Between the two big North London distributors, Electrocoin and UDC, every facet of arcade machine operating in the UK is covered.

Park Avenue 2024

That was clearly evident in the wide ranges on display at the sun-kissed Park Avenue in North London yesterday for the traditional Open Day.

See our photo gallery from the event here.

John Stergides’ Electrocoin played host with next-door neighbours United Distributing Company, headed by the evergreen Derek Horwood.

They welcomed operators from seaside locations, adult gaming centres, bingo clubs, bowling centres, inland arcades and FECs. “We have the widest range of equipment we’ve ever hosted,” said UDC’s Mark Horwood. “We have gone to extra lengths this year to turn the showroom into a very large exhibition stand – even bigger than the display at EAG in January.”

Colleague Matt Bland said: “We had around 100 games at EAG. I think we have about the same here today, but we can display them more freely here so that excellent games like Treasure Hammer and Grab and Stix – both prize games – and the Elaut pusher Smurf in its two-player version, get the prominence that they deserve.”

Next door, Gabino Stergides reckoned that the trends this year were not quite so subject to peaks and troughs as pre-Covid-19. “Those peaks and troughs are a little more rounded now, as operators seem not so desperate this year to get deliveries before Easter.” That may have been a consequence of Electrocoin’s strong presence in the AGC sector, because the view was not echoed next door where Mark Horwood said: “For us, Easter remains critical. We have a very strong business with the seasides and they will order at EAG in January but Easter delivery is critical. If we get a sunny Easter, then the latest games can make all the difference to the seaside arcades."

Understandably, Elaut cranes featured strongly in the UDC line-up, backed in-person by CEO Eric Verstraeten and international sales manager Stefaan Vaerewyck, travelling to the Open Day from Belgium.

That Elaut range was supported by a huge range of novelties, pushers and ticket redemption games, developed in-house at UDC and imported from the US and Asia.

Next door there were plenty of redemption games too, from big name companies like Sega and Bandai Namco, Harry Levy and Cosmic Leisure, gaming machine giants like Novomatic, Blueprint and Amatic represented by Genesis Games; Reflex Leisure was there and a host of ancilliary equipment and service suppliers such as Quixant, GeWeTe, Playsafe, E-Service, Elmac from Italy, Cummins Allison and Ask, plus pinball’s Stern.

The F&B options were there as always, served up by busy staff members from both companies, supplemented by the traditional ice cream van.

“This is not really a selling exercise,” commented Mark Horwood. “There is a little business taking place, of course, but the main object for visitors is to network with other operators, reveal trends and recommendations and plan next year’s purchases.”