Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Tag: FECs

Into the Valley: Harry Levy to deliver Jet-Pong novelty into the UK

Harry Levy Jet Pong IAAPA
Harry Levy has signed an exclusive agreement that will bring Valley-Dynamo’s successful Jet-Pong novelty game into the UK market

Greg Wood: “We must have the opportunity to try and develop new ideas in the real world”

Greg Wood Bacta convention speech
It was an intelligent and honed speech by the Bacta president Greg Wood at his association’s AGM last week. After clearing the path of some of the debris of disappointments that the industry has experienced over the year, Wood made way for Bacta’s vision on the changes necessary from the Gambling Review to ensure the long term security of the sector.

A breath of fresh air: DCMS confirms masks not required for arcades and FECs

mask rules DCMS confirmation
The industry has received confirmation from DCMS that England’s arcades and FECs are exempt from new government mask rules, but as has become normal practice, there are mixed returns north of the border.

Off The Record – MPs / Medics / Interest Rates

Off the record MPs Parliament second jobs Medics AGCs FECs
In the light of new evidence concerning moonlighting elected representatives Off The Record asks when does the second job actually become the first job, how much should Medics receive to encourage them to relocate to work in Blackpool and argues why the industry needs to get more MPs into our AGCs and FECs - pronto!

Off The Record

Brighton Pier Off The Record Labour Conference John Whittingdale energy crisis
Off The Record laments the loss of John Whittingdale, predicts a bumpy Conference ride for Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and explains why rising energy costs are a body blow to the AGC business.

Crunchie time: Rising costs of consumables threaten profit share balance on vending machines

Ian Eason Instance Automatics vending vend prices
It’s far from a perfect storm, but the supply chain is certainly facing one. Increasing costs are on the way and that means a rise in vending machine product prices. That in turn will mean an increase in vend prices for consumers, and you get the picture. Ian Eason thinks more £2 coins will provide a viable solution - but that, it seems, is easier said than done.

Dis-United Kingdom unveils the longest road to freedom

Boris Johnson Freedom Day
If there’s one thing that unites this Kingdom, it’s the fact that it’s anything but United. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all opted for freedom day, but not on the same day as one another. The relaxation of Covid restrictions will come into effect on July 19, July 26, August 7 and August 9 across the four countries of the UK, leaving an uneven and unequal roadmap to recovery. Welcome to the new normal.

Astrosystems looks to the future as industry reopens

Debbie Malin Astrosystems look to future
As the industry prepares to see restrictions ease, Astrosystems MD Debbie Malin spoke to Coinslot about the “renewed optimism” shown by operators, and outlined the way forward for cash handling.

“It’s great to be back”: Local papers back industry return

reopening local paper news industry return
As arcades, FECs and amusement centres reopened on 17 May, local media across the UK were some of the first through the door, with reporters keen to celebrate the return of the business of fun.

“Every day is like a Saturday” as Blackpool bounces back

Blackpool bounces back
The North West’s premier coastal resort has been in demand since lockdown ended, with cafes, restaurants, pubs and outdoor rides doing their best to supply visitors with Britain’s seaside experience while indoor amusements remain closed until at least the 17 May. Blackpool is booming.

Orders galore as World of Rides customers stock up for gilt-edged season

World of Rides orders galore
As Britain’s bounding vaccination roll-out brightens the light at the end of the tunnel, operators from all different sectors have been calling on World of Rides to replenish their attractions, with general manager David Robinson convinced that the season to come will kickstart the industry back to life.

Gambling review: What does the future bring?

Gambling Review reopening webinar
So what awaits the industry when the government finally concludes its gambling review? Bacta’s recent webinar discussed the prospects of a new landscape for the industry and the likely changes we’re about to see. Steph Norbury reports back.

Playsafe and Semnox help industry go cashless without compromises

Playsafe Semnox Thomas 8012C
Both industry leaders in their fields, Playsafe Systems and Semnox have been working together for 7 years now to provide fully integrated cash and card systems such as the Thomas 8012C Paystation - a trend that has only increased in the current climate.

Two Easters and a Mayday down, but caution beats lockdown 4

James Anderson Bandai Namco BNAE Roadmap
BNAE’s James Anderson is fairly stoic about the roadmap - at least there’s something to work with, he suggests. But the loss of three bank holidays does rankle and the continued confusion surrounding FECs and AGCs makes the roadmap to recovery a bumpier one than hoped for.

Road to recovery: Furious, frustrated and a roadmap to redundancies

John White Bacta Roadmap to recovery
There was nothing sanguine about Bacta’s response to Boris Johnson’s roadmap to recovery. The gentlest warning John White could sound was “the existential threat” now facing seasonal businesses. Seven bank holidays and two Easter weekends have now been lost - and with a roadmap leading to a red light, the sector is deflated, both mentally and financially

Coin-op pushed into the slow lane on government’s roadmap to recovery

roadmap to recovery
It wasn’t the roadmap the coin-op industry was hoping for, nor needed. Instead of driving in the fast lane towards recovery, Boris Johnson’s plan to get Britain’s business traffic moving again shunted coin-op on to the hard shoulder.

