A word on FOBTs from our director, Chris…..

I view with interest the announcement today that the government has launched a 12 week consultation to “ensure stronger protections around online gambling”, alongside a package of measures intended to promote responsible gambling, including reducing the maximum stake of FOBTs from £100 to between £50 and £2. Though I think that we are all impatient for the government to make a move on this, I understand that there are procedural hoops to jumps through. I am however, a little alarmed that a £50 stake might still be on the table. I wonder if the government needs reminding of a few points.

The primary purpose of a betting shop is….BETTING.  A while back betting companies saw a legal loophole in this and they created a machine that allows punters to “bet” upon the outcome of the spin of a virtual wheel. You can spin this however the hell you like, but this is GAMING.

This proves incredibly profitable to the bookies, and FOBTs spread around the county with all the vigour of Japanese Knotweed. Our government then cracked down on them by only allowing 4 FOBTs per site. So, the bookies open more branches. Local authorities are powerless to stop them as, amazingly, betting shops fall under the same planning rules as financial institutions. All the bookies need to do is take over any recently closed bank branches, Lord knows there were plenty of them, particularly in deprived areas.

Then, today on BBC Breakfast, a representative for the bookmakers, cautions us that reducing the maximum stake from £100 to £2 will result in the closure of a great many betting shops causing the loss of thousands of jobs. Well, as you can clearly see, these betting shops shouldn’t exist in the first place, and, their very existence has already caused the loss of a great many jobs in AGCs, bingo halls and FECs up and down the country.

I call upon the government to stand up to the insidious bookmakers, do the right thing and make the maximum stake £2.

Let us look after you and your machines

You wouldn’t get a car and not service it, and the same should go for the machines you have in your pub, club, amusement centre or bingo hall. If you don’t get them checked and maintained, there is a high chance you’re going to run into problems, and a broken machine means missed opportunities, as you can’t make a penny from a machine that’s out of order.

Here at Manco Automatics, we have decades of experience and intimate knowledge of slot and gaming machines, and we offer what we consider to be unbeatable customer service. With our help, your machines will be performing to the best of their ability, which is definitely good for business!

Experts in the machine world

We are professionals, we diligently follow a program of planned, preventative maintenance (PPM), and we have a close relationship with manufacturers, so we can make sure all game enhancements and security updates happen as soon possible, so that your machines are the best they can be.

All of our engineers are friendly and committed to their roles, not to mention highly skilled. Installing and maintaining these machines isn’t a job that can be done by amateurs with limited knowledge, it takes a special kind of engineer.

Want to boost your profits?

If you ever have any questions about your machines, or how you can make more of them, to drive sales, our engineers will be happy to provide the answers you’re looking for, as they service hundreds of machines a year, so they’re the experts. You’d struggle to find a question that they don’t know the answer to.

They’ll happily show you how to use the data provided to maximise your machines’ performance, and security, which is all so important these days.

To find out more, or to get a quote for our maintenance service, don’t delay, give us a call on 0161 870 7777 or fill out an enquiry form.

Quizzy Rascals

The nights are drawing in, and although getting more people into your pub or club for a quick one is good, ideally you want them to be staying longer, so your tills keep ringing. The winter months tend to be cold and wet, so making your establishment as attractive as possible, with plenty going on, is essential, in order to draw people in and keep them there.


The pub quiz is a British institution, and if you don’t have at least one quiz a week running, you need to get this sorted ASAP. Quizzes bring together groups of people that wouldn’t normally meet in everyday life.

Mondays to Thursdays are the most popular days to have a quiz, and new faces could quickly become regulars, if they like what they see. Your quiz will need at least one good prize on offer, and it’s always fun to have a booby prize for the worst team. Offering drinks coupons redeemable within the next week are a good way to bring people back in without costing the face value of the voucher.  People who play quizzes tend to drink a lot more than people who come in to watch football matches, surprisingly, and get through snacks like nobody’s business!

As well as having a weekly quiz, you could consider installing a quiz machine or two, that can be making money for you, every day of the week, especially if you position them near the bar. Students and punters in their twenties in particular, are fans of quiz machines. Quiz machines bring out the competitive side in people, and they’re legally defined as games of skill, as there is no element of chance involved.  If you contact Manco Automatics, we can install a quiz machine for you for FREE with no monthly payments, based on a profit share.

Themed nights

Having themed nights running throughout the winter months is essential, and if you have space, entertainment. Whether you book a local band to play, or an Olly Murs tribute act on X Factor final night, for instance, you’ll get people excited and make your pub or club the go to place for people in your local area.

Don’t let restaurants be the only ones to profit from all the work Christmas night out dos, in the run up to Christmas, have happy hours and experiment with different offerings. Could you hold your own gin festival or cocktails and tinsel nights? If you have a competent chef, could they put together an enticing set menu, with a drinks package? If so, why not contact local businesses now and get some booked in, whether for a special lunch or evening do.

Pool competitions

Always popular, pool tables again bring out people’s competitive side. Could you organise a charity pool competition and get teams to sign up? You could have stand up bingo and a raffle too, to make a real event of it. If you don’t currently have room for a table, maybe it’s time to rearrange your seating?  Hiring a pool table could cost less than you think. If you contact us today on 0161 870 7777, we could have one in place in a few days.