Blackpool Holiday

Even our holidays involve machines!

During the half term school break we decided to do a Staycation as it seems all the trend and a great way to support the UK. Well it was not for the weather!

We headed up to sunny Blackpool to see the illuminations and some fun along the front. It brought back a lot of memories of going there when I was young, buying sticks of rock. Eating big ice creams even on cold days and having fun on the pier in the arcades.

Three generations of us travelled to Blackpool, myself (Mark), my mother June Greig who still helps out at Comrie doing the book work and the future boss of Comrie, my 6 year old daughter Macy.

We all had lots of fun and I also learnt that there are plenty of people who still enjoy playing all the difference types of machines as the fruit machines, video games and pushes were all busy with holiday makers like ourselves playing the different machines for hours.

Having all the latest up to date machines also helps which we have here at Comrie. As when we install the latest machines our customers tell us how much better the machine is doing than the last machine they had.

So if you are looking for the latest fruit machine or digital gaming machine for your pub or social club then you will certainly earn more profit. Sorry we don’t do pusher machines but if you head to Blackpool pier there are some great one’s to play there as you can see from the pictures below. Two happy girls having fun :)

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Pub Companies Trying to Make Life Hard For Tenants

PUB CODE CHANGES

Following changes to the pub codes last year implemented options for certain tenants to be released from pub ties and the complete removal of a gaming machine tie a report has emerged showing that pub operators are not making the market rent only option easy for tenants.

The pubs code adjudicator has commissioned a report stating that pub operators are going against the spirit of the code by blocking tied tenants access to the market rent only option (MR0).

Evidence in the report outlines that operating businesses covered by the pubs code have implemented a number of strategies to make it difficult for tied tenants to exercise their MRO.

The report has highlighted incidents in which pub operators have withheld information, offered tenants unreasonably high rents and unusual terms, as well as failing to engage in meaningful negotiations – all with the intent of making the MRO less attractive to tenants.

The report also found the most significant barrier was the insistence by pub operators that a brand new tenancy agreement was required rather than a deed of variation. With the latter, tenants can be released from tie, fully and partially, without changing the other terms, however costly stipulations can be inserted into completely new agreements.

Such actions have prompted some tenants to refer their disputes to the Pubs adjudicator which creates added costs with legal fees and stress.

Changes to the pub codes in July last year mean that tenants in England and Wales with gaming machines are no longer tied to certain suppliers providing they are with pub owning businesses that have 500 or more tied pubs. Tenants with a lease pre dating 26th May 2016 will, however, still be tied to machines until their next rent review.

You could be entitled to have your gaming and amusement machines from any supplier which will also mean more money in your pocket. give us a call to chat about this in more detail and to find out if you can have the latest fruit machine or digital jukebox in your pub on a far better deal today.

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Higher Bills For Pubs!!!

PUB BUSINESS RATE INCREASE

 

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has warned that pub business rates are a ticking time bomb as it hosted a drop-in session for MPs to show support for a £5000 annual reduction.

In the same week that the 2018 edition of Camra’s Good Beer Guide was published, over 50 MPs pledged their support at the House of Commons for Camra’s Keep Pubs Afloat campaign –  also backed by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR).

The beer guide reports that the UK boasted 75,000 pubs when Camra was formed in the early 1970s, and while there was a number of reasons for closures, the new business rates revaluation introduced this year has been labelled the worst by some operators. The total pub count is now down to fewer than 47,000, the guide says, with 21 typically closing every week.

Some business rate increases, due to be phased in over a five-year period, are described by the guide as eye-watering. For example Camra’s national pub of the year in 2012 in Rochdale will see its rateable value increased by 377 percent, while pub of the year in 2015 in Cheltenham faces a rise of 181 percent.

Owner of the pub in Rochdale stated in five years time when we have no rate belief at all I doubt we will be able to stay open. We will have to pay £3,500 more in rates every month as our rateable value has jumped from £26,000 to £126,000. Despite the pubs fair share of challenges, the owner condemns the rates change as the worst thing to have happened in his 24 years of running the pub.

Camra is hoping to change this, launching its Keep Pubs Afloat campaign ahead of the Budget due later this year, asking the Chancellor to at least freeze duty for the rest of this Parliament and introduce an annual rate relief for pubs of £5.000.

Tim Page, Camra’s Chief Executive said, MP’s know this is an issue their constituents care about, and it is a message the Chancellor cannot afford to ignore. They know how serious the threat to pubs is felt in towns, cities and villages across the UK.

The MP’s who attended the drop-in session signed a pledge asking for the Government to act in the Autumn Budget to help the pub sector.

To help please click on this link to the Camra website and pledge your vote to give them more weight in negotiating with the government on this unfair rate rise –

www.camra.org.uk/keeppubsafloat

On another note, Pubs have lost 50 percent of their beer sales to supermarkets since the 1970s as VAT has climbed from 8 percent to 20 percent. Tim Martin Chairman of the UKs largest pub chain, J D Wetherspoon said, it makes no sense for the government to treat supermarkets more leniently than pubs, since pubs generate far more jobs per pint or meal than supermarkets do, as well as far higher levels of tax.

Anyone would think the government no longer wants to see the great British pub thriving. At Comrie we are doing our bit to help pubs become more profitable with the latest gaming and amusement machines. If you have a pub or social club in the Birmingham, Walsall, Wolverhampton or Leicester areas and would like to try one of our new digital gaming fruit machines please call comrie today for a free trial.

 

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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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