UK gambling yield up 161%

07/11/2017 | No comments

The UK’s gross gambling yield increased 161 per cent from £8.36bn in 2008 to £13.44bn last year, according to figures released by the UK Gambling Commission.

It said that a sizable portion of this was due to fixed-odds betting terminals. The machines became widespread in the country after changes to the taxation on gambling in October 2001. There are now more than 34,000 of them. They generated a gross gambling yield of £1.8bn between October 2015 and September 2016. That is about 13 per cent of the GGY of the UK gambling industry as a whole.

These machines came under recent scrutiny by the government, which has considered decreasing the machine’s maximum £100 stake to as little as £2 in an effort to combat problem gambling.

Malcolm George, chief executive of the Association of British Bookmakers, said that FOBTs were introduced 15 years ago and the levels of problem gambling in the UK have not risen since that time.

The commission also said online gambling accounts for 33 per cent of all gambling in the UK and that there are 8,788 betting shops in Great Britain, as well as 583 bingo halls, with the entire industry employing 106,678 people.

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AWP/Pubs Partnership Under Threat

07/11/2017 | 3 comments

Sales of new Category C (AWP) machines into the British market up to and including September of this year totaled 15,790, but this figure, we understand, includes “greened” machines – analogue models that were rebuilt.

The figure also includes 5,000 digital machines, mainly supplied by the two manufacturing groups in the UK, Gauselmann and Novomatic.

The data comes at a time when British pubs – the major source of locations for AWPs – are under pressure, with as many as 15 venues closing each week, according to the British Beer and Pub Association. The organisation is calling for a cut of one penny in Beer Duty as the country’s Chancellor finalises his plans for the annual Budget due to be presented on November 22.

A cut in duty, says the association, will help to save pubs from closing. It reports that sales of beer in pubs, bars and restaurants has fallen by the largest margin in five years. The BPA reports that increased business taxation and competition from beer sales in supermarkets to be consumed at home was hitting sales in pubs. Beer Duty was raised last March by 2p a pint – the first rise in five years.

Brigid Simmonds, CEO of the BPA, said: “When the government was cutting or freezing Beer Duty from 2013-15 sales of British beer stabilised after years of decline. Beer has gone up 39 per cent in tax in the past 10 years and that is 14 times higher than in Germany.”

The BPA reports that there are more breweries in the UK now, but the number of pubs is down 17 per cent since 1996. This reflects the trend to drink at home,

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Simon Bradbury To Succeed Phil Silver

07/11/2017 | No comments

Bacta has confirmed the promotion of Simon Bradbury to the newly created post of Head of Social Responsibility and Compliance.  ‘Brad’ who joined bacta in 2014 serving as Regional Compliance Officer covering the Midlands, North West, Yorks and Lincs region, will succeed Phil Silver who retires on November 23rd, closing a three decade span working with the association.

Commenting on the new position, John White, Chief Executive at bacta said: “I am delighted to welcome Brad to this new post, the creation of which reflects the central importance that we as an association place on ensuring that social responsibility is the dominant culture within our member organisations.  It is also very important that the transition is a seamless one and that we uphold the very high standards that Phil has helped to maintain.  In these respects Brad is an ideal appointment for bacta and its members and I look forward to working alongside him in this incredibly important role.”

Brad, who enjoyed a successful career with the Police Force, retiring from the West Midlands Constabulary as an Inspector in 2013, said: “During the last three years I have developed great respect for the work of bacta as an effective and progressive organisation and a close affinity with members in the Midlands, North West, Yorks and Lincs region.  My new, expanded role will put me in contact with bacta members throughout the country and I look forward to building the same calibre relationships that will help reflect the industry’s commitment to social responsibility.”

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Orders up 30% as operators embrace new Playdium deal

31/10/2017 | No comments

TouchTunes has confirmed that UK sales of its Playdium jukebox have increased by 30% following the launch of ground breaking terms, which include the abolition of fixed music fees and the introduction of deferred payments of just £14.50/week.

