Principles for Re-Opening Pubs – Machines


Bacta members who supply pubs and clubs with fruit machines, pool tables and jukeboxes, have met with representatives of the pub trade and discussed the following principles to be applied to the preparation and operation of amusement machines when pubs are re-opened following the Covid-19 lockdown. The purpose of these principles is to provide a guide to pub companies/owners and pub managers/tenants as well as machine suppliers in order to manage the re-opening process as smoothly as possible and to ensure all pub customers receive an optimum level of service. They are underpinned by considerations of the health and safety of staff and customers. Suppliers and customers are free to reach their own arrangements.

This document will be reviewed on a three-weekly cycle.

• It is acknowledged that pubs and suppliers will need time to bring their businesses back up to full operational strength.

• It is acknowledged that one size doesn’t fit all circumstances and pubs and suppliers will need to reach bespoke arrangements for some sites.

• It is acknowledged that pre-Covid 19 crisis’ contractual, performance and operational agreements will be difficult to meet and therefore individual arrangements may need to be agreed between suppliers and customers until more normal trading conditions return.

• In managed houses, pubs will provide the float unless otherwise agreed between supplier and customer.

• In tenanted pubs surplus funds from uncollected machines will be used to assist in refloating collected machines where possible. Other solutions will be needed where high proportion of machines have already been collected.

• Two-week cycle anticipated for a re-floating to be completed.

• Any supplier visits to customers’ sites will be in accordance with the bacta machine suppliers template risk assessment. That is to say:
– pub staff will remain appropriately distanced from suppliers’ employees during any visit.
– suppliers’ employees will wear PPE (gloves and masks) during any visit.
– all machines will be cleaned with an appropriate disinfectant wipe by suppliers’ employees before departure.

• Pubs will provide required hygiene cleaning for machines on site. Including providing sanitising wipes for players to clean machines before and after play.

• Pubs will manage the location of machines on site as follows:
– Once arranged on site prior to re-opening, there will be no machine movements other than for exceptional reasons.
– Pubs will maintain a regular cleaning regime for all machines and after each use if possible.
– Pubs will cooperate with suppliers in ensuring appropriate social distancing between pub staff and suppler staff, will wear PPE where appropriate and will facilitate visit times consistent with these principles.
– Clear signage will be provided to indicate the hygiene practices employed on the premises and requesting the cooperation of customers, specifically in relation to machine use.

Specific measures for Pool Tables, Music and Ancillary Equipment

In addition to the above it is suggested that the following actions are considered for pool tables, music and ancillary equipment:
• Where equipment allows, use of App based music selection and contactless payment methods could be encouraged.
• Hand sanitiser to be available for players.
• Use of signage to advise all players to wash their hands / use sanitisers before and after playing.
• Pool cues could be kept behind the bar- so staff can then wipe down cues before and after being handed out to players.
• No coins to be left on the table at any time.
• Cleaning of pool tables will include cleaning of the frame and chalk regularly (e.g. every hour) and where possible after each use.
• Cleaning of balls should occur once per day, preferably prior to opening.
• Where pool tables are used for competitions, organisers/team captains will be required to take responsibility for social distancing and hand hygiene of players. Hand sanitizer will be made available.
• After competition use the pool table should receive a deep clean of surfaces, cues, balls, chalk and rack.
• Where machines provided for children to use are installed (e.g. crane grabbers or toy dispensers) an enhanced cleaning regime to be employed. In addition any stock used in the machine will be cleaned before filling or will have been placed in storage for 72 hours before being handled.

Social Responsibility

Pubs and machine suppliers acknowledge that nothing in this document or any other processes or procedures introduced to keep customers and staff safe from Covid-19, will reduce or compromise their commitment to and maintenance of, any social responsibility measures associated with protecting players from gambling related harm and ensuring no-one under the age of 18 plays on fruit machines.