Academics on the rise and future of vintage arcades in contemporary seaside resorts

General vintage slot machine related topics.
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pennymachines
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Academics on the rise and future of vintage arcades in contemporary seaside resorts

Post by pennymachines »

The 'heritagisation' of the British seaside resort: The rise of the 'old penny arcade, by Anya Chapman and Duncan Light, Journal of Heritage Tourism, August 2011, Bournemouth University
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mr merrivale
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Re: Academics on the rise and future of vintage arcades in contemporary seaside resorts

Post by mr merrivale »

It is a very interesting read but the main thing is just how many have closed since the paper was written and how few have opened.
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moonriver
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Re: Academics on the rise and future of vintage arcades in contemporary seaside resorts

Post by moonriver »

Well I waded through reading it all, and I can't find any reference to the part where in 2007 the bookmakers were given free rein to shaft the entire amusement industry as we have bitterly discussed at length here before.
As a result the catastrophic decline of both coastal and inland amusement arcades ensued. Any other supposed reasons for their decline are much misunderstood.
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dickywink
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Re: Academics on the rise and future of vintage arcades in contemporary seaside resorts

Post by dickywink »

Hi Moonriver
As much as I hate the fact that the bookies totally scammed the gullible with their £100 a spin slots ... I think the whole fruit machine industry was on the decline before that. The main reason was that machines were so manipulated by tricks and emptier's by people with the knowledge that there was no amusement left in them for the average punter.

Also as the RTP (return to player) on online casinos is a lot higher than land-based arcades (96% vs 80%), most punters moved to their phones and PCs for their gambling fix.

It's sad that there are now no physical reel-based AWP manufacturers left in the UK as all have moved to video screens.

It really is an end of an era.

All the best ... Dicky
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moonriver
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Re: Academics on the rise and future of vintage arcades in contemporary seaside resorts

Post by moonriver »

Dickywink:
Yours is an interesting perspective, however I can assure you, after 30 years of owner operating both inland amusement arcades and adult gaming centres, our industry was not in decline, and my businesses were solvent. We had a diverse and innovative amusement industry, always going with the flow, the latest trends and manufacturers were always producing something new to try. Then the Law changed and overnight the bookmakers were permitted to increase their max bet on their games to £100 a spin, and with for example a William Hill 'Plus' card, increased that bet to up to £1000 a spin (specifically roulette). The very same overnight change required Adult Gaming Centres to reduce their maximum price of play from £2 a spin, down to just £1 a spin. What do you think happened over the following few months? Bookmakers mushroomed in most high streets nationwide, and we found our takings 40% down, unable to compete on an unfair playing field.

Despite lobbying as an industry this unfair situation remained in place for more than a decade leading to massive arcade and gaming centre closure nationwide.

Starved of the money from the amusement industry to drive innovation and investment from the machine manufacturers, the knock on effect was they closed or downsized too. Industry trade exhibitions such as ATEI downsized by half, a shadow of its former self and mainly casino manufacturers rather than arcades.

A new Gambling Commission unfit for purpose relied upon fleecing the very amusement industry with disproportionally high new licensing fees simply to fund itself, seemingly unaware of the irony of killing the golden goose.

With regard to percentage payouts we were required by Law prior to 2007 to have 92% payout and random play on £500 jackpot machines, £2 max stake per spin. Not 80%.

Following the change in the Law the newly legitimised fixed odds betting terminals have NEVER been controlled or scrutinised by the Gambling Commission as far as game design, game play or percentage payouts are concerned. What I do know is that the bookmakers machines have everything controlled remotely via fibre optics from head office. New games are uploaded to the machines, faults are corrected without techs ever going to site, and games are monitored live by operatives at head office. Heavy spending punters are monitored one on one by handlers as they play without their knowledge and monitored live on cam, spin by spin. Game percentages can be changed literally as the punter plays, enticing with wins and then holding off. We know of one taxi business owner that was spending £4,500 a day on roulette alone. The bookmakers had over 10 years of hardcore casino gaming right there on the high street in plain site, nothing to do with amusement, instead a very covert and manipulative means of literally fleecing customers. Meanwhile, arcades were stuck in a limbo situation not allowed to operate these same machines and only allowed £1 max spin.

Why then do you think amusement arcades have closed down, and why do you think Bet365 boss Denise Coates earns £469m in a single year?

Finally with regard to reel based machines, most inland arcades and gaming centres (notably Nobles) have all been bought out by Admiral, the only company large enough to challenge the bookmakers machines with their own range of character based video multi screen games that they successfully operate throughout Europe. Only recently has the Law in the UK been changed again in response to public outrage at the massive social damage the bookmakers roulette terminals have caused, but it's too little too late for the arcade industry. Of course there are other factors that have since come into play and new ways to gamble if you're so inclined that weren't available previously.

My point is that any commercial competition within a fair and level playing field is perfectly acceptable and a business can adapt, but when a whole industry is literally stopped by Law from being able to compete fairly and yet its competitors are allowed to operate machines that it can not, then all that has happened above is not just a coincidence.
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dickywink
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Re: Academics on the rise and future of vintage arcades in contemporary seaside resorts

Post by dickywink »

Wow Moonriver,
That's a great insight and I feel your plight. The bookies had a lot to answer for. It annoyed me when the GC (quite rightly ) reverted FOBTs back to £2 play, and all the bookies could do was moan about loss of profits and that they may have to close shops and loss of jobs etc., but prior to FOBTs there were NOT 5 or 6 bookies in one high street, so in reality it was just back to normal for them. They should be ashamed.

As you can likely tell, I'm not a fan of bookies (or AGCs for that matter) but I love the seaside arcades and of course Ditchburn Jukeboxes.
Sadly the Gambling Commission is on a mission to remove gambling exposure to children, and as a lot of seaside arcade fun involves some form of gambling, whether it's winning tickets or 2ps. But the GC doing this would also remove a lot of the fun from the arcades. Hopefully they won't destroy another sector of the business and will leave it alone.

all the best ... Dicky
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clubconsoles
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Re: Academics on the rise and future of vintage arcades in contemporary seaside resorts

Post by clubconsoles »

Hi moonriver.
The following I have lifted directly from your post-

"Heavy spending punters are monitored one on one by handlers as they play without their knowledge and monitored live on cam, spin by spin. Game percentages can be changed literally as the punter plays, enticing with wins and then holding off"

These are serious allegations against bookmakers, can you tell me what proof you have of the above claim?
feel free to Private message me if you like?
Thanks Nigel
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moonriver
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Re: Academics on the rise and future of vintage arcades in contemporary seaside resorts

Post by moonriver »

clubconsoles wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 8:08 pm
These are serious allegations against bookmakers, can you tell me what proof you have of the above claim?
feel free to Private message me if you like?
Thanks Nigel
I don't intend to spend much more time justifying my previous comments, as there is much in the public domain for those who don't have first hand experience but wish to take the time to research if they so choose. Former Sports Minister, Labour MP Gerry Sutcliffe's crusade against the amusement industry and his bookmaker and racing connections are legendary.
Suffice to say my comment about bookmakers are aimed at the big players and not the small independents. When I finally closed my
amusement businesses, my arcade managers of 20 years found new employment working for one of them and now hold senior positions.
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