Clearly the starting point for any observer of the amusements industry should be to ask why on earth Cranes should be classified as a ‘gaming’ product? The fact that they are is one of those crazy anomalies which defies sensible analysis. Equally counter intuitive and, in my opinion, equally damaging is the failure of our regulators and policy makers to address the absence of a Triennial Review for the industry and to come up with an explanation for the cryptic When’s a triennial not a triennial? If the consequences of not having a Triennial every three years wasn’t so damaging for the business, the question would be comic.
To compound the problem, cranes stand or fall as an income generator, by the quality and appeal of the prize – the plush. As the costs of attractive plush increase almost in line with consumers demand for licensed products, cranes are dealt another damaging body blow. Having met with the Gambling Commission’s new Chief Executive, Sarah Harrison at last week’s meeting of the Gambling Business Group, I am sure this consequence of ‘Triennial Inertia’ is something that will concern her.
It’s a year since Praesepe strengthened its position at the coast with the purchase of three venues in Hunstanton from Thomas’s Entertainments. It has been a good 12-months and expanding our seaside business is an important part of our vision. We continue to be extremely pleased with the performance of our redemption equipment which, I believe, is at the heart of the family entertainment proposition. There’s no doubt the operation of redemption has been bolstered by products such as Electrocoin’s Galileo Ticket Eater.
FECs come in all forms and arguably the biggest and most impressive is the Brighton Pier. One of the UK’s top tourist attractions, which has been run so professionally by the Noble Organisation since 1984, has changed hands for a sum quoted at £18m. Congratulations to the Noble Organisation for setting the standards that we all aspire to and the very best of luck to new owner Luke Johnson as he oversees a new phase in the life of the 112-year-old attraction.