We are pleased to say that the purchase and integration of Auto Amusements in Cradley Heath is complete, and all gone well.

Just like ourselves, Auto Amusements has a 50-year history of supplying fruit machines, jukeboxes and pool tables to pubs and social clubs around Birmingham and the Black Country area.

We have known Mike for many years and when he decided to retire, he said “Comrie was his first phone call”.

Mike has been involved in the transition and is staying around for the next 12 months as he has many years of knowledge of the gaming industry, and we were keen to keep hold of this.

We wish Mike all the best in his winding down to retirement and thank him very much for deciding Comrie was his first and best option, to make sure all his customers were well looked after for years to come.

Posted in Information | Leave a comment

Time to cash in old notes

Time to cash in old notes

A warning has been issued by the Bank of England to anyone with specific £20 or £50 cash paper notes in the UK.

People have been rushing to get notes changed because, from the 30th  September 2022, paper £20 and £50 notes will be redundant.

However, the soon to be redundant notes can be swapped for new polymer ones at the Bank of England, as well as high street banks and some Post Offices.

It has been stressed that there is no deadline to swap old notes for new ones, but it has been reported that consumers are still rushing to swap them.

The notes do not have to be swapped; people can also deposit them into their accounts.

Our fruit machines in pubs and clubs are currently accepting the new and old notes as they can still be banked. We will change this when the new notes with our new King’s picture come out.

Posted in Information | Leave a comment

Why should you hire a fruit machine for a social club?

Why should you hire a fruit machine for a social club?

We are all familiar with pub fruit machines, but you might not realise that you can hire a fruit machine for a social club, members club, or any other kind of club for that matter.

Many people also don’t realise that because you only allow members onto your premises, the rules that apply to social club fruit machines are not so restrictive.

Because of this, and the other reasons below, hiring social club and members club fruit machines can be a great idea to keep guests entertained and bring in extra revenue.

Rules on social club fruit machines

You can have the following members club fruit machines on your premises:

  • One B3a fruit machine with jackpot up to £500
  • Up to three B4 fruit machines with jackpots up to £400

There’s a limit of three machines in total either way – so if you choose to install a category B3a fruit machine on your premises, it must substitute for one of your B4 fruit machines if you already have three of those.

Will there be an upfront cost to the club?

You might be surprised to learn that you can install a hired fruit machine in a social club at zero upfront cost.

Comrie Automatics have members club fruit machines to hire on profit share agreements – that means rather than paying a fixed rental fee for the machine, you share a percentage of any profit with us.

That means you should always come out in profit overall, and all of our hired fruit machines include ongoing maintenance and service calls as and when it is needed, again at no cost to you.

Do I pay VAT on takings?

There is no VAT on the takings from gaming machines – this was replaced in 2013 by Machine Games Duty, which must still be paid.

For clients on profit share agreements, you pay VAT to Comrie Automatics on our share of the profits; however, because most private clubs are VAT registered, you are able to reclaim the VAT paid on this portion.

Putting you in control

We believe in giving you control over how much money you make from your hired fruit machines – so we offer a free consultation to decide the best fruit machines for social clubs like yours, from the branding right through to the stakes and jackpot payout.

Our rental fruit machines are equipped with note feeders, allowing your members to stake using the new polymer banknotes and making sure they don’t take all the £1 coins from your till!




Posted in Information | Leave a comment

Movement to ‘keep it cash’ gains momentum

Movement to ‘keep it cash’ gains momentum

A movement to ‘Keep it Cash’ has been touring the UK and engaging with the public in towns and cities on the need for businesses to accept payment in physical currency.

Its latest stop was in Haverford West, where more that 20 local supporters handed out leaflets and spoke with locals to raise awareness of the importance of keeping cash in use.

“Keep it Cash is a worldwide movement what has gathered momentum after many retail and hospitality outlets have been restricting the use of cash,” said a spokesperson for the movement. “The prevailing message of this campaign id freedom of choice and advice to ‘use it or lose it’”.

The group also warned of the programmable nature if digital currency, could give governments control of how people spend their money.

“Some MPs have expressed concern regarding the potential programmable nature of any future digital currency,” concluded the spokesperson. “This could give governments the option of controlling how people spend their money. For example, restrictions place ion travel in relation to governments’ ‘NetZero’ targets”.

Fruit machines in pubs currently can only accept cash to play due to UK laws, although this is currently being looked at by the government.

Posted in Information | Leave a comment

Pub fruit machine hire Birmingham

Pub fruit machine hire Birmingham

Pub Fruit Machines are a great way to keep your customers entertained and earn extra profit while in your pub or social club. If you are located in or around Birmingham, Leicester or Coventry then Comrie can supply the latest fruit machines for your pub or social club.

