The gross value of sales for new machines sold in the amusements industry increased five percent, with Cat D (cash) and B3 experiencing significant increases. The most dramatic rises, however, came from software sales in categories B3A and B4.
A total of 21,391 new amusements machines were sold between April 2016 and March 2017, according to the latest Gambling Commission statistics.
This marks a five percent increase on last year’s sales,and is accompanied by a 2.5 per- cent increase in the gross value of sales,which came in at £56.46m.
Across this period,the largest rise in machines came from Cat D (cash),which jumped 98 percent from 789 machines sold to 1582. This was followed by B3, which saw an increase of 13.4 percent from 2469 machines sold to 2800.
Consequently, both Cat D and B3 experienced their highest sales total in the last six years, which is since the Commission’s records began.
While these two categories held the larger percentage hikes, a steady rise in sales from Cat C of 1.8 percent meant numbers rose from 14,871 to 15,132 – a four year high.While most machine segments increased in sales,a drop of 39 percent came from Cat D (non- monetary), which fell from 704 to 428 machines sold.
Alongside this increase in hardware sales was 26 percent rise in software sales,marking a shift in the industry towards digital games which can be installed into already existing and sited machines.
Breaking down the figure, B3A saw the biggest percentage increase across all categories, with a massive 264.9 percent rise bringing the gross value of sales up from £370,000 to £1.35m.
Another dramatic rise came from category B4, which soared up 195 percent from £200,000 to £590,000. In 2014, sales of software for both categories stood at only £80,000, highlighting the speed at which this relatively small market is growing.
The larger and more mature B3 and Cat C machine market for digital saw less dramatic change between April 2016 and March 2017,with the former increasing 15.1 percent to £4.1m and the latter decreasing 7 percent to just under £2m.
While hardware sales have increased 5 percent this year, more and more of these machines are digital – opening up an even larger market for software products.