The newly combined EAG International and Visitor Attraction Expo is now in its 9th year and has grown steadily, this year attracting a record number of exhibitors, including a number of new companies to join the show, the majority of which came from outside of the UK.
It seems likely that they were attracted by the boom in staycations that has had a knock-on effect on the family entertainment centre and holiday park business. A number of high-profile coastal locations have invested heavily in machines and infrastructure in the last couple of years to create destination locations – all the more attractive when the weather is anything but!
Well even though the first month of 2018 has virtually gone I would still like to wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year and better late than never with my wishes.
The photos in my last chat column that Stephen Robins sent to me have brought back a few memories and two of the people it brought memories for Evelyn Wilkinson ex Suzo and Adrian Cross ex Deith Leisure, Scotland and Adrian says he can remember the great days we used to have at the now defunct Scottish show at Renfrew when both his dad Bob and mum Chris alongside Adrian worked for Deith Lesiure in Scotland. Just wonder Adrian what you are all up to now perhaps you would let me know, and also please pass on my regards to your mum and dad.
A new focus on destination family entertainment from leading arcades is giving the children’s rides sector a major boost, says SB Machines, the leading supplier of quality Italian rides to the UK and Ireland.
Crane Payment Innovations (CPI), a Crane Co. Company, is exhibiting at ICE 2018 on booth #N3-320 with a powerful suite of products that are revolutionizing the way operators connect with their players, their business process and, ultimately, their revenue. A full range of currency validation and cash management solutions will be on display, including the all-new SCR Advance MDR banknote recycler and the forthcoming EASITRAX Live smart cashbox system.
Gamesman, the UK-based gaming equipment components and systems manufacturer, will be celebrating five years as part of the Esterline Corporation when it welcomes international visitors to its stand N3-426 at ICE London (6th – 8th February, ExCeL Exhibition Centre). The acquisition by Esterline, a leading speciality manufacturer serving the aerospace, defence and industrial markets, was confirmed to international gaming media from the Gamesman stand at ICE 2013 and ushered in a new era for the company which was formed in 1996.
Reflecting on the last five years, Martin Rigby, Gamesman’s Sales Director, said: “When we announced the acquisition we said that Gamesman’s customers would continue to benefit from our technology products and they should look forward to new and relevant innovations gained from the combined research and development efforts of both companies, and to be totally honest that’s exactly what’s happened.
“I would describe the purchase as being a classic ‘win win’ situation for our customers. Esterline have left us to get on and do what we do best, which is to build relationships throughout the world and deliver exceptional gaming solutions many of which are bespoke. The contribution made by our parent company has been immense. In order to remain in pole position and to stay ahead of the market, our business strategy has been to leverage the assets of our Esterline partners, notably the touch screen division. I would say that Esterline’s influence has helped make us more efficient across the board and there’s no doubt that we go to ICE 2018 as a strong global business in our own right and with the strong financial backing of our parent company.”
Playdium, the game changing jukebox launched by TouchTunes in the UK last year, is having a positive impact on the fortunes of the country’s members’ clubs according to the latest feedback from leading operator Kossway.
Rob Hill at Kossway believes the Playdium has raised the bar in terms of both the role pf pay-to-play music within members’ clubs and the impact it is having on cash box income. Rob told Coinslot: “Over the past few months we have replaced a number of older jukeboxes in our social clubs with the Playdium. The clubs have been delighted with the overall performance of this new jukebox. Their customers have enjoyed both the vast choice of music and general ease of use. The change has, in many cases resulted in a much improved cash box.”
Commenting on the feedback, James Luck, Commercial Director at Soundnet said: “As everyone in the industry will agree the only measure of success that really matters is the cash box and I’m delighted to confirm that the uplifts reported by Rob are being experienced by clubs, pubs and other entertainment venues where the Playdium is sited throughout the country. All of the indicators suggest this trend will continue as the TouchTunes App, the world’s most effective jukebox App, attracts more customers to the Playdium and enhances the status of pay-to-play music as part of the contemporary digital entertainment mix.”
Sega has released free software upgrade for its award-winning video racing game Daytona Championship USA. Packed with brand new software features and refined existing features this software update amps up the gameplay experience – ‘the best just got a whole lot better!’
- All New Panoramic Attract Sequence: Now you can watch the attract sequence action explode across all linked screens (minimum 4 linked cabinets required).
- Improved Handling: Refinements to the car handling makes you feel even closer to the action.
- Refined Force Feedback: Lets you feel every crash, smash and grind as you fight your way to the finish line.
- Revised difficulty and AI (Artificial Intelligence): Making the game more accessible for beginners while retaining the classic Daytona challenge for the pros.
- Upgraded Graphics and Audio: Delivers an immersive experience that captures the essence of full throttle racing.
- All New Party Mode: Operators can now schedule private events for parties and automate a unique event for up to 128 named players.
Bacta has been forced to post the sold out signs following what it is describing as a ‘hugely encouraging’ response to its first EAG dinner which is taking place on the Tuesday night of what is the industry’s showpiece UK event. The dinner, which is being held on the Sunborn Super-Yacht hotel situated in Royal Victoria Dock, less than a minute’s walk from ExCeL London, has a capacity of 120 people.
John White, CEO of Bacta, believes the rapid take up of tickets augurs well not only for the 2018 edition of EAG, but for the industry as whole. He said: “EAG sets the tone for the year ahead and I am encouraged at how quickly the EAG Dinner has sold out. Our first offering was to Bacta member exhibitors who snapped up the full availability. The Sunborn is a fantastic luxury venue but the capacity is slightly limiting. If the response to this latest Bacta initiative is positive it could well open up the possibility of reintroducing the Bacta Ball which in its prime was a fantastic celebration of our industry, the perfect social accompaniment to three days of hard business and, it should be said, a great source of funds for the Bacta Charitable Trust.
“From my discussions with Bacta members there is a great deal of optimism surrounding EAG 2018 and I look forward to welcoming the industry to ExCeL in January.”
Customers at the newly refurbished Hollywood Bowl, Oxford (UK) are embracing the cashless revolution with enthusiasm following the installation of the latest Embed Cashless system which has been completed on time and on budget by BANDAI NAMCO Services. The 50 machine venue, which features a range of equipment including video, redemption, pool, prize and sports games, underwent a seamless installation of the Embed system which was completed on November 6th.
Hollywood Bowl’s Mark Francis, confirmed: “The move to cashless at the newly refurbished Hollywood Bowl Oxford is an important step in understanding more about our customers and their favourite games. The valuable insight that Embed provides, can in turn be used to increase frequency of visit through fun and engaging promotions, creating the ultimate customer experience.”
Steve Short, General Manager at BANDAI NAMCO, Management Solutions, explained: “We are using the latest award winning (IAAPA Brass Ring award 2015) Smart Touch Tap readers which incorporates RFID technology. Players top up their cards either at the self-service kiosk or the reception desk point-of-sale and then simply tap on the machines which are fitted with the Reader.
This will be the final White’s Week of 2017. I hope all members have a very merry, successful Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
IMPORTANT NOTICE – members may have seen over the weekend reports about the bookmakers’ self-exclusion scheme being tested by a BBC journalist – and falling down badly. All members are urged to ensure their policies and procedures are bang up to date, staff training is refreshed and extra vigilance is applied to your own self-exclusion system.