Betcom managing director Simon McCarthy is enthused by the good health of the seaside industry and in particular the position of strength the company’s analogue units occupy both by the sea and inland.
Coinslot: Have you seen any particular products, or product types finding success ahead of this summer?
Simon McCarthy: “We have broken new ground with our rebuilds – King Kong Cash (10p/£5) single player and Wish Upon A Jackpot (10p/£5) single player.These are fairly unique in the current marketplace and it is an area that hasn’t really had much focus in the market until now. They feature a dual hopper and we have put dedicated resource behind the ‘Fun To Play’ element of this product with fantastic results.”
CS: How do you assess the current coastal market?
SMcC: “Coastal operations are extremely important – they are like the backbone of the industry. Coastal operations tend to be family businesses who know the industry inside out – they support the infrastructure of the towns they are situated in, by providing employment,tourist attractions and something to do for local people when the season is over. For Betcom as a company, we are increasingly supplying product suitable for this market and through our excellent distributor,UK Gaming Solutions,we are increasing our carpet space in coastal locations for products such as Luck Of The Irish Over the Rainbow and the hi-tech Category D titles Wish Upon A Jackpot and King Kong Cash.”
CS: Coastal operations have always been a uniquely traditional offering to visitors. Are you seeing any change in trends here?
Are operators looking at more diverse options?
SMcC: “We have seen a lot of interest in our Fun To Play range.I think that if a machine is attractive and enjoyed by the players and offered at a good price then it is of interest to coastal operations – or any operations for that matter.”
CS: The British seaside is in the midst of a comeback. What do you think is driving this?
SMcC: “Any number of reasons are driving this – Brexit for one.The cost and ease of travelling abroad are set to change as a result and that puts people off. Then there is the investment in many seaside towns that has seen improvements to the infrastructure, which in some areas has not really happened since the 50s and 60s. A staycation these days is as fashionable as a holiday to Spain was back in the 1980s. People are thinking about carbon footprints, craft beers and seasonal food and spending a couple of hours in a car rather than queues at the airport,noisy hotels and bad exchange rates.”
CS: New trends and innovation are key to any sector, what areas of development are you looking into for the seaside market?
SMcC: “We create analogue games because we know there is a market for them.The trends and innovation that we develop are in the gameplay within the specifications of a reel-based machine.”