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(Go to RePlay Magazine's Blog)

2009 Instant RePlay News Archive:

January -- February -- March -- April -- May -- June -- July -- August -- September -- October -- November -- December

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December 2009 (Go back to main 2009 menu)

CHICAGO GAMING PIECES TO ENHANCE GAME ROOMS
(Posted December 28, 2009 -- 6PM)

GalacTix and Putt 66 from Chicago Gaming have helped set the stage for exciting arcade game releases in 2010.

Releasing in February, GalacTix uniquely blends quick coin action game and videogame play in an eye-catching rocket cabinet designed with six player stations. Players peer into windows at an alien mother ship holding a jackpot of tickets. The object of the game is to drop a coin, launching a missile toward the ship past the guardian space ships to score a direct hit.

Meanwhile, Putt 66 is a '50s retro-themed, nine-hole course that has been added to the existing two courses on the simulator. "The added depth will certainly promote repeat play and raise the bar on the competitive nature of this game," stated Doug Duba, president of Chicago Gaming, adding that the firm will reward early adopters of PUTT! Championship Edition with a $500 value upgrade at no charge.

Look for more product details in the next issue of RePlay or consult a local Chicago Gaming distributor.
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IFPA CLOSES SEASON WITH NEW CHAMPION, GREATER PARTICIPATION
(Posted December 28, 2009 -- 6PM)

The 2009 pinball season has come to an end, and the International Flipper Pinball Association has announced Jorian Engelbrektsson finished number one in the World Pinball Player Rankings. The Sweden native is the first player in four years to claim the title of World's Greatest Pinball Player over Keith Elwin. He will be given his award at the IFPA 7 tournament to be held May 21-23, 2010, near Minneapolis.

IFPA also reported an increase of 70 unique events by pinball leagues and tournaments over the 2008. The association's player base has expanded from 4,500 at the end of 2008 to 6,700 this year with representatives from 27 countries.

Visit IFPA online at www.ifpapinball.com.
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SNAPPERZ OPENS SECOND LOCATION
(Posted December 28, 2009 -- 6PM)

Snapperz, the FEC started by Indianapolis long snapper Justin Snow and Dave Wilson of All Kids Play, has spun off its first sister location.

Also located in greater Indianapolis and about half the size of its predecessor, Snapperz in Lafayette, Ind., had a ribbon cutting on December 15, officially opening its doors to a four-story soft play area, 18' climbing wall, themed inflatables, laser tag installation, bowling, bungee trampoline attraction and more, all supported by space for private birthday parties and corporate functions. Jeff Baumgartner joined as a partner to Snow and Wilson in the enterprise.

"I do feel there's nothing like it and that more would be welcome," Snow told RePlay for our November 2008 profile of the flagship facility. For more info on this new FEC chain, as well as Snow and Wilson's perspectives on family entertainment, check out that issue and visit www.snapperzfunlafayette.com.
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BETSON MIDWEST AND WMS GAMING TEAM UP
(Posted December 28, 2009 -- 6PM)

Betson Midwest, a division of H. Betti Industries, Inc., has entered into a distribution agreement with WMS Gaming Inc., a leading supplier of gaming machines. Betson Midwest will be the exclusive distributor of WMS products for the Illinois video lottery market. Illinois passed the Video Gaming Act in July 2009 to legalize the use of video gaming terminals at licensed liquor locations: bars, restaurants, truck stops and fraternal and veterans' organizations. The law requires that all video gaming terminals be sold through a distributor.

"We are excited to be working with WMS to address this new market opportunity as they have an unmatched reputation for state-of-the-art gaming technologies and designing innovative gaming products that provide players with unrivaled entertainment experiences," said Todd Cravens, who heads up Betson Midwest. "In addition, having both Betson Midwest and WMS located in-state provides a significant advantage for our customers as we will be able to quickly and efficiently take care of customers' needs. The home court advantage will be a game changer."

Betson Midwest and WMS will be hosting a two-day open house on Jan. 19 and Jan. 20. The events will take place from 1-4:30 p.m. on both days at WMS' corporate headquarters located at 800 South Northpoint Boulevard in Waukegan, IL 60085. Each day will include a look at WMS' available gaming products, a manufacturing plant tour, hardware demonstration, slot math and product strategy overview, financing opportunities and a market update. RSVP by January 15, 2010 to Julie Kill at (630) 238-9400, ext. 6200 or jkaluzinski@betson.com.
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PELICAN GROUP SIGNS FIRST GROUP AMERICA
(Posted December 28, 2009 -- 6PM)

The Pelican Group, a national vending and amusement management firm, has signed a long-term agreement with First Group America. Richard Scherer, president of The Pelican Group, says his company will manage all vending in over 750 First Group, First Transit and First Student locations throughout the U.S. The agreement is the result of Pelican's long-standing relationship with First Group's subsidiary, Greyhound Bus Lines.

Steve Walton, VP of business development, said: "We are excited at the opportunity to work with our operator network to provide vending services to Greyhound's parent company, First Group. Our agreement with First Group will create a great opportunity for operators who partner with us on this account."

Pelican execs say they look forward to working with its respected vending partners throughout the country to deliver the highest level of equipment and service to First Group. If you are interested in working with The Pelican Group on this or any other Pelican managed account, please contact them at 800-997-3542 or by email at info@pelicangroup.com.
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STERN PINBALL FINALIZES FINANCING
(Posted December 23, 2009 -- 3PM)

Stern Pinball has closed a financing and partnership agreement with a group of investors led by David J. Peterson, a founder and managing director of Hagerty Peterson & Company, LLC. Under the agreement reported earlier by RePlay, the new investors will provide capital and services to Stern with the goal of expanding the company's business. Peterson and his colleague, Daniel P. Wallace, will join the board of directors. Gary Stern will continue in his role as chairman and CEO.

"We're very excited about this new partnership with Dave and his colleagues," said Stern. "They have an impressive history of building successful businesses and are bringing fresh insights to the company that we believe will be very helpful."

"We were impressed by the commitment of the company's customers, suppliers and employees to pinball, which we share," said Peterson. "It will take some time, but we think we can help the company better serve that community and expand." To learn more about Stern Pinball, visit www.sternpinball.com.
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ICE UNVEILS NEW WEBSITE DESIGN
(Posted December 23, 2009 -- 3PM)

Game maker ICE has now launched its newly designed website at www.icegame.com. ICE spent the last few months developing web software that adds many new features and capabilities for online users. The completely refreshed homepage features enhanced graphics, video and more detailed information on all of the firm's products.

Users will be asked to establish an account using a current e-mail address and password of their choosing. These are encrypted to keep them safe and confidential, and will not be sold or given to any outside companies for any reason, the company pledged. ICE does periodically send e-mail newsletters, parts specials and technical bulletins about its games, which recipients may opt out of receiving if they so choose. This new login feature for registered users offers access to more parts, images, manuals and diagrams, along with an enhanced shopping cart for parts ordering.

"We have recently added a live chat feature with our parts and service staff, as well as created a new listing with access to all our game service manuals and technical diagrams," reported ICE's Dan Coppola. "Updates to our game section include an alphabetical listing of every game, with detailed product information. Additionally, at the bottom of each game page, you will see related games appear. We hope this feature helps you as you think about additional products as companion pieces for your location."

Users will be able to stay up-to-date on the latest ICE news through the news section, which will offer links to past news articles and e-newsletters, while also featuring breaking news stories and links to the factory's YouTube videos.
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BENCHMARK GAMES ANNOUNCES MAJOR ORDERS FOR 2010
(Posted December 23, 2009 -- 3PM)

Benchmark Games' topper Al Kress says his firm has received extensive orders for game equipment following last month's IAAPA show in Las Vegas. "Between our domestic distributors, export customers, and our national account customers, we had a terrific November," Kress said recently. "We are looking forward to a great 2010 with a large backlog of orders going into January and a major order already in hand for delivery in the second quarter of 2010."

Leading the demand for orders is the factory's Pop-It X-Treme 8.5 model. Other new products for 2010 include Red Hot Single, Wheel Deal X-Treme and PokerKard along with other favorites such as Slam-a-Winner X-Treme, Red Hot Fire & Ice, and Tickets-to-Prizes. Game machine add-ons gaining popularity are the new receipt printer for Ticket-to-Prizes, the ticket emulator and the card dispenser.

The Florida based manufacturer says it will be expanding its line of products in 2010. Currently four new titles are out on test. For more details, contact Benchmark at 888/538-1000.
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ASCAP SEEKING LICENSING ON GUITAR HERO ARCADE
(Posted December 21, 2009 -- 3:30PM)

One of the three major performing rights organizations is currently in negotiations with the makers of Guitar Hero Arcade for a public performance license. The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) confirmed to RePlay that they were seeking a license for the music that is an integral part of the game play.

"There really hasn't been a game like this," ASCAP's Vincent Candilora told RePlay, noting that most games utilize a proprietary soundtrack and not music covered by a separate copyright. "I expect we will work out a deal with the manufacturer." Candilora went on to say the unit would likely have to be licensed on an annual basis similar to a pay for play CD or digital jukebox.

The story first surfaced late last week on several websites including GamePolitics.com, which first reported that an operator was approached for license fees from the performing rights organization. According to GamePolitics.com, the operator referred ASCAP to the manufacturer, Raw Thrills, which produced the game in conjunction with Activision and Konami. Stay tuned for more on this story as details emerge.
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AMOA ANNOUNCES NOTRE DAME DATES
(Posted December 21, 2009 -- 3:30PM)

AMOA will launch its second Masters Program this fall for the association's long-standing Notre Dame Management Program. The classes get underway October 23-23 at Notre Dame's South Bend, Ind., campus. At the same time, AMOA will launch the first session of its Class XV regular management program, which meets five times over the course of two years. To learn more, go to www.amoa.com.
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COAST TO COAST OFFERS SOLAR POWER PRIZES
(Posted December 21, 2009 -- 3:30PM)

Coast to Coast Entertainment has introduced a Winner's Cube solar power toy kits. The kit includes about 20 different assorted styles, which come individually packed in a clear box. The box will fit perfectly in the Winner's Cube game. In addition, these solar power toys can be purchased for redemption counters at entertainment centers, theme parks, carnivals and arcades. The solar power toys never need batteries. Any type of light will make them move. Go to Coast to Coast's YouTube link to view these toys in motion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ow6P8BRmtRk. For more information, contact Coast to Coast at 800/224-1717 or log on to www.cranemachines.com.
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CRANE MANUFACTURER PLEADS GUILTY IN PARKING METER PROSECUTION
(Posted December 21, 2009 -- 10:30AM)

A crane industry trade veteran, Brian Petaccio, 49, who heads up United Textile Fabricators in Toms Rivers, N.J., has pleaded guilty to a charge of stealing more than $1.1 million in quarters from parking meters in Hoboken, N.J. The story was reported this week by several online media outlets including Hoboken411.com and whitecollarcrimenews.com. Petaccio pleaded guilty following an investigation by the state attorney general's office. The same investigation announced an indictment last week against former Hoboken Parking Utility Director John Corea, who allegedly conspired with Petaccio to steal parking meter revenue. According to the report, Petaccio must repay $300,000 in restitution and faces up to seven years in prison.

"Corea allegedly used his official position to steer three separate no-bid contracts to United Textile Fabricators in November 2005 to collect the coins, count and manage them, and maintain the city's parking meters," reported Hoboken411.com. "After an audit in 2007 uncovered parking revenue shortfalls, Petaccio and his company returned approximately $575,000 to the city. However, Petaccio admitted in pleading guilty that he conspired with an official of the City of Hoboken -- whom he did not name in court but had previously identified to investigators -- to divert an additional sum, in excess of $600,000, which was never reported to the city and which the two men split. It is alleged that Corea is the official who conspired with Petaccio and split the money with him."
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MICHIGAN SMOKING BAN SIGNED INTO LAW
(Posted December 18, 2009 -- 1PM)

A statewide smoking ban that includes Michigan bars and restaurants will be signed today by the state's governor Jennifer Granholm. The only exemptions are cigar bars, smoke shops and casinos. The law will take effect in May. Michigan is also limiting the sales of cigarettes in that state to so-called fire safe products.
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AAMA ANNOUNCES NEW DUES STRUCTURE
(Posted December 18, 2009 -- 1PM)

The American Amusement Machine Association recently announced the restructuring of its membership dues for the coming year. "As our industry changes, we need to evaluate and change also," the association said in making the announcement. "AAMA execs are focused on establishing more equality within the membership."

The association will implement a new universal dues rate of $995 per fiscal year. Under the new rate, all members would have equal voting rights and Board seat restrictions would be eliminated. Current AAMA members will be receiving renewal invoices in the coming weeks. For membership questions, please contact Tina Schwartz in the AAMA office at 866/372-5190.
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EAG SHOW ALREADY SETTING RECORDS
(Posted December 18, 2009 -- 1PM)

EAG Expo, London's newest trade show dedicated to the amusement and coin op markets, is already a record breaker, and it hasn't even taken place yet. The show, which takes place for the first time at London's ExCel Exhibition Centre, will cover an area of 13,000 square meters, making it the biggest launch trade show ever to take place at ExCel, organizers declared today.

UK trade association BACTA is sponsoring EAG in conjunction with InterGame Magazine, which held a breakaway show last year during ATEI. EAG will take place Jan. 26-28, the same time frame as the 2010 ATEI convention. EAG attendees will be able to see the latest products including redemption, video, low stakes gaming, automated casino, pinball, darts, pool, music, kiddie rides and the list just goes on and on. The show will boast 100 exhibitors showing the products of more than 180 companies.

EAG is receiving visitor registrations from all over the world. More than 2,500 people have already registered to attend, and nearly 30% of registrants are international including countries such as Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, U.S., Australia, Singapore, Pakistan, Korea and South Africa.

Seminars will cover a wide range of topics from financing to redemption. Additionally, there will be meetings and gatherings for a range of trade bodies and trade associations such as BACTA, BALPPA, EUROMAT and the IOA. There will be bars and restaurants in the hall for visitors and exhibitors to socialize during the day, and, of course, there will be an enormous range of parties and gatherings during the evenings starting off with the show's big party on the first night. That event will take place aboard the Dixie Queen paddle boat moored in Queen Victoria docks right alongside the expo hall.

"EAG Expo was planned to be a happening, not just an exhibition," said Martin Burlin of the EAG Expo organizing committee. "In launching EAG Expo we wanted to create an event that would put some spirit and some fun back into the London show, and I think that is just what will happen.
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SHAFFER HOSTS STREET REDEMPTION SESSION
(Posted December 18, 2009 -- 1PM)

Shaffer Distributing recently hosted a seminar and spotlight show at its Livonia, Mich., office to highlight redemption opportunities for street route operators. The dealership has held similar sessions in the past for FEC specialists. Seminar topics included merchandisers, cranes, as well as prize selection, merchandising, and marketing ideas. Factory representatives from Bay Tek, ICE, Namco, Family Fun Companies, LAI, and Rhode Island Novelty were present to educate attendees on their equipment and products. Each rep also gave a short presentation on redemption and how their products could benefit the street operator. Over 22 different operating companies attended the seminar, which Shaffer called a "resounding success."
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U.K. WHACKER TARGETS BANKERS
(Posted December 16, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

A whacking novelty game, designed in the style of the world famous Whack A Mole, is proving popular with patrons at a U.K. arcade, according to media reports by the BBC, The Huffington Post and even MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show. "An arcade game that allows people to vent their anger at bankers has proved so popular the owner keeps having to replace worn out mallets," reported the BBC online. "Inventor Tim Hunkin introduced 'Whack a Banker,' which is based on the older 'Whack a Mole' game, at his arcade on Southwold pier in Suffolk." The game features pop-targets that look like balding bankers. "I keep having to replace worn-out mallets," Hunkin told the BBC. "The bankers are bald and all look the same because that's how I think people see bankers, as faceless."
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LONG ISLAND TRIBE CLEARS CASINO HURDLE
(Posted December 16, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

The federal government has ended a long-standing legal battle with the Shinnecock Indian tribe on Long Island, N.Y., finally granting them the status they need to pursue plans to build a casino, reports The New York Times. "The news could mean significant changes for the relatively poor tribe, most of whose members live on 800 acres in Southampton, N.Y., not far from some of Long Island's wealthiest communities and expansive celebrity-owned estates," the Times reported yesterday. "Shinnecock leaders have long argued that a casino could turn around the tribe's fortunes." A public comment period of six months will be observed before the tribe is formally recognized by the U.S. government, which would allow for the operation of a Class II casino with gaming machines but no table games.
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AMI UNVEILS TOP 100 TUNES OF 2009
(Posted December 16, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

AMI Entertainment has released its top 100 played jukebox songs of 2009, and the results are pretty surprising. The list of this year's top songs is dominated by the country and rock classics of the last decade. Toby Keith's "I Love this Bar" came in at No. 1.

Coming in at No. 2 was Nickelback with "Rockstar." The band had an incredible year on the AMI Network, with an estimated four percent of total network plays -- more than some genres all together -- moving them into AMI's "classic jukebox band" category. Kid Rock, 3 Doors Down and Buckcherry are also among the contemporary artists to have crossed the threshold and reached that status.

The Zac Brown Band's "Chicken Fried," the No. 3 most-played song of 2009, was a big reason for the success of the band's debut album, which was a huge hit overall.

Lady Gaga had a breakout year on the billboard charts and is the only contemporary pop star in the top 10 with her monstrous hit "Poker Face" in seventh place. The rest of the list consists of tunes from throughout music history with Janis Joplin's classic "Me and Bobby McGee" even scoring a spot.

"We are very excited to be publicly releasing our network's Top 100 Most Played Songs for the first time," said Mike Maas, president and chief executive officer of AMI Entertainment Network. "Many of the songs in today's Top 100 are very popular and are regularly heard on the radio, but the list also reveals that millions of consumers also rely on our jukeboxes to hear their favorite classics from years past."

The full list of AMI's top 100 jukebox songs of 2009 can be found at www.amientertainment.com.
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BAY TEK ANNOUNCES FIVE NEW HIRES
(Posted December 16, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

Bay Tek Games recently announced five new additions to its staff. Gaetan Philippon joins as Bay Tek's new director of product development. Gaetan will manage both development teams, while working closely with CEO Larry Treankler. Most recently, Gaetan was the director of business development at Dowco, Inc. as he directed product development, sourcing and the sales and marketing team.

Eric Schadrie also starts this month as the factory's newest graphic designer. Eric has supported several organizations with his creative talent, including serving as the senior graphic designer for the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce and the art director for a full-service ad agency, and he continues to serve as the education chair for the AAF-Fox Valley Ad Club. Joining the sales and marketing team is Jenna Woepse as Bay Tek's new marketing communication specialist. Jenna is a recent UW-Green Bay graduate with a degree in Public Communication.

Lastly, Bay Tek welcomes two continuous improvement engineers, Dennis Oshefsky and Pat Scanlon. Both new hires bring aptitude and experience in the manufacturing realm. Dennis worked for a large die cast foundry for over 14 years helping manage the manufacturing facility, while Pat worked as an industrial engineer for a luxury home appliance manufacturer.
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STRIDE KICKS OFF SAVE THE ARCADES IN 2010
(Posted December 14, 2009 -- 5PM)

The Stride gum brand, a division of Cadbury Adams USA, is launching the second incarnation of Save the Arcades. Like the inaugural program this fall, players are encouraged to submit their favorite arcade and the reason the location deserves an infusion of funds. Submissions are being accepted through January 7, 2010, at http://savethearcades.stridegum.com.

Program requirements stipulate: "Participants should submit their nomination in 500 characters or less (including spaces and punctuation) and write about an arcade that meets the following qualifications: Arcade should (1) have classic games, (2) be a business that operates in the 50 United States and District of Columbia, (3) have at least 15 arcade games on site, (4) be locally owned and operated and (5) have an affinity for classic games."

Arcade UFO in Austin received the most online votes to be awarded $25,000 last October, beating out three other locations.

"We realized that arcade gaming is one of the longest lasting forms of gaming and that we needed to help raise awareness for the arcade scene and culture," Cadbury's Kathy Beyer Di Benedetto told RePlay. For more info, see the game website and the October 2009 issue of RePlay.
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VALLEY-DYNAMO NOW IN FULL PRODUCTION
(Posted December 14, 2009 -- 5PM)

Valley Dynamo, the table game firm acquired earlier this year by veteran tradester Kelye Stites (Champion Shuffleboard) from Brunswick, is now in full production of all Valley Dynamo pool table models as well as Tornado table game products at the firm's Richland Hills, Texas, plant. Sales pro Joe Bundra told RePlay the most recent product rolling off the factory lines is the new Fire Storm air hockey game, debuted at IAAPA. The table features a unique overhead display, special sounds, rope lighting, and a playfield sporting a new look and updated graphics. "There are even flames that show on the playfield under the overhead light," noted Bundra.
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NAMCO RAMPS UP BARBERCUT LITE PRODUCTION
(Posted December 14, 2009 -- 5PM)

Namco America has ramped up manufacturing lines to keep up with demand for Barbercut Lite, the factory reported today. "For over a year, owners of Barbercut Lite have reported phenomenal collection numbers," Namco declared. "Orders are coming in at record breaking speed and Namco is doing everything they can to fulfill all orders as quickly as possible."

Namco execs went on to say the game is "the evolution of the crane machine." As a direct merchandiser, players immediately know how to play without having to master the rules to a separate game in order to win a prize. They just move to the right, then move forward to try to cut the string of their prize. If they succeed, it drops the prize into the bottom bin. The simple controls of the game make it fun and challenging for all to play.

Barbercut Lite is available from Namco America in both a white and a black cabinet. Please visit www.namcoamerica.com for more information.
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WEB GLOW VENDOR TAKES HONORS FROM IAAPA
(Posted December 14, 2009 -- 5PM)

Glow Machine's new Web Glow vendor took top honors from IAAPA during its recent Las Vegas Parks Show. The award was bestowed in the arcade and redemption equipment category. Web Glow combines vending and online redemption, allowing patrons to earn redemption points each time they vend a glow item. The unit also offers a great way to connect via email with users of the vending machines. To learn more, log on to www.glowmachine.com.
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FEDS LOOKING INTO ILLEGAL WINDY CITY POKERS
(Posted December 11, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

Federal law enforcement authorities are reportedly investigating an illegal video poker ring with ties to organized crime in the Chicago area, according to a report by Chicago's NBC 5 and the Chicago Sun Times. A number of tavern owners have been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury following raids in the Bridgeport neighborhood that began earlier this year, the news outlets claim.

Law enforcement officers reportedly raided approximately a dozen taverns, seizing circuit boards from alleged illegal poker games. However, the Chicago federal prosecutor's office has refused to comment on the news report, said NBC 5's website version of the news story.
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CLUB LUCKY LAUNCHING SILVER STRIKE LIVE TEST
(Posted December 11, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

Incredible Technologies and the operator group Club Lucky will debut Silver Strike LIVE in 50 test locations around the country. Club Lucky is a national group of operators who have joined together for tournaments, contests and promotions.

"Club Lucky members have a long history of conducting online tournaments on Silver Strike Bowling," said I.T. spokesman Gary Colabuono. "To be successful, a test of this type needs to generate a lot of game play quickly. We felt Club Lucky locations would afford us the best opportunity to test Silver Strike LIVE to the widest possible audience while still allowing us the control we need at this stage of development. We appreciate their assistance in this important test."

Silver Strike LIVE is the next generation of I.T.'s popular bowling game offering tournaments for prizes in a similar fashion to Golden Tee Live, as well as non-tournament play that is still capable tracking a player's performance statistics.

