Industry sector: Leisure

Amusement arcade: Wages

Money that you take from the business to cover your own personal living expenses is known as 'Drawings'. This should not be included here, but will be dealt with elsewhere in the cash flow.

Before you can make an estimate of the wages you will pay each month to your employees you will need to identify the work that must be done and how many people will be needed to do it.

Staff duties

You may need staff to:

  • supervise players and to make sure no under-18s play on age-restricted gaming machines - if you operate an adult gaming centre this might mean checking customers' ID on the door
  • give customers change for the machines, if you don't use change machines
  • answer customer queries and explain how to operate machines they are unfamiliar with
  • maintain and repair machines and order spare parts
  • clean and maintain the premises
  • redeem customers' tickets (where redemption machines are offered)
  • stock machines with prizes
  • order stocks of gifts and prizes
  • empty the machines
  • keep the business records, do the banking
  • provide any other services, such as café sales, organising birthday parties, corporate days out and so on

The number of staff you need will depend on the size and scope of your business but, according to the British Amusement Catering Trades Association (BACTA), a typical seaside arcade could operate with three full-time staff plus some part-time workers.

The wages you pay your staff will depend to some extent on what is the going rate in your area. The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), which is carried out by the government, gives average weekly wages (national and regional) for a wide range of different types of job. The Survey is available online on the Office for National Statistics (ONS) website.

Don't forget:

  • your staff members may have to apply to the Gambling Commission for a personal licence depending on the scale of your operation
  • you could use a combination of full and part-time staff. Part-time work is often attractive to parents with children at school
  • the National Minimum Wage Act sets a minimum amount that you must pay your staff. Workers aged 25 and over receive a Living Wage premium on top of the standard National Minimum Wage
  • there is employment legislation that you should be aware of
  • you will have to pay employer's National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and you will have to operate PAYE in 'real time'. You may have to make employers' minimum contributions to an auto-enrolment pension scheme too

In the cash flow, just put the amounts you will actually pay to staff after you have deducted NICs and PAYE - you will show these separately. Also include here the cost of staff pensions.