Toby Hoyte, TouchTunes’ Sales and Marketing Manager said: “These are fantastic terms for what is the very best jukebox in the U.K. Income on the Playdium is way above the national average.  We appreciate the huge pressures faced by UK operators and have worked hard to create an appropriate business model. Replacing fixed music fees with a simple 18% of the cashbox, reflects the faith that we have in the Playdium and its ability to deliver a modern in-venue music experience for consumers and generate the best income for our customers.  The only payment that operators make is based solely on the income of the jukebox and after three years the Playdium is fully paid for.  It’s the most transparent deal in the industry.”

Developed by TouchTunes and Sound Leisure to be an in-venue centrepiece, Playdium is widely regarded as a next generation digital jukebox. With 30,000 tracks on the juke and online access to 1 million hits and back catalogue. The Playdium learns from the music selected and adapts over time to highlight the choices that are most relevant, thereby encouraging play and maximising the cash box, which is close to 25% above the national jukebox average.

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Government Fudge Over FOBT Stake Cut

31/10/2017 | 3 comments

Yesterday the Government announced it will definitely cut the stake of FOBTs from £100. However, the industry will have to wait a further three months before we know whether the new stake will be as high as £50 or as low as £2. There will be no review of stakes and prizes for games other than prize bingo – a result which was not unexpected.

“It was not a great surprise to me that the Government announced a consultation period before deciding the final stake for FOBTs – but there is a huge difference between £2 and £50, so we will have to see what happens after 12 weeks,” said Simon Barff, Managing Director of Blueprint Machines. “As for the Triennial Review – again I am not surprised that there is no increase of stakes and prizes outside of prize bingo – there were many indications that this would be the case. Experience has shown that changes to stakes and prizes often leads to a period of uncertainty which can be bad for business in any case. Blueprint Machines will continue on our path – which has proven to be a very successful one for us.”

The 12-week consultation period was dismissed as a“missed opportunity by Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson on Radio 4 yesterday. He said that Labour would have cut the stake to £2.

The Association of British Bookmakers welcomed the further consultation period and claimed that a cut to £2 would cost the industry 20,000 jobs. However, it is widely accepted that a £50 stake would make negligible difference to the bookies’ bottom line.

Bacta’s Chief Executive John White said, “We will provide a more detailed analysis of the consultation document in the next few days. National Council are meeting tomorrow to discuss the announcement and if you wish to express your views please contact a member of National Council.”

The consultation document can be read in full here


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Digital Boost for Rank

25/10/2017 | No comments

The UK’s Rank Group achieved two per cent growth in like-for-like revenue for the 16 weeks to October, 15, the company revealed at its AGM. Rank logo The group comprises of Grosvenor Casinos, Mecca Bingo, new community-based gaming brand Luda and similar Spanish operation Enracha. On a channel basis, venues revenue fell by one per cent and digital revenue grew by 19 per cent. Grosvenor Casinos’ like-for-like revenue was down one per cent in the period, driven by a lower than average win margin. Like-for-like revenue at Mecca fell two per cent. Both Grosvenor Casinos’ and Mecca’s digital channels grew strongly in the period, however, with revenue up 34 per cent and 11 per cent respectively. Management’s expectations for the full year remain unchanged. Group revenue came in at £755.1m while operating profit was £83.5m.

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Astra Games inks distribution agreement with E-Systems for Ainsworth in Europe

25/10/2017 | No comments

Astra Games, part of NOVOMATIC UK, has signed a new distribution agreement with German-based casino equipment distributor E-Systems GmbH for the provision of Ainsworth Gaming Technology products in several European markets. The deal reaffirms the long-standing partnership between E-Systems and Ainsworth UK following the restructuring of the Ainsworth business in Europe.

Under the newly extended agreement, E-Systems, formerly known as D-Systems, will continue to provide Ainsworth products into Germany, Austria, Poland and Luxemburg, as well as to several European customers. The Ainsworth product suite includes a range of slot machines such as the A640®, A600® and A600® ST, as well as a wide selection of games and jackpot solutions.

