Dransfield Novelty Company Ltd. are one of the largest independent suppliers of gaming and amusement machines, servicing pubs and clubs across the whole of Great Britain. As one of the main suppliers to private member clubs, Dransfields also service some of the major pub and hospitality chains such as Wetherspoons, and Mitchells and Butlers. The company has grown through a series of acquisitions since 1946, perhaps most notably with Gameco Holdings Limited, owners of Reflex Gaming. Both organisations operate independently. However, the coming together of both operator and manufacturer has allowed Dransfields to access the whole supply chain and better influence product innovation.
Chris Haley, managing director of Dransfields, sits on the bacta management committee and for the past 6 years has served the trade association as its treasurer. As the amusement and gaming machine industry trade association, bacta, and its members strive to deliver the very best in innovative solutions for the industry. The decline in the use of cash had been a focal point in Chris’ committee meetings for some time. This is where the Game Payment solution was first considered. Chris commented, “Both Reflex and Dransfields are very innovative and are always looking for the ‘next thing’ in gaming. We were also looking at age verification software at the same time as the decline in the use of cash. So when Game Payment presented a solution for both, it was the perfect fit.”
Dransfields were heavily involved in the early development of the Game Payment solution. They were able to give input from both the point of view of an operator and of a manufacturer, whilst combining shared insights into the player journey. Chris explains, “We’ve given lots of technical feedback from the operator’s viewpoint and that’s been fed through into the app and into the design of the system.”
Chris went on to say, “I’ve seen other cashless solutions, but I’ve always been convinced that Game Payment was the right solution for us as a company, not only because it’s backed by bacta and therefore “non-partisan”, but because it’s been truly developed with the player and associated protection measures at its core. We’ve not had to adjust ourselves to fit an inferior system. Instead, we’ve been able to work collaboratively and design something that works for the industry because it’s been designed by the industry.”
The demand for cashless payment is greater than ever before, with fewer and fewer people carrying cash. Chris commented, “Some venues were starting to lose their casual players or even some core players because they just weren’t carrying cash in their pockets and had increasingly limited access to ATMs in venues. The Game Payment app allows these players to continue to use gaming machines, whilst being very simple and user friendly.”
An initial 37 Game Payment-enabled machines were rolled out across the country by Dransfields. They chose a cross-section of different venue types, for example: private members clubs, free trade wet-led pubs, and pubs that offer dining. One of the benefits of Game Payment is the reduction in the large amounts of float to pay out jackpot wins. This is particularly beneficial to the private member clubs that typically have machines with higher jackpots. Chris went on to say, “We’re trialling some machines with Mitchells and Butlers. Feedback so far is that they were surprised how easy the solution was to use, and clearly understood by the players. Furthermore, the transactions were seamless.”
The Game Payment solution includes a host of social responsibility features within the app, such as age verification, the ability to set safe bet limits, and reminders after extended periods of continuous play. Chris explained that the venues he has spoken to especially like this. It helps to protect any of their customers that may be suffering from problem gambling.
All of Dransfields’ Reflex digital machines are now Game Payment-enabled, as well as a selection of analogue machines. Take-up from the players in between the lockdowns was higher than anticipated. Chris explained, “Within a venue we expected to have a small number of core users, and whilst we have seen that, we’ve also seen a lot of casual players download it within a venue and trial it. Players have adopted the system quite quickly and it’s taken off faster than we had expected. We also expected to see take-up mostly amongst the younger generations. However, we were pleasantly surprised to see a large proportion of older players as well.”
Although the national lockdown has put things on hold for now, Dransfields are poised and ready to go as soon as the restrictions ease. Chris stated, “If it hadn’t been for Covid we’d have had real momentum behind this. We’ve trained all our engineers and we’ve introduced Game Payment to all our account managers so that they could start selling the solution into customer sites. When the lockdown ends, I think it will gather momentum and organically grow as people get used to seeing it. Dransfields will certainly be pushing for a quicker roll-out and we’re confident there will be demand there.”