Curfew crisis revealed in CLMS machine data
CLMS, the leading provider of live data collection and reporting across over 12000 gaming and amusement machines in the UK pub retail sector, confirms that the 10pm pub curfew has had a devastating effect on machine revenues.
“Since the July 4th restart in England and the subsequent reopening of pubs across the UK, we have seen a steady and encouraging return of the income figures across our client base which was resulting in more confidence across the sector and more machines being put back into action,” says Managing Director Simon Barff.
CLMS recorded that around 78% of machines were back in play at the peak post-restart, which resulted in many staff within the industry being returned from furlough into full or almost full-time employment. However, this situation altered radically with the introduction of the 10pm curfew to pubs and bars last Thursday.
“Although our own figures indicated that only 12% of machine play occurred between 10pm and closing time before curfew was introduced – it appears that early closing has had a much greater effect on machine performance than we anticipated,” continues Simon. “In reality, people have to prepare to leave the premises earlier than the 10pm deadline and we also believe that table service has reduced the appetite to play; as patrons are unsure as to whether they are allowed to leave their table to play the machine.”
As a result, since the introduction of the 10pm curfew CLMS has noted an incredible 32% drop in machine play.
“The hospitality sector was just getting back on its feet and now the Government has dealt it a body blow with curfew,” claims Simon. “The most frustrating aspect is that the Government’s own official statistics are telling us that only 3.6% of infection can be attributed to the entire hospitality sector, where there were over 500m individual visits in August. So, despite pubs being among the safest places for people to be at the moment – by the government’s own estimation – as well as doing so much for the nation’s morale; jobs and businesses are now under threat from an unnecessary curfew, which is arguably making the UK’s streets more rather than less dangerous as people congregate in other less regulated places.”