IOA releases new detail on 2015 AWP performance

The Independent Operators’ Association (IOA) has released a number of fascinating details on AWP performance in 2015, which show an underlying shift in the UK operating landscape.

While analogue growth has been stable; there has been a shift towards digital success in the last year and where digital has worked in sites, income has grown.

The sited machine numbers of one of the IOA’s Digital AWP offering, King of Games, grew in 2015, and produced some great results. “The caveat is they don’t work on every site, but when they do work they are growing the house weekly income,” says IOA Vice Chairman Nick Rudd.

“It is evident that machine performance does in general tend to follow the Pub companies’ wet sales results. As we all know, the high street pub companies continue to focus on developing their food offers, which is not always good for machines sales or machine density,” he adds.

The IOA feels that the next opportunity to grow AWP income will be via stake and prizes. “If we achieve the stake increase there is a significant amount of development work to be done by the manufacturer. The existing average AWP Stake is circa 47p per game play. If we have a £2 stake, we need to move the average stake closer to £1 stake (in history, stake change has grown the cash box) this will require a significant step change in manufacturer game profiles and development,” says Nick.

There is also the challenge to increase AWP usage within the site. IOA calculations show that AWPs are actually in play for less than 5 per cent of the available trading hours of the pub, whereas machines within other sectors for example are played for much longer.

“Obviously people go to the pub for more reasons than just to play the machines, however, we need to find ways to make them play AWPs for longer when they are there,” says Nick. “One of the areas we need to look at is average percentage payout. This is around 76-78% on an AWP but much higher in other sectors. However, it’s not just about increasing the percentage payout, game content needs to be tweaked, as does jackpot frequency.”

The IOA sees the challenges facing the AWP as opportunities with product and technology and has a dedicated team of Business Development Managers who are proactive with site and machine management in order to offer the best possible service to customers.

“We have also developed a Digital Strategy, which is underpinned by innovation, content, connectivity and reporting. This is the key focus for our development,” says IOA Chairman Paul Langham. “We are always looking at how our business is changing and wondering how we can stay ahead of the game. For example, increasing numbers of pub-goers have smart phones that enable them to play online. Could this have an impact on the pub goer and the future of the AWP?”

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