Bulldog Games the pusher and redemption brand that was unveiled to the industry at EAG, has enjoyed a stellar launch with sales 86% ahead of forecasts. The figures cover the first quarter of 2018 and relate to sales of Bulldog’s 4, 6 and 8 player Deal or No Deal models, Monopoly 2p Roll Down, Monopoly Skyscraper and Ben Bones.
RLMS Managing Director, Tony Glanville, whose team is responsible for distributing the Bulldog range in the UK, believes the brand has brought a new zest and energy to what is a mature market. He said: “The response we received from operators at EAG was nothing short of phenomenal and I’m delighted to confirm that the enthusiasm for the Bulldog brand has been sustained and is evident in the order book.
“Bulldog is the result of an extensive and in-depth R&D process which has drawn on the experience and insight gained by consulting with many of the industry’s most knowledgeable and respected FEC operators. Their thinking and vast experience has inspired the brand and it’s that level of attention to detail, the quality of the build – which is exclusively UK-based – and the appeal of exclusive licenses that are instantly recognisable which explain what are fantastic and highly encouraging figures.”
The architects responsible for the Stirling Prize-winning rebuild of Hastings Pier have pledged money to a new crowdfunding campaign to take the attraction into community ownership.
dRMM won the prestigious architecture award in October 2017 for its work on the regeneration of the pier and just a month later, the pier went into administration.
The practice has pledged its design and planning application fee for future work on the pier towards the crowdfunding campaign, which aims to raise an initial £500,000 towards buying and running the venue.
A statement on the crowdfunding page said: ‘Friends of Hastings Pier (FOHP) have created a business plan that will keep the freehold of the pier community-owned while transforming it into a profitable and sustainable business.
‘The bid has a real chance of winning, if we can show that we have community support and financial backing.’
The campaign needs to raise £1 million to convince administrators that it has the ability to sustain the pier for two years.
It said: ‘Raising half a million pounds now from individuals and organisations will keep us “in the game” and encourage other funders to invest alongside you to make our pier a success.’
The Guardian newspaper reports that a decision on B2 stakes could be made as early as tomorrow and Theresa May risks a defeat in the House of Commons unless she goes for a £2 stake.
It is believed that Iain Duncan Smith is leading a group of around 25 Conservative MPs in a bid to persuade May ‘not to waver’ in the face of last ditch lobbying by bookmakers. The group has written a letter, which has been seen by The Guardian, saying it is the Government’s ‘moral duty’ to restrict FOBTs, which they say “are causing many social harms and leading to huge financial losses for those who can least afford it.”
“Given the support for a £2 stake from every other political party, the strength of feeling among Conservatives means a more lenient approach would put May at risk of becoming the first prime minister to suffer a defeat on a statutory instrument since James Callaghan 40 years ago,” states the paper.
Rank Group has appointed John O’Reilly to the position of CEO to replace Henry Birch. O’Reilly was previously with William Hill and Ladbrokes for 25 years, where he developed online betting operations and expansion outside of the UK. O’Reilly left William Hill this time last year and will start at Rank on May 7.
Rank Chairman Ian Burke said O’Reillybrings with him “a wealth of gambling industry experience, particularly in digital. His impressive reputation and track record for delivering growth mean he is well-equipped to drive our performance going forward,”
O’Reilly stated, “I am excited to be joining Rank, a company synonymous with the UK gaming industry. Rank has very strong brands which resonate with customers and a growing digital offering and I look forward to building on this strong platform and taking Rank onto its next stage of development.”
Injustice Arcade; the DC Comics themed card-vending arcade game developed and manufactured by Raw Thrills and exclusively available from BANDAI NAMCO Amusement Europe Ltd. (BNAE) has been wowing the players at Brean Leisure’s Unity Farm Holiday Park.
Mike Childs, Arcade Manager at Unity Farm, commented, “At first, we thought it was a bit of a slow burner, but by the second week on site, it was on fire!”
“The concept of collecting a set of cards works particularly well on a holiday park where there is a lot of repeat business,” says Geoff Spencer, regional sales manager. “The cashbox figures on Injustice at Brean were incredible for just a couple of weeks on site. We can really recommend this title for other holiday parks looking to feel some heat this summer!”
Each play of Injustice Arcade vends one of 200 collectible cards starring one of the DC Comic Universe characters with famous Heroes including the likes of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman as well as some of the most sinister villains, including The Joker, Harley Quinn and Bane which can then be used to be played in the game. Players can build a unique team of three in any combination or put characters together that have compatible abilities to unleash a devastating super attack!
Justice League, released in 2017 was the latest in a string of hit movies featuring the DC Comics characters, which included Wonder Woman and Suicide Squad. This year, fans are eagerly awaiting Aquaman and Shazam! while Wonder Woman 2 is in pre-production for release in 2019. “DC Comics characters are constantly relevant to kids today through the marketing around the movies, which is making them as popular as they have ever been,” adds Geoff. “We are definitely seeing the massive marketing around the movies as a benefit when it comes to our range of DC Comics themed games.”
