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September 2014

Bobby HoginHail to the Chief

AMOA Readies for Mid-Year Board Meeting

RePlay's Monthly Chat with AMOA President Bobby Hogin

RePlay: Tell us about the upcoming AMOA board meeting in Florida. What’s on the agenda? What do you hope to accomplish?

Hogin: We are really looking forward to our meeting at the end of this month in Marco Island, Florida. It’s the first gathering of the board since Expo. We have been cranking up our conference calls in preparation for the board meeting, which will host gatherings of all of our various committees. We are also looking forward to welcoming our new directors, who will get a chance to meet everybody on the board and get their feet wet.

We’ve got some great activities planned including hitting the beach, touring the Everglades and, of course, the annual Bob Nims Golf Tournament, named in honor of our past president who was such a strong supporter of AMOA through the years.

During our meeting, we will be focusing on a number of important events including the Road Scholar educational session coming up in November and our State Council meeting that will take place next February. Last year’s Road Scholar was such a success that we are wxcited abou this second annual event. As always, our Hesch Scholarship will also be an important focus of our discussion.

What can you tell us about AMOA’s participation in the upcoming effort to visit Capitol Hill and inform members about the effect of a change in the metallic makeup of coins?

As we speak, we are still in the process of lining up the attendees. But it looks like seven to eight representatives will attend. We will make our visits to our various representatives, and we will participate in a reception for Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the new House majority leader. We have also committed to making a $2,500 contribution to his campaign.

We are very concerned about this issue. A change in the makeup of the quarter would be very detrimental to our industry. Our acceptors would have to be retrofitted. Plus, older versions of the coin will likely be recirculating with the new coins. It’s going to have a real negative effect on anybody who weighs money or accepts coins via a coin mech. But I’m not sure it will prompt street operators to adopt card swipe technology, at least not for all of our equipment on the street. I’m not sure that would really happen with pool tables, for instance.

Payment technology is a very important issue overall. We already use a card reader on our jukeboxes, and the card revenues are starting to rival the cash in the cash box. Younger patrons are more willing to use credits cards as well as the phone app to pay for music.

You recently attended the AAMA annual meeting and Gala. Can you share your impressions?

I really enjoyed being there. I got a lot out of the manufacturer presentations. It’s almost like peeking behind the curtain and getting a glimpse of the future.

The reception for Rick Kirby was also wonderful. Rick is so deserving of all the praise of his peers and colleagues. His efforts with creating the Sandy Hook arcade are extremely impressive, and that represents the finest our industry has to offer.

Where else have your presidential travels taken you in recent weeks?

AMOA’s Lori Schneider and I traveled to the Montana association. That was my first trip to Montana. Those operators are really impressive, and customer service is a top priority for them. Tim and Natalie Carson of Amusement Services were my tour guides. I think a great deal of Tim. He’s a very good operator and a very down to earth guy.

The Montana operators work closely with the Montana Tavern Association, and they are always focused on maintaining communications with tavern owners. They also work closely with the gaming association, and they donate a significant amount of money to that effort every year. They also have a very close relationship with state gaming regulators. I learned a lot from them.

Otherwise, things have slowed down a bit, but I am gearing up for WAMO and the Missouri state association meetings, both of which are taking place during the last week of August.

Bobby Hogin, a Dickson, Tenn., native and consummate Southern gentleman, heads up Hogin Amusement, a traditional street route. Hogin Amusement covers a 120-mile radius, offering jukeboxes, pool, redemption, merchandise games, air hockey games, touchscreen countertops and, more recently, ATMs. The route provides games to bars, bowling alleys, skating rinks, FECs and even some convenience stores (ATMs). Hogin Amusement employs four people including Bobby, as well as two part-time staffers.

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