The UK industry needs Section 34 (AWP) games again, after a period of obsession with Section 16 games, which offer higher payouts for the locations where they are permitted. This is the view of Neil Chinn, managing director of Astra, probably the most successful of the producers of section 16 games over the past two years.

At ATEI, chinn presided over a large stand dominated by Section 16 games. “The major arcade operators have done well from Section 16,  but part of their clientele has grown up with AWP games and is still looking for them. There must be some reinvestment in AWPs. I know that they are limited to £ 25 and the industry is clamouring for an uplift in stakes and prizes, but a move up to £ 35, for example, would not help the sales of AWPs. It needs a rise in the stake (currently a maximum of 30p). A 50p stake would make all the difference. ”
      He said that Section 16 had now become a replacement market but it was noticeable that the AWP was at the ATEI show in greater numbers. “We may be seeing the return of the old-fashioned AWP, but it must see an increase in stake. ” Those who were at the show with Section 16 games for the first time, he said, had ‘missed the boat. ’ “They are a year to late. ”

Things finally looking up in Greece

Intergame spoke to lfigenia Vlassi from Greek outfit Vlassis about the state of play in Greece and she was buoyant about its prospects. “Things are looking up. In two or three months, a positive decision will be made as a new law is on its way. ” The precise nature of the new law is as yet undetermined, but the worst case scenario is that the worst case scenario is that the government will grant pooker game licenses to only a few people, whereas the best case scenarios is that licenses will be granted to every different game specification.

      Vlassi is keen for a mooted trade show to go ahead in Athens at the end of March / beginning of April so that the whole of Europe can get into the mentality that games will soon be legal in Greece. “When the previous government was in power, there was a big scandal. An undercover journalist with a hidden camera visited a number of arcades and exposed ‘social problems. ’ An influential MP got involved and the whole thing escalated. As a result, politicians were fearful that if they supported the legalization of games with payouts they might lose their jobs. ”

Now, however, Greek representation in the European court of Justice is working hard to ‘put things in order’ in the interest of Greek machine manufacturers, to show that the models are strong, reliable and tamper-proof. Thessaloniki-based Vlassis, which employs 20 full-time staff and has been in operation for 25 years, is in the process of making multiplayer game cabinet to help drive the point though