ACOS 2019 has drawn to a close with positive comments from exhibitors and visitors alike, affirming the show’s unique position in the UK amusements calendar, albeit next year at a later date.
With a bigger show floor, and more exhibitors than ever, ACOS 2019 maintained its tradition of providing a professional yet relaxed event with a strong focus on networking.
Organisers received favourable feedback on the choice of Pergola as the venue for the after-show networking reception, with show-goers appreciating its proximity to the expo floor. And comfortable seating combined with plentiful food and drink contributed to the perfect environment for continuing those show-floor conversations.
Yes, ACOS’ unique business environment was well appreciated by the broad range of industry professionals in attendance.
Hardy in both name and loyalty for the autumn outing, Automatic Machines Services’ Jim Hardy was quick to pay tribute. “It’s a great show where there is space to sit and talk with suppliers,” he told Coinslot. “ACOS is unique in this respect.”
And that, thanks to some astute repositioning by organiser Karen Cooke, was a stand-out theme among the post-show comments.
Kevin Astley, Bob Rudd Leisure’s technical director, echoed these sentiments: “ACOS is a focused show where you can spend good time with suppliers to hammer out a deal.”
This year drew a decidedly forward-looking perspective from an exhibitor list on the rise from last year’s numbers.
The range of product debuts and innovative releases were of particular note, as was the increased focus on new technology. ACOS was rich in choice for cashless payment solutions, plus technology aimed at supporting licensing rules and encouraging responsible gaming.
Highlights on the payment technology side were Two Cherries Technologies whose debut at the show drew in the punters, and in sizeable numbers. Not surprising really, given the allure of their smartphone application, allowing players to create their own play wallet, depositing and withdrawing funds from a connected machine whilst also accessing a whole host of player protection functionality.
Another new face, technically at least, was Bacta’s JV initiative on the payment app front. Generating a great deal of interest both in the build-up and at the show was the launch of Game Payment Technology, a joint venture between the trade association and Polar Moment. Game Payment Technology revealed their secure cashless gaming technology, accessible via an easy to use app. Designed with social responsibility in mind, the product verifies the age of the player and includes numerous features enabling players to manage their spending.
For real hard-nosed news, there was nothing more impactful than the confirmatory announcement of Inspired’s acquisition of Novomatic UK’s Gaming Technology Group. At close of play on the opening Tuesday, Novomatic were heading off to network. By the time the teams arrived at the evening events, they were owned by Inspired.
Although anticipated, the acquisitional occasion added that extra drama to a show which had plenty of action on the floor. Not least at first-time exhibitor Innov8 gaming which had an excellent show according to the company’s David Bowman: “We’ve had a fantastic day with good orders and excellent feedback; people clearly like what we’re doing. We’ve had a lot of interest in our 18-game Partial Eclipse cabinets and the new content has had an excellent reception with strong early performance figures. We anticipate a good Christmas order book based on the response at the show.”
And Astra would have done much to impress their new owners with the launch of Lo Boy Cat C – one of the product highlights of ACOS 2019.
ACOS were understandably buoyed by the rising tide of debutants at this year’s show, including an industry veteran in the shape of Cummins Allison. They were delighted with their debut: “We’ve always exhibited at the large London shows and having attended ACOS as visitors last year we decided to exhibit. It’s been a very positive start and we’ve not only taken orders but also have some very interesting enquiries to follow up,” said sales manager Paul Clay.
The Gauselmann Group were, once again, a major force at ACOS representing the highest quality of manufacturing on the domestic front. And the beating heart of the industry continued to race with strong showings from stalwarts Electrocoin, Reflex, Harry Levy, Crown, Storm and UDC, alongside music sector pioneers NSM and TouchTunes and kiddie ride specialists SB Machines.
2019 will most likely go down as the best ACOS outing to date. Positive signs indeed for an industry going into its buying season on the back of a highly successful summer.