Live play puts 50 players together in a real-time $50 tournament. To compete, players add an extra dollar. The winner takes home $10 while players who come in 20th will at least take back their dollar. Players who don't win a cash prize will still receive a one-game rental with a cool, custom ball. Players can also choose between two modes of prize play, Classic Bowling and the new Spare Challenge mode.

SS LIVE Stats Play allows players to compete locally against friends while compiling and comparing game play averages, statistics and records. Another unique feature is the ability to customize onscreen bowlers with special looks and equipment. To learn more, go to http://www.silverstrikebowling.com/ssb2/SSB/News/RecentNews/10867/.
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ILLINOIS TRACKS WANT IN ON VIDEO GAMING ACTION
(Posted December 11, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

Horse tracks in the Land of Lincoln say they will take video poker machines in lieu of communities that are opting out of Illinois' legalized gaming initiative, reports ABC 7 news in Chicago. "Track owners argue that video gaming at the tracks would boost attendance along with winner's purses and breathe new life into an industry that's seen business drop 25% over the last two years," the TV station's website reported. "That's a long-standing argument from track owners, and while it may have some new muscle now, the idea of creating so-called racinos hasn't mustered enough votes in the past."

Illinois governor Pat Quinn says it is up to lawmakers to consider adding horse tracks to the gaming mix, but gaming opponents say they would oppose this additional expansion of gaming. Lawmakers have also been skeptical in their public comments about adding video gaming to the horse tracks. Meanwhile, several more communities, including Chicago suburb Orland Park and the unincorporated areas of McHenry County, have voted to opt out of video gaming.

"Jobs are being placed in jeopardy by communities opting out of video gambling," Chicago area operator and ICMOA member Mike Pappas (Fair Share Amusement) reportedly told Orland Park officials before their vote, according to a news report in the Chicago Tribune. Pappas went on to say the village would lose out on as much as $200,000 in tax revenues annually.
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SWEEPSTAKES MACHINES UNDER SCRUTINY IN N.C.
(Posted December 11, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

Sweepstakes machines are catching the eye of public officials across North Carolina, prompted by concerns that the units are capitalizing on a loophole in the state's gaming laws. The city of Graham, N.C., recently upped the licensing fees for sweepstakes business from $25 to $1,000 and called on the state legislature to take a closer look at the games. "The businesses are called 'Internet sweepstakes' and are popping up all over North Carolina," reported the Burlington Times News. "Converted storefronts, convenience stores or even residences contain computer terminals. Patrons purchase computer time, which also allows them to play games."

The paper went on to quote University of North Carolina professor of government Richard Drucker as saying the games are not covered by the state's ban on video gaming because play doesn't determine the possible prize. "They merely simulate games of chance," wrote Drucker. "The customer may claim a predetermined sweepstakes prize at the sales counter." State officials say they can't ban the sweepstakes machines without also shutting down other retail sweepstakes promotions or possibly even the state's own lottery.
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POLICE INVESTIGATING FATAL STABBING IN LOUISVILLE OPERATOR'S OFFICE
(Posted December 9, 2009 -- 2PM)

Investigators are looking into the Dec. 8 stabbing death of Michael Watkins, 53, in the Louisville, KY, office of B.J. Novelty, a well-known multi-state amusement route headed up by Jeff and Kama Reed. Watkins worked for B.J. Novelty and was reportedly in the office late working on a monitor. "He was a great guy," said Kama Reed of the six-year employee of the company. "Yesterday was his birthday. We are in shock and we are heartbroken."

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, "Police received a call around 10 p.m. from a man who said he had been stabbed, and the call was traced to somewhere near Arcade Avenue and Taylor Boulevard, said police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley. Officers arriving on the scene found a man dead inside B.J. Novelty who was believed to have been the man who called 911, Smiley said. There was no one else in the store, she said."

The Louisville Police have set up an anonymous tip line in hopes of solving the crime. B.J. Novelty's operates its satellite route service office in Louisville. The firm's main headquarters is located in Covington, KY.
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COAST TO COAST HAS HANNAH AND MARVEL MIX
(Posted December 9, 2009 -- 2PM)

Coast to Coast Entertainment is offering a hot new mix for crane operators. The mix includes 50% licensed jumbo items featuring exciting characters from Marvel Comics and superstar teen idol Hannah Montana. This 12" -18" mix is specially priced at only $2.49 per piece. The mix is designed to appeal to boys and girls. For more information, contact Coast to Coast at 800/224-1717 or log on to www.cranemachines.com.
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CHICAGO GAMING DEBUTS GALACTIX AND NEW COURSE FOR PUTT SIMULATOR
(Posted December 9, 2009 -- 2PM)

Chicago Gaming has launched GalacTix, a coin action ticket game housed in a cabinet that replicates a six-sided space rocket. The game was first unveiled at this fall's IAAPA show in Las Vegas. The game blends an element of a quick coin action with unique video gameplay in a very attractive and space efficient package. The cabinet resembles a space rocket ready for blast off designed with six player stations. Players peer into the windows of the rocket ship and catch a glimpse of the galaxy below. At the center of the galaxy is an alien mother ship holding a jackpot of tickets that is guarded by a relentless fleet of fierce guardian space ships. The object of the game is for players to drop a coin, which will launch a missile toward the mother ship and send the missile past the guardian space ships scoring a direct hit and being awarded the jackpot total.

"With a smaller footprint and more than half the cost of most six-station pushers, GalacTix is an out of this world deal," said Betson sales pro Tony Maniscalco. GalacTix will touch down at arcades everywhere in February 2010.

Chicago Gaming has also introduced a new course and ticket dispenser option for its interactive novelty game, Putt Championship Edition. The new nine-hole course has been added to the existing two courses, bringing the total to 27 holes of competitive miniature golf action. Putt 66, a 50s retro themed course is complete with all of the challenges and short cuts that made the first two courses highly entertaining.

"The added depth will certainly promote repeat play and raise the bar on the competitive nature of this game," said Doug Duba, president of Chicago Gaming. "As an added bonus, we have decided to reward early adopters of Putt Championship Edition with a $500 value upgrade at no charge as a special thanks."

In addition, Chicago Gaming was quick to act upon the distributor and operator demand for a redemption ticket option for this product. An inexpensive ticket redemption option, selling for $250, will be available for all Putt Championship games in the field as well as newly purchased games. To learn more, contact Betson Enterprises, which distributes Chicago Gaming machines, by logging on to www.betson.com.
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UNIVERSAL SPACE TO OFFER H2OVERDRIVE IN ASIA
(Posted December 9, 2009 -- 2PM)

Betson Enterprises has reached an exclusive distribution agreement with Universal Space (UNIS) allowing the latter to market and sell the Raw Thrills arcade watercraft racer H2Overdrive exclusively in China. "UNIS brings to the table a successful past selling record, and we are honored to work with them on distribution of the H2Overdrive product," said Bob Boals, EVP of Betson. UNIS previously served as the exclusive distributor of The Fast and the Furious Drift and The Fast and Furious Super Bikes.

While the main focus will be sales and marketing into the Chinese market, Universal Space will also offer H2Overdrive on a non-exclusive basis throughout other parts of Asia and other approved territories by Betson. For more information on H2Overdrive or any of the other products that UNIS offers please feel free to visit their website at www.universal-space.com or email them at sales@universal-space.com.
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VIRGINIA STATE MEETING DRAWS 50
(Posted December 9, 2009 -- 2PM)

The Amusement and Music Operators of Virginia (AMOV) held their annual fall board meeting recently at the Double Tree Hotel in Charlottesville Virginia. Over 50 industry members attended the event that included a board meeting and supplier exhibits. John Newberry of Venco Music, who serves as president of AMOV and presided over the meeting, said he was pleased with the turnout.

Members participated in industry discussions during the board meeting. Topics included the recent General Assembly elections in Virginia and a preview of legislative issues. Attendees then joined supplier members to view the latest equipment and technology available. During the meeting, AMOV was pleased to pick up an additional six members, bringing current membership to over 25 and growing. "That's not bad given the organization had just reincorporated back in June 2009," said Newberry.

AMOV staff will be involved in the upcoming General Assembly, scheduled to convene in Richmond on January 13. The association will also monitor legislative issues of interest to members. The AMOV board will hold their next meeting in the spring. AMOV's mission is to improve the coin operated and related machine business in Virginia and promote a high standard and ethics of the trade. For further information contact Courtney Gonzalez at The Smith Group (TSG) in Richmond Virginia, 804/353-2322. TSG is the association management company for AMOV.
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REDEMPTION PLUS MAKES SIZABLE DONATION TO TOYS FOR TOTS
(Posted December 7, 2009 -- 3PM)

Prize supplier Redemption Plus is donating $20,000 in toys to Toys for Tots as part of a campaign being organized and staged by one of the main branches of the armed forces. The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.

"We are delighted to help Toys for Tots bring joy and happiness to kids in our community," said Ron Hill, President and Founder of Redemption Plus. "Our company makes smiles for our customers every day and this is a great way to give back."

"We appreciate this generous donation from Redemption Plus," said Master Sgt. Gerhold Wanamaker, Toys for Tots Coordinator.

In addition to Toys for Tots, Redemption Plus makes charitable donations to Sunflower House, Carnival for CASA, Lee Ann Britain Infant Development Center, Camp Quality, Ellis Fischell, Deanna Rose, Spofford Home, National Downs Syndrome Society, Samaritan's Purse, Top 10 of Tomorrow Scholarship Fund, Salvation Army and the Kansas City Jewish Community Center.
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2010 BIG TOURNEY TO BE HELD ON OPEN SEASON
(Posted December 7, 2009 -- 3PM)

Starting in January 2010 the Big Buck Hunter Pro National Tournament will include newOpen Season animals, PlayMechanix announced today. That means that onlyBig Buck Hunter Pro Open Season game machines will be able to participate in the National Tournament. Operators looking to participate in the tournament will need to upgrade their Big Buck Hunter Pros to Open Season.

Open Season is the update for Big Buck Hunter Pro that includes 3 brand new animals (45 new sites and 9 new bonuses). Open Season can be purchased in four varieties. Options one and two are dedicated cabinets -- either a 27" upright cabinet or a 42" deluxe LCD cabinet. There is an upgrade kit for existing Big Buck Hunter Pro cabinets; the kit comes with a new header, new software, and dongle. The final option is to purchase a full conversion kit for just about any old video game.

The best news about Open Season is that any option you choose will be online ready," reports PlayMechanix. "You can just plug them in to the Internet and connect to the CoinUp Network." To learn more, contact, the factory's Ryan Cravens at rcravens@playmechanix.com.
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AMI WORKING WITH RECORD BIZ ON BUSTING ILLEGAL DIGITAL JUKES
(Posted December 4, 2009 -- 3PM)

AMI Entertainment is working closely with both the Recording Industry Association of American (RIAA) and federal law enforcement authorities across the U.S. to both educate operators about what is and is not legal in the digital jukebox arena and bring to justice those who are knowingly breaking copyright law.

"We've taken the lead on the investigation side," said AMI's Bob Fay in an exclusive interview with RePlay. "We have an extensive team that we have put together, including attorneys and many former law enforcement officers, and we are moving forward with several key cases. I'm confident that we are going to see federal action, both criminal and civil, in the near future."

Fay has been conducting a three-year investigation into illegal digital jukes, which have mainly cropped up in urban markets. He is working closely with both the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice because violations of copyright law fall under federal as opposed to state law. In many of the cases Fay encounters, operators of the private label jukes, essentially customized computers, say they are protected by public performance licensing.

"Those licenses are strictly performance licenses and have nothing to do with content," stressed Fay. "Content rights can only be obtained by the labels. We are breaking new ground in helping enforce what we are now calling cyber fraud."

Fay cautioned operators to make sure that any new technology they consider utilizing is properly licensed both through the performing rights organizations and the owner of the master recording rights, namely the music labels. "You've got to be careful," noted Fay. "If you're not properly licensed, you're taking a chance of getting prosecuted." Look for much more on this story here at Instant RePlay, as well as in future issues of RePlay Magazine.
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STERN PINBALL PARTNERS WITH NEW INVESTOR
(Posted December 4, 2009 -- 3PM)

Stern Pinball has a new ownership partner in private equity investor David Peterson, founder of Hagerty Peterson, based in Barington, Ill. Gary Stern, who remains the primary shareholder, president and CEO of the pinball maker, confirmed the deal to RePlay today. Stern also said the factory was set to launch a number of new marketing initiatives, including the development of its own YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/sternpinballinc, as well as bolstered social networking on sites like MySpace, Facebook and Twitter in the near future. Look for more on this story right here at Instant RePlay as details emerge.
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FALGAS WINS IAAPA 2009 AWARD FOR BEST NEW KIDDIE RIDE
(Posted December 4, 2009 -- 3PM)

IAAPA this fall awarded Falgas' new 60's Surf Van top honors for best new product in the Coin-Operated Kiddie Ride category. The ride also features the interactive Shark Bite game for players to enjoy during the motion period. The new 60's Surf Van is the latest in a series of combination kiddie ride/interactive games that began with the introduction of the Pirate's Boat a little over a year ago.

"We are extremely proud to represent Falgas kiddie rides. Their commitment to excellence is unsurpassed in the industry, and we congratulate them for receiving this well-deserved award," said Paul Jacobs, VP of sales at PrimeTime Amusements, which serves as master distributor for Falgas kiddie rides in the U.S. and Canada. Founded in 1960 and based in Girona, Spain, Falgas offers a wide variety of kiddie rides and attractions.
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SACOA PRESENTS TOUCHSCREEN DEBIT CARD READER
(Posted December 2, 2009 -- 1PM)

Debit card system supplier Sacoa has introduced a new, unique touchscreen debit card reader. The new Touch 'n Play display reader introduces one of the most advanced displays on the market, according to Sacoa. Creators of this new reader say it is larger, brighter and supports a richer functionality, while the touchscreen allows it to interact with customers in ways previously unattainable.

"You can now run interactive sponsored quiz or skill games directly on the reader, awarding discounts for the play or direct prize awards," reports Sacoa. "In fact, you create a game within the game. You can also allow customers to select different options and/or prices for midway games and more, all of this on top of the ability to illuminate the housing with static hues, marquee animations, crawling rainbows, 'breathing' effects and other features. This incredibly capable unit makes the crediting-up of a game part of the fun." To learn more, log on to www.playcard.com.ar.
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MILLIE ARNOLD PASSES AWAY
(Posted December 2, 2009 -- 1PM)

We just learned that Millie Arnold, Chuck Arnold's wife of 64 years, died Nov. 25. She leaves two daughters, two sons, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Chuck Arnold was a veteran of the biz, most notably as topper at Bally Northeast Distributing back in the day. Benchmark's Al Kress told us Millie was "a great lady." May she rest in peace.
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JARVIS TO BE HONORED IN BIG APPLE
(Posted December 2, 2009 -- 1PM)

Members of the AMOA-NY (metro NYC's operator association) has named renowned game designer Eugene Jarvis as its 2009 Man of the Year and will honor him at their Feb. 8, 2010, dinner celebration at Ricardo's By the Bridge in Astoria, Queens. The president of Raw Thrills, which brought operators such chart-toppers as Target: Terror and Big Buck Hunter Pro, is an icon in the trade.

On the business slate, the association's guru Danny Frank advises that work continues to get City approval to place up to 10 machines in locations. "We are also within reach of getting a bill enacted into law that would liberalize restrictions in the State penal code on free ball, extra time and free play features on the games," he added.
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LIEBERMAN HOSTS VENDING SHOWS
(Posted December 2, 2009 -- 1PM)

Lieberman Companies held a vending spotlight show and service school on October 27 at their Wisconsin branch office and October 29 at the distributorship's Bloomington, Minn., headquarters. Customers from three different states attended the events. The spotlight show featured new vending equipment, including the UltraFlex and Merchant machines manufactured by Crane/Automatic Products. A service school on the featured machines was also offered. Trainers David Severin (pictured here) of Automatic Products and Terry Nelson of Lieberman Companies covered such topics as equipment features, programming and technical training.
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BAY TEK SET TO RELEASE NASCAR SHOWDOWN
(Posted December 2, 2009 -- 1PM)

NASCAR Showdown is a new four-player interactive racing game set to debut next month from Wisconsin game maker Bay Tek. A player is able to pick their station, coin up and race against three others or against the game. First car to get a set amount of laps around the track, wins. NASCAR Showdown features include dual monitors that offer an animated announcer and NASCAR video footage to the camera and imaging process technology that allows accurate car detection and control.

Bay Tek says its very own David Myus, the factory's in-house NASCAR Showdown specialist and original developer of the product concept, will be available to distributors to help educate their sales staff and customers on the nuances of this unique product. Myus can be reached by calling 864/704-5412 or emailing dmyus@baytekgames.com. Bay Tek also hosts a website with additional product information at www.baytekgames.com. NASCAR Showdown will be ready January 1, 2010.
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TOUCHTUNES CELEBRATES THE SEASON WITH CHRISTMAS PLAYLIST
(Posted December 2, 2009 -- 1PM)

TouchTunes has announced this year's new Christmas playlist for celebrating the holidays. The TouchTunes Christmas Hits playlist offers a selection of songs perfect for rockin' around the Christmas tree. To build awareness of the playlist and drive jukebox plays, Christmas Hits will also be promoted on Barfly TV screens across the country. The list features more than 100 wide-ranging pop, rock and oldies tunes. "These songs really define the holiday spirit, and there's no better way to celebrate Christmas than with a great mix of classics and new favorites," said Vicki Saunders, VP of digital media and music marketing at TouchTunes.
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November 2009 (Go back to main 2009 menu)

TORNADO SPRING FOOS FINAL SET FOR VEGAS
(Posted November 30, 2009 -- 2PM)

The Tornado Foosball League, formerly known as the Valley International Foosball Association, will again be taking its year-end foosball finale to the bright lights of Las Vegas for the playing of the 14th Annual TFL International Championships, March 3-7, 2010. Over 100 Valley Tornado foosball tables will be the proving grounds for players who will make the trip to the desert to battle it out for titles in Full Team, Regular Doubles, Roto Mixed Doubles, Men's Singles, Women's Singles and a share of the prize fund. Harrah's Hotel and Casino, located in the heart of the strip, is the host of the event.
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MR. PINBALL PUBLISHES NEWEST PRICE GUIDE
(Posted November 30, 2009 -- 2PM)

Mr. Pinball has released the latest update to its popular reference guide, The Mr. Pinball Pinball List & Price Guide, 2010 Edition. This is the 20th annual update to the exhaustive reference guide for flipper, bingo and baseball (pitch and bat) pinball games. It lists games both alphabetically by name and chronologically by manufacturer, and includes release date, game features, production numbers and current value. The book is comprehensive, including over 2,700 pinball games (1947-present) from 195 manufacturers, both U.S. and foreign.

The 2010 edition is bigger than ever with 226 pages. Besides updated price information, it also includes a price trend analysis by major manufacturer and per machine, an updated All About Pinball Collecting appendix, a list of pinball artists' and designers' body of work, a history of pinball manufacturers and a fascinating list of game interrelationships (add-a-ball/replay, similar playfields, artwork, etc.). Also included are special bonus sections listing 620 bowling and gun games. The guide also includes reviews of associated books and references for magazines, websites, podcasts, parts and game suppliers, repair resources and more. This book is an indispensable guide for anyone interested in pinball or its related arcade cousins.

The standard print version is a handy 5.5" x 8.5" size and is coil bound. A version of the guide is also available for use on computers in ASCII format (plain text, tab-delimited) ready to import into spreadsheets or database programs. This electronic version also contains an abbreviated data set for use in PDA hand-held devices. For more information, contact Mr. Pinball, 4805 Marabow Circle, Salt Lake City, UT 84117-5419, 801/277-6296, email info@mrpinball.com; website www.mrpinball.com.
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ELAUT TO REP PAN AMUSEMENTS
(Posted November 25, 2009 -- 4PM)

Elaut USA has been selected to represent Pan Amusements in certain U.S. markets. "We bought the new three-player Sideshow shooting gallery from the brochure a month before IAAPA," said CEO Jack Guarnieri. "Once we saw it in person, we bought another four of them." Elaut USA also took orders for three more of the units during IAAPA from a trio of East Coast amusement center operators. "This is a must have moneymaker, an evergreen game that is built by a company with a proven reputation for quality, high earnings and reliability," furthered Guarnieri.

"We are extremely pleased with the overwhelming response we had to the Sideshow shooting gallery at the IAAPA show in Las Vegas," said Pan sales exec Scott Behm. "Pan Amusements is proud to have Elaut USA as a distributor for the Sideshow shooting gallery in markets throughout the United States. Elaut USA has an excellent reputation in high profile amusement parks, family entertainment centers, and arcades."

Elaut USA plans to locate over 20 of the games in their own locations across the US in the coming months and they expect to easily sell another 50 units. For more information call Elaut USA at 800-473-5225 ext 153 or visit www.elautusa.com.
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AMERICAN CHANGER DEBUTS WIRELESS TOKEN DISPENSER AND KIT
(Posted November 25, 2009 -- 4PM)

At this month's IAAPA, American Changer supported the coin-op by cause by delivering a new token dispenser, as well as a dispenser kit for credit card acceptance with a remote monitoring system. The token dispenser (model AC1078-US) is a single-standing floor model with a 20,000 token capacity. Available in different colors, its design includes a hopper, bill validator for $1 to $20 denominations and coin acceptor with a special twist.

"It also features a plexiglass top to view the tokens and an illuminated marquee attached to it," said VP Wayne Snihur, describing the lit-up effect that turns the token changer into its own interactive attraction.

Additionally, the new credit card installation kit available only for American Changer machines contains a wireless modem that further allows for tracking dispensers' performance. "It will accept credit cards, increasing sales, and the wireless service provided will allow you to monitor your machine status and credit card and cash sales for each machine on a secure network," Snihur stated, explaining to RePlay that operators would access an external website for that info as needed. Both products are available starting this month. For more details, visit www.americanchanger.com; call 800/741-9840; and email info@americanchanger.com.
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EMBED UNVEILS NEW COLOR-GLO DEBIT CARD SWIPER AT IAAPA
(Posted November 25, 2009 -- 4PM)

Debit card supplier Embed unveiled the next generation of their widely popular and award winning Color-Glo Swiper, dubbed Color-Glo HD, at IAAPA 2009 in Las Vegas.

"Our original color-changing Color-Glo card reader added a brand new dimension to debit card systems when it was introduced in 2005," noted Mark Easte, managing director of Embed International. "Since then, tens of thousands of the units have been installed in entertainment venues around the world, providing guests with a fun and interactive payment experience. Color-Glo HD builds on that experience, providing enhanced colors and effects while incorporating in-store marketing benefits."

The new swiper features one of the most advanced displays of any card reader on the market today and will be able to deliver full-color promotional and up-selling messages to the guest right at the point of play. This new generation of swiper features a three-inch display capable of showing 65k colors, auto-orientation for variable mounting options and a dual-head mag reader, which provides increased ease of use for guests. For additional information on Embed, visit www.embedcard.com.
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COIN TECH OFFERS TICKET JACKPOT FEATURE
(Posted November 25, 2009 -- 4PM)

Coin Tech, supplier of cashless management technology for FECs, debuted the new Ticket Jackpot feature at this month's IAAPA show. This feature allows operators to create their own custom ticket jackpots for just about any redemption game connected to the firm's card system. Jackpots will be fully operator adjustable, including the minimum payout and percentages as well as even the time of day or even customer profile. Coin Tech says this feature will allow locations to generate more customer excitement, especially during off-peak hours. So far, the feature has helped boost revenue on location sometimes as much as 25%.

