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.