Summer’s Here

Judging from the weather over the last couple of days it looks as if summer is finally with us. All we need now is for it to rain for the whole of July and August and we will know that ‘normal service has been resumed’.

On Friday we held our annual ‘Shoot the Birdie’ Golf and Clay pigeon shooting competition which was attended by over 80 friends and colleagues from the UK ‘Coin Op’ industry. Lovely weather, all in good spirits and all gave generously to the CHIPs charity cause. To remind you CHIPs raises money to buy specially adapted wheelchairs for disabled children. Last year, throughout the year we raised over £100k which purchased 17 wheelchairs and which fundamentally changed the lives of 17 children and their families. All our venues are now in the process of raising money from our very generous customers and this activity will carry on from now until September, or in the case of the nine Bingo Clubs, through to the end of the year. All our staff support the charity and many of them have been at the presentation of wheelchairs to the children and know first hand how grateful their mums and dads are and how clearly life changing the wheel chairs are.

So we are almost halfway through 2014! I always feel as if I sound like my parents when I say this but I will anyway… where has the time gone! Another year rushing by, almost up to the summer solstice already and everyone at Praesepe working hard to entertain our players and ensure that they always go home feeling that they always get value for money at both Beacon and Cashino venues. We are firmly in the entertainment sector of the British gambling industry. We don’t have any product that costs more than £2 to play, and many of our customers are very happy playing at 10p a spin (and we are very happy to let them!). Anyone can come into one of our venues at any time, have a cup of tea and a sticky bun and play fruit machines at 10p a go. Pretty good value in my view and that is why we have such high repeat business. Of course we have to ensure that we have the best and most innovative equipment (much of which comes from our sister company Blueprint) but the single most important element of our ‘offer’ is our staff. Staff who are trained to ensure that any player, or potential player who walks in off the street receives a consistently warm welcome. Of course I am not deluding myself by thinking that always is the case! Occasionally staff to forget their training, or are distracted in some way and that is why we use ‘Mystery Shoppers’whose job it is to visit all our venues on a regular basis and to experience our customers service. Staff who perform well are rewarded and those who do not then find themselves having a frank discussion with their Area Managers. Our business is not for everyone, we understand that and when that happens we will usually try to assist a staff member in securing a job that does suit them…

Lastly, since I last wrote my ‘blog’ we have launched our own radio station broadcasting to all our venues. Chris Drake is the man at the helm, the radio station has been very well received by both staff and players alike and I am looking forward to being interviewed by Chris at the end of the month. Apparently I also have to choose five tracks to play, not as easy as it sounds I can tell you!

Have a great summer!

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