News

Southern City Wins Aurora Cabinet at ACOS

16/10/2017 | 1 comment

Portsmouth-based Southern City Leisure is the lucky winner of a free Aurora cabinet from Blueprint, following the purchase of the 2,000th UK Aurora before the ACOS show.

“We thought we would award a free machine as a thank you and make the announcement at ACOS,” says Simon Barff, Managing Director at Blueprint Machines. “We are really pleased to say that Neil Finch at Southern City placed the winning order for the 2,000th Aurora and therefore won an extra one on us!”

Neil Finch, Managing Director at Southern City Leisure said, ”We are thrilled to have won, the Aurora has a real presence on site and even more so now with the 2000th machine coming into our new venue in Reading.

“I initially took my first Aurora on test shortly after ICE in 2015 and was blown away by it, so much so I ordered a further 7 within the first week with many more since. From my customers’ perspective they really enjoy the games, they tell me it’s like being part of an interactive cartoon,” he added.

“Most machines succeed or fail because of content, this is what Blueprint have got right on the Aurora, the games are amazing not just one but the majority. I was talking to a very nice couple only yesterday who were playing Wild Antics, their comments were: ‘We’ve won some money and lost some money but we’ve really enjoyed playing this game’. Well done Blueprint, please keep the great games coming.”

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FatCat SoftWorks Introduces New Cat C and B4 Titles

16/10/2017 | No comments

FatCat SoftWorks are proud to announce the introduction of a variety of Category C and B4 games to their product line up.

FatCat now supply dongle-free Category C gaming software compatible with every SWP machine on the market as well as a host of other machines.

Our £100 Casino Menu is a quick, simple and cheap way to update any of your existing Games Warehouse and Entnet machines to a dongle free Category C and SWP terminal.

The Multigame Casino Menu is supplied with a full metal fascia and acrylic decal set that integrates a new button panel for increased player enjoyment. The Multigame Casino Menu is available for all Games Warehouse and Entnet TT or TT 09 cabinets.

The FatCat “It’s Showtime” Video AWP not only looks stunning, it also places itself in a unique position in the market. Taking all the benefits of a single game analogue AWP and marrying it with the modern 5 slot video game play the modern player wants.

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IAAPA Elects Amanda Thompson OBE Second Vice Chair

16/10/2017 | No comments

The board of directors of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) elected Amanda Thompson OBE second vice chairman during its meeting on Sept. 25 in Berlin, Germany. Thompson is managing director (CEO) of Blackpool Pleasure Beach and will serve as IAAPA’s second vice chair in 2018. She will be first vice chair in 2019 and then lead the global attractions industry trade association as its chairman of the board in 2020.

“Amanda’s firsthand knowledge of leading a successful family owned business and her diverse industry experience make her the perfect person for this role,” said Mario Mamon, chairman of the IAAPA Governance Committee and president and CEO of Enchanted Kingdom in the Philippines. “She is a third-generation attractions industry leader and a long-time IAAPA volunteer. All of this, coupled with her passion for the industry make her the right leader at the right time for IAAPA.”

Thompson brings lifelong industry experience and knowledge to the IAAPA role that is as much generational as it is personal. Blackpool Pleasure Beach was established by Amanda’s great grandfather, WG Bean, in 1896. Her grandfather, Leonard Thompson, assumed leadership in 1931, and her father Geoffrey oversaw the business from 1976 until 2004. Since that time, Amanda has led the park as managing director (CEO).

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Bandai Namco Installs First A.I. Solve Units Into Hollywood Bowl And Tenpin

10/10/2017 | No comments

BANDAI NAMCO Amusement Europe Ltd. are the distribution partners for the innovative A.I. Solve company with their We Play VR location-based VR attraction and have installed the first units into Hollywood Bowl (HWB) sites over the summer.

The We Play VR attraction comprises of a glass-walled maze with a surprisingly small footprint – the player wears a VR mask and backpack and is free to move around the unit – while selected sequences from the game are shown from the player’s perspective on an outside screen.

The first site to feature a We Play VR attraction is HWB Bolton with the game Mayan Adventure – which sees the player search for a lost golden monkey statue hidden within a mysterious Mayan ruin, guarded by a serpent god. After donning the VR headset, explorers descend into a virtual world filled with twists and tunnels. A ‘virtual’ flaming torch is carried by the player and the mission has to be completed before the flame burns out.

