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March 2014

Hot Off the Press

Amusement Expo Coverage Coming In Next Month’s Issue

Readers can expect live coverage of the Amusement Expo in next month’s RePlay Magazine. The show, which is taking place March 24-27 in Las Vegas, will offer the latest line-up of amusement equipment and redemption prizes, as well as hot bulk vending wares from the co-located NBVA convention.

In addition, Amusement Expo will host a day of educational seminars focused on both street and FEC operations. Finally, IAAPA will stage a two-day program of learning and sharing called FEC Las Vegas. RePlay will attend all of these sessions, providing interim reports online and comprehensive first-hand reportage in the May issue.

Florida Internet Gaming Centers Rebounding?

A Florida business publication reports that Internet cafés have made a comeback in the state even though officials enacted a law last year banning the kinds of games popular in these locations. That same law also prohibits certain forms of amusement redemption, something that raised red flags in the arcade and FEC trade.

“Retail real estate brokers say the gaming centers entered the market in the past 30 days, looking for spaces as varied as 1,500 square feet to 10,000 square feet, with most around 3,500 square feet,” reported the Jacksonville Business Journal in mid-March. “The centers that are re-entering the market are telling landlords they’ve changed their policies to conform with the new law.”

Changes described by the publication include: “paying out in cash rather than in vouchers and jettisoning the roulette-style spinning wheels on its machines. Also, those machines now tell customers before they play whether or not they won.

“The legal issue is whether or not the machines are gambling or simply a flashy way to tell sweepstakes players if they’ve won,” the Business Journal concluded. “Despite the prevalence of slot machine iconography, café operators have long argued that what they do is akin to the McDonald’s Monopoly game, with the casino look and feel simply trappings.”

Jacksonville law enforcement told the publication it would examine the new businesses.


U.S. Mint Explores Changes

The U.S. Mint hosted a stakeholder meeting March 13, in Washington, D.C., to get input from various industries on the impact of changing the metal make-up of coinage. AAMA President John Schultz and MEI National OEM Manager Chris Felix attended the meeting, representing the amusement industry. (Pictured above are Schultz, left, and Felix, center, at the U.S. Mint meeting with John Russell from AAMA’s and AMOA’s legislative counsel, Dentons.)

According to the notice published in the Federal Register, the official purpose of the meeting was “to invite members of stakeholder organizations to directly share their perspectives concerning circulating coins and the impacts of alternative metal compositions. This input will support the Secretary of the Treasury in understanding the balance of interests and impacts to the public, private industry stakeholders, and the government.”

The Mint has also published a study that discusses alternative metals that could potentially change the following attributes: weight, color, electromagnetic signature. This study, which also touches on implementation and transition periods, has been posted online at www.usmint.gov/about_the_mint/?action=biennialreport.


Intercard Appoints LaValle

Intercard recently hired Christine LaValle as the firm’s new Sales and Marketing Manager.

LaValle joins Intercard with 15 years of sales, marketing and real estate experience. Her responsibilities include coordinating the efforts of Intercard’s global sales team and directing the company’s external marketing campaigns.

“We’re very excited to welcome Chris to the Intercard family,” said Scott Sherrod, CEO of Intercard. “Her wealth of experience in sales and marketing will play a critical role as Intercard looks forward to introducing new products and breaking sales records across the globe.”

An avid runner, LaValle just completed a half-marathon in November. Other interests include traveling, scuba diving and working with local charitable organizations. She and her husband Brian are the parents of four children and reside in Millstadt, Ill.


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