Is slowing pub decline good news for machines?

Coinslot, Pub, Cat C, fruit machines, Michael Hardmam, CAMRA
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New data indicates that the rate of pub closures is slowing, but is this good news for coin-op?

The decimation of the pub industry over the past decade has played a role in the fortunes of Cat C machines, while the rise in food-led establishments amongst the many public houses that remain has also exerted a negative effect.

Recently released data indicates that the rate of pubs and bars shutting down has fallen by seven percent over the past year. An increased interest in craft beer and food has been credited with slowing the decline and while the latter has been seen as the traditional enemy of the fruit machine, the former fits neatly with the traditional venue that warmly welcomes a coin-op presence.

Although it will take some time to see if the slowing of pub closures has any positive effect on the Cat C or SWP sectors, it has at least raised the spirits of pub campaigner Michael Hardman, who co-founded the Campaign for Real Ale. “It’s a jolly good bit of news,” he said, “and I really hope that is going to happen over the next few years.’’

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