Coin Tech topper Daniel Fabrizi says the new feature will help redefine the redemption game industry. "If you are the kind of company who thinks that innovation matters for the business, then Ticket Jackpot is for you," he said. "It is a tool that no one else can provide you." The company also debuted its Experience card swipe, the new generation of debit card swipe which combines a large high definition LCD display, bright color LEDs and a greater information volume. To learn more about these products, log on to www.game-system.com.
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ECAST PROMOTES NEW BOB SEGER ALBUM
(Posted November 23, 2009 -- 8:30PM)

Ecast has been tapped by Hideout Records and Bob Seger's management to deliver a three-week exclusive promotion of Early Seger, Vol. 1. The album, a collection of the rock legend's out-of-print and previously unreleased material, goes live tomorrow across the Ecast place-based network of more than 10,000 locations nationwide. Ecast will also be delivering geo-targeted advertising to help drive CD sales from one of two retails outlets in which the album is available. Fans in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky will be directed to the Meijers superstore chain while all others will get buying information about the artist's official website.

"Bob Seger is a rock and roll legend whose distinctive sound is a staple with bar audiences," said Scott Walker, VP of network operations, Ecast. "Music promotions on the Ecast network complement traditional marketing efforts by providing exposure with music lovers when they are out socializing and particularly receptive to the listening experience."

"Ecast provides a compelling blend of audience, venue and technology that complements our existing marketing efforts," said Mike Boila, Hideout Records. "Every song play on the Ecast network casts a wide net, allowing the definitive sounds of this rock and roll icon to be enjoyed by existing fans who in turn introduce them to a new generation of followers."

A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Bob Seger's career has spanned over 40 years.
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IAAPA ATTENDANCE FLAT, MOOD UPBEAT
(Posted November 23, 2009 -- 8:30PM)

Last week's annual International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions annual convention and trade show reported flat attendance, which represents an impressive milestone in the current economic climate. Many Vegas trade shows of late have seen significantly declining numbers, and even RePlay's first-hand reporting from the initial two days of the show saw amusement exhibitors assessing attendance as engaged but less numerous than previous years.

However, initial reports say the show actually played host to more buyers, 14,400 compared to 12,200 last year. Total exhibitors were off slightly, 1,074 vs. 1,154 in 2008, pushing overall attendance to a fraction less than the previous year, 23,700 this year compared to 23,800 in 2008.

"It was hard to find negative comments at this week's IAAPA Attractions Expo in Las Vegas," commented AMOA's Off The Top newsletter on Friday. Exhibitors and attendees alike seemed quite satisfied with the results: sellers were selling and buyers were buying; innovative products were on display in plentiful supply; and there was a steady stream of shoppers sauntering through the aisles on both floors of the South Hall of the Convention Center. The lure of Las Vegas, the rebound in financial markets and improved consumer confidence, the worldwide reach of the event and concurrent scheduling with the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) all contributed to a strong showing -- and show -- this week."
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SPRING SHOW ANNOUNCES NEW HOURS
(Posted November 23, 2009 -- 8:30PM)

Organizers of this spring's AAMA-AMOA Amusement Expo (March 10-12) will employ a non-traditional floor schedule in order to better accommodate the event's educational seminars. Traditionally, seminars and exhibitors have found themselves in competition for show attendees' attentions.

On the first day (March 10) of the new spring show, exhibit hours will be 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The morning hours will be dedicated to sessions currently being planned by the show's Educational Sub-Committee. The show floor will open for business in the mornings on days two and three, opening from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. respectively. A post-show social event following the first day of the show is also being planned.
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NO INCREASE IN JUKEBOX LICENSE FOR 2010
(Posted November 23, 2009 -- 8:30PM)

There will be no increase in the CD jukebox license fees for 2010, reported the AMOA on Friday. Those rates are $434 for the first jukebox, $100 standard rate for each additional box and $73 AMOA rate for each additional box. "AMOA members will continue to receive a substantial per-box discount (after the first license is purchased)," the association's Off The Top newsletter noted. "On the second and subsequent JLO licenses, association members pay $27 less per box than nonmembers."
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AMUSEMENT TRADE CROSSOVER AT G2E
(Posted November 20, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

The amusement machine industry was well represented at this week's G2E gaming convention, which was taking place at the Las Vegas Convention Center at the same time as the annual IAAPA parks show. One familiar name, Incredible Technologies, displayed a range of casino machines recently approved by the influential testing lab Gaming Laboratories International (top factory execs are pictured here at right with some of their new machine lineup). The traditional amusement factory, which has been developing gaming machines for the last two years, has also achieved licensing as a manufacturer in a number of key gaming markets.

Meanwhile, street operators from Illinois were also spotted walking the aisles of the gaming show in anticipation of legalized gaming in the Land of Lincoln. In walking the aisles, RePlay also ran into trade veteran Mike Rudowicz, who is now spearheading an effort by Wells Gardner's AGE gaming division to distributor video lottery terminals from Spielo into that new Illinois market. (Mike is seen here on the left with Illinois operators Joe Abraham Sr. and Joe Abraham Jr. of Peoria along with Spielo sales pro Jeff Prescesky.)

Lastly, Betson and WMS Gaming hosted a cocktail recently at G2E although Betson has not yet officially announced a supplier partnership for the Illinois market. American Vending Sales recently announced that it would serve as the exclusive distributor for gaming machine manufacturer IGT for Illinois' new gaming initiative.
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IDEAL SOFTWARE LAUNCHES NEW N-SITE PLATFORM
(Posted November 20, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

Ideal Software Systems launched its new N-Site suite of operations, reporting, web commerce, customer service and management tools at this week's IAAPA show. The N-Site software platform easily manages all food and beverage, arcade, ticketing, event scheduling, access control and even e-commerce operations. The new platform presents an integrated solution that shares a single database, offers a unified reporting system and features an easy-to-use and consistent operator interface.

"Integration doesn't mean connecting some systems or equipment with one or two unrelated systems," said David Goldman, president of Ideal Software Systems. "With N-Site, integration means a single operating platform with shared data and complementary applications that increase revenue, reduce costs, provide actionable information and simplify operations."

The N-Site system can easily scale-up or integrate new applications and operations, work with a cashless payment card system that also uses loyalty marketing to increase up-selling, create seamless reporting and real-time alerts to track revenue, track trends and highlight exceptions and eliminate scheduling conflicts.

"Our customers need an immediate, comprehensive view of their amusement operations, from across their facilities right down to individual transaction detail," continued Goldman. "N-Site allows them to be connected to and act on their operational and revenue data anywhere, anytime."
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FUN EXPO 2010 LAUNCHES SALES CAMPAIGN DURING IAAPA
(Posted November 20, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions rolled out its Same Name, Brand New Game campaign promoting spring's Fun Expo during this week's IAAPA Attractions Expo in Las Vegas. IAAPA joins the American Amusement Machine Association (AAMA) and the Amusement & Music Operators Association as the new co-owner of Fun Expo.

Fun Expo show management, William T. Glasgow, Inc., was on hand in to unveil the 2010 floor plan, which features a co-mingled show floor with the new spring show, AAMA/AMOA Amusement Expo. A special rate for exhibitors who sign up during IAAPA is also available. Operators who stopped by the Fun Expo booth could enter to win one of two free Fun Academy passes valued at over more than $200 to attend the more than 20 educational programs offered during the Fun Expo educational lineup.

The LETS Board that serves as the show committee for Fun Expo International, as well as the Education Committee met this week to finalize plans for the 2010 show. Look for details on www.funexpo.com. Fun Expo will take place along with the new AAMA-AMOA Amusement Expo on March 10-12 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
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TOUCHTUNES PROMOTING AC/DC BACKTRACKS
(Posted November 19, 2009 -- 1PM)

TouchTunes Interactive Networks and Legacy Recordings have launched a national campaign across TouchTunes' digital jukeboxes and Barfly TV screens promoting AC/DC's latest Backtracks release. A key component of the promotional campaign is a sweepstakes that offers fans the chance to win a premium AC/DC box set featuring three CDs, two DVDs, and one LP of rarities, plus a 164-page hardcover photo book and memorabilia from the band's earliest days of touring, all housed in a collectible AMP box guitar that actually plays music. To learn more, log on to www.touchtunes.com/acdc. The promotion runs through November 23.
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CHIP CLEARY TO CHAIR IAAPA BOARD
(Posted November 19, 2009 -- 1PM)

Chip Cleary, Sr. VP of operations at Splish Splash/Palace Entertainment/Parques Reuinidos, was officially elected IAAPA chair of the board for 2010 this week during the association's annual expo. The show is currently underway in Las Vegas. A veteran of the industry, Cleary has managed attractions ranging from amusement parks to waterparks for more than 30 years. He has served as VP of Adventureland Amusement Park in Farmingdale, NY, where he oversaw the rebuilding and operation of the park, and in 1990, he supervised the construction of Splish Splash Waterpark in Long Island, NY, and acted as the park's president until 1999. Cleary and his partners sold the park to Palace Entertainment in 1999, when Cleary joined the company as VP of the waterpark division. Palace Entertainment was purchased by Parques Reunidos, and Cleary was named senior vice president to oversee 10 waterparks and three theme parks in the United States.

The board of directors also confirmed the election of following officers for the organization for 2010: Robert Rippy, president of Jungle Rapids (Wilmington, North Carolina, United States) - first vice chairman; Roland Mack, managing director of Europa-Park (Rust, Germany) - second vice chairman; Will Morey, president and CEO of Morey's Piers (Wildwood, New Jersey, United States) - third vice chairman; and Frank O'Connell, general manager of Hersheypark (Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States) - treasurer. Charlie Bray is president and CEO of IAAPA.
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FIRESTONE OFFERING FINANCING ON ALL RAW THRILLS GAMES
(Posted November 19, 2009 -- 1PM)

All Raw Thrills games, including Guitar Hero and H2Overdrive, can be financed with 8.99% APR financing for 36 months. There is a minimum purchase of $10,000 to qualify for this promotion, but you won't make a payment for three months. This promotion will expire December 31, 2009. Call Firestone at 800/851-1001 for more details. Down payments are subject to credit reviews. Firestone may ask certain customers to make a down payment into the equipment. A filing fee of $200 and any applicable sales tax and freight will be due up front.
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IAAPA OFF TO A GOOD START IN VEGAS
(Posted November 17, 2009 -- 10PM)

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions annual trade show and convention got off to bustling start today at the Las Vegas convention center. This is the first time in modern history the event has been held in Las Vegas, and only the second time in several decades the massive parks show has taken place in the western region of the country.

Attendance was steady throughout the day across both floors of the show, although it looked lighter than in year's past. "Most conventions in Vegas are off by at least 30%," said one veteran tradester. "Even if this show is off by 30%, it's still the best show in the industry."

New games for both street and FEC operators abounded at IAAPA with traditional amusement factories debuting more than three dozen new pieces, by this publication's quick count. New product releases ran the gamut from deluxe videos and simulator games to redemption and merchandise games and even new table games from suppliers more associated with the street side of the business (look for full coverage of new product in the December issue of RePlay).

In addition to the many FEC and game room operators who regularly attend IAAPA, a fair smattering of street operators were also on hand, hinting that the parks show is well on its way to becoming coin-op's new fall show in the absence of a regular AMOA convention. RePlay will update its online coverage of IAAPA on Thursday and Friday, and extensive print coverage will be found in the December issue.
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NEW ORLEANS NOVELTY SHUTTERS
(Posted November 17, 2009 -- 10PM)

New Orleans area distributor and operator New Orleans Novelty, founded by the flamboyant Louis Boasberg and continued in more recent years by his son Jack and grandson Mark, is closing its doors. Jack Boasberg told RePlay he has closed both the last Fun Arcade location in Metairie as well as his distribution office, also in Metairie. "I will always follow the game industry, but I plan to focus my future efforts on my digital art and our family's real estate business," said Jack, whose son Mark left the industry two years ago for the mortgage business. "I will always be a gameologist and love everyone still playing coin-op games." In recent years, Jack Boasberg has pursued a second career as a digital artist, creating works that merge the mediums of light and interactive imagery. He as a significant show in New York on the horizon. Boasberg can be reached at 1359 Moss Street, New Orleans, LA 70119; 504/908-0059. His artwork can be seen atlightorium.com.
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VIRGINIA ASSOCIATION MEETING PLANNED
(Posted November 17, 2009 -- 10PM)

The Virginia state association (AMOV) will hold a membership meeting and equipment show on December 3, 2009 at the Double Tree Hotel in Charlottesville, VA. Association president John Newberry (seen here with a Venco colleague on the way to IAAPA last month) said the meeting agenda will include membership, financial and legislative reports and the association's future plans. For more information contact Jeff Smith of The Smith Group, 804-353-2322, email, thesmthgrp@aol.com; or John Newberry at 800/762-9962, email jnewberry@vencomusic.com.
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BROADCASTERS, ARTISTS NEGOTIATING OVER LAW
(Posted November 17, 2009 -- 10PM)

Congress has asked advocates for musical artists and broadcasters to hash out their differences over the pending Performance Rights Act, which has passed through key committees in the House and Senate. The proposed law, according to its advocates, would close a longstanding loophole that exempts radio broadcasts from paying performance rights to artists. Broadcasters are strongly opposed to the measure. Negotiations between the two groups were slated to run through the end of November.
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ALABAMA COURT RULING THREATENS BINGO
(Posted November 17, 2009 -- 10PM)

A ruling last month by the Alabama Supreme Court could seriously threaten the operation of video bingo machines in that state, according to several news reports. The court said that games seized in a law enforcement raid operate "almost exactly like slot machines." The ruling is not final, but an interim decision in an ongoing case. That didn't stop Governor Bob Riley, who is opposed to the games that are run by the same entities legally allowed to operate traditional bingo.

"This ruling from the Supreme Court makes clear all these so-called electronic bingo machines in Alabama are illegal and it's time for them to go," Riley was quoted as saying in the Dothan Eagle. He went on to say that none of the machines in Alabama met the criteria for legal video bingo described in the court's ruling.

However, a potential Democratic rival for governor in the next election said the ruling put in jeopardy a much-needed source for tax revenue. Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks is running for governor by advocating that Alabama regulate and tax video gaming machines.
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PLAY MECHANIX SET TO UNLEASH TERMINATOR SALVATION
(Posted November 13, 2009 -- 5PM)

Play Mechanix announced today the upcoming release of its newest video game, Terminator Salvation Arcade, the action game in the legendary Terminator sci-fi franchise. Inspired by the Halcyon Company/Warner Brothers worldwide release, developers say Terminator Salvation Arcade captures all of the thrills and excitement of the 2009 movie. Adorned with glowing neon rifle holders and a life-sized replica T-600 model Terminator marquee topper with glowing red eyes, Play Mechanix has created what it calls a showcase piece.

A 42" HD LCD displays in-game action cinematics. The players are thrust into the future and right on the firing line as Terminators of all kinds attempt to squash their resistance. Heavy-duty recoiling rifles, featuring a new clip action reload feature, adds a depth of realism. Players can add to their arsenal of weapons by securing numerous power-ups including grenades, shotguns, rocket launchers and devastating mini-guns. Two-player action coupled with over an hour of cinematic game play maximizes high traffic, high replay and longevity in earnings, enthused the factory, which will debut the game at next week's IAAPA in the Betson exhibit.
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ICE TO DEBUT THREE TITLES AT IAAPA
(Posted November 13, 2009 -- 5PM)

ICE is gearing up for next week's IAAPA Show in Las Vegas with plans to release three new games. Deep Sea Treasure is an interactive coin pusher in which players shoot their coins onto a video screen to hit the ultimate prize, the Treasure Chest bonus, not to mention the many other brightly animated sea creatures swimming around the tropical underwater pirate wreck.

Dog Tag is a unique permanent ID vendor with a personalized user interface providing exciting backgrounds for each tag. The touchscreen system allows customers to make their own ID tags in just a few minutes and engrave them on metal in a matter of seconds.

Panic Museum offers a super deluxe 80" video thriller. The game's large screen theater provides a full immersion experience to each and every player without any blood and guts. ICE calls Panic Museum the "ultimate family friendly casual shooting game." The themes and game play take the players through Ancient Egypt, an aquarium, a toy world and even space. For more information on ICE's new games, contact the factory at 716/759-0370 or log on to www.icegame.com.
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REDEMPTION PLUS LETTING IT RIP AT IAAPA
(Posted November 13, 2009 -- 5PM)

Redemption Plus says it will be launching two hot new products next week at IAAPA, the Big Ripper and Party Pack Plus. Show attendees can check out both products at booth 1247. The Big Ripper is the largest whoopie cushion of its kind, a enormous 12 inches of unforgiving flatulence. Its retail-quality packaging makes it an eye-catching item for any redemption wall or retail store.

Party Pack Plus is a unique program providing several options for ordering party supplies and add-ons. Each basic kit produces around 25 parties with an average cost as low as $.23 per person. To learn more, log on to www.redemptionplus.com.
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SEGA SET TO DEBUT TWO NEW REDEMPTION GAMES
(Posted November 13, 2009 -- 5PM)

Sega Amusements USA is set to debut two new redemption games at next week's IAAPA, the ticket spitter Monkey Paradise and a deluxe pusher called Strictly Disco. Strictly Disco is Sega's new coin pusher designed by renowned pusher expert Gordon Crompton. The game can be set for token out or ticket out and has a playfield designed to accommodate different merchandise. The unit has a classic six-player wide playfield with energy efficient LED signage, which can be seen from every direction.

Sega's Monkey Paradise challenges players to make a monkey climb and reach for the golden coconut. Pushing down the left and right buttons, the monkey climbs up the tree in search for coconuts. The faster the player pushes the buttons, the quicker the monkey climbs. Once the monkey comes close to the coconuts, the player aims and presses the right or left button to jump and catch. The more coconuts the monkey obtains, the more tickets the player wins. Look for more on these news games in the December issue of RePlay or visit Sega online at www.segaarcade.com.
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TWO TRADE-IN OFFERS
(Posted November 13, 2009 -- 5PM)

Two separate factories are running so-called "Cash For Clunkers" trade in deals. They include:

Benchmark Games is offering trade-ins worth up to $3,000, although to qualify operators must check with the factory in person at their IAAPA show booth, 7608.

Medalist is offering operators a $500 trade in on any dart game, working or not, when they purchase a new Spectrum Elite dart game. There are some restrictions. Check with Medalist for details. The deal is good through Feb. 1.
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IGT NAMES AVS EXCLUSIVE DISTRIBUTOR FOR ILLINOIS
(Posted November 11, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

International Game Technology has signed a memorandum of understanding with American Vending Sales (AVS) naming AVS as the exclusive distributor of IGT products for the upcoming Illinois Video Lottery Market. Under the agreement, AVS will provide IGT's games to operators in the Illinois Video Lottery Market. "We look forward to working hand-in-hand with AVS," said Eric Tom, executive vice president of sales and marketing for IGT. "Their knowledge of the local market is an exceptional asset for IGT. Together, we can provide the Video Lottery Market in Illinois the highest-performing games available to make each location a success."

"This partnership between AVS and IGT is a win-win for Illinois' Video Lottery Market," said Vince Gumma, president of AVS. "As IGT's distributor, we will be able to provide proven player-favorite games to operators. Only IGT has the track record to provide the very best games for the Illinois Video Lottery Market, and we are excited to be the sole provider of IGT games for this market."

AVS is a distributor of amusement and gaming machines based in Elk Grove Village, Ill. Founded in Chicago in 1971, AVS offers a complete range of services to its customers and the manufacturers it represents, from sales of equipment and parts to comprehensive repair and refurbishing. IGT is a global company specializing in the design, development, manufacturing, distribution and sales of computerized gaming machines and systems products.
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ASSOCIATIONS ANNOUNCE ONE SHOW NAME
(Posted November 11, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

The board of directors of the joint venture between the American Amusement Machine Association (AAMA) and the Amusement & Music Operators Association (AMOA) recently set the name for the March 10-12, 2010 trade event to be co-sponsored and co-owned by the two industry trade associations: the AAMA/AMOA Amusement Expo.

The new event to be co-mingled with Fun Expo will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas. Both the AAMA/AMOA Amusement Expo and Fun Expo will be directed by the show management firm, W.T. Glasgow of Orland Park, Ill.

Plans for the first AAMA/AMOA Amusement Expo are reportedly taking shape as working committees comprising volunteer executives from both AAMA and AMOA are uniting to map out educational programs, marketing/promotional efforts and charitable initiatives.

During the past several years, the desire for a single, all-industry show has been building, and this fall the leadership of AAMA and AMOA were able to agree on a deal that will, starting next spring, create a brand new event -- the AAMA/AMOA Amusement Expo -- for the coin-op and out-of-home entertainment industry.
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AMI ANNOUNCES 2010 SOFTWARE DOWNLOAD
(Posted November 11, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

AMI Entertainment Network reports that its full 2010 software release is now available for download for MegaNet-connected Ions. Operators must be running the 2009.5 software to take advantage of the three easy options for updating their machines. Operators who take part in the MegaNet Subscription/Entertainer business model receive the 2010 software package free of charge. These machines are already opted-in and will automatically update. This download will now also update the key, so there is no need to key swap or visit the location for any reason.

The second download option is for Standard MegaNet and MegaNet Core business model subscribers, who can opt-in to receive the update by download on the MegaNet operator site at www.accessmerit.com. It is free to opt-in, however, the operator must purchase a 2010 Ion software kit from their local AMI distributor as a simple key swap is necessary in order to activate the update once the download is complete. Installation and settings transfer will occur without a visit to the location, and the download status for each machine is always visible on the operator website with a message being displayed when the machine is ready for the key swap.

"The ability to download software and the ability for Megatouch tech support to remotely see the operator's machine are just two ways to take advantage of being connected," said Brennan McTernan, AMI's VP of software. "Connecting their machines is the best way for operators to get the most out of their investment."
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ELAUT AND FIRESTONE OFFER FINANCE DEALS
(Posted November 11, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

Elaut USA and Firestone Financial have teamed up to offer two finance programs which run until January 31, 2010. The firms have created one program that provides 0% APR financing for 12 months and another that provides or 5.99% APR financing for 24 months with no money down. A minimum $5,000 purchase is required.

All Elaut games are eligible for this program including the two new games that will be introduced at IAAPA, Little Giga and Disco Round. Also included in this promotion is the newly redesigned EX1- Quattro four-player crane, which will be on display at IAAPA booth 1056 as well. Elaut USA can be reached by calling Drew Maniscalco at 800/473-5225, ext. 153, or via email at Drew@ElautUSA.com.
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NYC BUYS CONEY ISLAND PROPERTY
(Posted November 11, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

The city of New York has struck an agreement to buy seven acres of property at the heart of Coney Island's entertainment district for close to $100 million, according to a report in today's New York Times newspaper.

According to the paper, the deal with developer Joseph Sitt represents "a crucial step forward for its vision of turning the faded and dormant seaside amusement district into a glittering destination reminiscent of its heyday, according to executives on both sides of the negotiations. Today, much of the land sits vacant. While the Cyclone roller coaster, the Wonder Wheel and Nathan's hot dog stand remain, the Thunderbolt, Child's restaurant and even the Astroland amusement park are gone -- cleared away for new ventures that were never built."