Having the latest up to date digital fruit machines can be a  very excellent source of revenue. There are different categories of fruit machines available to rent/hire from us depending on your type of premises. There are different categories of fruit machines – B3A, B4 and category C are the most common ones we hire out to pubs and clubs. Category C machines are £100 fruit machines normally found in pubs and bars.

Category B3A and B4 fruit machines have higher jackpots and higher stakes (£2 or £1) but are only for social clubs. There are also Category D fruit machines which are 10p play and jackpot prizes of up to £5. These fruit machines are less popular now and more common in family amusement arcades.

Fruit machines can be hired on a profit share basis, where there is no rent payable and a more cost effective way for pubs and clubs to hire fruit machines. Also the machines are installed at no cost and there are no contacts or tie-ins at any time. A few very important things to establish before you go ahead with any company to supply fruit machines to your pub or social club –

  • Establish that they are Gaming Board registered, only companies who are registered with the Gaming Board of Great Britain can supply fruit machines and if a company is not they could cause you a lot of problems (With the law!)
  • Ensure you are getting the latest machines installed on your premises. The latest digital fruit machines are the machines that are by far the most popular with customers. They also have up to 30 different games on one machine.
  • Does the company offer a 7 days a week fast back up service to fix any problems? When you have a irate customer because the machine has not paid him a £100 win, you want to be able to speak with a real person and have a answer, when is the engineer coming out and it should always be the same day.


If you would like to talk more about the latest fruit machine hire for your pub or social club in Birmingham, Leicester or Coventry surrounding areas please call us for a chat. We are more than happy to pop and see you and go over things.


Posted in Information | Leave a comment

BBPA calls for business rates reform

BBPA calls for business rates reform

The British Beer and Pub Association has called for business rates reform aiding pubs and brewers, in a submission to the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group Business Rates Inquiry.

Noting the sector generates £23bn in economics value and supports 900,000 jobs, the association highlighted the disproportionate amount percentage in rates pub are expected to pay.

“The current business rates system places disproportionate burden on pubs and brewers which is stifling their recovery and ability to return to sustainable growth,” said CEO Emma McClarkin. “Reform is needed to create a system which accounts for how the economy functions in the modern day”.

According to the BBPA, UK pubs pay more per pound turnover than any other sector with rate bills accounting for 2.5 percent of total business rates paid, despite only representing 0.5 percent of total rateable turnover – an over payment of £570m.

We are in such an unlevel playing field, Supermarkets and local shops who were doing a bomb all through Covid also benefited from zero rates during this period. Then add in that these same supermarkets use alcohol sales at virtually lost leaders to drive footfall in to their premises (We need minimum unit pricing for lots of reasons!). They have tripled profits at a time when family’s are struggling and pubs/social clubs which are community assets are being hit with high percentage rates bills, higher gas and electric bills and still hurting from being the businesses forced to close the longest during Covid. This is a very important time to make sure pubs and social clubs have the latest fruit machines, pool tables and jukeboxes to help them add additional extra income during these hard times.

Posted in Information | Leave a comment

The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant and ARG grant extension announced ….

The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant and ARG grant extension announced ….

BACTA (Our trade organisation) has written to members advising on new Local Authority grant guidance for the leisure and hospitality sector as published by the government over the festive period.

The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant and ARG Grant extension were announced by the Chancellor last month, with councils expected to oversee distribution this year.

“The (Omicron) grant eligibility is largely the same as previous grants to hospitality and leisure businesses,” said CEO John White. “Businesses with a rateable value of up to £15k but less than £51k will get £4,000. Businesses with a rateable value over £51k will get £6,000.”

Leisure businesses are defined as a business that provide opportunities, experiences, and facilities, in particular for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events and days and nights out. Amusement arcades are listed as eligible businesses in the guidance.”

For the ARG, all funding must be dispersed by 31st March 2022, with businesses required to self-certify that they meet all eligibility criteria, for Local Authority’s to then verify.

Councils are specifically encouraged to provide funding for hospitality, and there is no restriction on the number of grants a business can receive. (Subject to subsidy limits)

However, the recent addition varies from previous tranches in that councils are prohibited from using funding for business support activities, meaning all funds must be allocated as grant payments.

Pubs and Social clubs have been one of the worst industry’s hit by the Covid situation and will have an impact for a long time to come for many landlords. We have been encouraging as many of our pub and club customers to make sure they get their claim in for this grant funding to help them with the badly affected Christmas that was brought on by panic and worry that in government started.

Now that we are over all the restrictions Comrie has been speaking to our pubs and social clubs about the latest fruit machines to help increase income and get us all back to the income before all this started.

Posted in Information | Leave a comment

Protecting the NHS or is it Nursing shortages??

Protecting the NHS or is it Nursing shortages??

