What does the new £20 note mean for the gaming machine industry?

The polymer £20 note is now officially in circulation, which means any of your future punters could walk in with one in their pocket – so are your gaming machines ready to accept them?

It’s been a challenging few years for the gaming machine industry and for manufacturers of coin-operated machines in general, such as parking meters and vending machines too.

We’ve had polymer £5 and £10 notes, the new 12-sided £1 coin and now the new polymer £20 note, all of which could be incompatible with older coin-operated machines.

Hopefully all long-term customers of Manco have now had their fruit machines, pool tables and jukeboxes updated for full compatibility.

But if you have older fruit machines from other suppliers or mechanically operated ‘push to vend’ pub pool tables, you might still be in a pickle.

Here we’ll look again at some of the options to make sure your gaming machines are compatible with the new polymer £20 note, as well as the plastic £5 and £10, and the new £1 coin.

New coin/note slots

The hardware fix is to install a new coin slot or note feeder, which is designed to work with the new shape of the £1 coin and the materials used in polymer banknotes.

In many cases this can be done quite easily, but there’s always a surge in demand immediately after a new coin or note launches, so contact Manco as soon as possible if you’re having problems accepting the new £20 polymer note.

Updated software

Software updates can restore compatibility in modern coin slots and note readers, which are designed to be updated in this way when necessary.

Even if you had a new note reader installed into your gaming machines when the polymer £5 and £10 notes were released, you might need a quick update to be able to accept the plastic £20 note, so make sure you check this or call out an engineer to be certain.

New gaming machines

Unfortunately, some old gaming machines just can’t be economically updated – either with a new hardware note reader or via a software update – to accept the new £20 note.

It can be a wrench letting go of an old favourite fruit machine, especially if it’s been a nice little earner for your establishment, but generally speaking you’re likely to make more with a modern fruit machine or quiz machine that can take £20 notes.

 

Whether you’re looking to replace old gaming machines or you’d like to add a new fruit machine, quiz machine, pool table or jukebox to your premises with complete compatibility, contact Manco Automatics today by calling 0161 870 7777 or emailing us info@mancoautomatics.com and we can let you know your options.

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.

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.

Plastic £5 notes trigger the time of change for slot machines

The new polymer £5 note has entered circulation, and marks the beginning of a five-year period of change for British currency and for slot machines whether they accept only coins, or both coins and notes.

Paper £5 notes cease to be legal tender in May 2017, so you will need to ensure your machines are up-to-date before that time.

£10 notes make the change in 2017 too, with £20 notes due to be plastic by 2020, so you need to make sure your fruit machines can be upgraded again – ideally with software updates rather than further hardware replacements.

And in 2017 when the £1 coin switches from its circular shape to an uneven 12-sided design, it will raise challenges of its own.

We are already working hard to upgrade slot machine coin slots where we can, and again this may mean a software upgrade, or a hardware replacement for fruit machines with older coin slots.

Only a few gaming machines cannot support the new coin or notes, but if this is the case we can supply more modern alternative machines as needed – the same goes for quiz machines and pool tables.

We are keen to use this five-year period as an opportunity to remove the oldest machines, and make sure all of our customers have more future-proof modern gaming machines that can be updated using software patches rather than further hardware replacements in future.

As mentioned, it is crucial to make sure your slot machines don’t still accept a particular note or coin after it has ceased to be legal tender – as while new notes with a very low serial number are selling for anywhere between £200 and £50,000, old paper notes won’t be as useful from May 2017 onwards.

Getting ready for party season

Now is the time to start thinking about how you can make your venue stand out from the crowd this party season. People are already getting excited about Christmas, thanks in part to Christmas decorations, mince pies and tins of chocolates already being in the shops. Before then though, you’ve got Halloween and Bonfire night to plan for.

Digital juke boxes

Every good party needs music to sing along and dance to. Trying to cater for everyone’s tastes can be tricky if you’re relying on just a CD behind your bar but if you have an attractive digital juke box in one corner, your customers will be able to pick their own tracks. You can choose whether to profit share or rent.

Decorations

Get out your decorations from last year and bin any that are damaged or look like they’ve seen better days. It’s worth investing in some good quality decorations that will last you many years. Think about your windows, you want them to entice people passing to come inside. Lightening is very important as it helps create the right atmosphere.

Safety considerations

If you’re going to be holding a bonfire and firework display, then you’ll need to think about safety and let the relevant authorities know as soon as possible. Click here to find out more >

Entertaining

Does your current layout need rethinking for the party season? Would moving some tables and stools create more space that you could put to better use? Perhaps you could introduce a pool table or two, pull tab machines and/or fruit machines? Not only would your customers like them but they should help generate more income too. If you already have some, maybe now is the time to get them serviced as you don’t want them to breakdown in the run-up to Christmas.

Staff

Will you need to hire more staff for the party season? Perhaps now is the time to start recruiting so you can make sure they’re up to speed by the time things get busy. You might also want to think about ways your staff can compliment your décor. Perhaps they could wear Christmas jumpers or t-shirts?

Get help

To find out how you can make the most of your available space and improve your profitability, give Manco Automatics a call on 0161 870 7777. You can hire or buy jukeboxes, fruit machines, pool tables, quiz machines and pull tabs. We also offer a maintenance service.

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