Sitt had reportedly envisioned a hotel, retail and residential focused development on the property, but he was unable to bring that vision to life, opting to sell to the city after much heated debate between the parties, according to news reports. City officials will reportedly seek out a possible operator of the attractions as it attempts to develop a long-range strategy for the property. Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration will also be sending representatives to next week's IAAPA show in Las Vegas, the Times noted.
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BAY TEK DEBUTS JAM SESSION QUICK COIN GAME
(Posted November 11, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

Bay Tek Games has announced a new addition to its quick coin product line, Jam Session, which sports a guitar rock theme. Players release tokens down the neck of the guitar into a spinning wheel. Successfully hitting a target awards tickets and raises the wheel up to reveal bonus targets worth double tickets. Players can win up to 1000 tickets when they hit a bonus target twice before the wheel descends to its original position. Jam Session also features impressive graphics, LED lights choreographed to the rhythm of the jam, and a subtle under-glow that sends energetic vibes to players across the room. The game will make its public debut at next week's IAAPA show in Las Vegas.
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IAAPA NEWS PREVIEWS
(Posted November 11, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

Here's a quick look at some of the attractions show attendees can expect to find at next week's IAAPA:

Coast to Coast Entertainment is going to be offering single-color tickets and new brand new beautiful, full-color tickets, as well as all of the popular styles of tokens for every type of use, in some cases at discounts as high as 25-50% off the regular price. Coast to Coast will exhibit its products at booth 7246.

Family Fun Companies will play host to a "Sexy Santa" who will be reaching into her bag of goodies to give out prizes for attendees who compete in a daily tournament on the factory's Rapper Ballin' basketball attraction. Prizes will range from iPod to a $500 Best Buy gift card. Show goers who stop buy booth 6416 can also expect attractrive financing and some significant discounts on new equipment, as much as $2,500 in some cases.

Ideal Software Systems will be demonstrating new wireless and mobile applications for family fun centers and theme parks at booth 8215.

LAI Games will be hosting a special seminar on its new Mini Star Blitz photo booth, conducted at exhibit 6427 by company exec Peter Gustafson. The seminars will take place at 1 p.m. on Nov. 17 and 18.

Texas table game maker Valley-Dynamo will be showing a new hockey table in booth 7412. This table will incorporate exciting new graphics, sound and lighting effects, the factory reports.
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IAAPA TAKING A WAIT-AND-SEE ATTITUDE ON FUTURE FUN EXPO
(Posted November 9, 2009 -- 5PM)

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions will wait until after this spring's Fun Expo, of which it now owns a 50% share, before deciding how to proceed with that event in the future. That's the word from IAAPA president Charles Bray in a recent interview with RePlay Magazine.

"Right now, our focus is on working with AAMA and AMOA to ensure Fun Expo 2010 is a successful event for everyone involved," Bray said. "Only after the 2010 show is over and those involved have evaluated it thoroughly will we consider what the future plans may include."

The IAAPA topper went on to say that attendees at the upcoming IAAPA show in Las Vegas will see considerable evidence of the recently finalized merger with the former International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment Industry (IALEI).

"All IALEI members qualify for free registration for IAAPA Attractions Expo 2009," he noted. "As members, they will also be able to experience a 100-plus-session education program, including a 16-session specialty track created by the IAAPA FEC committee, for FEC members. We will also make a special point to welcome IALEI members at the FEC Reception on Wednesday, Nov. 18." The full interview with Bray will be published in RePlay's December issue.
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BENCHMARK GAMES SHOWCASING NEW PRODUCTS AT IAAPA
(Posted November 9, 2009 -- 5PM)

Benchmark Games will showcase its newest game, Red Hot Single, as well a number of its proven winners like Wheel Deal X-Treme and Big Tony's Pokerkard at the upcoming Las Vegas IAAPA show, November 17-20. Benchmark's booth number is 7608. Red Hot Single, a smaller-sized version of the popular Red Hot, houses 18,000 tickets with operator programming options and LED lighting. The game was created to offer operators the same exciting attraction at a lower cost with a smaller footprint.

Benchmark will also be highlighting Wheel Deal X-Treme, first debuted at the AMOA Expo. This unit is designed to be a major centerpiece for any amusement facility. Four players can test their skills to send glowing play-pucks twisting and turning along a brightly lit pathway into the spinning wheel, trying to land in the colorful ticket-value-marked win zone targets. Hitting the dead center target wins an individual player a big bonus, and dead center in the jackpot target wins the four-player cumulative bonus. Intelli-Triple ticket dispensers are at all four stations, each holding 18,000 tickets in an easy-service pull-out drawer. The unit comes standard with coin comparator coin-mechanics for fast insertion of coins or tokens and low jam rates; it's also card-swipe ready.

For more details, log on to www.benchmarkgames.com and check out a special video about Wheel Deal X-Treme video at www.benchmarkgames.com/wdx.
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NDA IS NOW ON TWITTER
(Posted November 9, 2009 -- 5PM)

The AMOA-National Dart Association (NDA) recently launched a Twitter account in an effort to continually connect players from across the world to other players and the industry. Players and operators can continue to stay up-to-date with the NDA by following the NDA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndadarts.

The NDA plans to use Twitter as a tool during Team Dart to help remind players and operators of important events, parties and to highlight winners. By setting up your mobile device, you can receive Tweets as text messages. Twitter is a social networking service that allows users to answer the question, "What are you doing?" by sending short text messages 140 characters in length, called "tweets," to your friends, family and coworkers or "followers." The NDA is also on Facebook, MySpace and YouTube.
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I.T. RELEASES CARNIVAL KING ON WII-WARE
(Posted November 6, 2009 -- 3PM)

Carnival King, Incredible Technologies' classic target-shooting arcade game, is available for download now on Nintendo's WiiWare system. Carnival King follows Target Toss Pro: Bags, I.T.'s first WiiWare release, which maintained a top five ranking for six months on the WiiWare charts. Just like the arcade version originally developed in 2002, Carnival King features three virtual amusement parks, each with four distinctly-themed shooting galleries plus a fast-paced bonus round. Each of the 15 games features I.T.'s signature 3D graphics, set to a rollicking soundtrack.

Scott Morrison, I.T.'s VP of marketing, said that he believes making I.T.'s classic arcade titles available to the home market will help boost popularity of the company's current products. "If people enjoy Target Toss Pro: Bags and Carnival King on their Wiis at home, they'll be more inclined to try one of our games the next time they're out with the family. All this exposure has to be good for operators," he said.

Carnival King can be downloaded for only $7 making it affordable for everyone. Players can use their Wii controller or any gun peripheral. One or two can play at a time, and online and local leaderboards make it easy to see how players rank against friends and family. "We're providing a lot of entertainment for only $7," Morrison said. "We think it's going to do better than Bags, which was a hit for nearly a year." You can preview Carnival King online at http://wiiware.itsgames.com.
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BULK ASSOCIATION REPORTS ON CPSC ACTIVITIES
(Posted November 6, 2009 -- 3PM)

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has released a statement of policy to provide guidance on the testing and certification of children's products for compliance with the lead content limits, reports the National Bulk Vending Association. On October 29, the CPSC also issued in the Federal Register a notice of requirements establishing the criteria and process for acceptance of accreditation of third-party conformity assessment companies for testing per the limits on total lead in children's products under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. The requirements were effective upon publication in the Federal Register. Comments in response to the notice must be submitted by November 30. The commission will maintain a list of third-party conformity assessment firms whose accreditations it has accepted and the scope of each accreditation. It will also accept registration for accreditation online. To learn more about these issues, log on to www.nbva.org.
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FEDS SEIZE ALLEGED CLASSIC COPIES
(Posted November 6, 2009 -- 3PM)

A load of recently confiscated games were reportedly illegal classic video titles, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Department. As reported earlier by RePlay, federal customs officials seized 168 coin-op videogames at the Los Angeles seaport on Oct. 23.

"The shipment had a total domestic value of $138,000 and a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $672,000," federal officials declared in a release to the media. "CBP officers seized the videogame machines on October 23 after confirming the videogames were not legally authorized. The shipment had arrived inside a sea container from China."

The machines in question contained several copyrighted videogames, which are registered with the U.S. Copyright Office and recorded with CBP. The videogames found on the coin-operated machines were Frogger, Scramble, Time Pilot, Ms. Pac-Man, Super Pac-Man, Donkey Kong Jr., Donkey Kong 3 and Donkey Kong. CBP seized the items when the importer was unable to provide authorization from the owners.

CBP has designated intellectual property rights enforcement a priority trade issue, devoting considerable resources and personnel to property rights enforcement. CBP's strategic approach is multi-layered and includes seizing fake goods at our borders, pushing the border outward through audits of infringing importers, cooperation with our international trading partners and collaborating with industry and other government agencies to enhance these efforts.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.
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ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS PROPOSE OPT-OUT LIMITATION
(Posted November 4, 2009 -- 3PM)

An influential Illinois legislator, one who has supported operator-run video gaming, is now hoping to pass a bill that would make it tougher for communities to opt out of gaming, especially once machines have been put on location. According to a report in the Chicago Daily Herald, Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie wants to see a law passed that would grandfather machines on location for two years, even if the communities in which they are placed decides to opt out of gaming.

Lang acknowledges that he may not have the votes to pass the measure this year, but different legislative rules will give him a better shot at passage next year.

Lang told the paper he wanted to protect the investments made by operators and locations. "We should not have a law that disadvantages our partners," he was quoted as saying. "They should not be disadvantaged. We have asked them to do this for us."

Meanwhile, the Illinois legislature has voted to give the state gaming board initial funding to hire staff and begin the process of putting in place the infrastructure necessary to regulate gaming. A well-informed Illinois tradester also told RePlay that the state has opted not to launch a study to consider the pros and cons of a single source provider and operator of video gaming. Under the present law, games must be operated by independent, third-party service companies like existing amusement operators.
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IOWA LOTTERY WILL NOT RECOMMEND GAMING
(Posted November 4, 2009 -- 3PM)

The Iowa Lottery will not recommend a renewed video gaming effort, although lottery topper Terry Rich says he will offer advice to the legislature if it looks to re-instate some kind of gaming, reports the Des Moines Register. "We are not proposing anything to the governor or in the legislative process," Rich was quoted as saying. "I think it is definitely a political decision, and in these tough financial times we will give them our best advice on what might be ways to do that."

Three years ago, Iowa lawmakers reversed course on a video gaming partnership with the lottery and amusement operators, shutting down close to 7,000 TouchPlay video gaming machines. The reversal cost operators and distributors millions of dollars in investment money and resulted in multiple lawsuits, many of them eventually settled by the state. Recent news reports say the state's lawmakers have been talking about bringing back some kind of gaming in a much more limited form, possibly restricted to taverns and fraternal clubs.

Iowa is facing budget shortfalls like many other states, and lottery officials are also concerned about a loss of revenue once tavern-based video gaming is implemented in neighboring Illinois.
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AAMA, AMOA FINALIZE ONE SHOW PLANS
(Posted November 4, 2009 -- 3PM)

Officials with AAMA and AMOA have finalized the agreement to merge their annual tradeshows, a decision initially announced at this fall's AMOA Expo in Las Vegas. They have also settled on a name for the combined show at least for 2010. The show will be called the AAMA-AMOA Amusement Expo.

AAMA chairman David Cohen and AMOA president Gary Brewer announced the finalized agreement in a formal release sent out today. Over this past weekend, association representatives signed the agreements that formally created the event. The show is scheduled for March 10-12, 2010, in Las Vegas.

"The synergy created by this joint venture will be incredible," said David Cohen. "The combined leadership task force has responded to the needs of their members."

"With one show, exhibitor members will enjoy greater efficiencies with dramatic savings in the hundreds of thousands of dollars in marketing, promotion, exhibitor costs and travel starting in 2010," added Brewer.

The associations also recently announced the formation of a Marketing Subcommittee for the 2010 show. The focus of this group will be to promote participation to current and existing attendees and exhibitors, and to explore new ways of marketing to achieve the goal of increased numbers.

Representing AAMA on the Marketing Subcommittee will be Ryan Cravens of PlayMechanix, Don Marshall of Marshall Productions, Holly Meidl of Bay Tek Games and Michelle Santangelo of TouchTunes, who was elected vice chair of this committee.

On the AMOA side are Gaines Butler of Metro Amusements, who will serve as the chair of the group; Vince Gumma of American Vending Sales; Rick LaFleur of I.F. LaFleur & Son; and Andy Shaffer of Shaffer Services.
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OHIO APPROVES CASINOS
(Posted November 4, 2009 -- 3PM)

Ohio voters yesterday approved a casino initiative that will allow gambling facilities in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo, a measure that was opposed by the Ohio Coin Machine Association. Amusement tradesters say they fear the casinos will hurt other leisure and entertainment establishments where they place equipment.

Four previous casino measures have been defeated in Ohio. The casinos are expected to be open in approximately three years, and proponents of the measure say it will produce tens of thousands of jobs and close to $650 million in annual tax revenue. Opponents are skeptical on both counts.

Earlier this year, Ohio lawmakers approved a plan to place 17,500 slot machines at seven racetracks, but that effort has been set aside by the courts, which said voters should also get a chance to vote on that issue.
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LASERTRON HOSTS FALL CONFERENCE
(Posted November 2, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

Laser tag manufacturer and operator Lasertron recently held their Fall Operators' Conference at the firm's headquarters in Amherst, N.Y., which also doubles as a showcase FEC location for the firm's products. The first day of the conference offered future clients and existing operators an overview of multiple management and operational systems. Management, hiring and training, guest service and feedback, marketing and sales and many other important systems were all topics on the meeting agenda.

On the second day, attendees were offered two different tracks, including "Business Planning" and "Broadening Your Customer Base," the latter presented by Lasertron toper Jim Kessler. Doug Wilkerson of Dynamic Designs was also a guest speaker on day two. Doug's presentation was titled "FEC Design from A-to-Z" during which he shared numerous tips, concepts and ideas that would assist any new or existing FEC operator in understanding the importance of a well laid-out facility.

Other presentations included a "College Student Panel Discussion," featuring seven students answering questions and sharing vital information necessary for any business that is looking to grow their market share, and "How to Build an 800-Person Event with Facebook and Email Marketing" presented by Jason Bock. In the evenings, attendees enjoyed the hospitality of Lasertron, playing its laser tag attractions as well as the firm's CyperSport attraction. Lasertron will be offering its Winter Conference February 2-3, 2010. Please contact Ann Kessler at 305/257-3930 or akessler@lasertron.us to reserve your spot.
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BROTHERS DOMINATE BIG BUCK WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
(Posted November 2, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

The 2009 Big Buck Hunter Pro and Big Buck Safari World Championships came to a close with a bang in Chicago on Saturday, October 17. When the smoke had cleared, two world champions were left standing, one for each game. Surprisingly, the two champions grew up in the same house.

Jerad Berg, last year's Big Buck Hunter Pro world champ, battled his way to become the 2009 Big Buck Safari world champion. His younger brother Nick Berg became the 2009 Big Buck Hunter Pro world champion. Besides the obvious bragging rights that they now have, they each walked away with $10,000 and their names on their respective game's world championship trophy: Pappy's Jug for Big Buck Hunter Pro and King Shaka's Tusk for Big Buck Safari.

Jerad and Nick, both from Minnesota, weren't the only ones that left with prize money. Every player out of the 64 spots that competed walked away with prize money and a great story to tell. There were players from all across the country and one player even came in from Australia, and they all qualified by playing online tournaments. The players included men and women (one woman finished in sixth place), old and young (oldest 52, youngest 22), real-life hunters and videogame hunters. Not everyone could become the world champion, but the CoinUp crew made sure that everyone had an incredible time and that everyone left Chicago glad that they came and would want to come back next year.

In addition to the tournament, the players gathered the night before at a cocktail party put on by Play Mechanix/Raw Thrills. There was food, an open bar and a big news announcement. The players were told that they were going to be competing against each other the next day on Big Buck Hunter Pro Open Season, a newly released update to Big Buck Hunter Pro. The games were on free play and the players were given the opportunity to practice the new animals all night in preparation for the tournament the next day. The players, of course, took full advantage of this and got as much practice in as they could.

Dave Snipes, PlayMechanix CoinUp manager said, "The event was more than just a tournament, it was a gathering of all things Big Buck. Players brought their friends and family to cheer them on. The people behind the creation of the game came out to witness the crowning of a new champ. Some coin-op industry veterans came out to experience the event, and everyone got to meet some of the other players from across the country that constantly have their names plastered on the tournament leader boards. The world championships couldn't have gone any better, and we can't wait to throw this big party again next year."
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October 2009 (Go back to main 2009 menu)

ALL-STAR-STUDDED GAMES FROM SEGA AT IAAPA
(Posted October 28, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

Sega Amusements USA will be revealing the new Sonic All-Stars games at IAAPA next month, notably an air hockey table and basketball units, the first available in this series. IAAPA marks the debut of the bright white cabinets dressed up with blue stars and the iconic Sonic character for the U.S. market.

Sonic Sports Basketball features progressive game play with each stage increasing in skill and fun, as well as tournament options, and is linkable up to 16 units. Meanwhile, the Sonic Sports Air Hockey has lighting effects under the table with chasing LED table lighting, a polycarbonate, scratch-resistant playfield and overhead lighting each time a player scores. Both have built-in redemption settings that can be switched on or off by the operator.

Sega's Paul Williams stated, "Many people have been wanting Sega to come up with much more traditional redemption sports games, and there have been a tremendous amount of requests to see the Sonic character more, so the Sonic All-Stars series should hit home for many operators and distributors."

The company's product portfolio will continue to expand in new directions over the coming months. Visit Sega in IAAPA booth number 8232 and online at www.segaarcade.com.
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BRANDED SWINE-FLU PREVENTION NOW AVAILABLE FROM SADIE'S TOY BOX
(Posted October 28, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

Due to concern over swine flu outbreaks and the public and physical nature of amusement locations, Sadie's Toy Box is offering a way for facilities to demonstrate their commitment in preventing the H1N1 virus from spreading by putting their logo on antibacterial products that can be used in gamerooms and daycare facilities.

"Think of the countless number of hands that touch every game, every machine, every toy, every counter, every day," said Lee Ann Howell, president. "This is a very scary thought. Our goal is to get enough businesses to take part to hopefully help diminish spreading swine flu to our nation's children and adults."

For more information on the range of discounted products, call 763/383-9380 and visit www.sadiestoybox.com.
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DEBBIE GONZALEZ EXITS LAI GAMES
(Posted October 28, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

LAI Games has announced the departure of national sales manager Debbie Gonzalez. Gonzalez had been with LAI since October 2006 when the company opened its U.S. games sales division and helped LAI establish itself as a leading supplier of prize merchandising games in the U.S.

"Debbie's many contributions to LAI's growth in the U.S. market are greatly appreciated," said U.S. general manager Peter Gustafson. "We wish her the very best of luck in her future endeavors."

Debbie can be reached in her office at 714/377-0508 or by cell at 626/523-0550.
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MALAYSIAN AUTHORITIES UNCOVER MORE PIRATED MEGATOUCH SOFTWARE
(Posted October 28, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

In raids conducted earlier this month by the Malaysian Ministry of Domestic Trade's enforcement division, 18 illegal copies of Megatouch software were seized from five shopping malls in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The raid's findings were turned over to Malaysian legal authorities for copyright prosecution against the two companies that owned the pirated software while further investigation is being conducted on the software's source.

"Since 2007, I have visited with the Ministry of Domestic Trade once and have worked with them, along with our lawyers, on a number of raid actions over the last three years," said Bob Fay, director of government relations for AMI Entertainment Network. "I appreciate their conscientiousness and devotion to duty in assisting on these matters."
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BIG BUCK SET TO LAUNCH ON iPHONE
(Posted October 28, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

Big Buck Hunter Pro will make its iPhone debut later this month as a follow-up to the successful 3D arcade hunting game. The iPhone app will serve the existing fan base with unique tools plus introduce the game to new demographics.

This new iteration will offer addictive touch-to-shoot interaction across three stunning 3D hunting destinations. Players simply go for the kill without any disorienting navigation or scope controls. The built-in arcade game locater utilizes the iPhone's GPS capability to find the nearest networked Big Buck Hunter Pro arcade unit in the vicinity among over 700 interconnected units across the country. Users can also register and update their Big Buck Hunter arcade account, keep track of iPhone leaderboards and follow their arcade standings in the palm of their hand.

Watch the iPhone apps store for its availability at www.apple.com/iphone/apps-for-iphone.
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FUN FACTORY'S TEKKEN 6 WINNER COMPETES ON INTERNATIONAL STAGE
(Posted October 28, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

Fun Factory of Honolulu held a statewide Tekken 6: Blood Rebellion tournament this fall and sent the winner, Jae Ha Ryu, to the international finals held last Sunday, Oct. 25, in Auckland, New Zealand.

Ryu (pictured with Stanley Suen, store manager for Fun Factory's flagship location at Pearlridge Center) represented Hawaii against competitors from Australia, the Philippines and New Zealand in a series of competitions at the Armageddon Expo at Auckland Showgrounds. Ryu, a 25-year-old student at Intercultural Communications College, has been playing Tekken for 15 years. He received a $200 cash prize for his Hawaii victory, and all of his expenses to Auckland were covered; the runner-up received $100.

Fun Factory held store tournaments at 11 of its locations over three months. Each store winner received a $100 cash prize while runners-up each received a $50 cash prize. For more information, contact Donna Smith, Fun Factory VP, at 808/440-4122 or email donna@funfactoryinc.com.
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SANTA CLAUS COMING TO IAAPA
(Posted October 28, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

Santa will be in the Family Fun Companies booth, no. 6415, for the entire IAAPA show at the Las Vegas Convention Center's South Halls, Nov. 17-20. According to the factory's Jim Chapman, Santa has stuffed his bag with savings as big as he is on pushers and other games.

"He is setting up games for attendees to play to win holiday gift cards," Chapman added. "Remember, he knows who has been bad or good -- and by missing his visit you may end up on the coal list!" Visit the company online at www.familyfuncompanies.com.
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STERN HOSTS ENTHUSIASTS ON PINBALL EXPO TOUR
(Posted October 23, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

Three hundred pinball enthusiasts toured the Stern Pinball factory on Thursday, October 15, as part of the 25th Annual International Pinball Extravaganza, Pinball Expo 2009. Stern's staff led the tours, providing excited pinball lovers with great insight into how pinball machines are thought-up, designed and built. John Rotharmel, Stern's head of mechanical engineering, showed enthusiasts how mechanical parts are designed in the 3-D modeling program, SolidWorks. John Borg, Stern game designer, also demonstrated how playfields are laid out in the 2-D program, CAD.

Pinball Expo 2009 ran from October 14-18 at the Westin Hotel in Wheeling, Illinois. Each year over a thousand enthusiasts and collectors attend Expo.

Highlights of the Pinball Expo included a speech by Gary Stern on the future direction of Stern Pinball, as well as a Fireside Chat with former Williams' programmer Larry DeMar. This year's featured speaker at the Pinball Banquet was former Williams' president Michael Stroll. Expo also featured a hall for attendees' classic and new pinball machines, as well as booths selling anything from backglasses to t-shirts to souvenirs of all types.

Gary Stern said, "We have participated the Pinball Expo for a lot of years. The attendees and their friends back home are an important part of our player base and are buyers of our new and used games. We appreciate the opportunity to tell them about Stern and to learn from them." Check out www.sternpinball.com for more information.
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AMI PROMOTES NATIONAL DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY CAMPAIGN
(Posted October 23, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

AMI Entertainment Network will be supporting the public service campaign to raise awareness for the National Down Syndrome Society's My Great Story series. Central to this campaign is a series of inspirational video presentations, with stories told by men and women who have Down syndrome. The videos highlight their personal achievements while focusing on their struggle to exceed society's expectations.

