Manco Automatics
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Take a browse through our blog history and see what’s happening in the gaming and leisure industry.

Slashed stakes on FOBTs are good news for gamblers

Gaming machines should be about fun first and foremost – and in many cases they are, such as pool tables and juke boxes, where there’s no expectation of a cash prize, and quiz machines where the stakes are fairly low. Even fruit machines offer regular smaller payouts and a realistic chance of hitting the jackpot or close to it, if you’re familiar with the features. So fixed-odds betting terminals, which allow stakes as high as £100 per turn on games like roulette that could last less than a minute, have always stood out as being on the unethical side of profit-making. Now those maximum stakes are set to be slashed to just £2, bringing FOBTs much more in line with the entertainment aspect of the industry, rather than luring compulsive gamblers in with fast-paced high-stakes betting. Lower stakes will need to be approved by Parliament through secondary legislation, and the DCMS has also promised to give the gambling industry time to implement the changes. But the impact has already started to be seen in the half-year financial results posted recently by William Hill, which has already begun to restructure its retail business in anticipation of the lower stakes, and posted a loss of £820 million in the first six months of 2018. Without the restructuring costs associated with the reduction in FOBT stakes, the firm’s financial performance would have been around £96 million of profit – a difference of almost a billion pounds for the half-year.  Is this good or bad for gamblers? A loss of £1 billion of profits is clearly not good news for William Hill or...

Creating an amazing common room on a budget

Colleges have closed for the summer, with students looking forward to relaxing until Results Day in August. During the holidays is the ideal time to make cosmetic and structural changes to the building and give tired rooms a mini-makeover. It’s amazing the difference a lick of paint can make. In this blog post, we’ll give you tips and show you easy ways you can transform your common room. Consider how the room is used Is the current common room a popular place for students to hang out, or is it somewhere they avoid? If it isn’t used – why is this? Is it uninviting? Are the walls beige, the furniture broken and the room sparse? Sometimes the location of the room itself can be an issue, if it’s in an area of the college that has low footfall, it might get forgotten about. Is there an unused room elsewhere that could make a better common room? Think like a student Put yourself in your students’ shoes. What would you like to see in the common room? Comfortable seating is a must. A basic kitchen in the corner so they can make themselves a hot drink and some toast would be popular addition. There will need to be at least one table that they can use to study on (or eat), but the common room will mainly be used for students wanting to socialise and relax between lessons. Friendships will be formed in the common room so why not have a pool table? It can be a great ice breaker and encourage students to have a bit of friendly competition....

Music consultation gives pubs the blues … but we could help

Do you own/run a pub? A fee consultation is currently taking place that could leave a bad taste in your mouth. The music licencing company (PPL) believe that fees need to be raised for the specially featured entertainment tariff (SFE). The current fee has been in place for thirty years. If you play music for just an hour and there are only a handful of punters you’re already expected to pay £2.25 in tax, which is a lot. The SFE tariff applies to the playing of recorded music at events such as discos and DJ nights and affects nightclubs, pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants and hotels. Many are predicting that the fee will increase substantially which could make things difficult for your business. Many establishments could be forced to cut down or stop their music and disco nights – which could have huge implications on their turnover and profit. What can be done? The SFE are asking for feedback so take a look at their consultation report and let them know how you feel. You can do this by clicking here > Now is the time to act. Is there anyway I could get around any changes? Having a video jukebox could help you avoid having to pay the fee, as your punters will be in control and the music won’t be on continuously for hours at a time. Hiring a digital jukebox to position by your bar or elsewhere in your pub or club could cost less than you think and generate extra income too. Speak to Manco Automatics today by calling us on 0161 870 7777 or by...

Is your hotel entertaining enough?

It doesn’t matter how big or small your hotel is, or where it’s located, you must make the most of every single customer who passes through your doors. The hotel world is cutthroat and if you are to succeed where others fail, you must make the most of entertainment. Fruit machines and pool tables Having the right fruit machine by your bar or seating area can draw people in. Whether it’s workers on business trips, families enjoying a short break or pensioners enjoying a week-long stay, they appeal. People love showing off their competitive sides. As well as generating an income from the machines themselves, you should also feel a benefit behind the bar as people will no doubt ask for another drink while they play. If you have room, why not trial a pool table too? You can hire both fruit machines and pool tables from Manco Automatics. Kids activities If you want to be known as a family-friendly hotel, you could consider having a themed play room somewhere in your hotel. The room doesn’t have to be massive and you don’t need to spend a fortune kitting it out, but a few board games, a games console, ball pool and some baby toys could go down a treat. A lick of paint and a few large character wall stickers can make a huge impact (and should you want to change the room back, the stickers can be easily removed). Musical acts In peak season, it could be beneficial to have a singer or comedian on. They can attract not only your guests but outsiders to come in...