Comrie Will Bowl You Over

Another good fun works night out

Every few months we like to get the Comrie team together for a social night out. It might be a few beers at a local pub or as our last team night out a competitive night of indoor go-karting.

This time it was no different, we had a very competitive night of bowling mixed with a few drinks. Bragging rights at work the next day were at stake!

Comrie’s long standing engineer Justin was the favourite due to being a past regular weekly player at Ten Pin bowling. It did look like it was going to be Justin’s night during the practice session, but when the heat was on in the main game it was experience over youth that prevailed. The winner was the oldest team member Phil, who has not only received the long standing retirement watch but carries on with Comrie to pass his knowledge of fruit machines, jukeboxes and pool tables onto the younger team members.

He was also showing them how to bowl

 

 

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NEW £10 NOTE INFORMATION

NEW £10 NOTE

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has unveiled the design of its new polymer £10 note featuring the world-renowned author, Jane Austen, on the 200th anniversary of her death.

The note will be issued on the 14th September 2017.

It is the first Bank of England banknote with a tactile feature to help blind and partially sighted users identify it.

This is a series of raised dots in the top left-hand corner and has been developed in conjunction with the Royal National Institute of Blind People.

It is expected to last 2.5 times longer than the current paper £10 notes and around five years in total, and stay in better condition during day-to-day use.

It joins the Churchill £5 note in the first family of polymer Bank of England banknotes, with a new £20 note featuring the well-known British landscape painter, JMW Turner, set to follow in 2020.

Legal tender status of the paper £10 featuring Charles Darwin will be withdrawn in spring 2018 with the exact date being announced at least three months in advance.

Speaking at Winchester Cathedral, the resting place of Jane Austen, Carney said: Our banknotes serve as repositories of the country’s collective memory, promoting awareness of the United Kingdoms glorious history and highlighting the contributions of its greatest citizens. The new £10 note celebrates Jane Austens work. Austens novels have a universal appeal and speak as powerfully today as they did when they were first published.

At Comrie we have worked hard over the last few months getting all our machines accepting the new £1 coin, at the same time we programed all our fruit machines and digital gaming machines to take the new £10 note. So from the day of introduction of the new £10 note all your customers would be able to insert and play with new £10 notes if you had a fruit machine or digital gaming machine on hire from Comrie.

 

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The New £10 Note Due Out September 2017

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Wow – A steak dinner instead of £33m Jackpot!

Wow – A steak dinner instead of £33m Jackpot!

A woman has reportedly taken legal action against a casino that claimed a fruit machine displaying a £33.65 jackpot was faulty – offering her a steak dinner instead.

The woman took a selfie with the Fruit machine telling her it was “printing cash tickets of $42,949,672.76 as she celebrated her almighty jackpot!!

But, a worker at the Resorts World Casino in New York City, was quick to tell her that she had not won and it was claimed the casino escorted her from the premises.

The machine displayed a disclaimer, saying – “Malfunctions void all pays and plays”.

The lawyer representing the woman filed a lawsuit, labelling the claims ‘ridiculous’ and questioned if the casino was liable for poor maintenance.

They were seeking the jackpot total in damages.

The lawyer continued – “You can’t claim a machine is broken because you want it to be broken. Does that mean it wasn’t inspected? Does it mean it wasn’t maintained? “If this is the case, does that mean the people that played there before have zero chance of winning?”

It was reported the cash jackpot would have been the largest ever won on a gaming machine in the USA.

The incident took place last year and the casino claimed at the time staff and the New York State Gaming Commission had later found the machine had malfunctioned!!!

While in the UK we do not have million pound jackpot machines, it is very important to not only have the latest fruit machines in your pub or club but to ensure they are regularly serviced and maintained. We are coming across many machines in midlands pubs and clubs that are not new £1 ready, have many bulbs not working so the customers can not see the feature that is lit up and this is only looking from the outside.

At Comrie we do regular maintenance on all our gaming and amusement machines to try and avoid the machine going faulty on a player. As this can cause a loss of income and a frustrated  customer especially if this happens on a busy Friday or Saturday night. If you are looking for the latest fruit machines that are maintained regularly give Comrie a call today on 02476 249070

 

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Meet The Team

MEET THE COMRIE TEAM

This month the spot light is on Andy McKirdy of the Comrie team.

Andy has been part of the team for 18 months now and is Chief Machine Installation Engineer.

When Andy came to Comrie for his first interview it came out that Andy’s dad, also called Andy, was licensee of the Transport Social Club in Coventry for 15 years.

This social club was one of the Comrie’s long standing sites until it went the way of so many clubs and pubs over the last few years and closed down.

Comrie’s original founder – Harry Greig, knew Andy Senior well and would often call in to the Transport club for a late night drink!

Andy is a qualified electrician which is a great fit for dealing with the modern electronics that are now in digital fruit machines that we hire out to pubs and clubs.

