It’s the ICE gaming show in London this week and for whatever reason the classic Foreigner anthem got stuck in my head. I thought I’d have a look at the lyrics and there’s a couple of  lines in there that really contrasts pubs and other high street competitors, namely LBO’s and FOBT’s.

“Closing the door, you leave the world behind”

LBO’s are probably on the cusp of a new stakes and prize regime which is looking more and more like a £2 stake. What’s going to happen?

Well a £2 stake does mean that the typical FOBT will change and there will no doubt be a demand for more CAT C content. In fact, I’m sure that this has already been considered by the LBO’s.

Whilst there’s some crossover in player between the LBO and the pub there’s absolutely no guarantee that there will be any mass migration, particularly if the FOBT has the best of the best CAT C content on it!

The great thing about the LBO fraternity is that they outwardly act in unison. They take the best of content and innovation and market it well. The LBO, whoever the operator is, present to the public as a single market place delivering reliable product, expertly connected and well marketed and they invest in knowing their customer base so they can not only re-act but they can present new products and test new ideas, bringing them to market quickly.

Their approach to problem solving is clinical. No door is closed because they don’t want to leave any opportunity behind. They invest in what they believe in and more importantly they do it.

Can the same be said of the pub supply chain? Not really. There’s a different approach between managed and tenanted operators for a start. Too many slightly different agendas. Then there’s the different agendas of the machine operators. The complexity of which games they “choose” to use for example. Even though the market has moved forward digitally, it is not as unified nor as technically able as the LBO sector. The fact is that it could be if more doors were opened.

There’s a potential opportunity to grow some market share for pubs if the outcome of the consultation is a £2 stake, but it can only stick if the player feels at home with the pub digital environment.

Creating the perception of a single pub market place for gaming is becoming a necessity otherwise it may be that “Someday you’ll pay the price”.