The Cat C Sector has long been one of the most important in the industry, and with manufacturers constantly looking to improve, offering this prominence shows little signs of waning comments Electrocoin’s Kevin Weir
Coinslot: What is it about Cat C units that has enabled them to be the standard bearer of machine gaming for both consumers and operators?
Kevin Weir: The legal position of Cat C in the market place has allowed for significant numbers of machines to be operated across many sectors. Whilst the Jackpot is restricted compared to B3 machines, the industry has responded to the legal position of Cat C and produced games that offer the player a good experience and the chance to win a reasonable Jackpot. It remains the responsibility of manufacturers to be creative and inventive in order to retain and grow player interest in this major industry sector.
CS: Cat C units are a staple of the UK AGC and bingo market; are you seeing any trends amongst the players at present?
KW: There has definitely been a transfer of players from analogue to digital. We have noticed recently that traditional Bar X analogue players are moving across to the digital version and as a result, we have replicated their favourite Bar X games within our portfolio.
CS: With the rapid growth of digital product in the market place, do you see a future for analogue games?
KW: Whilst the rise in digital product in AGC and Bingo continues, there is also evidence that some loyal players of analogue games are reluctant to switch. As a result, we are witnessing considerable growth in our refurbishment programme. Our Aftersales team in Cardiff have a constant stream of Bar X games coming through the door requiring an overhaul. The net result is a machine that looks almost as good as new and should last for another 10 years.
CS: How do you feel changes in consumer trends regarding payment options has or will impact the Cat C market?
KW: There is clearly already less cash in circulation and it is my opinion that an industry wide solution would be the best way forward.
CS: How important can a recognisable brand or theme be for a machine’s performance?
KW: As stated previously and testament to this, is the recent growth of Bar X style games in a digital format. This brand has been long established and still has a loyal following, particularly with the over-40 age group who have grown up with the analogue version.
CS: Are there any launches or plans coming up in your portfolio you would like to highlight?
KW: Whilst we have been doing a great deal of work on systems and payout options, we have continued to develop new games for Monte Carlo and Casino Hi Roller. At Park Avenue Open Day, we will be presenting three new games to expand our current portfolio. Players and operators will notice the advancements that have been made graphically, as well as the variety of game profiles that the three new games will offer.
CS: Where do you see opportunities for growth in AGC and Bingo sectors?
KW: As a result of the structure of the business, unsurprisingly there is an abundance of ‘in house’ product in a number of high street chains. However, it has become clear that players demand variety and we have been pleased with the inroads that we have made into some of these major accounts. The same scenario is also occurring in single site locations.