Storm Gaming CEO Richard Sheldon reveals his forthright views on the need to bolster stakes across all fronts for AWP machines, with particular attention needing to be paid to the already popular B3 category.
While Theresa May makes headlines with her Brexit comments, the industry is more directly concerned with whether she will follow through on rumours of a triennial review. Opinions about what would be best for the various different levels of machine are diverse, but all in coin-op agree that something needs to be done about FOBTs.
While some echo the opinion of problem gambling campaigners that B2 stakes should be radically dropped or the category scrapped entirely, Richard Sheldon of Storm Games is more concerned about seeing B3 stakes rise significantly.
“The ability to offer a higher price of play in the B2 market has proven to be successful for operators and popular with loyal players,” said Sheldon. “If the B3 sector were also given the opportunity to offer an increased stake, then providing that this higher stake was proportional to the time specification for a series of single games, then it would be a big step forward for the industry, creating a more level playing field and giving B3 operators the opportunity to be more competitive.”
The most recent Gambling Commission data shows that B3 products are already the most profitable machines for AGCs, but restrictions on the ratio of machines mean that a bump in stakes and prizes is the easiest way to kickstart the industry’s ability to capitalise on this popularity.
Not that Sheldon isn’t also keen to see a boost given to Cat C, which still dominate the market in terms of the number of AWP machines in the field.
“We would hope to see a £200 Jackpot for the Cat C sector as this would provide an opportunity for growth, both in terms of organic income and greater flexibility of future game design,”
“We would hope to see a £200 Jackpot for the Cat C sector as this would provide an opportunity for growth, both in terms of organic income and greater flexibility of future game design,” said Shedlon of Storm’s desires, also revealing their hopes for revitalising the Cat D sector: “In addition, it is clear that a modest increase in the Cat D maximum prize to £10 would provide this important sector with an opportunity to realise its somewhat dormant potential.”
As for Storm Gaming’s overall business performance, Sheldon revealed that trading on both the digital and physical fronts are good, but the former is clearly the growth market for the years ahead.
“Storm has increased both hardware and software sales over the past year, whilst content updates have proven to be our biggest growth market, as operators increasingly realise the value of investing in the latest software in order to maximise their revenues,” he explained. “With the release of four new game titles this month we expect further growth in this area.”