With the new year nearly upon is, it’s time to consider the sense and sensibility of switching gaming machines to accept the Jane Austen polymer £10 note.
The Austen £10 launched in 2017 and the polymer banknote has since replaced any lingering paper £10 notes in most people’s pockets (although paper £10 notes are currently still legal tender – more on that in a moment).
Remember too that the polymer £20 note is coming, although it’s not due to arrive until 2020, while the £1 coin changed from its historic round shape to become a 12-sided coin in March 2017.
All of these changes need adjustments to coin and note-operated gaming machines, and you may have already had pub fruit machines adapted to the polymer £5 note when it launched in autumn 2016.
But the £10 note launched much more recently – only in autumn 2017, in fact – and its paper predecessor ceases to be legal tender from March 1st 2018 as, ironically, the Charles Darwin £10 note becomes the latest victim in the evolution of British currency.
Some machines, especially more modern fruit machines and quiz machines, may only need a software update, basically so that they recognise the dimensions of the new £10 note and how it differs from the old version.
In some cases, especially on slightly older gaming machines of all kinds, a hardware upgrade might be able to replace or augment old note slots not only to recognise the new note, but also to be able to grip the smooth surface of the polymer without any problems.
Unfortunately in some cases older gaming machines will not be suitable for an upgrade either by updating their software or adjusting their hardware – but Manco can at least advise on a suitable replacement machine if you need one.
Whatever situation you find yourself in, the important point is that the old paper £10 note, which is already relatively scarce, will cease to be legal tender completely from March 1st 2018, and updating your quiz machines and fruit machines is about more than just lost earnings from people trying to play using the new note.
By leaving machines with note slots that accept the old £10 and recognise it as legal tender, you are at risk of paying out to a player who has paid with a banknote you can no longer cash – arguably an even more significant reason to have the work done ahead of time to accept the new £10 note and crucially, to reject the old one.