Phil Burke, Director of UK Casino & Export for Astra Games and Ainsworth UK, said: “We are pleased to sign this new agreement for E-Systems to continue delivering Ainsworth products into key markets in Europe. This partnership has been successful over the past years and we look forward to gaining more market share as the Ainsworth product portfolio develops for the European markets.”

Emilia Tomachinska, General Manager E-Systems, added: “I’m excited to continue the distribution of Ainsworth gaming machines. We’ve been a distributor of the Ainsworth brand for 12 years, we rolled out the first Ainsworth slots in the German-speaking market and we were able to grow the market share constantly each year. We are convinced that the new generation of Ainsworth gaming machines will be a great addition to all our customers’ product portfolios and that we can build on the success of the past.”

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Calinfer S.A partners with UNIS Technology on ATARI PONG® Table

19/10/2017 | 2 comments

UNIS has partnered with Calinfer S.A, the inventor of the ATARI PONG® Table to manufacture, market, and sell this product around the world.

ATARI PONG® is recognized globally and the pending release of a consumer home table product already has a tremendous response from the media.

UNIS Technology is excited to work with Calinfer on this incredible product.

As part of the global launch, UNIS and Calinfer will be bringing the ATARI PONG®  table to the upcoming trade shows:

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017, Orlando, Florida

Consumer Electronic Show 2018, Las Vegas.

EAG International Trade show 2018

UNIS looks forward to showcasing this licensed interactive true-to-life Atari PONG®  game to their clients. For trade show appointments or more information on product, contact

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NRM make substantial commitment to R&D

19/10/2017 | No comments

NRM, the UK owned technology and software solutions provider, active in the bingo, adult gaming centre and LBO sectors, has underlined the importance of innovation across the gaming landscape by confirming what it is describing as a ‘triple lock’ on its R&D budget.  The policy commitment, which has been made by Managing Director, Andrew Ludlow, will see NRM invest a minimum 30% of revenue into the company’s R&D function in each of the next three years.

Explaining the importance of NRM’s pledge to the market, Andrew Ludlow said: “R&D is the driver of the NRM business which is built around the provision of technically advanced solutions developed by what I believe to be one of the most talented and committed teams in UK gaming.  We see innovation as an outlook or philosophy rather than simply a function and in order to live up to this, it is absolutely crucial that we continuously innovate. R&D is not something that you can switch on or off, hence our commitment to the market.”

He added: “Our customers operate in a highly competitive sector of the leisure economy in which the ultimate customer, the player, is increasingly comfortable with technology and expects to have their gaming entertainment experience enhanced by whatever advancements are available. Of course, big R&D budgets cannot guarantee success on their own but any organisation that fails to invest in this area will only meet the exacting standards the market demands by default rather than by design.  NRM’s commitment to  R&D enables us to remain both dynamic and agile to changing market conditions and shifts in taste.”

NRM’s announcement comes swiftly on the heels of a major business win with Ladbrokes Coral to install its Numbers Betting Platform across 3,000+ LBOs.

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G-Squared Committed To Cat C Voluntary Compliance

17/10/2017 | No comments

Casino King’s credentials have been further enhanced with its latest game, Lucky Rainbow Super Slot, earning a successful compliance test report at NMi Metrology & Gaming Ltd after voluntary submission by G-Squared games

Lucky Rainbow Super Slot was assessed for compliance with cat C technical standards and in respect of sections 236 and 240 of the UK Gambling Act.

The assessment included inspection and manual game play on the cabinet, emulation of selected outcomes using the base force tool, a review of source code extracts and statistical analysis of data generated by a supplied simulator.

G-Squared’s Chris Truswell was delighted with the outcome: “Whilst submission is voluntary, we’re committed to ensuring that all of our products are both compliant and audited against regulatory standards. We respect the trust that our customers place in us and voluntary testing helps to build customer confidence. As a company committed to customer satisfaction through Total Quality Management, we see product compliance testing as an important quality enhancement tool,” explained Chris.

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