Rarely does a whole new genre of product revolutionise the sector, but since its inception in the 90’s, redemption has been doing just that – so much so, that Trevor Sutton, Leisure Equipment Controller at Namco UK and chairman of Division 1 at Bacta, believes it’s been a saviour of the industry.
The industry’s continued investment and innovation in redemption has been a “saviour of the industry” according to Bacta Division 1 chairman and Namco UK’s Leisure Equipment Controller Trevor Sutton, with new concepts and an increased range of prizes continuing to push the product segment forward.
The rise of redemption began two decades ago after Bacta won a test case on ‘trading up’, which allowed the practice of saving individual prizes won from machines and trading them in/exchanging them for a larger prize. Since then, the industry has pushed redemption from strength to strength, even weaving it into more traditional products such as pushers and cranes.
“Redemption has been a fantastic success story since we won the trading up case back in the 1990s,” said Sutton. “It’s not hyperbole to say it has been the saviour of the industry. Redemption provides what customers want: inexpensive, value-for-money family fun with the added benefit of a small prize. They also get the opportunity to save up their tickets, often with other members of the family, for something a bit bigger. This encourages customer loyalty and ensures repeat visits, protecting the interests of our members and future of our sector”.
Redemption remains a segment that both manufacturers and operators feel confident investing in, which Sutton believes was proven once again at EAG.
“In London we saw that redemption is still going strong, with exciting new products both on the show floor and the prize bar at the expo,” he continued. “I think that with the increased range of prizes it is possible to really cater for a venue or a resort’s entire customer demographic.”
Of course, operators will also be hoping to be able to cater to more of that demographic this summer, with many reports suggesting that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU may have an effect on British travel trends this summer.
“With Brexit it will be interesting to see if we get more staycationers experiencing our traditional seaside family offer,” concluded Sutton. “We’ll have to wait and see, but either way I wish everyone a prosperous season.”