“BNAE are very excited to be working alongside one of the major players in the VR industry within the UK. A.I. Solve believe in the same approach as us with regards to Virtual Reality which is that VR will be a major player in the gaming industry in the next year or so,” says Matthew Bradley, VR Project Manager at BANDAI NAMCO Amusement Europe Ltd.

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Playnation secures Bourne and Warner supply deal

10/10/2017 | No comments

Leisure and gaming operator Playnation, part of the NOVOMATIC UK group of companies, has secured a renewal of its machine supply contract with Bourne Leisure which includes Butlins, Haven and Warner Leisure Hotels. Under the terms of the agreement, Playnation has been reappointed as the majority supplier offering the very latest leisure and gaming machines to Bourne Leisure nationally which includes the high profile Butlins locations at Skegness and Minehead

Stuart Green, Playnation’s Director of Operations, commented: “We’re delighted to have renewed our ongoing relationship with Bourne, one of the biggest names in the UK holiday industry. This deal cements our status as the largest machine supplier across the Haven, Butlins and Warner businesses. We will continue to collaborate closely with the team at Bourne to deliver a world-class leisure and gaming machine offer for their guests.”

Kevin Scott, Head of Arcades for Bourne Leisure, stated: “Playnation has worked incredibly hard for us over the previous term of its supply contract to build and maintain a ‘best in breed’ machine offer across our locations. In recognition of that commitment, Bourne has rewarded Playnation with a further four-year contract and we look forward to continuing our close working relationship.”

Established in 2013 and acquired by Novomatic UK in 2015 forming the Gamestec Playnation Group, Playnation is one the UK’s leading operators supplying a range of locations including holiday parks, motorway service stations, family pubs, bowling alleys, high street AGCs and major airports. The company employs more than 570 people across the UK, operating circa 20,000 amusement machines throughout 1,534 locations.

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Siegfried Dattl Jr Dies at Just 51

10/10/2017 | 1 comment

We are very shocked to learn of the death of Siegfried Dattl, CEO at TAB-Austria, one of the leading manufacturers of touchscreen games and specialist cabinets for sports betting.

Siegfried died at only 51 at his home in Ansfelden, in Upper Austria, close to the TAB factory in Linz. He had been in poor health for some time, but his death last Friday, October 6, came as a great shock to the TAB workforce and to the entire industry.

He leaves both of his parents, Annemarie and father Siegfried Snr who started the company 50 years ago, and a sister Elisabeth Puehringer, who often supports her family at shows and other events.

Siegfried took over the business from his father 20 years ago after working at TAB to learn about the industry. Under Siegfried’s guidance TAB became one of the leading suppliers of touchscreen games, with products such as the Silverball terminal, the Maxfire digital juke box and the Fun4Four upright four-player gambling game for amusement only.

A large diversion for the company came a few years ago when Siegfried tied up a series of contracts to supply specialist sports betting cabinets that were to be exported in their thousands to a number of markets, notably the UK and Spain. He also oversaw the development of a substantial gaming operation in South Africa.

InterGame partners David Snook and Christine Butterworth, who both know the Dattl Family well, commented: “Siggi Dattl was enormously respected throughout the international market. He was a good businessman but a gentleman in everything he did, very much in keeping with the entire Dattl family. We are very shocked and join with so many others in the industry in offering our sincere condolences to the Dattl family.”

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ACOS Announces Last-Minute Venue Change

09/10/2017 | No comments

ACOS 2017 will now be held at Olympia London, due to an electrical fire at its planned venue, Chelsea Football Club.

Organiser Karen Cooke explained: “This morning Chelsea Football Club called to cancelled our tenancy at their venue, due to a fire in their electrical systems. You will appreciate this has come as something of a shock and we’ve urgently had to find a new venue, so as not to disappoint our visitors and all of the companies who have put so much into the event. Olympia London had some space available and has pulled out all of the stops to assist us.

“We hope that Olympia’s close proximity to Chelsea will mean that disruption to people’s accommodation and travel plans will be kept to a minimum. We apologise for any inconvenience and hope that all the show’s participants will understand that these circumstances were beyond our control. However, The Show Must Go On,” assured Karen

ACOS will take place at Olympia London’s Conference Centre (Level 3). There will be no change to the show’s opening times.