Brean Leisure operates two arcades – one at Brean Leisure Park and the other at the Unity Farm Holiday Park Unity Park is one of Somerset’s top camping and caravan parks with various caravan, lodge and glamping options, situated on the doorstep of miles of golden beaches.
Max Davit of GT Promotions City Slots brand has taken delivery of his latest batch of Blueprint Alphastar Category C Community machines. With this latest installation, the forward-thinking independent company from London and the South East now operates in excess of 100 Blueprint machines.
Max commented, “As a result of working closely with Gaming Solutions on the Blueprint brand and the innovative game mix we are seeing continual growth which has made the latest investment an easy decision.”
David Sherwin of Gaming Solutions added ‘With as many as 14 playing positions in some of GT Promotions’ shops it highlights the upward trend that Blueprint Cat C & B3 is delivering. It’s a delight to work with a switched-on operator such as Max.”
Bacta and CORCA, the Committee of Registered Club Associations, have agreed an informal programme of co-operation on matters of mutual interest, following a meeting between senior representatives of the two organisations. Facilitated by Dransfield Managing Director, Chris Haley, who also serves as Bacta Treasurer, the meeting was chaired by Lord Smith of Hindhead, CBE, Chief Executive of the Association of Conservative Clubs and a leading contributor to the Licensing Act 2003 Select Committee review.
Expanding on the meeting, Bacta Chief Executive, John White, said: “Our aim is to build on our relationship with the club sector, part of the industry that many Bacta members know well and are active in. Chris Haley and myself were given the opportunity to talk about Bacta and the initiatives that we are undertaking across a range of topics and issues. The FOBT political lobbying campaign that we have been driving alongside a myriad of social, religious and cultural groups was of significant interest to our colleagues at CORCA as was our commitment to social responsibility and the work we are undertaking with the PPL on music licensing, specifically the legal status of using personal licenses to stream background music in-venue.”
Peter Hannibal, Chief Executive of the cross sector strategic body, the Gambling Business Group, has called on the government to create a new organisation dedicated to the regulation of time loot boxes and skins, the in- video game cosmetics which change the appearance of weapons or characters. Frequently utilised as virtual currency for betting, skins are then cashed-in for real money via online trading platforms. A 2017 study by the Gambling Commission found that 11% of 11-16 year olds in the UK had placed bets with skins, a statistic that suggests around 500,000 children under the age of 15 could be using skins for gambling.
Hannibal’s request follows the publication of the report Daily Fantasy Sports & In-Game Gambling; Skins and Loot Boxes 2018-2022, by Juniper Research, which predicts that total spend will reach $50 billion by 2022, up from under $30 billion this year, growth of some 60 percent.
Research author Lauren Foye explained: “Skins are acquired both through playing video games and from opening purchased loot boxes. These items have value depending on rarity and popularity within game communities. On PCs, skins are traded for real money via Steam’s ‘Marketplace’; the platform has 125 million registered users globally.”
According to the report issues arise where third-party websites facilitate wagering of skins on eSports matches and casino-style games in the process creating an unregulated gambling market, a development which it argues, should be of great concern to regulators.
Peter Hannibal explained: “The video gaming or eSports world is a good example of where addiction is on the increase, particularly with the young. The UK Gambling Commission has been struggling to reach a firm position on issues with gaming in a society where there is a natural propensity to conflate the two things. I would question whether it’s really for the Gambling Commission to regulate a completely separate sector.
“Instead the DCMS should ensure that gaming has its own industry regulator and the Gambling Commission should liaise with them as they do with other associated regulatory bodies. It’s not for the gambling sector to fix the problems surrounding addiction, fairness and transparency that are being created by another separate industry over which we have no control.”
UK gaming stocks fell Tuesday, following reports that British Chancellor Philip Hammond accepted UK Gambling Commission recommendations that maximum bets on slot-style fixed-odds betting terminals be cut from £100 to £2.
There were reports Hammond was worried about a loss in tax revenue with lower bet limits, though the Treasury said Tuesday it fully supports the proposal to make gambling rules stronger.
Max bets on roulette, the most popular game played on the machines, was recommended to be cut to or below £30.
The results of the review should come following local elections in May.
Stock prices fell for William Hill, Inspired Entertainment, GVC Holdings, and Paddy Power Betfair.
Elsewhere, Chad Beynon of Macquarie said Scientific Games and Inspired Entertainment, which actually lease the machines to operators like William Hill, GVC and Paddy Power Betfair, will be most affected by the cuts.
However, INSE’s stock price already factors in the worst possible outcome for fixed-odds betting terminals, Beynon said.
If all fixed-odds terminals are taken down to £2 bet maximums, it would reduce INSE EBITDA by $15m to $20m, he estimates.
If only the slot-style games go that low, it can be just a $5m loss to EBITDA, Beynon said.
Leading cash handling equipment manufacturer Innovative Technology Ltd (ITL) headquartered in Oldham, Greater Manchester, are celebrating today after being named recipients of the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise: International Trade 2018. The Queen’s Award is the UK’s highest accolade for business success and ITL join an elite group of companies, recognised this year as deserving winners.