Sigh of relief for slots chiefs as coins saved

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Arcade bosses have breathed a sigh of relief after a staple of the seaside amusement trade was spared the melting pot.

It was thought 2p coins – popular at seaside arcades on ‘Tipping Point’ style games– could be scrapped as part of a Treasury review.

But the Government has now signalled they are unlikely to be consigned to history.

Peter Sedgwick, who owns Blackpool South, Central and North piers, said: “I think it’s fantastic and a good idea. Leave things be for bit and let us get back on our feet instead of spending money.

“It would have cost us a lot of money to change all our machines.

“We have got thousands of pounds of machines that would have had to be altered. At the end of the day we are amusement arcades, not gambling arcades.

“It’s there for families and kids to come and have a bit of fun, and it would make things very difficult for us if they had to be changed.

“You don’t want to be charging kids that are coming on holiday any more.

“They can have a lot of fun with a bag of 2ps.”

Lee Preston Stefani, who owns Harbour Lights Amusements in Fleetwood, said: “I do believe that we’re not going to lose them. Obviously it would have a detrimental effect on seaside arcades.”

Around six in 10 1p and 2p coins are believed to be used only once before they are put into savings jars – and around eight per cent are thrown away.

Charities fear that if copper coins were ditched, it could be the start of a more dramatic move towards a “cashless society”.