For information on travel to Olympia, visit www.olympialondon.com

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Brighton Palace Pier CEO receives industry award

05/10/2017 | No comments

Anne Martin, Chief Executive Officer, The Brighton Pier Group plc, has been recognised for her services to the amusements industry. Anne, who was appointed to the newly created role as Chief Executive of the company in June 2017, received the Bacta Community Award from the association’s President, Gabi Stergides at a presentation held on Brighton Palace Pier.

Reflecting on the award Gabi Stergides said: “The vast majority of Britain’s piers are financed by privately owned companies who rely on the revenue they generate to sustain and protect what are jewels in the seaside crown. For over 120 years Brighton Palace Pier was the only totally privately-funded conservation project in the UK and the biggest revenue stream for Britain’s piers is the income derived from amusement machines.

“Under Anne’s leadership the business has enjoyed consistent growth and is a landmark which reflects the fantastic vibrancy and energy you experience when visiting Brighton and Hove. The 4.6m people a year who visit the pier eclipse the numbers attending the V&A, the Science Museum, the Tower of London and Stonehenge. There’s no doubt that Bacta members, including The Brighton Pier Group plc, play a central role in helping to keep the tourism proposition fresh and attractive, and in the process make a huge contribution to seaside economies throughout the country.”

Commenting on the industry recognition, Anne Martin said: “I am delighted with the award and would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Brighton Pier team members for their dedication and support over the past 13 years since I first came to Brighton.”

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Nat Solomon Dies at 93

03/10/2017 | 3 comments

Nat Solomon, the former managing director of Associated Leisure, the UK’s largest distributor in the 1980s and 1990s, died in a London hospital on Saturday aged 93 after a short illness.

Associated Leisure was a publicly-traded company that grew out of the old Phonographic distribution company, later merging into Phonographic Ruffler and Walker or simply PRW. That company went public in 1974 to become the new A.L.

Solomon came out of Cambridge with a degree in automotive engineering and worked for Unilever for many years before he was headhunted to lead the new A.L. He took the company into the Pleasurama Group and oversaw the merging of Pleasurama with Mecca. Subsequently, he carried out consultancy work for a number of companies in the leisure industry.

Throughout his life he was an avid supporter of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and in 1991 he became chairman of the club when it was in financial difficulties. It was Solomon who sold off the club’s best player, Paul Gascoigne, to Italian club Lazio for £5.5m to clear the club’s debts. He later handled the sale of the club to businessman Alan Sugar in 1993. At the time of his death, Nat Solomon was a life president of the club.

One current industry leader who remembers Solomon well is Nick Harding, CEO at Praesepe, the major adult gaming centre group and part of the Gauselmann Group. Harding said: “Nat Solomon was my chairman for a number of years in the late nineties. He was always the consummate professional in the way that he conducted business, taking great pride in doing everything to the letter and I learnt a huge amount from him, business strategy, business ethics and the benefits of always dealing with people in a courteous way, are to name but a few. We rarely disagreed about anything, other than the anticipated score of the North London Derby and if Spurs happened to beat Arsenal (fortunately not that often!) then he delighted in rubbing it in! I shall miss him dearly.”

Nat Solomon leaves a son Justin and a daughter Colette.

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TouchTunes and PlayNetwork appoint Pascal de Mul as MD, EMEA

02/10/2017 | No comments

TouchTunes and Soundnet have announced Pascal de Mul is the new Managing Director for the new combined jukebox and music business in EMEA. Pascal brings significant experience and a proven background in commercial development, innovation and strategy, spanning roles at Philips, Trafi, Spotify and Deezer.

The underlying rationale for the combination of TouchTunes and PlayNetwork was to allow the combined business to provide a more complete range of music and media solutions to venues and brands focused on consumer engagement, both Pay-for-Play and Background Music.

“We are now taking important steps to realise this goal in Europe. The Company intends to launch new services that will provide enhanced value and revenue for the Operator network. In addition, we will continue to support all existing products to ensure we continue to support you and your customers,” says a company statement.

“To reinforce this commitment, Alan Newham will work directly with Pascal in support of the TouchTunes and Soundnet business, and will report to Pascal on an ongoing basis. Alan’s knowledge and experience will allow us to continue to strengthen our services, capabilities and technology platform to create the interactive experiences your customers seek.

“On behalf of Touchtunes, Soundnet, and PlayNetwork, we thank you for your continued confidence in us and our partnership and we look forward to achieving great things together.”

 

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