As with all tech-based industries, innovation is essential - not least for B3 developers engaged in an on-going battle to wrestle business back from the B2 market. And for design and development company 24 Seven, the key is in the regulatory landscape. "We want to be allowed to offer additional machine features, but this is not possible under the current technical standards," commented managing director Simon McCarthy. "Even though these features are still in operators' premises as legacy machines, produced prior to Gambling Act 2005 came into force." The priority for 24 Seven is to maximise both entertainment value and time on machines; an objective that could be achieved by re-introducing sought-after features that were disallowed in the 2005 Act. "These features remain popular, but unfortunately we currently have to work with what is allowed within the current stake and prize regime," said McCarthy. "We feel that our hands are tied behind our backs when trying to be innovative in delivering games that allow the industry to provide the customer with the entertainment they want." Whilst the current £2 stake/£500 jackpot format has been well received by players and operators, McCarthy believes there is also scope to expand the offering further. The £2 stake/£500 Jackpot is attractive, but we should still push for at least a statutory minimum increase via the 'triennial review' process," he said. With technology moving forward at a rapid pace and products such as server-based gaming becoming increasingly popular, the B3 market is a market in transition. For development companies such as 24 Seven, this means catering to existing demand while keeping one eye fixed firmly on the future. "We recognise that there are operational benefits to sever-based gaming, and that is where the strategic alliance between 24 Seven and E-Gaming comes into force," commented McCarthy. But we still believe that the market will invest in stand-alone, highly entertaining product and this is what we can offer through Vegas 24/7." As the passionate B2 and B3 debate rages on and speculation continues over who will hold the reins in Westminster, the company hopes there may be a solution on the horizon. "We are looking for parity at the end of the day in the marketplace - a conclusion to the current debate," said McCarthy. "This will allow our customers to concentrate on doing what they do best: operating entertaining products and engaging with the customer base." According to 24 Seven's Simon McCarthy, the industry should be able to get the best out of its B3 machines - but current legislation is standing in the way of innovation.
15 Jun 2016