Finally, along with Easter, the warmer weather has arrived. Having written that, I am sure that we will now have wind and rain for the rest of the week, which is a shame as I shall be in Brighton on Friday night watching Brighton and Hove Albion beat AFC Bournemouth…. But on the good news front there is no doubt that as the economy continues to improve, I get a real sense that there is an air of optimism on the High Street and that seems to be translating itself into more visits to all of our venues, both High Street AGCs and Bingo Clubs. Long may that continue!
Our FEC business got off to a good start over Easter and visiting Margate on Good Friday, I was delighted with the way that the FEC, Prize Bingo and Slot Lounge/Bingo ‘Shush Free’ zone had been prepared for the season. Since we decided to reopen the Margate FEC it has improved each year and I think this season will be its best ever!
On the technical front we continue with our investment in TITO, which is working well for us and we now have a roll out plan for the TITO system. My sense is that we will be operating 100% of our venues on TITO within two years and my belief is that the rest of the industry will soon also start to adopt TITO as the standard form of operation for all gaming machines in the UK. We have already informed our suppliers that we will now only accept new machines that are TITO enabled, in order to ensure that the transition from traditional payment methods across to TITO is as seamless as possible.
Finally, as always, we are starting our annual CHIPs fundraising campaign; last year we raised £110k for CHIPs, a huge amount that took the total that Praesepe has raised to well over £400k. I am really looking forward to seeing how all our venue teams go about raising funds this year; there are always some really wacky schemes for fundraising, all of which are great fun and it is always nice to see how engaged our customers are in the process. Once again, a real demonstration of the great connection that Praesepe staff have with their customers.