Pull tab machines – what are they and do I want one?

Fruit machines have been around for generations, with pub pool tables appearing around the 1980s, quiz machines at the turn of the millennium, and now pull tab machines – but what are these newcomers, and should your venue have one?

In brief, a pull tab lottery machine allows your customers to deposit their stake, pull a tab – hence the name! – and receive an instant-win lottery card out of the slot at the bottom of the machine.

As you might imagine, the potential maximum prize varies depending on the amount of money the player stakes, with typical card prices ranging from 25p to 50p to £1 and prizes returning up to about 400-500 times that stake.

There’s a cost for the tickets and the venue covers the prizes too, but the best news is there is no need for a licence to have a pull tab machine, which also means it should not affect the number of other categories of gaming machine you can have on your premises.

No tax or duty is charged on the profits – including both VAT and Machine Games Duty – so you keep the full amount your machine makes, less any prize money and the card costs, and subject to any profit-sharing agreement.

Interestingly, past experience shows that most of the people who play via a pull tab lottery machine are not from the normal fruit machine crowd, so you won’t be cannibalising takings from other gaming machines on your premises – you should see most, if not all of your proceeds come on top of the amounts you would normally see on your other gaming machines.

With all of the licensing restrictions on other gaming machine categories, this is a great way for larger premises to offer more without increasing your licensing obligations – making it well worth arranging a trial run, with a view to offering pull tab machines on a long-term basis.

The 2016 Summer of Sport

It’s been a great summer of sport already in 2016, with England’s poor showing in the Euros more than made up for by the other home nations, and especially by Wales, whose unprecedented run earned them a hero’s welcome and an open-top bus parade around Cardiff.

Andy Murray has finally found his form on a regular basis, putting in performance after performance at Wimbledon and earning a much deserved win.

The UK benefits from a midsummer scheduling for the Silverstone Grand Prix too, ensuring the race is least likely to be a washout, even allowing for the unpredictable British weather (although the scheduling of the Japanese Grand Prix remains a mystery to weather forecasters worldwide).

And in 2016 we also have the promise of the first Summer Olympics since London 2012, with high hopes for Team GB as they head off to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

Yes, British competitors’ performance varies, and there’s no denying England failed to deliver on their strong qualifying performance for Euro 2016, but Wales lifted the spirits of all but the most bitter of onlookers and Irish fans had plenty of reason to party too.

On top of that, Wimbledon in particular often gives pubs a boost in trade as it inspires many people to go out and seek a pitcher of Pimms, complete with fruit piled to the brim of their glass.

With all of these festivities, you can attract and retain more of this summertime trade by giving them ways to compete – a pub pool table, quiz machine or fruit machine – and a juke box to provide the soundtrack to their summer too.

Internet-enabled juke boxes provide the latest chart releases so your selection doesn’t sound outdated, while quiz machines can be updated with the latest sporting trivia too.

Combined with a freshly covered pub pool table and, when the time comes, fruit machines that accept 12-sided pound coins and polymer banknotes, you’re all set to reap the rewards of a packed summer of sporting spectacles.