Industry gets Category C shot in the arm!


Finally, some good news for our beleaguered sector. Changes to Category C machines technical specifications were passed as law yesterday. This means that the AWP will soon live up to its name, by offering the player a lot more in terms of amusement than was previously possible.

The main changes in the specifications centre around the speed of play – hugely important for sectors such as bingo, where there are short recesses of around 40 minutes for players to take advantage of the machines. Now, games can be shorter and more exciting and differentiation can be made for multi-stake games.

The lineally incrementing pot can now be replaced with a pot that builds out of sync. This could prove to be an exciting development for players – especially those playing the same machine over a period of time.

However, possibly the most exciting development is the possibility for players to have 100% holdover from a non-winning game. In a similar way to a video game, where – once the game is over – a player has the option to play again from where they left off, this will now be possible on a fruit machine. This means that features and bonuses accrued during a game can be taken forward and a more long-term strategy can be adopted by the player.

New Category C machines are likely to be released by all the manufacturers as a result of this over the next couple of months. It is hoped by many that this may lead to the replacement of a large number of ‘legacy’ AWPs that are still on site. It is certainly a boost for the EAG show in January as it should be clear by then which products are performing on site. “It means a real opportunity to make sales in January,” said one supplier.

“This is undoubtedly a shot in the arm for the industry,” said Reflex Gaming Managing Director Quentin Stott. “There has not been much movement in Category C for a couple of years  – we need something like this to move us forward.”

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