British seaside industry facing £100,000 cost for machines that accept cards could collapse

GB News British Seaside Industry - Don't Kill Cash grab

Cash is traditionally the only form of payment in arcades

GB News
Anna Riley

By Anna Riley

Published: 10/08/2023

- 12:09

Updated: 10/08/2023

- 15:05

The arcade industry could crumble if the UK becomes a cashless society

Seaside arcades hold a special place in British culture, but the industry could collapse if it was forced to go cashless, according to arcade owners and their trade body.

With 2p and 10p coin pushers being amongst the most popular games, along with crane grabbers and more, coins and notes are traditionally the only form of payment in these coastal resort businesses.

But if we were to become a cashless society, the UK seaside pastime could become no more due to the expense incurred to repurpose coin machines along with taking away the very essence of some of the games.

GB News is fighting to protect businesses, such as the arcade industry, and vulnerable Britons who rely on cash as part of the People’s Channel Don’t Kill Cash Campaign.

GB News British Seaside Industry - Don't Kill Cash grab

Without cash, the arcade industry could crumble

GB News

Support for our petition calling for the Government to introduce legislation to protect physical cash is rapidly gaining momentum and is now at 265,125 signatures.

Jerome Remblance, an Amusement Arcade Operator at Leisureland in Bridlington supports the GB News Don’t Kill Cash Campaign. He told us that going cashless would force the business to close, as it would cost more than £100,000 to set up machines that accept cards.

“If we went cashless, us as a family business, we would close,” said Mr Remblance.

“Sad to say, but we just wouldn’t be able to deal with it. Big companies may be able to bring in that infrastructure of going cashless, I know a lot have already, but arcades just wouldn’t be the same.

“It’s all about coins, it’s all about hearing the noise, it’s all about good family fun and that’s what we’re all about and we need cash to do that.

“With cash, it’s dependable, it has been dependable for many, many years. It’s a private way of spending.”

Mr Remblance also says that cash is king not just for the arcades, but for other small businesses along the coast due to the cost that credit and debit card payments incur.

“Businesses and a lot of other businesses like us, like retail, you only have to look at the high street – card processing fees are killing a lot of small businesses,” he said.

“With cash, we get to keep it, which means we get to stay open, which means we get to keep entertaining people.”

The customers at Leisureland Amusement Arcade also said that they won’t be trading coins for cards anytime soon.

One woman said: “The thrill is putting the 2ps in [to the machines] or the 10ps or whatever to try to win. That’s the thrill of an arcade, not swiping a card.

“I enjoy putting the 2ps in and whatever else.”

Another mum echoed this and speaking of using cards on amusements, she said: “It wouldn’t be an enjoyment, you know what I mean, you’d just been done with.

“The fun is putting it [the coins] in and trying to make them fall down.”

One boy out spending his pocket money agreed and said: “It’s easier to put the coins in the machine instead of swiping a card and it taking it out of your account.”

GB News British Seaside Industry - Don't Kill Cash grab

GB News is fighting to protect businesses such as the arcade industry with their Don't Kill Cash campaign

GB News

Another gamer told GB News that he gets more worth out of playing with physical cash as opposed to digital money.

He said: “If you see digits on a screen you don’t really feel like it’s real, but if you see an actual £1 coin in your hand, you know the value of it.”

Trips to the coast made up 18% of all overnight spending in England in 2021, according to the Great Britain Tourism Survey, with 17 million trips made to seaside areas between April and December of that year.

A key attraction which draws families to the seaside are the arcades, which contribute a turnover of £845m across the UK according to research commissioned by the British Amusement Catering Trade Association (Bacta).

The trade body represent Britain’s amusements and high street gaming manufacturers and operators and found that seaside arcades support over £1bn in economic activity and more than 27,000 jobs.

John White, Chief Executive of Bacta, told GB News that the continued use of cash is needed to keep the seaside town arcade industry alive.

He said: “If you took cash away and got rid of all those machines that take cash, you would get rid of those businesses, and they’re woven into the economic and social fabric of our costal resorts aren’t they?

“It’s one thing that I think is kind of unique to this country, and something we know from research is enjoyed by a third of the population every year and over their lifetime, two thirds of the population.”

If you haven’t already signed the GB News Don’t Kill Cash campaign petition, you can do so here:

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