When we asked Andy about his hobbies outside work, he said, “ I have four kids so there’s no time, but I would like to be on the golf course”.

Andy is also in charge of all PAT testing on our gaming and amusement machines before they go out on site. It is great to have Andy as part of our great team here at Comrie.

 

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Comrie Team Night Out

 

TEAM BUILDING

The Comrie team all got together last Thursday evening for a competitive night of Go-Kart racing at Team Works indoor karting in Digbeth, Birmingham.

With bragging rights the next working day at stake the Comrie team was raring to go. A few racers had their excuses prepared – “the kart goes faster if you are lighter” etc etc.

We had a great evening, which was partly to celebrate what a great job the Comrie team had done over the previous months converting all our fruit machines, digital gaming machines and amusement machines to accept the new £1 coin.

With the new £1 coin finally here we are already seeing the new pound coins in the cash box, but as with the new £5 note they will be rapidly appearing in peoples pockets. It has been a long and costly process to which the government gave no help in monetary, subsidies/grants and very little advice. Even the prototype coins we were sent to help us in advance were changed a few weeks before implementation date, making the job even harder!

Even so with a great team we got there and all Comrie’s customer’s machines are now taking the new £1 coin in their fruit machines and digital gaming machines. If your pub or club fruit machines are not taking the new £1 coin as yet then speak with your supplier as you will be missing out on profit and more importantly the old coin will be disappearing from circulation. Or give the team at comrie a

call to chat about our great deals on fruit machine hire that are the latest machines and all new £1 coin ready.

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The Go-Karting results! As you can see by the photos above, three of the Comrie team (Mark, Jimmy & Justin) are looking very happy to be on the podium. A great night was had by all and we finished the night off with a couple of pints and a curry whilst ribbing Jason Miles one of the Directors for not only coming last but also by getting beaten by his son, Jack.

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Count Down For The New £1 Coin

 

NEW £1 Coin

As you read this, 10 giant presses in South Wales are striking 40 new £1 coins a second. The 12 sided coins, are hot off the press as they land off the machine into a big plastic crate.

The new coins will enter circulation on March 28th and gradually replace the familiar round coins. The Royal Mint’s presses are working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with more than 750M coins already made.

It is also the time to raid your piggy banks. In October, the old £1 coins will become obsolete. You will not be able to pay for your shopping with them, or use them to release the lock on the shopping trolley.

So why are they introducing a new £1 coin? It is mainly to combat counterfeiting and to boost customer confidence in the currency. According to the Royal Mint, about one in 30 of the familiar pound coins currently in circulation are thought to be forgeries. The new design, with 12 sides, known as a dodecagon, is significantly more complex and therefore much harder to fake.

With the launch date of the 28th March fast approaching, the Royal Mint has already started to deliver them to safe houses around the country. You may see one straightaway, although the Royal Mint believes it will take about a month for the new 12 sided coins to reach most banks and retailers. It expects that by August more than half of the £1 coins in circulations will be the new 12 sided ones.

The 15th October is the date the old round £1 coins will no longer be legal tender. You will only be able to exchange them in banks or at the post office, although this might not be simple. The Royal Mint suggests you contact your local post office or bank to find out any specific arrangements they have to exchange the old coins after the 15th October.

So will the new 12 sided £1 coin be accepted everywhere from 28th March? Yes, it should be, however a teething period is expected as machines that accepted the old round coin are updated to take the new 12 sided coin, such as vending machine, lockers, parking meters, fruit machines, pool tables etc.

Many businesses including Comrie are working hard to make sure they will be ready to accept the £1 coin.

So whilst we wait for the launch of the new £1 coin, go and empty your piggy banks, not forgetting the children’s piggy banks before they become obsolete.

Do not forget to make sure your gaming and amusement machines are all ready for the new £1 coin. At Comrie all our engineers are working hard to make sure all our Fruit machines, pool tables, jukeboxes, Digital gaming machines are converted to accept this new coin from the day they are introduced. If you have not had your machines converted yet get on the phone to your gaming machine supplier or if you contact Comrie about fruit machine hire all are new machines are delivered to site ready for the introduction of the new coin on the 28th of march.

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Machine Exhibition News

HAPPY New year, well it is our first blog post of 2017 and still January –

 Another year flies by, and we at Comrie are heading down to our annual trade show in London. It is located at the XL Convention Centre in the Docklands and gives us an insight in to the new machines that are being released in 2017 for pubs and social clubs.

It is also great to meet old and new business contacts and find out how business is in the other parts of the country.

We have some exciting news about new digital jukebox for pubs where customers can pay and choose their songs with their mobile phones. The new jukebox function is working very well in any pubs that are attracting a younger crowd. The added bonus is there are no costs to trial this new digital jukebox in your pub or club with this new feature.

