Full steam ahead for the industry as 2017 takes shape

Coinslot Full Steam Ahead
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With the real meat of 2017 still ahead of us, Joseph Ewens considers what’s on the industry’s plate and how to make the best of it.

It’s not particularly controversial of me to suggest that this is going to be a pretty interesting year, both for coin-op and everyone else, but where ‘interesting’ is often politely used as a replacement for ‘terrible’, I think in 2017 ‘interesting’ for this industry could well translate to ‘opportunity’.

Brexit is a pretty clear known unknown, to borrow an oft-maligned political phrase.

It seems clear already that the falling pound and general nationalist sentiment kept more families holidaying at home last year and as we inevitably approach the triggering of Article 50 in the coming months, there’s no sign that this phenomenon will do anything but intensify. Which is obviously fantastic news for the seaside crowd and there’s every reason to think that, confident and with coffers bulging, there will be some good money to be made for those with exciting machines to show at ACOS 2017 and EAG 2018 (not to mention the regional shows between now and then).

On the gaming front there are two major reasons to be hopeful. The first is that, despite continuing predictions to the contrary, the economy appears to be holding up well. A little cash in the pockets of the average person means more time and confidence for them to enjoy low-stakes gaming machines.

And, of course, there’s the triennial. Few of the industry’s wise heads are hoping for the DCMS to hand down its decision any time soon, but it’s not unreasonable to hope that some changes come into effect before the next 11 months are out. If, as seems more likely than not, FOBTs are cut down to size, it presents AGC and bingo operators with the opportunity of a generation, and one the industry is sorely in need of.

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