"Our participation in this unique public service campaign for the National Down Syndrome Society is something we're sure will be warmly appreciated by our operators, consumers, and owners of the bars, taverns, diners and other venues where our jukeboxes and games entertain millions of people," said Mike Maas, AMI president and CEO. "We're proud to apply our powerful on-location advertising capability and partner with the NDSS to help this worthy cause."

The campaign includes a brief video featuring actor John C. McGinley (Scrubs), NBC TODAY co-host Meredith Vieira, and Access Hollywood host Nancy O'Dell promoting My Great Story.

The 15-second video will air on over 15,000 AMI jukebox and Megatouch touchscreen games, four times per hour, between Monday, October 19, and Friday, November 20. A sampling of these great stories can be viewed at www.amientertainment.com/about/headlines. The National Down Syndrome Society was founded in 1979 by Elizabeth Goodwin and Arden Moulton, following the birth of Elizabeth's daughter Carson, who has Down syndrome.

The National Down Syndrome Society envisions a world in which all people with Down syndrome have the opportunity to enhance their quality of life, realize their life aspirations, and become valued members of welcoming communities. The mission of the organization is to be the national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.

The National Down Syndrome Society has more than 275 affiliate groups across the country including local parent support groups and other groups that work on behalf of people with Down syndrome and their families. One in every 733 babies is born with Down syndrome, and today there are more than 400,000 people of all races and economic levels living with Down syndrome in the United States. Researchers are making great strides in identifying the genes on Chromosome 21 that cause the characteristics of Down syndrome. Many feel strongly that it will be possible to improve, correct or prevent many of the problems associated with Down syndrome in the future.
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N.C. COURT OF APPEALS YET TO RULE ON VIDEO GAMING
(Posted October 21, 2009 -- 3:30PM)

North Carolina appeals court judges heard arguments on the legality of the general assembly's 2006 ban on video poker on October 14. The case, brought by Ralph Amick of The New Vemco Music Company in Fayetteville, challenged the law on the basis that it lacked consistent public policy by granting exclusive video gaming rights to the Cherokee Indians and violated federal law. Both The Sun News and The News & Observer reported that the plaintiff's case, argued by attorney Hugh Stevens, did not appear to pass muster with the three-member panel.

"Court of Appeals Judge Martha Anne Geer asked Stevens to explain why the 2006 law was not a 'profound statement' by the legislature that should be left alone," said The Sun News. Mark Davis, the state's special deputy attorney general, argued, "It's given tribes favorable gaming rights so they can have strong tribal economies and maintain self-sufficiency" and that the vendor's "interpretation is consistent with neither," according to the paper.

More than 20 county sheriffs were on hand to show support for the ban, which a Wake County Superior Court judge had declared null and void last February, issuing a stay on the ruling for the court of appeals' adjudication. Sheriffs had backed the law after years of complaints of "large illegal cash jackpots," noted The Sun News. It could be weeks or even months before the judges issue a ruling.
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ICE AND FIRESTONE OFFER FINANCING
(Posted October 21, 2009 -- 3:30PM)

Innovative Concepts in Entertainment and Firestone Financial have teamed up to offer two exciting finance programs for the remainder of this year. The firms have created a program that provides 0% APR financing for 12 months or 5.99% APR financing for 24 months with no money down. A minimum $10,000 purchase is required. All ICE games are eligible for this program with the exception of cranes, alley rollers and table games. Included in this promotion are ICE's brand new games Go Ballistic, Photo Finish Horse Racing and The Price is Right coin pushers. Other games available for this promotion are ICE's licensed games like Deal or No Deal and ICE's sports games, including MLB-Major League Baseball, NBA Hoops and NFL-2Minute Drill. The offer is available through December 30. ICE can be reached at 716/759-0370 or by email play@icegame.com. For more information about financing, please contact Firestone Financial at 800/851-1001.
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COAST TO COAST OFFERS WINNERS' CUBE KITS
(Posted October 21, 2009 -- 3:30PM)

Coast to Coast Entertainment recently introduced its new Winners' Cube prize kits. "Operators are telling us that the new and exciting Winners' Cube game from Andamiro USA is doing phenomenally with the new Coast to Coast MP kits," the firm reported. "Our Winners' Cube 40-piece kit includes 26 pieces of Mp3s and 14 pieces of Mp4s. Mp3s are priced as low as $10.99 each, and Mp4s are priced as low as $27.99 each. Call us for details on the quantity discount pricing we have available now." For more information, contact Coast to Coast at 800/224-1717 or visit the website at www.cranemachines.com.
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AMI OFFERS THREE YEAR AURORA WARRANTY
(Posted October 19, 2009 -- 3:30PM)

AMI Entertainment is now offering a three-year warranty on all new 2009 Aurora Widescreen and Aurora Rx touchscreen machines that are connected to the factory server via broadband.

"Two years ago, after extensive feedback from operators, I made you a promise that we would dramatically improve the quality and reliability of our Megatouch products," said CEO Mike Maas in an open letter to customers released today. "With your help, and through the efforts of many, many AMI employees, I am proud to tell you we have kept that promise. We're so confident in the quality and reliability of our Megatouch products that we're offering a three-year, bumper-to-bumper warranty on any broadband-connected, 2009-built Aurora Widescreen or Rx."

Maas went on to call the move "unprecedented in the industry" and to attest to hundreds of improvements that have been made to the factory's Megatouch products over the past two years. To learn more, contact your local AMI distributor. Look for much more on new developments at AMI in the November issue of RePlay.
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TOUCHTUNES ANNOUNCES TWO NEW EXECS
(Posted October 19, 2009 -- 3:30PM)

TouchTunes Interactive Networks has named John McMenamin as the new Sr. VP and GM of Barfly. In his new position, McMenamin will lead the effort to grow Barfly. McMenamin will report directly to Charles Goldstuck, TouchTunes president and CEO.

"John is joining our company as Barfly begins to grow exponentially, providing the vitality and skills that will help us in reaching our goal of becoming a versatile advertising medium," Goldstuck said. "With John's experience transforming his former company into an advertising-focused organization, he is the perfect addition to our team."

Prior to joining TouchTunes, McMenamin was CEO of Ripple TV Networks, where he was responsible for transitioning the technology-based organization into a digital advertising platform. While there, his accomplishments included expanding Ripple TV's distribution footprint to increase its major market coverage and growing the company's monthly audience by 150 percent to more than 22 million people. Prior to Ripple TV, McMenamin was VP at Dow Jones International. His extensive operating, marketing and sales experience also includes time at 13 Mobile Inc., iVillage.com, NBC Internet, Time Warner/Turner Broadcasting and Newsweek.

TouchTunes also announced the appointment of Pamela Schoenfeld as VP and general counsel. In her newly created position, Schoenfeld will be responsible for managing all legal matters for the company. Additionally, Schoenfeld will handle negotiating and drafting license, consulting and other commercial contracts, and she will oversee patent matters, manage relationships with outside law firms, and direct all legal aspects of corporate and financial transactions. Schoenfeld will be based in TouchTunes' New York City office and will report directly to Goldstuck.

"Pamela brings considerable strategic insight and legal experience to the company, which will be integral to our business development. Her counsel will prove invaluable as we continue to steer our company towards further growth," said Goldstuck.

Prior to joining TouchTunes, Schoenfeld was counsel for Google Inc. where she was a member of the corporate and securities group, handling investments and dispositions. There she was also responsible for the transition of certain DoubleClick Inc. (acquired by Google in March 2008) legal matters to Google legal teams. While at DoubleClick, Schoenfeld moved from associate general counsel to VP and deputy general counsel, where she handled acquisitions, dispositions and financing, corporate and commercial matters, and corporate governance, securities and other regulatory matters. Her extensive legal experience also includes time at the firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, Office of the Mayor of New York City and the firm Davis Polk & Wardwell.
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AAMA LEADERS PROMOTE NEW SHOW & SOCIAL NETWORKING
(Posted October 19, 2009 -- 3:30PM)

AAMA's two top leaders sent out an open letter today touting the trade group's role in the upcoming combined industry show as well as several other efforts including the launch of a number of social networking sites.

Exhibitors and attendees alike have long discussed and asked for one show a year," wrote AAMA chairman David Cohen and president John Schultz. "Through the negotiations of your two trade associations, we have now accomplished that. With such a crucial economic time, all will be able to experience huge savings in networking within one show for 2010. We want to thank all those who exhibited and attended the just concluded AMOA Expo. As we are one industry, with these very difficult economic times, it is important we support our industry now and in the future."

Cohen and Schultz went on to promote recent outreach efforts at AAMA through social networking sites. We believe this will be the way of communicating in the future," they wrote to the trade. "We have established four accounts to date, which include a Facebook Fan Page, a Twitter account, a Plaxo account and a Linkedin account. We encourage all to invite friends and family to become a fan of the Facebook page." To learn more about AAMA, log on to www.coin-op.org.
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MEGATOUCH EXTENDS TECHNICAL SUPPORT HOURS
(Posted October 16, 2009 -- 3:30PM)

AMI Entertainment Network has extended its technical support hours for Megatouch games to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These extended hours are a part of AMI's ongoing promise to focus on customers' needs. AMI expects this enhancement of technical support to be especially beneficial for West Coast and international customers.

"Megatouch locations aren't 9-5 businesses, we hope to fully service our customers through the extension of round the clock availability," said Tim Kotzen, customer service manager. "AMI is focused on providing the best service possible both domestically and internationally. Around the clock support, coupled with our new 2010 Software featuring remote diagnostics will provide our customers complete access to our superior technical support services."

Customers can now call technical support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800/523-2760.
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TOUCHTUNES DEBUTS NEW ALLEGRO MX-1V
(Posted October 14, 2009 -- 4PM)

TouchTunes is releasing the Allegro MX-1v, the latest version of its l Allegro MX-1 digital jukebox. In September, attendees of the 2009 AMOA exhibition were given a preview of the Allegro MX-1v, where it was promoted by the factory for continuing the Allegro MX-1 legacy of innovation.

The Allegro MX-1v comes with dozens of enhancements based on customer input and leverages the latest technologies and production techniques. A few of the new features of the Allegro MX-1v include:

  • Improved sound through a new TouchTunes JCB computer processing unit with digital audio processor, new driver and subwoofer, and new amplifier
  • Improved bill acceptors
  • Better screen visibility and user experience

A complete list of new features and enhancements can be obtained by www.touchtunes.com.

TouchTunes is also running a special sales promotion for the Allegro MX-1v during the fourth quarter. Operators who buy two jukeboxes, get another at half price. Operators who buy four, get one free, and operators who buy 10, receive three free jukeboxs. The factory says 700 units are available under this promotion and some restrictions apply. To make a purchase or to learn more, call 847/419-3300.
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LOCKING SYSTEMS AWARDED U.S. PATENT FOR COBRA 7 LOCKS
(Posted October 14, 2009 -- 4PM)

Locking Systems International has been awarded a U.S. patent on its Cobra 7 and CobraMatic 7 line of locks. The Cobra 7 Series locks are designed around the unique irregular seven-sided front and matching key. All together 16 claims were awarded under this patent. The Cobra 7 locks aim to increase security over standard tubular locks by the unique seven-sided front and matching key. Standard tubular keys will not fit into the Cobra 7 locks, and the Cobra 7 keys are tightly controlled and only available from Locking Systems International or one of its service centers. Founded in 1994, Locking Systems is a manufacturer and distributor of many different types and styles of locks and locking systems. For additional information, log on to www.cobralock.com.
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JVL LAUNCHES HD SOFTWARE UPGRADE
(Posted October 14, 2009 -- 4PM)

Touchscreen game maker JVL this fall launched its first software upgrade for the factory's HD touchscreen game platform, the Encore. This release includes 11 new games, bringing the total library of HD games to 23 titles. There is also a new graphic user interface for music and tournament modes.
New titles include Big Tacki, Monster Mash, Fortune Tapei, Pirate Madness, Zoozle, Texas Hold 'Em, Monster Truck, BonBon Deluxe, Gone Karting and What's the Difference (erotic version). Two of the games, Texas Hold 'Em and Gone Karting, feature head-to-head competition on the factory's Interactive Challenge Network.

JVL has also completed development of its Media Stream music technology designed to deliver streaming music on demand. The unit allows patrons to connect to a streaming music service from the Encore touchscreen wirelessly, and multiple game units can connect to the same Media Stream base on location.

As part of its software upgrade, JVL has released its new Intelligent Song Search feature that intuitively senses musical tastes and offers appropriate suggestions. Media Stream does not store music on a hard drive but streams the sound from an external source. Expect more details on the roll-out of this unique service in the coming months.
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I.T. UNVEILS NEW PRO SHOP
(Posted October 12, 2009 -- 5PM)

With an eye to making more merchandise available to players -- and linking players, operators and their games more closely -- Incredible Technologies recently revamped its virtual pro shop.

"Why use a local embroiderer when the I.T. Pro Shop can save you time and money on everything from company uniforms to tournament trophies?" declared I.T. marketing manager Dan Schrementi. "We specifically designed the stores within our new I.T. Pro Shop for operators. For instance, the Leagues and Tournaments Store allows operators to purchase custom prize packages for promotional events. And the new Custom Uniforms and Promotional Merchandise Store lets operators easily co-brand their business with official I.T. gear and items without paying costly digitizing fees for the licensed I.T. art. Everything is sold at a discount and operators are encouraged to ask about our volume value packages for even more savings."

The new I.T. Pro Shop is located at www.itsgames.com. Operators should login to their operator services account and from there access all the features of the new site.

"For a limited time only, we're giving away a free six-pack cooler with every order of $25 or more," Schrementi said. "We've got more items in stock than ever before, turn-around times that are unbelievably fast, a Pro Shop fulfillment service that's just waiting for your order and speedy shipping. Save time, save money and look sharp."

For more information and to place phone orders directly to PromoMonster -- the new Pro Shop fulfillment service -- operators should can call the order hotline at 847/877-2240.
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VNEA ANNOUNCES 2009-11 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
(Posted October 12, 2009 -- 5PM)

The Valley National 8-Ball League Association (VNEA) has named its board of directors for the organization's historic 30th anniversary league season.

After serving a successful presidency, Bruce Bauldridge from Aspen Amusement in Carbondale, Colo., is succeeded as VNEA president by Mike Fowler. Mike has been in the amusement company business for 36 years and represents W-K Music & Vending in Columbus, Ohio. Mike is also the current president of the Ohio Coin Machine Operators Association (OCMA). Mike also serves as the membership chairman on VNEA's executive committee.

Filling out the remainder of the board positions are:

First Vice President - Dave Hawkins (D & R Star, Rochester, Minn.)
Second Vice President & Treasurer - John Fisher (SML Entertainment, Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
Third Vice President - Judy Mehle (BMW Billiards, Ft. Collins, Colo.)
Charter Holder Director At Large - Ed Borgia (Warner Coin Machine, Erie, Pa.)
Director - Stefan Reichert (NSM, Germany)
Secretary - Dave Courington

The VNEA is an international trade association of coin-operated vending companies representing approximately 350 charter holders and nearly 100,000 pool league players worldwide. To learn more, check out VNEA's website at www.vnea.com.
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IALEI AND IAAPA MERGER FINALIZED
(Posted October 9, 2009 -- 12PM)

The International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment Industry (IALEI) and the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) say all the required approvals are in place and they are moving forward to dissolve IALEI and merge the IALEI membership into IAAPA.

The IAAPA board met on Sept. 29 and agreed that three contingent issues outlined in the approval resolution were successfully resolved. The IALEI executive committee met on Oct. 2 to confirm the details are in place, and plans are moving forward to dissolve the association and merge with IAAPA.

The transition team made up of members of IALEI and IAAPA will guide the formal transition of member services in the weeks ahead. Several transition-related issues have already been resolved as follows:

  • All current members of IALEI will automatically qualify for IAAPA member benefits starting on Nov. 1, 2009, and effective for one year, until Dec. 31, 2010.
  • Current IALEI members will also receive free registration for IAAPA Attractions Expo 2009 in Las Vegas, Nov. 16-20. During the Expo, they can participate in the education track for family entertainment centers (FECs), which is made up of 16 different seminars and programs. They can also participate in the other general education sessions (almost 100 in total) offered at the Expo, all at no additional cost. (Some behind-the-scenes tours, vendor tours, and Institute programs require an extra fee.) All FEC members are also invited to attend the FEC Reception, which will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18.
  • IAAPA's FEC committee will be re-configured to coordinate and oversee membership development and service for FECs. The committee will be made up of equal representation from current IAAPA FEC members and members of IALEI. IALEI board chair, Dorothy Lewis, will chair the IAAPA FEC Committee starting in 2010.
  • As IALEI has in the past, IAAPA will work closely with the American Amusement Machine Association (AAMA) and the Amusement & Music Operators Association (AMOA) to produce Fun Expo 2010 with the William T. Glasgow company managing the event. Fun Expo 2010 will take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center, March 8-12 (education program) and March 10-12 (exhibits). Additional information on Fun Expo is available at http://www.FunExpo.com.
  • The FEC section of the IAAPA web site will be re-designed and upgraded. It will offer additional services and be accessible via a new website, www.iaapa.org/FEC.
  • IAAPA will host a minimum of four webinars for free specifically designed for FEC members in 2010.
  • In 2010, IAAPA will conduct research similar to the IALEI State of the Industry report and make it available to FEC members.

Additional programs and services will be offered to IAAPA FEC members. Details will be communicated to the members as plans are finalized.

Approximately 600 family entertainment center companies are members of IALEI. More than 375 FEC companies are already members of IAAPA, and approximately 80 companies are members of both IAAPA and IALEI.

"Throughout this process, our focus was on doing what is best for the members of IALEI," said Dorothy Lewis, chair of IALEI. "We believe dissolving IALEI and merging into IAAPA is the best long-term option for our members and the FEC industry overall."

"We are pleased to welcome the members of IALEI to IAAPA," said Charles Bray, president and CEO of IAAPA. "We look forward to working together for the continued growth and development of the FEC industry."
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AAMA PARTNERS WITH ECHO GLOBAL LOGISTICS
(Posted October 9, 2009 -- 12PM)

AAMA is now partnering with Echo Global Logistics to help support association members. The firm has worked extensively with the group's board and home office support team to assemble a comprehensive transportation program that also provides shipping savings and special benefits.

"Echo will provide individual members with savings on overall shipping costs, while maintaining superior carrier quality and service," AAMA announced. "A wider variety of carrier choices being offered means more competitive pricing and a greater range of service options. All carriers, service options, waybill documents, tracking and other services are made available through a single web portal interface."
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COOK COUNTY OFFICIALS AFFIRM GAMING BAN
(Posted October 7, 2009 -- 12PM)

Cook County has opted out of future video gaming, although the decision only covers the unincorporated areas of the populous county that includes Chicago and dozens of other cities, towns and village. The decision does not affect the city of Chicago.

Tradesters and their location owners rallied yesterday outside the Cook County offices before the meeting, but to no avail as the county board voted to tighten up any loopholes in a previous ban of the gaming devices.

"The vote was largely symbolic because county officials believed the machines already are banned," noted a report in the Chicago Tribune. "In addition, state regulators said Tuesday they've heard little from Gov. Pat Quinn's office regarding additional funding needed to allow video gambling to start."

Two other Chicagoland counties, DuPage and Lake, have opted-out of video gaming, as have a number of towns and cities across the state of Illinois. Operators and distributors in Illinois have been diligent in advocating for the jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure improvements that will be funded by video gaming tax revenues.
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BENCHMARK DEBUTS NEW CARD DISPENSER
(Posted October 7, 2009 -- 12PM)

Benchmark Games is debuting a new card-dispensing unit that can be used on any machine. According to the factory, this apparatus can hold up to 100 standard cards and requires no maintenance. The new unit is easy to load and is 100% digital.

As a further enhancement to the new card-dispensing unit, there is an optional plate that can be provided for the outside of the machine with an exterior door. This unit is not only for all Benchmark Games machines requiring such a fitting but also works with other manufacture's units requiring a mechanism for dispensing of cards. The new unit sells for the introductory price of only $89 each. For more details, contact Benchmark at 888/538-1000 or 561/588-5200.
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AMOA DRAWS CLOSE TO 1,800
(Posted October 5, 2009 -- 5PM)

Last month's AMOA Expo in Las Vegas was attended by 1,779 trade visitors compared to 2,417 in 2008, show organizer W.T. Glasgow reported today. The buyer count was off by more than 200, which was 1,000 compared to 1,236 in 2008. Exhibitors were also significantly down; 83 exhibitors displayed in 188 booths this year compared to 119 companies in 348 booths in 2008.

"Tradeshows have been hard-it by the economy and expo's statistics were consistent or better than industry benchmarks," Glasgow said in releasing the numbers.

AMOA EVP Jack Kelleher noted that the show remained upbeat, a report consistent with what RePlay representatives heard from all parties on the show floor."All things considered, we were pleased with both the turnout and results, and most of our exhibitors and attendees were, too," said Kelleher.

AMOA offered a number of special incentives including an Operator Sweepstakes. The lucky winner of the $10,000 prize was AMOA member operator Phil Webb of ASAP Vending & Games in Fox Lake, Ill. Another new expo program was Best of Show, where operators voted on the exhibitor that provided the best in product presentation. The winner of this inaugural effort was JVL Corp.

In the charitable arena, 66 golfers participated in the 7th Annual Coin-Op Cares Golf Classic at the Snow Mountain Course of Paiute Golf Club and Resort. Proceeds from the event benefit the association's Coin-Op Cares Charitable & Education Foundation. The Wayne E. Hesch Scholarship raised more than $65,000 for the coin-op education program with 31 companies donating products for the raffle. A 2009 Honda VTX1300C Motorcycle was the Grand Prize, awarded to Jerry Derrick of Derrick Music in Charleston, West Virginia.

"Overall, while the show was smaller than last year's expo, it had great energy and we heard positive feedback from many exhibitors and buyers," Kelleher said. "We are looking forward to bringing that positive energy to the new united show for the industry that will make its debut co-located with Fun Expo on March 10-12, 2010 in Las Vegas."
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GAMING RALLY ON TAP IN CHICAGO
(Posted October 5, 2009 -- 5PM)

There will be a rally of concerned Chicago citizens on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at the County Building, 118 North Clark St., at 8:30 a.m. (the county building is the east half of the City Hall building). The purpose of the rally is to convince the County Board that there are too many jobs at stake to opt out of video gaming. Towns and counties around Chicago are reportedly opting out at an alarming rate.

"If Cook County goes, the very well funded opposition's next target will be the city of Chicago," reported Betson Midwest's Todd Cravens. "If Chicago opts out, the entire Capital Bill may crumble, and along with it will go $31 billion in projects and 439,000 jobs -- jobs that unions cannot afford to lose, especially in light of losing the Olympics, and an almost 10% unemployment rate."

Cravens and other Illinois tradesters and representatives of ICMOA are urging operators to bring out their location owners, managers and staff as well as their own employees, and friends. "We will have 250 tee shirts to hand out, shirts that read 'JOBS, JOBS, JOBS' on the front, and 'DON'T OPT OUT' on the back," added Cravens. "We need 250 bodies to wear these shirts. We also have signs for them to carry. Please explain to your bar owners that their future livelihood depends upon their proactive participation in this, as well as other meetings sure to follow. Without legalized video gaming revenues, many businesses will cease to exist. If every operator in the Chicagoland area brings 10 or 20 people, we would have a huge turnout."
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TOUCHTUNES READY TO CREATE BUZZ ON LOCATION
(Posted October 5, 2009 -- 5PM)

At the AMOA Expo last month, TouchTunes execs at a meeting and luncheon described how the suite of product, including the jukebox, Barfly, PlayPorTT wireless portable game console and myTouchTunes.com, are increasingly interconnected to create a more interactive experience and profit model that will expand across the TouchTunes network throughout 2010 and beyond. To underscore that interactive potential, the firm has rebranded as TouchTunes Interactive Networks.