We have also ordered some new fruit machines as it is proven that if you are changing your fruit machines every 12 weeks you keep your cash box constantly higher and keep your customers interested.

Pictured below is Mark Greig from the Comrie team confirming the order of the new Alphastar digital gaming machine that has had great reviews.

If you are looking to hire a new fruit machine or digital gaming machine now is a great time to chat with this new stock arriving and ready for delivery.

We were also lucky enough to catch up with a few faces you might recognise form Only Fools and Horses, they were promoting their new machine. Sorry we have not bought the Trotters Independent Robin Reliant to deliver the new machines….

 

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Trade Convention News

At Comrie we like to be abreast of all the latest developments in our industry and to have our say on how we would like things to change for the future. With this in mind we are members of BACTA (British Amusement & Catering Trade Association). While the catering part of the association is only by name now, BACTA are instrumental in taking with the Gambling commission and different sections of the government to ensure that the industry is changing for the better for not only their members but the playing public as well.

This year’s BACTA Convention attracted a record attendance with more than 240 members. Our very own Company Director, Cheryl Greig, was one of the members that attended the Convention on 24th November at the QE11 Conference Centre in Westminster London.

BACTA has already unveiled its wish list for triennial, which the Chief Executive of BACTA, John White claims is a “modest” package of changes. There is also a request to a reduction in MGD (Machine Games Duty) and for SWP’s (Skill With Prizes/Quiz Machines) to be removed from MGD altogether. Only John White could pull off the feat of asking the Commission to stop “talking down” to BACTA members without sounding in any way offensive! “On a one to one basis I have had nothing but grown up and sensible discussions with the Commission, but the head masterly tone of the Commission’s communications remain” he said.

To conclude, this year’s Convention showed the association to be more vibrant than in many years. While undoubtedly triennial and a feeling of traction on B2’s played a large part, praise must go to the association for minimizing in –fighting, repairing damaged relationships with regulatory bodies and bringing extra value to the members. John White ended by saying “Membership is at a 10 year high, despite all the mergers, we must be doing something right. Given all the benefits of membership, it really is a no-brainer.

The triennial review is where the government decide if there will be any changes to gaming machines stakes and prizes (cost to play/Jackpots) which we do hope will be changed to offer a higher jackpot to our pub going customers. Also they will hopefully finally decide to lower the stakes and may be the jackpots of the machines in bookmakers who have been taking many pub customers due to their unfair advantage in the type of machines that they are allowed. While we do offer roulette machines to pubs they are of a different technical standards and lower stakes and prizes.

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Cheryl Greig with BACTA’s head of compliance Phil Silver at this years BACTA convention.

 

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Help save our pubs

Save Our Pubs

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is launching a new initiative to protect 3,000 pubs from demolition or conversion to other uses – as new statistics show 29 pubs a week are being lost across the UK. 

“Holes in the current planning system allow pubs to be sold off, demolished or converted to many other uses without planning permission or the involvement of the local community. However when a pub is nominated as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) it automatically receives planning protection meaning it is no longer a soft target to would-be developers looking to quickly purchase and convert  or demolish the pub – which in some instances has literally happened overnight,” says Tom Stainer, CAMRA’s Head of Communications.

For more information about the ACV campaign, please visit www.camra.org.uk/list-your-local While times change and a certain amount of consolidation is natural, the loss of pubs on such a large scale is a threat to the cultural heritage of our country. Rural areas that lose pubs, lose a community meeting place and are the lonelier for it. Pubs are what we do in this country, not coffee shops, or wine bars or any other foreign import but British boozers. With fruit machines in them, jukeboxes, pool tables and the works. 

I have friends who rescued a pub in their village which would otherwise have been gone for good and who have turned it into a profitable business. While not many have the time or resources to go this far, we can all do our bit in raising awareness of the plight of UK pubs and add our voice to those calling for them to be protected wherever possible.

Another great way to help your local pub is go for a pint there, we see it so often people moaning about losing there local but not using it when it was open! Also if you run a pub or can pass on this information as a regular, by having the latest fruit machines on hire can help your pub or clubs profits improve by up to 60%.

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Not Another Sales Call!

 

When the phone rings and it is another nuisance call!!!

Here is a little help to stop these calls.

It’s illegal for organisations to make unsolicited sales and marketing calls to numbers registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), unless they have a person’s consent to do so.

Your customers should notice a gradual reduction in unsolicited sales and marketing calls after a few days, although it can take up to 28 days for the service to become fully effective.

Here’s the official Ofcom press release if you want to find out more.

Your customers can now text ‘TPS’ along with their email address to 78070 to opt out of unsolicited calls.

By doing this, they’re adding their mobile number to the UK’s official ‘do not call’ database.

This will leave you more time to give Comrie a call to chat about a new Digitail fruit Machine on hire for your pub or social club.

 

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