Hannibal, Chief Executive of the cross sector strategic body, the Gambling Business Group, has called on the government to create a new organisation dedicated to the regulation of time loot boxes and skins, the in- video game cosmetics which change the appearance of weapons or characters. Frequently utilised as virtual currency for betting, skins are then cashed-in for real money via online trading platforms. A 2017 study by the Gambling Commission found that 11% of 11-16 year olds in the UK had placed bets with skins, a statistic that suggests around 500,000 children under the age of 15 could be using skins for gambling.
Hannibal’s request follows the publication of the report Daily Fantasy Sports & In-Game Gambling; Skins and Loot Boxes 2018-2022, by Juniper Research, which predicts that total spend will reach $50 billion by 2022, up from under $30 billion this year, growth of some 60 percent.
Research author Lauren Foye explained: “Skins are acquired both through playing video games and from opening purchased loot boxes. These items have value depending on rarity and popularity within game communities. On PCs, skins are traded for real money via Steam’s ‘Marketplace’; the platform has 125 million registered users globally.”
According to the report issues arise where third-party websites facilitate wagering of skins on eSports matches and casino-style games in the process creating an unregulated gambling market, a development which it argues, should be of great concern to regulators.
Peter Hannibal explained: “The video gaming or eSports world is a good example of where addiction is on the increase, particularly with the young. The UK Gambling Commission has been struggling to reach a firm position on issues with gaming in a society where there is a natural propensity to conflate the two things. I would question whether it’s really for the Gambling Commission to regulate a completely separate sector.
“Instead the DCMS should ensure that gaming has its own industry regulator and the Gambling Commission should liaise with them as they do with other associated regulatory bodies. It’s not for the gambling sector to fix the problems surrounding addiction, fairness and transparency that are being created by another separate industry over which we have no control.”
UK gaming stocks fell Tuesday, following reports that British Chancellor Philip Hammond accepted UK Gambling Commission recommendations that maximum bets on slot-style fixed-odds betting terminals be cut from £100 to £2.
There were reports Hammond was worried about a loss in tax revenue with lower bet limits, though the Treasury said Tuesday it fully supports the proposal to make gambling rules stronger.
Max bets on roulette, the most popular game played on the machines, was recommended to be cut to or below £30.
The results of the review should come following local elections in May.
Stock prices fell for William Hill, Inspired Entertainment, GVC Holdings, and Paddy Power Betfair.
Elsewhere, Chad Beynon of Macquarie said Scientific Games and Inspired Entertainment, which actually lease the machines to operators like William Hill, GVC and Paddy Power Betfair, will be most affected by the cuts.
However, INSE’s stock price already factors in the worst possible outcome for fixed-odds betting terminals, Beynon said.
If all fixed-odds terminals are taken down to £2 bet maximums, it would reduce INSE EBITDA by $15m to $20m, he estimates.
If only the slot-style games go that low, it can be just a $5m loss to EBITDA, Beynon said.
Leading cash handling equipment manufacturer Innovative Technology Ltd (ITL) headquartered in Oldham, Greater Manchester, are celebrating today after being named recipients of the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise: International Trade 2018. The Queen’s Award is the UK’s highest accolade for business success and ITL join an elite group of companies, recognised this year as deserving winners.
Futuristic holographic redemption game Crazy Tower proved to be a massive hit with players at Southend’s Adventure Island Pleasure Park over Easter.
The game, manufactured by Adrenaline and available via BANDAI NAMCO Amusement Europe Ltd. (BNAE) tests players’ stacking skills. At the touch of a button, players must build up their tower and avoid it toppling over. The taller the tower – the higher the score. Up to four players can demonstrate their versions of a Crazy Tower, through the holographic 3D display and compete against one another.
“Crazy Tower has been an excellent addition to our range of redemption games at Adventure Island,” says Carl Stacey, head of coin operations. “Players are drawn by the unusual 3D holographic display – there’s nothing else quite like it.”
Crazy Tower joins over 100 arcade game spread across Adventure Inside and Feelgoods, at Southend’s Adventure Island. The fun park has been run by the Miller family for more than 40 years on Southend Pier.
“Adventure Island is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Essex,” says BNAE’s Regional Sales Manager John Crompton. “The arcade areas are beautifully presented and the team has created an excellent redemption mix. Crazy Tower fits in very well with the family ethos as it encourages group play. It has performed particularly well over Easter.
Adventure Island started out in 1918 as Sunken Gardens, a seaside garden that in the 1920s installed a few children’s rides. In 1976, the land to the west of the pier was purchased by the Miller family. In 1995 the park was vastly expanded when the land to the east of the pier was purchased to form part of the park. In 2014, Adventure Island demolished the Pirate Boat, which was one of their oldest attractions, to make way for a new soft play area, names Adventure Inside, which opened in spring 2015.
Sega Amusements International had a booth dedicated to present Ticket Time at DEAL. Developed by Smart Industries and distributed by Sega, Ticket Time created a lot of buzz at the show. The brightly lit redemption crane stood out at the show for its aesthetic features, clever technology, reliability and headline-making high-income performance.
Ticket Time gameplay is straightforward; players move the 4-way joystick to control the crane and collect as many bundles of tickets as possible. Then using RFID technology embedded in the ticket bundles, the game calculates the number of tickets to award to the player.
Commenting on Ticket Time at DEAL, Maria Carmen Villarroya, International Sales Manager at Sega (pictured with Jimmy Dupree from Smart Industries) says “Ticket Time has tested extremely well in various FEC’s and arcades worldwide. By incorporating clever technology and mechanics, this game is accurate and reliable. The re-usable RFID embedded ticket bundles significantly reduce paper ticket costs for operators. Hence it’s no surprise Ticket Time is proving to be a dominant game in its category.”
Designed to be versatile Ticket Time can be operated on either ‘Coin-in and paper ticket out’ or ‘Swipe card and paper ticket out’ or ‘Swipe card and e-ticket out’. The game is available in 31” single player format and 61” two payer cabinet. The 31” single player cabinet measures 87cm (34”) Deep, 80cm (32”) Wide and 192cm (75”) tall. Two player 61” cabinet measures 87cm (34”) Deep, 160cm (63”) Wide and 192cm (75”) tall.
Maria concluded by saying “Thank you to all visitors that stopped by our stand at the show, your support and participation made this show a success”.