At the forefront is Barfly, the on-premise advertising platform that digitally wraps around TV screens in a reverse L for displaying unobtrusive third-party ads, jukebox and location promotion, trivia and interactive messaging. Barfly is expected to rapidly double by this year's end, from its 1,000 locations in 13 major markets in September to 2,000 across 15 markets, according to CEO Charles Goldstuck. By December of 2010, TouchTunes has forecast 10,000 locations forming the network, noted Goldstuck.

However, increased operator participation is crucial since advertiser interest is proportional to the size and scope of the network. Incorporating Barfly on location involves signing the Barfly service agreement and training with one of 12 representatives around the country with another two slated for hiring, according to Dan Clarton, VP of sales for Barfly. "We'll give you assistance in identifying the right accounts, and customer support before, during and after installation," said Clarton, adding that a trainer would be sent to assist onsite for early installations.

Goldstuck emphasized that the firm will remain first and foremost a jukebox company. "We started 12 years ago with the first digital jukebox, and our core business will always be music and the jukebox," he stated at the luncheon. "No matter else we're focused on, I will always have the jukebox in my sight."

Find out more details about how Barfly will roll out on location, as well as more news about TouchTunes' expo events in the November issue of RePlay.
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STATE LEADERS DISCUSS SMOKING BANS AT AMOA
(Posted October 2, 2009 -- 3PM)

Smoking bans were a popular topic when the AMOA Council of Affiliated States convened last week during the AMOA Expo in Las Vegas. Jerry Johnston of Amusement Unlimited in Oregon presided over the meeting, which saw attendance by representatives from state operator associations in Michigan, Nevada, Washington, Wisconsin, Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana, South Dakota, Montana, Maryland, Tennessee and Massachusetts.

Smoking bans led the discussion as South Dakota's Keith Myrome of Great Amusement and Kathy Oligmiller Miles of Rushmore Amusement described their association's effort to obtain the signatures required for a ballot initiative in November of 2010, thereby delaying the ban already passed by the legislature. Due to incorrect information on the seal of notaries who stamped signature pages and pressure by pro-ban groups, numerous signatures were declared invalid. Currently, there's an injunction on the ban, and a trial is pending.

Meanwhile in Nevada, the supreme court ruled that state's smoking ban is constitutional but said the law's wording is ambiguous about who enforces it, effectively freeing locations and customers to disregard the ban. Tim Carson of Amusement Services reported that Montana's smoking ban was set to take effect October 1, but due to the law's loose wording and "smoking huts" popping up outside of bars, it was not expected to make a dramatic impact. Lastly, the Michigan Coin Operators Assn. staved off a smoking ban threat by emphasizing the state's dismal economic woes.

The next meeting will take place February 18-20, 2010, at the Hyatt Regency in San Antonio on the Riverwalk. To find out more, contact the AMOA at 800/937-2662; website www.amoa.com.
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ELAUT USA TO HANDLE ITS OWN SALES AND SERVICE IN SOME AREAS
(Posted October 2, 2009 -- 3PM)

Elaut USA says it will now be handling equipment and parts sales, as well as service support throughout areas of the U.S. previously served by Betson. "We have a brand new 25,000-sq.-ft. facility in Lakewood, N.J., and we are happy to deal directly with our valued Elaut customers," said CEO Jack Guarnieri.

Drew Maniscalco, VP of business development, will also be working closely with other distributors and directly with operators in different parts of the country. Current Elaut customers in the U.S. that need parts and service can call 800/473-5225. More information is available at www.elautusa.com.
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BENCHMARK TAKES ITS GAMES GLOBAL
(Posted October 2, 2009 -- 3PM)

Benchmark Games will be showcasing its latest game Wheel Deal X-Treme at both the United Kingdom and Italian amusement industry tradeshows coinciding on October 7-9. This will be the first time the game will be shown in the European markets. In the U.K., the exhibition is staged at the Novotel London West, and in Italy the tradeshow is in the Fiera Roma Exhibition Hall in Rome.

Finishing the sales season November 17-20, Benchmark will have full staff representatives in Las Vegas at the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA), booth 7608. The factory exhibit will feature Wheel Deal X-Treme, Pop-It X-Treme, Slam-a-Winner X-Treme, PokerKard, Fire & Ice, Red Hot, Tickets-to-Prizes and a few surprises.

"Benchmark Games has enjoyed a favorable year, considering the economic times the entire industry has endured," said factory topper Al Kress. "The creation and introduction of several new products have been soundly excepted and proven revenue winners for those customers looking to improve and expand their business."
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LAI EXTENDS FINANCING PROGRAM
(Posted October 2, 2009 -- 3PM)

LAI Games USA says its 0% APR Firestone Financial financing program has been extended through the end of November 2009. LAI and Firestone created a program that provides 0% APR financing for 13 months or 4.99% APR financing for 24 months with no money down. A minimum $10,000 purchase is required. All LAI games, photobooths and kiddie rides are eligible for the program. The offer is available through November 30 and open to U.S. customers only. To learn more, log on to www.laigames.com.
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September 2009 (Go back to main 2009 menu)

CIGARETTE VENDING FACING TOUGHER REGS
(Posted September 30, 2009 -- 5:30PM)

Cigarette vending machines in locations that cater to minors are facing an outright ban by the federal government, reports AMOA Government Relations Committee Chairman Phil Juckem of All Brands Vending in Tampa.

Juckem, who also serves as an AMOA vice president, told members at last week's membership meeting in Las Vegas that looming Food and Drug Administration regulation of tobacco may well prove troublesome for operators who still vend cigarettes.

According to Juckem, recent legislation that lays the groundwork for the move to authorize FDA regulation would move forward based on regulations initially put in place by the Bill Clinton administration in 1996. A federal court ruling set that move aside at the time. Among those rules would be a ban on cigarette vending in any location that is not strictly limited to adults throughout its hours of operation.

Juckem also urged members to make themselves available for donation to AMOA's Political Action Committee. A mailer last year that included authorization forms -- meaning simply the group could ask the recipient for funds at a later date -- was almost completely ignored. To date, AMOA has a list of 205 potential donors and approximately $73,000 in its PAC fund.
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AMOA INSTALLS NEW OFFICERS AND BOARD MEMBERS
(Posted September 30, 2009 -- 5:30PM)

AMOA hosted its annual membership meeting on the second morning of the group's annual show last week, where the association announced its new officers and directors. At the top of the leadership ladder, Tennessee operator Gary Brewer takes over as the new president of AMOA. He is joined on the officers' deck by First VP Donovan Fremin of Louisiana, Treasurer Andy Shaffer of Ohio and incoming Secretary John Pascaretti of Michigan The newest class of incoming vice presidents includes Gaines Butler of Georgia, Phil Juckem of Florida and Anthony Paszkiewicz of Maryland. The list of incoming board members includes:

Mark Dittman, Aztec Vending, El Cajon, Calif.;
Bruce Duncan, Future Targets, Keswick, Va.;
Larry Elbert, Camden Amusement, Cedar Rapids, Iowa;
Larry Hilimire, Stanton Automatics, Auburn, N.Y.;
Dale Lazar, H. Lazar & Son, Pittsburgh, Pa.;
Richard Massa, Gregory Amusements, Battle Creek, Mich.;
Marty Murin, Rainbow Falls Video Service Corp., Tannersville, N.Y.;
Denis Smith, Vend Music of Texas, Houston, Texas;
LeRoy Smith, Smitty Music, Motley, Minn.;
Greg Trent, Beyer and Brown, South Daytona, Fla.

To learn more about the national operator's association, log on to www.amoa.com.
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QUBICA-AMF SIGNS BETSON AS HIGHWAY 66 DISTRIBUTOR
(Posted September 30, 2009 -- 5:30PM)

QubicaAMF Worldwide has finalized a distribution agreement with Betson Enterprises that will allow Betson to market and sell Highway 66, a scaled down version of traditional tenpin bowling, throughout the continental U.S. Highway 66 will also be distributed through its existing sales channels. The mini-bowling system offers a casual alternative for entertainment venues of all types, without the space required to dedicate to traditional bowling.

"The relationship will benefit both parties in the ever increasing bowling and FEC/amusement market," says Bill Merrick who manages sales and channel development for amusement products for QubicaAMF. "Betson brings to the table a tremendously successful history in the amusement industry. We are happy to work with them towards our mutual success with the only miniature bowling product on the market today that is manufactured in the U.S."

Betson has recently completed training and orientation for selected representatives who traveled to the QubicaAMF facility in Virginia. Scott Gilmore, the amusement and redemption specialist for Betson, says he is excited about adding the Highway 66 product in all new location based entertainment proposals. "Highway 66 lanes add a new level of excitement to locations that focus on additional value for their patrons," said Gilmore.
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ECAST LAUNCHES "CELEBRATION" OF MADONNA
(Posted September 30, 2009 -- 5:30PM)

Bar patrons and Material Girl fans are lucky stars indeed: Madonna's new best of compilation album, "Celebration," is live in more than 10,000 bars and nightclubs across the United States, thanks to Ecast. Available as a playlist on the Ecast network of digital touchscreen jukeboxes and EQ flat panel interactive media devices, the album offers up easy fingertip access to more than 30 re-mastered songs that span the artist's career.

Joining more than 30 other regularly refreshed collections on the Ecast network, the "Celebration" playlist includes newly recorded hits like "Revolver" featuring Lil Wayne and "Celebration," whose EP version is number one on the iTunes Dance Album chart as well as on top of the Masterbeat overall chart. The "Madonna Celebration" collection of more than 30 songs includes fan favorites spanning the decades back to her very first, self-titled album.
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AMOA HOSTS LIVELY EXPO AS ASSOCIATIONS LOOK FORWARD TO ONE SPRING SHOW
(Posted September 28, 2009 -- 3PM)

Last week's AMOA International Expo may have been the last stand-alone show the organization will host in its traditional fall time slot, but the fall event went out on a high note as exhibitors praised the tidy but lively trade event.

The smaller footprint certainly reflects continued consolidation, particularly in the street segment of the business, but the exhibitors who opted to show new product at AMOA left pleased with the turnout and the interest they received from operators. More than two-dozen new products were exhibited at the Las Vegas show.

Responding to the shrinking show market overall, AMOA upheld its part of the bargain, bringing out its membership in force, particularly on the first two days, to browse the exhibit aisles and affirm the group's plans to remain a central player on the national stage.

"We are not merging the associations; we are merging the shows," outgoing AMOA president Russ Mawdsley told the group at its annual membership breakfast. "We are working to create an entirely new event to represent both associations. It will really become an industry show."
Association leaders said this year's show would turn a profit but significantly less than anticipated, even after the predictions were revised downward late last year. This will have a major impact on the association's overall budget. "The bottom line is we are going to lose money this year (as an association), possibly as much as $200,000," AMOA treasure Donovan Fremin somberly told the membership. Fortunately, the association has considerable reserves to weather the current economic storm.

When asked at a subsequent press conference if either association was anticipating any downsizing, leaders from AAMA and AMOA, both of which have derived significant revenue from their shows, said they would wait until after the first consolidated spring show to weigh such potential decisions. The combined show will offer booth space at a higher rate than either the AMOA Expo or the ASI, but sponsors point out that exhibitors' biggest expenses in attending shows are connected to travel, hotel and shipping of goods.

The new combined show, which has yet to be named, will take place March 10-12, 2010, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Fun Expo will also take place as a co-located show at the same time, although the future of Fun Expo remains unclear beyond next year as its fate is tied up in the ongoing merger between show sponsor IALEI (International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment Industries) and IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions). Look for much more on the 2009 AMOA Expo and the big news about the fall and spring show consolidation in the November issue of RePlay.
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REPLAY HONORS 20 YEARS OF GOLDEN TEE IN PRINT
(Posted September 28, 2009 -- 3PM)

The debut this month of Golden Tee 2010 marks two decades since the game first appeared in the pages of RePlay Magazine in a feature describing the very first iteration of the game shown at the 1989 AMOA Expo. At last week's show, RePlay publisher Ed Adlum, joined by AMOA president Russ Mawdsley, presented a special plaque at the Las Vegas expo with a memorialized copy of that first article. Accepting on behalf of Golden Tee maker Incredible Technologies were factory head Elaine Hodgson and game co-creator Larry Hodgson. Not pictured, although equally critical in bringing the game to market, is I.T. co-founder Richard Ditton.

"Many lives including operators and distributors and their families as well as players have been positively affected by the phenomenon of Golden Tee," said RePlay editor Steve White. "We just wanted to mark the moment with a page from the historical annals of our magazine."
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TOUCHTUNES UNVEILS NEW CORPORATE IDENTITY
(Posted September 28, 2009 -- 3PM)

At last week's AMOA Expo in Las Vegas, TouchTunes Corp. revealed a new corporate identity, TouchTunes Interactive Networks, designed to reflect the company's emerging position as an out-of-home interactive entertainment, advertising and commerce network in North America. The company, through its digital jukeboxes, Barfly TV ad screens and PlayPorTT handheld gaming systems, currently programs content on more than 40,000 screens in the top 100 advertising markets, reaching and engaging the coveted, tech-savvy 21-35 age demographic. Moreover, TouchTunes Interactive Networks has recently expanded into independent and chain restaurants, FECs and retail locations.

"The new name builds on our core foundation of music and represents a logical next step in our growth and evolution," said TouchTunes president and CEO Charles Goldstuck. "The promise of TouchTunes Interactive Networks is to be able to build and develop a fully-integrated, social-networked community throughout our locations. We provide a 360-degree, in-venue, interactive experience to a young and influential demographic in bars and entertainment locations. Our great content keeps this substantial audience engaged longer, and that creates an exciting and versatile advertising medium that generates awareness, reinforces brand messages and builds a measurable, experiential relationship with them."
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CHILTON TO STEP DOWN AS BULK ASSOCIATION TOPPER
(Posted September 28, 2009 -- 3PM)

National Bulk Vending Association president Randy Chilton will soon be stepping down from his position, the group announced. Chilton cited the sale of Coinstar's bulk vending division as the reason for this change. Chilton will continue to be employed by Coinstar as VP of national accounts after Coinstar's sale of their bulk and entertainment business to National Entertainment Network.

"It's been an honor and a privilege to serve alongside some great industry leaders, the NBVA during this time of major association transition," said Chilton. "It's with mixed emotions that I move into this new season of my professional career. Coinstar is a growing company that has offered me a great career opportunity. However, as a third-generation operator, I am certainly going to miss it."

Chilton will not exit until the organization has found and approved a replacement. In making the announcement, the National Bulk Vendors Association thanked Randy for his hard work and support of the NBVA.
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ONE ERA ENDS, ANOTHER BEGINS
(Posted September 24, 2009 -- 11:16AM)

After well over a half century of fall conventions and tradeshows, the annual AMOA Expo is riding into history. Their 2009 Expo, presently in progress at the Las Vegas Convention Center, will be their last, announced outgoing president Russ Mawdsley. Instead, their long-anticipated alliance with the AAMA will result in one joint spring show beginning in 2010.

"It's what everyone's been asking for," Mawdsley declared. "This will be a new event, but we still intend to put it on for AMOA operators." Added AAMA chairman David Cohen, "We are looking forward to the future with our AMOA show partners." In the photo, we find Russ Mawdsley (left) making the announcement along with Cohen (applauding at right) at the AMOA Expo ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning.

AAMA reported that also in 2010, the Fun Expo (co-owned by AAMA and AMOA along with the International Assn. for the Leisure & Entertainment Industry) will share exhibit space with the new trade event. Additionally, the "single show" agreement ratified by leaders of AMOA and AAMA calls for the formation of a new business entity, complete with its own structure, bylaws, budget and leadership. W.T. Glasgow, Inc., which currently oversees the ASI, AMOA Expo and Fun Expo, will manage the show.

"Putting this together was no easy task," Mawdsley stated. "The concept is not new and, as has been widely reported, the negotiations between AAMA and AMOA have spanned several years, if not decades. But during this round of talks, the current business climate injected a much greater sense of urgency and both organizations compromised a great deal to make it happen."

"We look ahead and see a tremendous upside for this show and the positive impact it will have on the industry and our two associations," AAMA's Cohen continued. "We have formed a foundation and now it's time to build. We've got less than six months to launch and a lot of heavy lifting to do to get ready. But, the 'single show is a go' and it's going to be a big boost for our marketplace."

More on this still-unnamed spring show, presumably to be held in Las Vegas, will be forthcoming. (Continue to check Instant RePlay for the latest developments.) This obviously gives the November IAAPA tradeshow an exclusive on the fall business window.
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NAMCO DEBUTS STREET VERSION OF BARBER CUT LITE
(Posted September 23, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

Namco is offering a new black cabinet version of Barber Cut Lite, which will be on display this week at the AMOA show in Las Vegas. The prize merchandiser, in which players actually cut a string that holds their prize, is sporting a new look designed after requests from bar operators for a more subdued appearance for their darker locations. "The game is bringing in fantastic numbers all across the country in every venue," said the factory's product development topper Frank Cosentino. Stop by Namco's booth to check out the newest version of this popular piece or visit www.namcoamerica.com.
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SURESHOT REDEMPTION TO SPONSOR IAAPA FEC RECEPTION
(Posted September 23, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

Sureshot Redemption, a full-service merchandise supplier to the FEC industry, will sponsor the FEC reception on Wednesday, November 18 during IAAPA Expo 2009 in Las Vegas. Sureshot said in a press release, "The FEC reception has become an important event held during the annual IAAPA show. Especially during this time of change, and with the merger of IAAPA and IALEI, we feel it is important to support not only IAAPA but our core business, which is the FEC industry. The reception is a major networking function, which creates a venue for FEC owners and managers, as well as front line staff who attend IAAPA to have the opportunity to meet and discuss current issues that affect this specific market." Find out more about Sureshot at www.sureshot-redemption.com or give them a call at 888/887-8738.
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MISSOURI OPS ADD $15K TO TREASURY
(Posted September 21, 2009 -- 3PM)
Thanks to a raft of prizes donated for their auction by some 25 suppliers, the bidding bucks, when added to dues collected from members, gained over $15,000 for Missouri's operator association at its Aug. 14-15 membership meeting. The annual, which took place at the Grand Glaize Inn in Osage Beach, enjoyed an attendance of around 55 tradesters. Owners and employees of around two dozen operating companies heard Kathi Harness' state legislative update as well as AMOA president Russ Mawdsley's general industry overview. Next year's meeting will take place Aug. 20-21.
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LAI TO DEBUT MINI STAR BLITZ AT AMOA
(Posted September 21, 2009 -- 3PM)

LAI Games USA will debut its Mini Star Blitz photobooth at this week's AMOA Expo in Las Vegas. The Mini Star Blitz offers the same features of the Star Blitz Deluxe model in a smaller, more mobile package.

"We have incredible expectations for the Mini Star Blitz," said LAI's marketing pro Allison Timberlake. "The earnings reports from the deluxe model have been great, and now that potential is available in a version that can be placed in locations with limited space or rented out to parties, weddings and corporate events."

The Mini Star Blitz measures less than two square feet with a curtain extended in front another three feet, making this version a versatile alternative to the Star Blitz Deluxe. LAI will be conducting seminars on the features of the photobooth and how to maximize Star Blitz earnings at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Thursday and Friday of the show.
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ECAST TO PREVIEW NEW EQ FEATURES AND HOLD RAFFLE AT AMOA EXPO
(Posted September 21, 2009 -- 3PM)

Ecast, which launched its EQ at last year's AMOA, plans to keep the momentum going at this week's show by unveiling several new features for both its music network and the EQ, providing hourly demos and holding a prize-rich raffle. The new features include user interface improvements to the existing digital juke network, as well as a new in-house promotion application for the EQ. Ecast will also be offering a sneak peek into a radical upgrade to the EQ that will be available by the end of the year.

For those who like to come away from AMOA a little richer, Ecast will also be hosting a raffle with three giveaways. Operators and distributors are encouraged to drop off their business cards for a chance to win one of these three prizes: 1st place, an NSM Icon; 2nd place, Sony Play Station 3 with Beatle's Rock Band game; 3rd place, Nikon 10 megapixel digital camera.
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COASTAL SET TO RELEASE THREE NEW GAMES
(Posted September 21, 2009 -- 3PM)

Coastal Amusements announced today the upcoming release of three new games. They include the whacker Batman, a coin-op version of the famous board game Operation and the fast-action ticket game Overload.

Based on a license from Warner Bros./DC Comics, Batman features a cast of villains including the Joker, Riddler, Two Face, Harley Quinn, Mr. Freeze and Catwoman. The game uses a Bat Glove rather than the more common hammer, so the players can smack the bad guys as they pop up.

Operation, based on the universally popular board game of the same name, is a licensed property of Hasbro/Milton Bradley. The game consists of a comic likeness of a patient, nicknamed "Cavity Sam," on an operating table with cavities that reveal 13 fictional and humorously-named ailments. Players use a joystick to maneuver the forceps over a particular ailment and then push the drop button to lower the forceps into the cavity without touching the sides. Players win tickets for a successful extraction. Touching the side of a cavity ends the game, and no tickets are awarded. Players can maximize their ticket win by trying for the bonus ailment, which is indicated by a flashing display.

Coastal's Overload will keep players charged up as they make their way up the high tension tower to win the jackpot. Overload offers four-power station levels that become progressively more difficult as the player approaches the jackpot. Players must stop the lights on the center display at each level as they chase side to side in order to advance to the next level on the way to the jackpot. At each level, the player must decide whether to take the tickets or risk the win to advance to the next level. If the lights are stopped on a display other than the center, the game is over and the player wins the tickets indicated on the winner every time display.
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READY FOR FALL: REPLAY'S OCTOBER ISSUE HITS SOON
(Posted September 18, 2009 -- 12:45PM)

The October 2009 issue of RePlay features updates on states with lobbying efforts to advance already proposed video gaming initiatives or prompt lawmakers to introduce measures similar to that passed this summer in Illinois.

Sherman Smith of Smith Amusement and president of the Pennsylvania Amusement and Music Machine Association said, "Honest to God, if this had passed 10 years ago, there would be more money to go around now. Unfortunately, they have started to cut spending out of some very important places where money normally goes because there's no budget. I can't say gaming would correct everything; the whole country is in a bad place. But I think it's pretty much of a no brainer that it would be beneficial to the state."

In North Carolina, Owl Music's William Theavos, president of the Entertainment Group of North Carolina, described lobbying for video gaming as an information battle: "We say we want to be transparent and regulated," he said. "We want to sign a 10-year deal or whatever it can be to make some money for the state. There's millions on the table, the state's getting nothing, and these grey game operators are taking that money out of state. We play that point pretty strongly, but folks in Raleigh have a hard time getting over limited comprehension of our business."

Find out how others are involved in promoting this issue, as well as get a detailed report on the latest video content standoff; a tour of Funspot in Wiers, N.H., from FEC veteran Bob Lawton; the first interview with Gary Brewer, new AMOA prexy; product news; and much more found only in this special edition of RePlay celebrating the anniversary of a distinguished industry legend.
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REDEMPTION PLUS AND ICE SET FOR WEBINAR
(Posted September 18, 2009 -- 12:45PM)

Prize supplier Redemption Plus has partnered with game maker ICE to bring offer a free webinar entitled "Marketing Tips to Increase Game Room Revenue." It will be held on September 30 from noon to 1 p.m. (central).

