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Less machines, more space!

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There has been a trend in recent years to expand the width of gaming benches on our gaming floors to create a more inviting space for players. Adding more “comforts” to a players space is proving to be popular for Clubs and pubs who are recreating and redesigning their gaming room with a player-driven focus.

Over the years the size of gaming machine benches has changed. Machines are much slimmer in recent years as heavy monitors, hoppers and coin mechanics have been removed, and replaced with LCD screens and note stackers. This has meant machine benches are not as deep as they used to be, allowing greater space behind players chairs in aisles. We are now seeing the width of machine benches increase as clubs and pubs move from the traditional 850mm wide bench to a 1000 – 1200mm wide bench to create greater comfort and space for players. Machines with 27” screens are already at 680mm wide, so a standard dimension gaming machine bench doesn’t leave much room for elbows!

Do Clubs have too many machines?

Just looking at the ranking reports and the occupancy statistics for the Clubs I work with, suggests most Clubs have too many machines on their gaming floor. This is not a new discussion for many venues.

However, if removing a few machines from your gaming floor allows for wider machine benches, and more space for players, then it needs to be considered. I would never recommend a large removal of machines from any venue, but where a few can add value through a better experience for players then it is worth considering.

What is a “comfortable space” for a player?

For the Clubs that have already moved to 1000mm+ benches, it is clear that the players prefer having the extra space. Customer feedback confirms that they feel more comfortable and much safer with no one sitting immediately next to them.

For many higher tier players and female players, it has become a privacy issue.

For lower tier players and couples who like to play together the added space ensures that they aren’t sitting too close to a player next to them.

The addition of privacy screens is also a consideration here. While they are a plus for many players they are also a turn off for the players focused on a social experience.

There needs to be a considered and thoughtful balance between those two types of players. Having wider benches in the first place when using screens maintains that feeling of space even though it encloses the space.

Adding ‘mod cons’ as a point of difference

Extra wide benches have meant that Clubs and pubs are able to accommodate other additional benefits for members. Having a “gaming hob”, which is like a tray table attached to a bench, means that the players have a space for their drink and their handbag. Separating these means that the handbag doesn’t get sticky and there is less opportunity for a drink to get knocked over. It also puts that drink into an easy position to reach, and at a level where it is easy to see on darker gaming floors.

A footrest is a must for player comfort in a modern gaming bench. If players choose to sit at a machine for long periods they need to be able to relax and enjoy the experience.

Phone chargers are also being installed into benches and gaming hobs in many Clubs, adding an obvious benefit for players, particularly as we move closer to cashless gaming where a players phone becomes more significant.

On a modern gaming floor players expectations are changing. The basics remain important with comfort and personal space for players a real expectation, and this needs to be addressed in any gaming floor update. New wider benches, privacy screens and machine spacing must become a part of future room renovations.

Meet our Strategic Gaming Advisor, Justine Channing

Justine Channing stands as a prominent figure in the gaming industry, boasting a remarkable career that spans over three decades in executive gaming management. With a keen eye for innovation and a steadfast commitment to excellence, she has made significant contributions to the hospitality landscape across Australia, Europe, and beyond.

If you would like to boost your gaming floor’s ROI, head to our enquiry page, or learn more about our Strategic Gaming Services below.

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