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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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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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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New £5 Note Coming Soon


A new Five Pound Note will be launched in September

2016 is a big year for banknotes. A new £5 note will be issued by the Bank of England in September, and will be followed by a new £10 note in 2017 and new £20 note by 2020.

The Bank of England has been issuing banknotes for over 300 years. These have evolved from handwritten paper notes signed by the Bank’s Cashiers in the 17th century to the high quality paper printed banknotes containing a range of complex security features seen today.

The new notes will be printed on polymer – which is cleaner, more durable, and more secure than paper – incorporating advanced security features that make them more difficult to counterfeit. Polymer is a thin and flexible plastic material that fits into wallets and purses just like paper notes.

Victoria Cleland, the Chief Cashier, said ‘polymer – incorporating complex windows and sophisticated security features – delivers a leap forward in counterfeit resilience’.

The notes will retain the traditional look of the existing notes, with a portrait of Her Majesty the Queen on the front. Sir Winston Churchill will feature on the back of the £5 note, and Jane Austen on the back of the £10 note. The new notes will be smaller than the current paper notes.

All retailers and businesses that handle cash need to prepare. Customers will be using the new £5 notes from September and, before the new £10 note is issued in late 2017, the old £5 paper notes will have been withdrawn.

Machines that handle cash need to be updated. The first step is to make sure you know which cash handling machines are being used by your business. Then you need to talk to your suppliers. For most machines, a software update will be needed.

Your staff need to be trained to recognise the new notes. The Bank of England will be unveiling the full design and security features for the new £5 note around three months before the issue date, and a range of training materials will be available. This is a good opportunity to remind staff how to check the security features on all notes.

With less that nine months to go until the new fiver is issued, now is the time to start thinking about how you can make the transition as smooth as possible for your business and your customers.

Keep up to date with the latest information about polymer banknotes, and other banknote news, by registering at: www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/Pages/subscribe. 

At Comrie we are all ready to roll out our update program for the new £5 note as we do not want our customers to not be able to put their crisp new £5 notes in to our latest machines. If you are looking to hire the latest fruit machines with the £5 note programed ready please give us a call and speak to one of the Comrie team.

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NEW DIGITAL GAMING MACHINE IS HERE…

We can now tell you about the latest digital gaming machine that is making big waves in the pub sector.

In January we reported that we found a new machine at our annual trade exhibition, located at the Xcel Centre in London, in the Docklands called the EAG.

After visiting and chatting with numerous companies we heard some positive results about Electrocoins NEW digital gaming machine called ‘Vegas Strip’.

We ordered four NEW  Vegas Strip Electrocoin machines and have had them on test since the end of January. We have seen some terrific results from the cash boxes over that period. Presently we operate a selection of other digital gaming machines from different manufactures but Electrocoin’s Vegas Strip machine has proved to be out performing them all significantly.

With popular games like Bar X gold and X Roulette which are not only on these digital machines but also on-line, so they are recognisable to players when they see the games on the machines. There are also seven more digital games on Vegas strip with more being added as they are released.

With the success of this digital gaming machine on trial we have now ordered another 10 machines for pubs around the Midlands. Hire a digital gaming roulette machine for your pub today.

If you would like to trial one of the NEW digital gaming machines then call us today on 024 76249070 and we will install one of these machines at NO COST in your public house.

 

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New Vegas Strip Digital Gaming Machine For Pubs

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