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AIDAN CONNELLY

Weblog: Betting Shop Manager of the Year

Might my new company car be better in blue?

DAY three of Ice Totally Gaming and, even after the first two full days, there is still plenty to see and try out.

I have been amazed at the sheer amount of competition in all areas from machine cabinets, content software, hardware, locks, note and coin accepters . . .  it really is incredible. I would advise anyone who haven't been before to come and visit next year as there is so much to interest and occupy everyone.

The organisers were pleased that despite the London Underground strikes, record numbers of visitors have been through the ExCel's doors - and I'm sure they would have felt rewarded for their efforts.

Still lots of fun stuff going on with to win various prizes from days out to mini iPads. I have entered about half a dozen of the mini iPad ones as, although I do have one, it would keep my three sons from pinching it. No luck though.

This really is a good place to meet people and I have managed to put some faces to names and make contacts that could be helpful in the future.

From a betting shop manager's point of view it is eye opening as to how much goes into certain sectors of the industry before it gets to us in the shops. It is also encouraging to see that so much more is around the corner that no doubt we will see launched in our shops . . .  or our competitors - which will bring even more diversity to the customer.

As a betting man I have been hugely impressed with all the online stuff that is coming our way that really opens different sports and opportunities up regarding markets.

I have learned a lot about how different companies operate not just in Europe but across the world. Walking around it got me thinking to how much things have evolved in graphics since I was a kid - which doesn't feel like that long though is well over 20 years.  Games that I was well impressed with the kids nowadays would cry with laughter at.

I had my picture taken in a bright yellow brand spanking new Lamborghini on Thursday and I think I will forward it to Coral head office as next year's company car. No harm to be colourful, is it?!

For the last few hours of the show I will be out wandering the floor playing some more games, eating plenty and filling up with more free goodies. What a hard life.

Be lucky

Aidan

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