Increasingly it appears that the phrase ‘Protecting the NHS’ is actually a euphemism for nursing shortages. It is the one constant that has been used throughout the last two years – as such shouldn’t the government’s strategy be to recruit more qualified staff from overseas at the same time as investing in the training of more nurses rather than attempt to stop or at best slow down the spread of a highly contagious virus?

If the lack of staff is the pinch-point and the reason why society is experiencing a cultural and commercial paralysis with some older people quite literally passing due to broken years and loneliness why hasn’t the government done something/anything in fact about it? NHS workers deserve a medal of their own for working for a slow moving and inefficient employer.

For many people the NHS is beyond criticism, but the fact is it is a well-known fact that if you have the misfortune to fall seriously ill and be admitted to hospital on a Friday your chances of surviving reduce significantly.

Similarly, why don’t hospitals do CT scans 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? It sounds like an urban myth, but it has been reported that a VET pays the NHS to scan his animal patients when the equipment isn’t being used. My point is it should be used all the time and by humans.

One of the positives that must come out of the review is a root and branch overhaul of the NHS and Care system. The new normal means that we need more capacity in both which means more trained staff and fewer middle management administrators who frankly are not particularly good at their jobs. Also lets not mention the bullying of Doctors and Nurses who have been on the front line of Covid for over two years with no protection and now 80,000 of them are threatened with the sack for making a choice of not having the Covid jab. What do they know that we don’t????

Comrie is proud of how hard our Doctors and Nurses have worked over the last two plus years especially and will continue to support them Jabbed or not.

Posted in Information | Leave a comment

Happy New Year 2022

New £50 note enters circulation – will it be the last one?

The Bank of England’s new polymer £50 note has entered circulation, marking the 109th anniversary of the birth of it subject – pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing.

Despite there currently being 357 million £50 notes in circulation, the new launch comes as the use of high-denomination notes, and cash itself, suffer a significant decline.

The Guardian reported – with consumers increasingly going cashless, for millions of people it may be months or even years before they see or touch one. Even before the pandemic, many people only rarely encountered a £50 note, and the coronavirus crisis has triggered a slump in the use of cash which could end up being permanent.

The release of the new £50 marks the completion of the UK’s switch to polymer notes, as well as the first open depiction of a LGBTQ+ figure on a banknote.

During his lifetime, Turing created the breakthrough machine that helped win the Second World War, but was persecuted by the government for his homosexuality, and chemically castrated, before taking his own life in 1954.

But, with a £50 note the going rate for two testicles and winning WW2, what price then the future of cash in the UK?

Happy New year to you and hopefully you will be lucky enough to come across your some new £50 notes. while our machines do not take these notes they take all the other polymer notes and also the old paper notes as they are still legal tender until October this year. If you are looking for pool tables, jukeboxes or digital fruit machines for your pub or social club please contact us to chat over.


Posted in Information | Leave a comment

Online ordering Apps for pubs and restaurants

Online ordering Apps for pubs and restaurants

The UK’ s four biggest pub chains, representing a quarter of the market – Wetherspoons, Greene King, Mitchells and Butlers and Stonegate  –  all now have their own in house apps. The developers behind apps for independent venues say they have seen huge growth during the pandemic.

They all say they follow the guidelines informing customers of their rights and how their data will be dealt with. But those terms and conditions are unlikely to be closely read by a lot of people.

Over the last year, lots of businesses have suddenly got a mountain of information about their customers that they didn’t have before. Your local pub knows your name, an email address, maybe your date of birth, maybe your home address.

For the bar or pub, that is incredibly valuable information, worth much more than the round you just bought. It tells them what you like drinking, what time you are likely to visit, who you were sitting with and how frequently you reorder.

The ICO said sharing personal data was far from obligatory. Advising, customers need to understand they do have a choice. We are now coming out of the pandemic and the is the ability to order on the app or in the more traditional way. It is very easy for people to just see the end product, and because they want that, they really don’t question the amount of data that they are being asked for.

Ultimately this is your data. It is your personal information, and you need to be confident when you are handing it over and the reasons why.

Online ordering is popular with many customers, sparing them the crush at the bar and helping to reduce the risk from Covid.

But they are popular with businesses too because they speed up the ordering process and provide an additional way to interact with customers. Apps now handle millions of pounds worth of transactions every day.

And it looks as though they are here to stay. Apart from in Northern Ireland, where you still have to be served at the table, restaurants and bars across the UK can now return to pre-pandemic style service at the bar or from waiting staff. But most are keeping their online ordering too.

This way of ordering becomes a faceless experience for the customer and does not encourage what the whole pub experience is about, community! that what our local pub is for, to connect with people. These modern dat app’s make out they are making life easier but in reality they are doing more harm. just look at what Facebook and the other social networking sites are doing to our young children!

Thank goodness at present you still can walk up to a fruit machine in your local pub and play that in person. The way things are changing this will probably be done on their phone very soon.

Posted in Information | Leave a comment


Recent Posts