Switch gaming machines to polymer £10 notes by March 2018

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.

If you have not yet had your pub fruit machines, pool tables, quiz machines and juke boxes, along with any other note-operated gaming machines, adapted to accept polymer notes, it is time to do so.

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.

Drink Industry Trends 2018: Time To Plan Ahead

It’s a good time to plan ahead as the drink industry trends for 2018 start to take shape in the run-up to Christmas, so what will customers be looking for over the next 12 months?

The Waitrose Food & Drink Report is one of the main areas of insight, and this predicts some important regional differences, as Scotland sees an increasing focus on locally brewed beverages while Wales has a growing thirst for detailed knowledge about wine.

Different drinks categories are also blurring the boundaries, with ale casks used by Glenfiddich to add a hint of hops to their whisky, and if this continues throughout 2018, the next big trend in fusion food could actually be drinks.

Repeat custom is crucial

If you’re still looking to capitalise on festive trade, industry analysts CGA recently put out a trend report that should be on your reading list in the run-up to Christmas.

This predicted that, like in 2016, the coming holiday period will see fewer people go out to eat and drink; but those who do go out will do so more often and spend more.

Repeat custom is crucial in this climate, so make sure your premises are a fully fledged entertainment destination complete with gaming machines, pool tables and juke boxes to keep customers interested.

Premium picks

Looking long-term, CGA have also found a trend towards premium products among British consumers, so those high-priced brands should sell well in 2018.

This applies not only to spirits, but also to beers, where craft ales and other premium beverages continue to gain ground.

The end of ‘ice and a slice’?

The Morning Advertiser recently reported on another premium trend – the tendency towards more specific garnishes and mixers in gin and tonic.

As more premium brand-name gins appear behind the bar even in local boozers, customers are increasingly expecting the right garnish to go with it, whether that means juniper berries, mint, grapefruit or cucumber.

It’s a challenge for operators to keep on top of a larger number of perishable ingredients, but it’s also an opportunity to justify premium-rate pricing on an otherwise simple G&T.

Brand-name mixers like Fever-Tree tonic complete the offering, taking the trend beyond the simple question of slimline or full-fat tonic.

It’s not only G&T that’s seeing increased customisation, as champagne and prosecco cocktails are also on an inexorable rise – and for many customers a glass of fizz is now incomplete unless there’s a shot of something fruity in the bottom of the flute.

 

Manco Automatics Ltd
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