Mat Ingram: Cashless can be a better king

Mat Ingram reflex Gaming Game Payment Cashless Payments Q&A FEC AGC pubs
The long reign of cash in the industry is coming to an end, and while some may mourn its departure, Reflex director Mat Ingram believes cashless payments can serve the industry just as well, if not better, than its longstanding predecessor.

Industry backs Eason against unlicensed dealers, but still not a peep from GamCom

Industry backs Eason against unlicensed dealers
After calling out the Gambling Commission in last week’s Coinslot for ignoring flagrant cases of unlicensed machine sales, Instance Automatic’s Ian Eason has received a backing from licenced sellers, a backlash from the black market, and a big fat nothing from a regulator that appears to have turned its back on the problem

An industry suffering from a lack of understanding

Golden Touch Amusements Neil Finch Jason Frost AGCs
Continuing the series of features on sectors within the industry, Coinslot turns its attention to the independent AGCs and their unique set of problems during the Pandemic. Steph Norbury talks to operators Neil Finch and Jason Frost about the challenges..

Councils floundering to get grants right, says Holland

Reece Holland Bridlington
Bridlington industry figure Reece Holland says that government has done a “marvellous” job of supporting British business, but when it comes to supporting amusements - it’s local authorities who are letting the side down

Bacta “tea-leaves” suggest no route to re-opening until May

John White Bacta re-opening timeline
Bacta has told members that noises out of Westminster suggest re-opening in time for Easter could be a long-shot for most amusement outfits. The spring-board for UK plc is more likely to be May.

Bacta zooms in on regions

Bacta Zoom meeting
Bacta has always prided itself on the relationship it has with the membership. And in a somewhat perverse twist, this engagement seems to have flourished under Covid-19 conditions. Chief executive John White talks to Coinslot about how, in the worst of times, the association has managed to get the best from its members.

Loss of Cat D necessary and sustainable for an industry set for reshape, says Eason

Ian Eason Instance Automatics Cat D
The no-nonsense Lincolnshire supplier has praised Bacta’s self-imposed ban on under-18 Cat D play within FECs, arguing it shows amusements squarely in the camp of entertainment and not gambling. Ian Eason believes this is an issue the industry has needed to resolve for some time.

Paul Terroni: It’s always darkest before the dawn

Paul Terroni Novomatic UK
Whilst acknowledging this year as having been “incredibly tough”, Novomatic UK’s head of business strategy Paul Terroni has urged amusement stakeholders to hold on just a little longer - and ride the wave of a resurgent economy (and new Gambling Act) in 2021.

No dice: Tier 3 arcades to remain shut despite industry lobbying

No 10 Downing St
The government has said its decision to close Tier 3 AGCs - despite LBOs staying open - hinges on a reclassification of arcades as “entertainment” instead of “non-essential retail”. Bacta and AGC operators disagree and plan to continue their call to re-open

Debbie Bollard: Many pubs “will not survive” this winter of discontent

Debbie Hough Bollard
Responding to the government’s newly unveiled plans for winter 2020, licensing expert Debbie Bollard said that “devastation” of the pub sector would have inevitable knock-on effects for amusement stakeholders.

Three tiers and an industry locked down in all but name

Three Tier Industry lockdown Boris Johnson hospitality
The hospitality and leisure sector seems to have lost patience with what one social posting described as Boris’ bull. And in fairness, this week’s Covid-19 Winter Plan, unveiled by the Prime Minister, did not go down well with an industry that’s spent most of 2020 closed and faces the Christmas to Easter period under threat of closure as it dances around the government’s coronavirus tiers. For amusements and gaming businesses, they’re facing tough decisions and great hardship during another missed key selling season; industry figures offer their take on the PM’s plan.

Ho ho no: Government unveils new post-lockdown restrictions

Government unveils post lockdown restrictions Boris Johnson
The government’s Covid-19 Winter Plan will see FECs and AGCs both facing closure in tier-three zones, whilst a further tightening on pub-trading has led UK Hospitality to claim that the government is “killing Christmas”. But that’s not the only thing the counter-Covid campaign is killing.

Bacta contributes to APPG discussion, but did they listen?

Westminster Bacta Delegation APPG discussion
Bacta’s James Miller and Trevor Sutton have gone before members of parliament’s Gambling Harm committee to put the industry’s side of the story across on the subject of Cat D machines in FECs. To say the response was disheartening would be an understatement; the APPG appear to be very much tied to a Thatcher ideology - this group is not for turning.