Jerry Derrick, the 70-year-old West Virginia operator who served as AMOA president from 1996-1997, suffered a heart attack and passed away on April 16. AMOA EVP Jack Kelleher said Jerry entered the hospital following March’s Amusement Expo for a pre-scheduled survey and remained there due to complications from the surgery. Funeral services were held April 20 in Charleston, W.V.
Jerry was one of the largest operators in West Virginia and was actively involved –– both financially and politically –– in obtaining passage of legislation that legalized the operation of video lottery terminals in that state.
“Jerry was an operator’s operator until his last breath,” said fellow West Virginian Lee Wesson, who followed Jerry to the AMOA presidency. “Jerry was out on the route every single day visiting customers and fixing equipment, and figuring out how to give somebody a loan or what kind of equipment needed to be in a location. That’s who he was, and that’s what he did. He enjoyed being a coin machine operator.”
According to Wesson, Jerry got his start working for his dad’s business, but he grew that company substantially by competing for new locations and, over the years, acquiring routes owned by fellow operators. The late Leoma Ballard of West Virginia, the first female president of AMOA, mentored Jerry during his early days in business and encouraged his participation in the state and national trade associations. Jerry ultimately bought out Leoma’s business when she opted for retirement and they remained close until her death.
Always courteous to a fault, Jerry’s country manners often led people to the wrong conclusion. Jerry was, in fact, a shrewd and strategically savvy businessman and, when necessary, a fierce competitor. He gets credit for detecting the source of AMOA’s financial problems in the mid-’90s, which in turn, led the association to hire its own staff and return to financial health. “He was integral in moving toward that transition,” said Wesson.
“He was a good guy, and that’s the bottom line. He was good at the business. He worked hard,” concluded Wesson. “We are all very sad.”
UNIS Games has started shipping the Wild West-themed target practice game Cowboy Shootout.
The skill-based machine offers fast game play with multiple moving and stationary LED targets where the player aims and fires. The more targets you hit the more points you win.
The factory has also released Veggie Blast, a new video redemption game in which the players blast veggies to win points. Features include multiple stages, cute vegetable characters, multi-color LED lights and corn-themed “guns” with force feedback action.
To learn more, log on to www.universal-space.com, email Steven Tan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Debbie Gonzalez, U.S. sales manager at 714/377-0508.
A federal court in Washington, D.C., earlier this year, dismissed a price-fixing claim brought by independent ATM operators, through the National ATM Council, against Visa and MasterCard, claiming the firms were restraining competition through fee contracts.
The operators raised a complex claim that charged Visa and MasterCard with stifling competition in the market for interchange fees by essentially committing to meet any independent processing network’s lowest fee agreement. According to the operators, this stifled independent networks from offering lower fee agreements. But the court didn’t buy their argument.
“What is missing is any discussion of what the ATM operator’s costs are, and whether they change if the operator uses a Visa or MasterCard network or an alternative network,” the court noted in its decision to dismiss. “There are no facts in the complaints that support a conclusion that prices would be lower if the restrictions at issue were lifted.”
The court also rejected the collusion aspect of the operators’ claim, noting lack of evidence of any conspiracy between Visa and MasterCard and the banks that formerly owned the networks.
The crux of the operator’s legal theory was that absent the fee mandate by Visa and MasterCard, independent networks would be willing to remit more of the bank interchange fee back to ATM operators, who could in turn charge lower access fees to consumers.
The opinion can be found here, www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCOURTS-dcd-1_11-cv-01803/pdf/USCOURTS-dcd-1_11-cv-01803-0.pdf.
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