I have for many, many years been a strong advocate of digital machines and multi-game content. I’ve been fortunate to be involved in the early testing and development of it with forward looking suppliers and open minded retailers. All of a sudden, retailers are jumping onboard this year as the quality and reliability of the digital offer grows. Conversely, of course, we are witnessing the increasingly rapid demise of a choice of analogue single game machines, partially as a consequence of the archaic testing process, but also as a consequence of the limited, specific development of Category C gaming content.

If I could, I would have every machine as a digital machine! Seriously its 2017! Every other gaming platform is digital. It has taken too long to get to where we are now because it has not necessarily been in everyone’s interests. The Neanderthal days are nearly over though with most retailers demanding more exposure to digital machines and I am sure that 2018 will see a further doubling of digital density.

Great news! There’s some fantastic products out there being developed by excellent gaming entrepreneurs for the tenanted pub sector.

The problem is that without getting around the nemesis of the requirement for float refilling the product will not be fully optimized in the tenanted sector. Digital gaming is an opportunity not to be squandered. Resolving refilling is a challenge the sector needs to address, but more importantly needs to understand fully and start to position tenants now about what their responsibilities will need to be relating to collections and cash management. Pubco’s also need to seriously consider new cash handling procedures – who keeps what and how it is reconciled.

When D (igital)- Day comes and there’s no longer any analogue machines to choose from,  tenants and pub companies need to know exactly who is responsible for what and what the new rules are. It’s going to be a brave new world, but one that’s worth embracing!


Russell Wood