The webinar will teach gameroom owners and operators easy ways to motivate game play by improving the customer experience. George McAuliffe, president of Pinnacle Entertainment Advisors, and Daniel Coppola, sales veep at ICE, will share their industry experience and knowledge on what is working today.

Topics will include effective promotions, taking advantage of the season, themes that work, capitalizing on winners and expanding redemption. There will be a Q&A session immediately following the webinar. Registration is available online at www2.gotomeeting.com/register/383379611 or call 877/563-4316.
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SEGA AMUSEMENT WORKS RENEGOTIATED AS SEGA "FRANCHISE"
(Posted September 18, 2009 -- 12:45PM)

Earlier this year, Robert Noell, COO of Sega Amusement Works, the joint venture between Sega Amusements USA and the former Sunshine Companies of America, renegotiated SAW's business into a unique, franchisee-like relationship with Sega. "We're still Sega Amusement Works, we still report to Sega in Japan, and they still share in our success," said Noell. "It's more of a franchise relationship."

Headquartered in Pensacola, Fla., with a satellite office in Clearwater, Fla., SAW is one of three national operators of amusement equipment for Wal-Mart, along with Namco Cybertainment and Sugarloaf. Noell said SAW now operates amusement equipment in Wal-Marts across several regions and 17 states, along with a variety of street locations and other outlets throughout the Southeast. Formed in December 2006, SAW was established as a partnership to better leverage product potential at street locations while getting timely feedback on its performance.

More ownership and autonomy have helped streamline business, noted Noell, who oversees the firm from the Clearwater office with wife Trisha.

"We're surviving and holding our own in struggling economic times," he said. "Now that we're just a licensee for Sega rather than having Sega involved in all of our operations, we've been able to spend more time on a day-to-day basis focusing on our core business. We've been able to make decisions to try new things and get rid of other aspects that weren't working." Contact Sega Amusement Works at 727/446-5490.
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EMBED OPENS NEW U.K. OFFICE
(Posted September 18, 2009 -- 12:45PM)

Debit card provider Embed has opened an office in the U.K. The office has been established to better service Embed's growing list of clients in the European region and will be the fourth international office for Embed, adding to existing facilities in Perth, Australia; Dallas; and Dubai, U.A.E.

The new office is headed up by Embed founder and chairman Adam Steinberg (left) who has recently relocated with his family to the U.K. "Compared to other developed amusement markets, the U.K. and Europe are under represented in terms of debit card and redemption management systems," said Steinberg. "There are some great opportunities for operators to improve business efficiency and drive revenues using Embed systems."

Embed's new office is located at The Old Chapel, Marsh Rd, Upton NR13 6BS, Norfolk, U.K.; phone +44-208-242-4946; email saleseu@embedcard.com.
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TOUCHTUNES AND ATLANTIC RECORDS SERVING HAPPY HOUR
(Posted September 18, 2009 -- 12:45PM)

TouchTunes is partnering with Atlantic Records to promote Uncle Kracker's much-anticipated new album Happy Hour. The album arrived at stores, at all digital retailers and on TouchTunes digital jukeboxes September 15.

The companies will award three lucky winners with a bar tab of $500 to host a happy hour with friends and family at their favorite TouchTunes bar. The deadline to enter the sweepstakes is September 28.

"Promoting Happy Hour on TouchTunes in the perfect vehicle to reach Uncle Kracker fans," said Vicki Saunders, VP of digital media and marketing for TouchTunes. "Our users love and look forward to their happy hours and Uncle Kracker's Happy Hour will certainly be no different."

Happy Hour is Uncle Kracker's fourth studio album and finds the Detroit native, whose real name is Matt Shafer, partnering with multiple Grammy Award-winning producer Rob Cavallo. The album is a breezy blend of country-flavored pop and rock 'n' roll that showcases Uncle Kracker's natural appeal as a likeable everyman and also his considerable gifts as a songwriter.
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AMI HIGHLIGHTING NEW BLACK CROWES ALBUM
(Posted September 18, 2009 -- 12:45PM)

AMI Entertainment has launched a new music promotion featuring Before the Frost...Until the Freeze, the new release from legendary rockers The Black Crowes. Running through October 5, the promotion includes a short video clip featuringTouch to Win displayed throughout.

Additionally, patrons can access a sign-up screen to submit contact info to win signed CDs and vinyl, as well as an autographed guitar.

This latest Black Crowes release hit stores as well as the AMI Network on August 31 and features the new classics Good Morning Captain and Been A Long Time. Before the Frost... and its corresponding free album,...Until The Freeze, were recorded over a series of five nights at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, N.Y. Although both are studio albums, the new material was performed and recorded in front of an intimate audience of the band's fans, making them a part of The Black Crowes' musical history.
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PLAY MECHANIX DECLARES OPEN SEASON WITH BIG BUCK UPGRADE
(Posted September 16, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

Big Buck Hunter Pro Open Season, the first full-blown software upgrade for the popular hunting game Big Buck Hunter Pro from Play Mechanix, will deliver 60% more content over the original video shooter. Three new animals with nine new treks giving hunters a total of eight animals and 24 trek options to choose from. With 45 new picturesque sites to hunt new animals such as Mountain Goat, Mule Deer, and Bison, the total number of hunting sites in Big Buck Hunter Pro Open Season clocks in at 120. Nine new bonus rounds were also added to this upgrade for a grand total of 24. Play Mechanix even added another 24 new critters to the game to enhance the hunting challenge. Last and certainly not least, two new full motion big buck girls have been added to this newest edition.

Big Buck Hunter Pro Open Season will be offered in four different configurations: a dedicated 42" LCD deluxe and a 27" standard model will head up the product line offering. Two kit options are also available. A full conversion kit complete with a Dell PC and two rifles will turn a previous gun game into a proven earner. For more information on Big Buck Hunter Pro Open Season, contact Betson at 800/524-2343 or visit www.betson.com.
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ECAST OFFERS 0% FINANCING
(Posted September 16, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

Ecast and Firestone Financial Corp. have launched a 0% APR for 12 months promotion for customers purchasing Ecast's EQ, the flat-panel touchscreen jukebox introduced at last year's AMOA. The promotion ends December 31 with a minimum purchase requirement of one unit. A 24-month option is also available. Firestone VP Jim Hines said the joint promotion gives operators an attractive entry point to the Ecast product.

"This promotion with Firestone Financial gives operators an outstanding opportunity to see the proof of performance with the EQ while generating significant income," said Scott Walker, VP of network operations, Ecast. "They have 30 or 90 days to enjoy collecting revenue from the EQ's cashbox and location promotion features before they have to make their first payment."

Under the terms of the first option, operators can access the 0% APR for 12 months with the first payment due 30 days after the contract has been funded. The estimated monthly payment will be $458.25. A second finance option for 5.49% APR for 24 months defers the first payment for 90 days and will have an estimated monthly payment of $265.72.
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CHINESE MEGATOUCH COUNTERFEITER GETS PRISON TERM
(Posted September 16, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

A Chinese court recently sentenced Yan Xiancheng, owner of Chengtai Metal Hardware Factory (a.k.a. Chengtai Electronics Technology), based in Panyu, just outside of Guangzhou City in China, to three years in prison for counterfeiting Megatouch games. "This is a major breakthrough for AMI Entertainment Network's anti-piracy program," said Robert C. Fay, AMI Entertainment Network's director of government relations. "Companies who manufacture copies of Megatouch need to take notice that they can go to prison."

Chengtai was found by authorities to have been engaging in counterfeiting games from various international brands since August 2006. The company had also set up B2B/B2C web pages for advertising its counterfeit products. Chengtai's counterfeit Megatouch games were exported to several jurisdictions, including Russia, Malaysia, Singapore and various Middle East countries.

The Public Security Bureau in Panyu originally raided Chengtai on March 4, 2008. Yan Xiancheng was detained the same day and then released on bail. He violated the terms of his bail and was subsequently arrested at the Guangzhou airport on December 21. Yan Xiancheng has been in prison since and will remain incarcerated until June 20, 2012.
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SEGA TO LAUNCH HUMMER STANDARD
(Posted September 16, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

Sega is set to start shipping its thrilling new driving game Hummer STD (standard driving game). The game features gigantic ramps and courses packed with rough obstacles designed to show the optimum ruggedness of GM's Hummer.

Players can expect heated battles by destroying obstacles throughout the course and passing rivals with large jumps while boosting through the air. Landing on all four tires helps you speed up and can be achieved by stepping on the accelerator while airborne to adjust the car tilt to get that perfect landing. The boost challenge gauge accumulates power by destroying different obstacles throughout the course, and once the gauge reaches maximum it increases the players' speed and makes them unstoppable.

"You feel the power of GM's Hummer when you're boosting through other racers and obstacles whether driving through canyons, jungles, valleys or Industrial Hill. Nothing can get in your way," said Paul Williams, Sega sales chief. The game also has all the same features asHummer DLX such as race mode, time attack mode, boost button challenge and the power to jump, land and destroy. The standard configuration has a 32" LCD monitor, measures 65" long x 45" wide x 66" high and links up to four.
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TOUCHTUNES AND RHINO TO PROMOTE BREAK UP
(Posted September 14, 2009 -- 3:30PM)

TouchTunes has partnered with Rhino Entertainment to promote the September 15 release of Break Up (Atco/Rhino) by Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson. TouchTunes will cross-promote Break Up on its integrated network of digital jukebox screens and Barfly television screens. Custom messaging on Barfly will be leveraged to encourage plays of Break Up tracks on the jukebox.

TouchTunes' on-screen promotion for the album release includes custom-designed banners and a 30 second video of Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson that is designed to attract customers to play the new tracks at the TouchTunes jukebox. Ads on TouchTunes' Barfly TV screens will compliment the campaign by featuring animated graphics that encourage patrons to play the album. TouchTunes will be tracking Break Up plays and capturing the influence of the Barfly messages.

"Only TouchTunes can run integrated messages on both the digital jukebox and the location's TV screens using Barfly to engage patrons. This goes well beyond traditional marketing. We're providing exciting new possibilities that demonstrate that TouchTunes is the ultimate interactive entertainment network," said Vicki Saunders, VP of digital media and music marketing, TouchTunes. "Our 40,000 locations across the country offer artists the unique opportunity to simultaneously promote album releases to music fans while giving them the chance to hear the album too!"

Truly a one-of-a-kind album, Break Up brings together critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Pete Yorn and the multi-talented Scarlett Johansson. In this deeply emotive yet hook-filled song cycle, Yorn and Johansson reenact the tempestuous course of a love affair on the rocks in captivating detail. The album contains eight original compositions by Yorn, ranging in tone from the lilting opener "Relator" to the disarming, retro/futuristic "I Don't Know What to Do" to the climactic "Someday." Completing the collection is a powerful interpretation of the art-rock classic "I Am the Cosmos" by the late Chris Bell, co-founder of the quintessential cult band Big Star.
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CLUB LUCKY TO HOST VENDOR EVENT
(Posted September 14, 2009 -- 3:30PM)

The Club Lucky Group will be hosting a Preferred Vendor Event during the operator group's annual membership meeting in Geneva, Wis., in October. All leading coin-op manufacturers and suppliers will be invited.

The event will take place at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa on Thursday, October 22, 2009 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM and will include a cocktail hour followed by a sumptuous buffet with valuable opportunities for industry interaction. If you are a manufacturer or suppler and interested in attending this special event, please contact Kim Lykins at kim@clubluckygroup.com or jasonr@ajvideoamusements.com. Space will be limited.

The Club Lucky Group describes itself as "an association of 35 progressive amusement companies, with representation in all major U.S. markets. Conducting national contests and tournaments with significant prizes is the central purpose of Club Lucky." For further information regarding the Club Lucky Group, LLC, go to www.clubluckygroup.com.
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AMOA TO HOST STATE MEETING IN SAN ANTONIO
(Posted September 14, 2009 -- 3:30PM)

The Hyatt Regency San Antonio on the Riverwalk will be the site of the February 18-20, 2010, AMOA Council of Affiliated States Meeting, the national operator's association announced last week. This annual gathering, which is highlighted by the ongoing information exchange between delegates of state industry trade groups from around the country, focuses on leading issues affecting the trade. Typically, more than 40 people, representing more than 20 state associations, participate in the council meeting. Earlier this year, during the gathering in Phoenix, 46 delegates from 23 states were in attendance.
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STARBURST TO HANDLE ROAD TRIP EXCLUSIVELY
(Posted September 11, 2009 -- 5PM)

Bay Tek Games is now in partnership with Canada's largest distributor, Starburst Coin Machines of Toronto. After thorough testing, Bay Tek and Starburst have agreed upon an exclusive deal with the all-new merchandiser, Road Trip, for the Canadian market. The Canadian version of the game is titled Road Trip'N and highlights more red in the artwork while utilizing the capsule option for the small prize design. All other game components remain the same.

"Starburst's feedback and vested interest early on helped craft what Road Trip is today: a great merchandiser for their market and beyond," noted product development project leader Gina Weyers.

To show their thanks and appreciation, an actual road trip took place on September 1. Bay Tek's CEO Larry Treankler loaded his personal RV and drove the 714 miles from Pulaski, Wis., to Toronto, Canada, and with the help of Rick Rochetti, Gina Weyers and Holly Meidl, the four-person crew provided Starburst's employees with a traditional Wisconsin Brat Fry. The Bay Tek team grilled brats and burgers, along with serving salads, veggies, cheese curds, desserts and a Road Trip'N cake to top it off.

"A lot of valuable information was exchanged and immediate actions have been taken since the meeting on behalf of both parties. This validates our partnership, and we couldn't be more impressed with our friends to the north," stated Bay Tek's Larry Treankler.

"We have been so impressed with the complete Bay Tek team during our considerable dealings with them in connection with the development, marketing and testing of Road Trip'N. Their professionalism and dedication to innovation is exactly what our industry needs at this moment," commented Len Keywood, president of Starburst. "Our whole company appreciated the personal touch exhibited by the Bay Tek team in visiting us here in Toronto, and we look forward to a mutually beneficial partnership on Road Trip'N and other new product we hope to see from Bay Tek." Learn more at www.baytekgames.com.
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COAST TO COAST HAS TOUCHDOWN MIX
(Posted September 11, 2009 -- 5PM)

Coast to Coast says it is poised to help operators score more profits this football season with its new touchdown mix. These prizes include 100% officially licensed NFL products starting at $1.99 per piece. There's free freight on all plush orders. For more information, contact Coast to Coast Entertainment at 800/224-1717; website www.cranemachines.com.
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COINSTAR SELLS OFF AMUSEMENT AND BULK ROUTE
(Posted September 9, 2009 -- 5PM)

Coinstar today announced the closing of the sale of its entertainment services business to National Entertainment Network Inc. With the transaction, National Entertainment Network assumed the operations of the entertainment services business, including substantially all of the business's related assets and liabilities. Coinstar received nominal consideration and expects to record a pre-tax loss in the range of $52 million to $57 million and realize a one-time tax benefit in the range of $82 million to $87 million on the sale of the business. As a result, the company expects a net gain in the range of $25 million to $35 million in the third quarter of 2009, which will be reported under discontinued operations in the company's consolidated statement of operations.

"As we discussed on our second quarter conference call, we are focused on leveraging our strength in self-service automated retail to drive growth and increase shareholder value," said Paul Davis, CEO of Coinstar. "Our core DVD and coin kiosk businesses provide a solid foundation and, with the sale of our entertainment services business, we are better positioned to maximize the substantial market opportunity in automated retail."

NEN is a privately held company headquartered in Louisville, Colorado. It was formed in August 2009 in anticipation of the acquisition of the entertainment division of Coinstar. Kevin Wall will be the new president and CEO; he has more than 20 years experience in the coin-op business. He will lead the mega-route's current management team as the company is realigned to recognize more efficient business practices. Other principals at the new company include William L. Lewis and Richard Gerhardt Sr.

"We feel there is strong potential to grow this company and make it successful," said Wall. "We recognize that there are significant challenges facing our industry with potential new government regulation and volatile petroleum prices among other factors. However, with a strategic vision and a new business plan we will boost sales, eliminate inefficiencies and improve customer service elements. We see this as a historic opportunity to preserve what is special about the Sugarloaf and Rainbow brands in terms of the joy they bring to children, and in terms of values and culture among the employees as we drive long-term growth."

The company has operating arms in all 50 states, Mexico and Puerto Rico and serves as a provider of bulk, kiddie rides, and skill cranes at national, regional and small business retailers across the country. In terms of the ongoing business, there will be no service interruption to existing clients.
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BSR READY TO DEBUT TWO NEW GAMES
(Posted September 8, 2009 -- 3PM)

Game maker Bob's Space Racers is set to release two new arcade novelty games this fall, including Sharky's Treasure and Bongo Beat. Sharky's Treasure is a fast-paced shooting game that awards tickets in accord with how many sharks the player is able to hit as the sea creatures pop up in random sequences. Players who beat the high score win bonus tickets.

Bongo Beat, an all-new three-player arcade game, is fast paced and fun for all ages. The game tests players ability to keep up with the beat by pounding the bongos, all in the name of winning more tickets. To learn more about either of these games, log on to www.bobsspaceracers.com.
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AMOA CELEBRATES JUKE'S 120TH ANNY AT EXPO
(Posted September 8, 2009 -- 3PM)

AMOA will be celebrating the 120th anniversary of the jukebox in style at this month's expo in Las Vegas. At the annual opening gala reception on the pool deck of the Las Vegas Hilton on Thursday, September 24, AMOA will sponsor a performance by Sonny Turner, former lead singer of The Platters.

Sonny joined the group at age 19 and helped bring The Platters back on the pop charts during the 1960s with such hits as I Love You 1,000 Times, With This Ring, and Washed Ashore. As well, he re-recorded the group's classics such as Only You, The Great Pretender and The Magic Touch.

Also taking place at this year's opening pool party is the raffling off of Rowe's very last commercial CD nostalgia jukebox manufactured at the historic Grand Rapids, Mich., facility. The drawing is open to all operator attendees, and winner must be present to win!
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IAAPA COULD APPROVE IALEI MERGER THIS MONTH
(Posted September 4, 2009 -- 1PM)

The IAAPA merger with IALEI, whose membership voted to approve the decision last week, could be made official on September 29, when the IAAPA board of directors meets to confirm that key issues contingent for the resolution have been addressed. The transition team comprising leaders of both organizations will continue to guide the process, according to David Mandt, IAAPA VP of communications.

Moreover, Mandt told RePlay that IALEI members will receive full IAAPA member benefits starting November 1. Those include qualifying for special, one-time free registration to the IAAPA Expo, November 16-20 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, as well as access to all services and programs currently made available by the association's FEC Committee.

"The merger will allow us to expand the services we offer to all FEC members," Mandt declared, adding that more than 375 companies are already members of IAAPA, making FECs the largest attraction segment of the association's membership.

"An area of particular focus is the FEC Education Specialty Track at IAAPA Attractions Expo," Mandt furthered. "This year, the FEC Committee has developed 16 workshops, seminars, and programs specifically for our FEC members. Those members are also invited to attend the other general education sessions, almost 100 in total, all at no additional cost."

Regarding IALEI's annual tradeshow, Fun Expo, Mandt said that IAAPA will work closely with AAMA and AMOA, joint owners of the exhibition showcase, to produce the event with William T. Glasgow in 2010 as in the past. Beyond next year, when the Leisure and Entertainment Trade Show agreement ends and will be up for negotiation, Fun Expo's status is unclear.

Dorothy Lewis, IALEI chairman, is enthused about the process and will represent the associations at the AMOA Expo this month in Las Vegas. "I'm excited about the next couple of months," she noted. "There's a lot of hard work ahead, but I'm looking forward to bringing the two together."
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STRIDE PROMOTION TO AWARD $25K TO LUCKY ARCADE
(Posted September 4, 2009 -- 1PM)

Stride, a gum brand produced by Cadbury Adams USA, is in the middle of promoting their Save the Arcades program in which one lucky arcade will receive $25,000. "We realized that arcade gaming is one of the longest lasting forms of gaming and that we needed to help raise awareness for the arcade scene and culture," Kathy Beyer Di Benedetto, Cadbury North America communications manager, told RePlay. "As 'the ridiculously long-lasting gum,' it made sense for us to support the form of gaming, so Save the Arcades was born."

Through October 6, anyone can go to www.savethearcades.com and play Zapatur at no charge and donate their points to one of four participating gamerooms: Arcade UFO in Austin; StarBase Arcade, San Rafael, Calif.; Star Worlds Arcade, DeKalb, Ill.; and Game Galaxy, Nashville. The arcade with the most points will receive the prize money in early 2010; at press time today, Arcade UFO was in the lead.

Stride's criteria for selecting locations included that they must be locally owned and operated by passionate owners and employees, enjoy a loyal following and be regionally diverse from one another, noted Kathy. They originally aimed for five arcades, but Joe LeVan, owner of a lead contender, Challenge Arcade in Reading, Pa., informed Stride he was closing down its doors due to financial problems. So the firm launched the promotion by providing $10,000 to keep Challenge Arcade open. Other kick-off fanfare included an event at Video West Arcade in Glendale, Calif., where Zachary Quinto, who played Spock in the recent Star Trek prequel, was on hand to play.

Stride has a history of supporting arcade ventures, notably supporting the Major League Gaming scene and offering Steve Wiebe $10,001 in quarters and a year's supply of gum if he beat Billy Mitchell's world-record score on Donkey Kong at this past spring's E3. "We will definitely continue to support the things that gamers care about in our future programs," said Kathy, adding that the response to Save the Arcades had been phenomenal. "We are definitely open to exploring new events and campaigns that reach different types of gaming audiences and enthusiasts." Find out more in the October issue of RePlay.
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MALINOWSKI JOINS GAMING FIRM
(Posted September 4, 2009 -- 1PM)

Amusement industry veteran Ron Malinowski, most recently with Sega Amusements, has joined American Gaming Systems as director of business development. Malinowski also served in key roles with Bally and Capcom. "I couldn't be happier with the opportunity and challenge although the economy is going through a tough patch," said Ron. "Gaming is experiencing exceptional growth. I cut my teeth at Bally Gaming, and to again be with an American company with an entrepreneurial spirit certainly makes one proud and up to the task."

"Ron brings professionalism, ingenuity and passion which we are all about here at American," said AGS president founder and president Ron Clapper. "With facilities in four states and operations throughout the land Ron will soon be seen flying the friendly skies implementing amicable deals and programs for his firm and partners." Malinowski can be reached at 708/714/4301 or 847/698/4947.
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BIG BUCK SAFARI REACHES TWO MILESTONES
(Posted September 2, 2009 -- 3:15PM)

Betson Enterprises says it has hit two major milestones in sales of Big Buck Safari. In August Betson shipped its 5,000th standard 27" unit and its 500th deluxe 42" version of the PlayMechanix/Raw Thrills video. The game's predecessor, Big Buck Hunter Pro, sold over 10,000 units. "The demand for the Safari product is a clear indication that there is no slow down in the video hunting category," said Bob Boals, VP of Betson Enterprises.

