Halfway through the summer already, I think it may well be a function of age that you grow increasingly more aware of how quickly time goes, either that or we are all so busy that time flies by! Probably a combination of the two I imagine.
This weekend I am off to Hunstanton for the day to see how our latest acquisition is performing and how it is being presented to all the Hunstanton holiday makers. Since acquiring the business we have been making steady changes to the machine estate and have populated the Showboat Arcade with a large number of ‘Ticket Redemption’ machines, all of which are supported by a super Prize shop and serviced by the latest ‘Ticket Eaters’. I am pleased to say that we now have a number of seaside ‘FEC’ businesses in the estate, and they are all great businesses with teams of staff who are now putting in a lot of hard work for the peak summer holiday weeks.
So, as they say ‘ we do like to be beside the seaside’ and I am hopeful that in the next few months we are able to acquire more similar businesses in the UK.
Back inland, our Cashino venues have so far been having a good year, there is no doubt that we are now benefitting from the recovering economy and that that recovery is starting to slowly spread out from the South East to the rest of the country. I would add however, and reflecting the economy, business in Wales continues to be tough and I know that our team in Wales have been working really hard to keep their businesses moving forwards. They are a very hard working and dedicated group and I am grateful for their hard work and efforts.
Top of my worry list? The ongoing debate in the media and in many public forums about B2 (or FOBT) machines. We remain deeply concerned about the imbalance of products on the High street and the damaging effect that this is having on our business, both commercially on a daily basis and also in terms of the stultifying effect that this debate is having on the appetite of the government and the regulator to enter into any debate about future deregulation. Much is spoken about the next so called ‘Triennial Review’ but as yet we have no date for this and in my view are unlikely to see a confirmed date for a review until there is some form of resolution.