Safari has captured players' attention with its competitive and entertaining game play. Safari standard and deluxe units continue to sell at a rate similar to that of the Big Buck Hunter Pro. Both Safari models are ready for tournament play through the CoinUp Tournament Network. Operators with broadband access can receive a "no charge" tournament kit to get their machines online and start employing tournament play.
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SMART INDUSTRIES TO DEBUT A NEW CANDY CRANE
(Posted September 2, 2009 -- 3:15PM)

Smart Industries will soon debut its newest winner-every-time candy crane with a look designed to appeal to the younger set. The new Candy Crane House has a whole new decal package, 3D rope light extrusions and lollipop, and a roof that lights up. The crane measures 25" wide x 27" deep x 77" tall (including the roof) to make sure it will fit under standard doorways. Operators can then add the 3D lollipop on top and still fit the whole crane in locations with regular 8' ceilings.

The Candy Crane House still has all the features operators traditionally associate with a Smart candy crane, including a single coin mech and room for a DBA and a one-year warranty. Smart will debut this new crane at AMOA Expo in Las Vegas later this month. To learn more, or for a distributor referral, contact Smart Industries at 800/553-2442.
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TOUCHTUNES NAMES GEORGI AS NEW VP OF ADVERTISING
(Posted September 2, 2009 -- 3:15PM)

TouchTunes has appointed Brian Georgi as its new VP of advertising sales. Georgi will oversee the advertising sales team in creating and implementing advertising and promotional opportunities across the various TouchTunes platforms. Georgi will report directly to Charles Goldstuck, president and CEO, TouchTunes.

"Brian is a successful stand-out in one of the ad business' most challenging economies," said Goldstuck. "We are very pleased to have him join TouchTunes and work closely with me to increase marketing partnerships and bring our unique products to the very key, tech savvy 21-35 age demographic, especially in the bar channel."

"The TouchTunes out-of-home network of touch, mobile and social applications offers advertisers the most exciting marketing opportunities in the industry," said Georgi. "Advertisers are constantly on the lookout for new and innovative ways to deliver their message to a captive audience."

Prior to joining TouchTunes, Georgi was account director for the print, online and retail integrated advertising programs division at Wenner Media. There he was responsible for selling multi-faceted solutions to the telecom and consumer electronics categories, as well as automotive and spirits accounts, across outlets such as Rolling Stone, Us Weekly and Men's Journal. Previous to holding that position, Georgi was senior account manager at Dennis Publishing's Blender. His advertising experience also includes time at Playboy Enterprises, Inc., Vibe/Spin Ventures, and Primedia Inc.
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NEW JERSEY FEC PROJECT GETS UNDERWAY
(Posted September 2, 2009 -- 3:15PM)

Development of a new expansive family entertainment center in Freehold, N.J., has just been announced, and RePlay's own Jersey Jack Guarnieri is right in the middle of it. The project which has been in various development stages for the past two years is called iPlay Freehold and will be located in a newly redeveloped shopping center known as Renaissance Plaza. It will open in the third quarter of 2010.

The facility will take up close to 80,000 square feet, and it will include a full service restaurant, rides, indoor race cars, Highway 66 bowling simulator, redemption, video and instant win games, laser tag, miniature golf, a rock climbing wall, RC Trucks and more. Additionally, there will be at least 12 flexible party rooms as well as a large banquet room for major events and functions.

Robert McDaid, president of Renaissance Properties, is the driving force behind this project. Having over 25 years of experience, McDaid has built Renaissance Properties into one of New Jersey's premiere real estate development companies. With deep roots in home building, Renaissance has successfully completed over 1,000 homes throughout central New Jersey. In addition to decades of experience in building homes, Renaissance, has also amassed a substantial commercial portfolio consisting of retail and office properties. Renaissance currently controls over 700,000 square feet of commercial space in New Jersey.

"The strong demographics, high profile location and the community support for this project make it a natural," said Guarnieri, who is serving as a principal, design and development consultant. His company, Elaut USA, will operate all of the games plus a remote control truck attraction at the center. "Bob has been a customer of PinballSales.com for over nine years and over that time we became friends. This is a natural transition into a business that has unlimited growth potential if it is done according to our formula."

Jack also brought Bruce Glorsky into the project as executive director of operations. Bruce is a seasoned industry professional with senior-level business development / operations management experience of more than 20 years. His combined experience in sales and marketing, property management, and special events management will serve the project well. iPlay Freehold has contracted the services of Dynamic Designs & Associates and Doug Wilkerson to work in a collaborative manner with Guarnieri, McDaid and Glorsky to incorporate all of the play and design elements of this facility.
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August 2009 (Go back to main 2009 menu)

DISNEY PURCHASES MARVEL AND ENTERTAINMENT LICENSES
(Posted August 31, 2009 -- 3:15PM)

The Walt Disney Company announced today that it will acquire Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion, adding a vast and lucrative array of licenses to Disney's trove. According to the New York Times, Disney will pay "about 60% cash and 40% stock to acquire Marvel, the comic book giant whose stable of 5,000 characters includes some of the world's best-known superheroes: Iron Man, X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Captain America and Thor." Boards of both giant entertainment firms have approved the acquisition; Marvel's shareholders must still approve the measure.

The article went on to say that Disney "sees a deep opportunity to immediately patch the Marvel characters into other businesses," namely incorporating them into "theme parks, while consumer products will be a huge component" to counteract less consumer spending at amusement parks and comparatively weaker properties for boys than girls.

Disney and Marvel licenses have been hot properties among amusement suppliers, and different companies have historically secured the rights to each. Currently, Sega Amusements has the Disney license to distribute to the amusement industry while Toy Factory has that for Marvel, both for a limited period.

"I don't foresee any change in the availability of Marvel product for the amusement industry," Michael Cardinali, Toy Factory VP of sales, told RePlay, responding to the development. "I don't see why Disney would withdraw from the amusement business, especially since Marvel has done very well over the years selling into this market. I'm sure we'll report through the same licensing person with Marvel. Things should remain the same for now."
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BENCHMARK TO DEBUT WHEEL DEAL X-TREME
(Posted August 31, 2009 -- 3:15PM)

Benchmark Games says its new four-player centerpiece game Wheel Deal X-Treme will debut this fall. As a means of introducing the game, Benchmark has created a video offering an uncanny and humorous close-up look at the new game. The video can be seen on the company's website at www.benchmarkgames.com/wdx.

Wheel Deal X-Treme offers a new twist on classic fast coin play. Four players can test their skills to send glowing play-pucks twisting and turning along a brightly lit pathway into the spinning wheel, ultimately trying to land in the ticket-value targets. Hitting "Dead Center" in a target wins a big bonus, while "Dead Center" in the jackpot target garners the four-player cumulative bonus.

Intelli-Triple ticket dispensers are at all four stations, each holding 18,000 tickets in an easy-service pullout drawer. The game is housed in an impressive 66" square centerpiece cabinet with mind-bending lights and sound.

"Wheel Deal X-Treme is a complete entertainment package for any amusement facility," said the factory's Al Kress. "This unit comes standard with the finest coin comparator mechanics for fast insertion of coins or tokens and never jams up. Wheel Deal X-Treme also comes with card swipe capability, ready for the operator's system." For more details on the Wheel Deal X-Treme, contact Benchmark at 888/538-1000 or 561/588-5200.
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C.A. ROBINSON TO HOST SEPTEMBER 16 EQUIPMENT SHOW
(Posted August 31, 2009 -- 3:15PM)

Los Angeles distributor C.A. Robinson will host a special equipment showing, which they are calling "It Pays To Deal With Us," on Wednesday, Sept. 16, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at their Pico Boulevard headquarters. Operators can expect to see brand-new games as well as some great deals on high-quality used pieces including video, ticket redemption and prize games. There will, of course, be a tasty lunch, as well as two good deals on parts -- 50% off the first $200 parts purchased plus 10% off parts sales for the rest of the year as an incentive for attending the event. C. A. Robinson & Co. is located at 2891 Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA; phone 323/735-3001.
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IALEI MEMBERSHIP VOTE OKS MERGER WITH IAAPA
(Posted August 28, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

Meeting earlier this week in the New Orleans area, leaders with IALEI said a tally of the members who voted gave the thumbs up for the fun center association to merge with IAAPA. "The membership vote to approve the combination was officially confirmed yesterday in favor of the combination with IAAPA," IALEI president Dorothy Lewis told RePlay by email on Thursday.

According to one report from IALEI leaders, 91 members voted for the merger, while 14 voted against the proposal. A number of questions remain, of course, including how the merger will proceed from this point and how IAAPA will pursue its newly acquired share (50%) of the Fun Expo if the merger is finalized. Fun Expo is also partly owned by AAMA and AMOA, although the agreement that governs that arrangement sunsets in 2010. RePlay is currently pursuing further details about the merger so look for more on this story as early as next week.
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GOLDEN TEE COMES OF AGE WITH GT 2010
(Posted August 28, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

Incredible Technologies' flagship product Golden Tee Golf is just about to turn 21 with the release of the latest version of the popular video game. Golden Tee 2010, which will be released on Oct. 1, will offer five new and compelling courses. "We can add a free beer keg to the game but if the new courses aren't fun it won't matter," joked Golden Tee project manager Brian Jandula. "We're truly fortunate to have Jim Zielinski creating these fabulous courses that keep our players coming back for more. This year's courses are our best yet -- no doubt."

Jandula also stressed that the art and images in the 2010 update are specifically designed for HDTV's. "Old CRT monitors can't display the game to its fullest potential," he said. "Our new showpiece cabinet is a breakthrough in both game play and earnings. Now's the time to embrace hi-def and our showpiece cabinet is the way to go."

The new games include The Great Wall, played at the site of the world famous Chinese site; Monument Valley, a course in the deep canyons of Najavo, Ariz.; Tahiti Cove in the exotic south Pacific; Bella Toscana, a course tucked away in the peaceful hills of Tuscany; and Southern Oaks, a classic American gem set in Valdosta, Georgia. In addition to new courses, GT 2010 has a wide range of exciting special feature debuts. For instance, there is now a nine-hole, $2 prize play format. "Top players have told us that they'd like the opportunity to win a few more dollars," Jandula said. "So we created this new tournament format that specifically addresses that request. Operators will love the additional revenue this feature will generate."

I.T. has also brought back skins play for the casual player as well as online statistic tracking even for non-competitive play, allowing non-tournament golfers to monitor their performance online at goldentee.com. With social networking all the rage, I.T. has also incorporated a cool option called GT/Facebook Connect.

"Basically the player can automatically update his Golden Tee play status on Facebook without having to wait to go home and do it on his computer," said Dan Schrementi, I.T.'s marketing manager and social media strategist. "Last year Golden Tee offered players the ability to upload their greatest shots to YouTube. This year it's their Facebook status. When you add our active blogs and Twitter feeds to this initiative our entire social media strategy is light years ahead of any of our competitors."

A number of popular features return including new color commentary from Jim Nantz and Peter Jacobsen, all new premium merchandise for players to employ on the virtual course and even more cool bands on the game's Hit List soundtrack. Lastly, in a nod to some player's outrageous tendencies, I.T. is offering a whole new line of outlandish clothing options including a gorilla mask, arrow headgear and even a baby blue tuxedo. For more information on Golden Tee Live 2010 visit the official website at www.goldentee.com, and check out the GT 2010 music video at http://youtube.com/goldenteegolf.
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OCMA ELECTS OFFICERS
(Posted August 28, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

The Ohio Coin Machine Association met this week and elected the following Officers for 2009-10. Andy Shaffer of Shaffer Services in Columbus is the group's new president. David George of Bell Music in Akron is first vice president. Michael Zappa of Lorain Music in Crestline in second vice president. Jim Bremer of Bremer Vending in Toledo will serve as secretary, and Rod Stebelton of Stebelton Music in Lancaser is the treasurer.

The association also elected Mike Fowler of W-K Music in Columbus as chairman of the association's board of directors.
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A TOUCHSCREEN MOMENT FOR THE AGES
(Posted August 28, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

When Patrick Leonard sought his girlfriend's hand in marriage this past Sunday night in Washington, DC, he turned to a popular Megatouch word game to deliver the message, and she said, "Yes!" The story began with Patrick and his bride-to-be Sarah Grossman, two Washington D.C. consultants who shared many moments inside the District's Townhouse Tavern, playing Word Dojo on the bar's Megatouch. When the time came to propose, Patrick knew the way to Sarah's heart was through her favorite game.

"I wanted to do something that was romantic and fun - something we would always remember," said Patrick. "Word Dojo is Sarah's favorite game, and AMI Entertainment Network made this all happen."

He reached out to AMI, who reprogrammed Word Dojo to include his proposal. A representative then traveled from their headquarters outside Philadelphia to the bar in D.C. to install a special console for the event. Patrick triggered the puzzle to spell out "Will you marry me?" by entering the letter "T" as a word.

"Megatouch was more than happy to be brought in on Patrick's surprise," said Mike Nickerson, VP of advertising for AMI. "Our games are all about providing entertainment that brings people together for fun and enjoyment. What better way to do this than for an occasion like Patrick and Sarah's?" Here's a link to a video of the momentous event http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxaqbXOXEdM.
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NBVA CONTINUES LOBBYING, RAISING MONEY FOR CPSA EXEMPTION
(Posted August 26, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

In seeking an exemption for mandatory labeling for tracking bulk vended children's products, the National Bulk Vending Association has won at least one battle but continues to seek total victory in their crusade. That requirement is spelled out in section 103(a) of the Consumer Product Safety Act, which went into effect earlier this year. In its policy interpretation, the NBVA's official position is that "to require specific tracking labels on individual bulk vending products would mean the end to the industry as it relates to vended novelties and toys."

"We scored a major interim victory with the recently-issued CPSC statement of policy that specifically says that only the bulk packaging must bear a tracking label but not the individual products themselves," said Randy Chilton, NBVA president, adding that the basic exception was not enough.

"Future CPSC officials, state attorneys general or the federal courts could reverse this policy, threatening the very existence of this important segment of the bulk vending industry," he went on to say. "We must obtain a statutory exemption from this provision, and only Congress can do that."

To fill its lobbying coffers, the NBVA had raised more than $107,000 as of August 19, well on the way to its goal of $144,817.40 by September 30. Released donor lists reveal an impressive who's who of amusement and bulk vending operators, suppliers and related businesses. Topping the pledge chart at the $10,000 mark are A&A Global, Brand Vending Products, Cardinal Distributing, Coinstar, Roger Folz, Service Vending and Vendomatic. For more information and to find out about pledge programs, contact Amy Contre of the NBVA at 888/NBVA-USA.
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NEW EVENTS SET FOR AMOA EXPO
(Posted August 24, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

The Amusement and Music Operators Association has completed plans for two new programs at its upcoming expo, September 24-26, at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas. Throughout the tradeshow, registered operators will be able to vote on their favorite new product on the show floor for a Best of Show Award. The winner will be announced on Saturday afternoon prior to the 2:30 Wayne E. Hesch raffle drawing.

Additionally, Notre Dame alumni from Class I through XIII are invited to stop by the AMOA booth near the entrance to the expo floor for an AMOA-Notre Dame Alumni Mixer. Attendees will be able to re-connect there on Thursday from 4 to 5 p.m.

Finally, to lure more attendees, the AMOA is sponsoring a buzzed-about operator sweepstakes in which $10,000 in cash will be given away to a lucky AMOA member or $5,000 to a non-member. Opportunities will abound for adding one's name multiple times to the mix, including participation in the golf tournament, purchasing $100 of Hesch scholarship tickets (five tickets), attending seminars and being on the receiving end of a random act of kindness when a board member gives out coupons, according to EVP Jack Kelleher. The drawing will be held on the final day, and the winner doesn't have to be present to win.
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VIDEO GAMING DEBATE CONTINUES IN ILLINOIS
(Posted August 24, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

Local governments are keeping the video gaming debate alive in the Land of Lincoln as opponents of legalized poker and other games are pushing towns and counties to opt out of the coming initiative as allowed by state law. In fact, industry tradesters have been scrambling to make their case at public hearings and other gatherings convened to discuss the possibility of opting out of state-regulated gaming.

At least one senior official, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, has suggested communities that opt out should also be excluded from the benefits of gaming tax revenue. As of this writing, though, only a small handful of communities, including unincorporated DuPage County, near Chicago, and two Windy City suburbs, Rosemont and Country Club Hills, have officially chosen to opt out.
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NEW INCREDIBLE PIZZA SHOWCASES HIGHWAY 66
(Posted August 24, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

QubicaAMF's Highway 66 10-pin bowling sim has been installed in the newest America's Incredible Pizza Company in Indianapolis. The facility opened in late July. This is the 19th installation of Highway 66 in an Incredible Pizza facility.

Incredible Pizza transformed a former Kroger supermarket into an FEC, its first in Indiana. The facility covers approximately 55,000 sq. ft. and offers a 1950s theme. It features four dining rooms and over 100 video and redemption games, including six lanes of Highway 66 mini-bowling, plus indoor go-karts, bumper cars and mini glow golf.

"We are excited to be a part of the newest Incredible Pizza facility," says Bill Merrick, amusements sales director for QubicaAMF Worldwide. "Highway 66 has become an important part of this incredibly successful pizza FEC model. QubicaAMF recently finalized an exclusive agreement to supply America's Incredible Pizza with Highway 66 for its future expansion plans."
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IAAPA PREPS FOR VEGAS EXPO
(Posted August 24, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

The IAAPA Attractions Expo 2009 will be held in Las Vegas this fall with what organizers are describing as a bigger and bolder conference program plus new opportunities to mix and mingle with colleagues across all attractions communities.

For instance, IAAPA will host a Bright Lights Party at the Luxor's LAX Nightclub plus a special tour offering an inside look at the security and loss prevention management and food and beverage operations at Caesar's Palace. Show attendees can also take in incredible shows and behind-the-scenes tours, including The Beatles Love by Cirque du Soleil, The Blue Man Group, Le Reve and Jubilee.

Matt Goldman, co-founder of The Blue Man Group, will present the keynote presentation at IAAPA's GM and owners' breakfast. The event also features a special appearance by The Blue Man Group. IAAPA will also host its opening reception at the Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel. To learn more, log on to www.iaapa.org.
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TOUCHTUNES ANNOUNCES BUSY SCHEDULE AT AMOA
(Posted August 24, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

TouchTunes has got a full plate for the upcoming AMOA Expo in Las Vegas, including a luncheon with the new president and CEO Charles Goldstruck on Friday, Sept. 25 at noon, as well as a special Barfly Spotlight presentation the previous day, Thursday, Sept. 24, at 2 p.m. The factory will also be giving away four jukeboxes and 10 Barfly sales kits. The raffle drawing for these giveaway prizes will be held on Sept. 25 at 4:30 p.m.

Additionally, on Thursday evening, the company will host an after-hours cocktail party starting at 8 p.m. in the Las Vegas Hilton.

TouchTunes operators as well as those interested in the firm's products are encouraged to call 847/419-3300 or contact their inside sales representative to RSVP for any or all of these events. All access passes will also be given out at the TouchTunes expo booth, no. 530, starting on the first day of the show.
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NEW VALLEY DYNAMO UP AND RUNNING
(Posted August 21, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

Valley and Dynamo tables were rolling off the new factory line in Richland Hills, Texas, by mid-August, after new owner Kelye Stites relocated the production facility from Reynoso, Mexico, to a building near his existing Champion Shuffleboard assembly plant in the DFW suburbs. By his own account, Stites' team is right on schedule. Stites acquired the business from Brunswick earlier this year and promised to be in production by August. Sales pro Joe Bundra said he is also excited to report that a number of new products including pool, air hockey and foosball are already in development and scheduled for release by the middle of next year at the latest. "We are making sales already, and I am very excited about what the future holds for this company," said Bundra. "We are committed to this business for the long term."
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BEN STEIN TO SPEAK AT NAMA
(Posted August 21, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

Author and television personality Ben Stein will deliver the keynote address at the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) National Expo, NAMA Senior Director of Education and Trade Shows LyNae Schleyer, NCE, CMP announced today. The Expo will be held Wednesday-Friday, Sept. 23-25, at The Navy Pier in Chicago, IL.

The Opening Session begins at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 24. Stein will share his witty, insightful and thoughtful comments on the current economic status and his perspective on what lies ahead.

You may remember that Ben Stein was the boring teacher in the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," former host of the Emmy award-winning Comedy Central quiz show, "Win Ben Stein's Money," or you might have caught the geeky TV celebrity in Comcast cable TV commercials with basketball superstar Shaquille O'Neal.

A graduate of Columbia University with honors in economics and Yale Law School, Stein was a former speech writer and lawyer for Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He currently writes a column for the New York Times Sunday Business Section, a personal finance column for Yahoo and is a commentator for CBS Sunday Morning and FOX News. For advance registration and details about Expo, visit www.namaexpo.org.
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INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS IS NEW PYRAMID DISTRIBUTOR
(Posted August 21, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

Pyramid Technologies has appointed Innovative Products to be a new distribution partner for sales in California. "California is an extremely important and significant market for us" said Vincent Parrillo, VP of sales and marketing at Pyramid Technologies. "It is our goal to provide the best level of sales, support and service to our California based customers and we believe that Innovate Products helps us achieve this goal."

Dave Peckels, president of Innovative Products agrees: "We are very pleased to work with Pyramid Technologies because they produce such high quality bill acceptors. We believe that we can serve the needs of Californian customers by providing sales and post-sales support here in California."

Based in southern California, Innovative Products will serve the entire Californian market. Dave Peckels has over 25 years of experience in the coin-op amusement business, most recently as national sales manager for the Wurlitzer Jukebox Co. He can be reached at 951/784-2361 and davepeckels@earthlink.net.
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OHIO COURT GRANTS SKILL GAME STAY
(Posted August 19, 2009 -- 12PM)

An appeals court in Ohio has temporarily reinstated a law that limits skill game prizes to $10 in value. The 10th District Court of Appeals granted the stay of its earlier decision, which found the limit unconstitutional, following an appeal by the Ohio attorney general.

"It means that the law reverts back to what it was prior to the July 16 Court of Appeals decision until the Supreme Court decides to take the case or when they rule on the case if they take it in the first place," explained OCMA executive director David Corey. "Many OCMA members, since July 16, have been awarding more than a $10 merchandise prize or voucher for one play. The law reverts back to if a skill game awards a prize, it must award (per play) a merchandise prize or voucher worth no more than $10." To learn more, contact the Ohio Coin Machine Association via email at ocma@the-ocma.org.
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D & B SUSPECT CHARGED IN SECOND, LARGER CASE
(Posted August 18, 2009 -- 12PM)

The same suspect charged last year in an alleged case of credit card theft at the Dave & Buster's LBE chain was indicted by federal authorities in mid-August in connection with a much wider ranging credit card theft case. Albert Gonzalez, 28, of Miami, Fla., is accused of being part of a credit card theft ring that allegedly stole the information from over 100 million credit cards between 2006 and 2008, according to news reports. In the current case, Gonzalez is accused of being involved in a conspiracy with two unnamed Russian suspects. The credit card numbers were reportedly stolen from Heartland Payment Systems, 7-Eleven and the regional grocery chain Hannaford Brothers, as well as two unnamed national retailers. Gonzalez is currently awaiting trial in the Dave and Buster's case, as well as another involving T.J. Maxx.
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AMOA ENCOURAGES EXHIBITOR SPECIALS
(Posted August 17, 2009 -- 4PM)

The Amusement and Music Operators Association last week encouraged suppliers to participate in its Show Special program in which an exhibitors offers show attendees special deals available only to those buyers who attend the convention. "Does it have to be a huge discount? That's up to the exhibitor," the association noted in its Off The Top weekly email newsletter. "Does the offer need to be redeemed through distributors? While AMOA fully supports the concept of supporting distributors, that's up to the exhibitor. Is there any cost to offer one (or more) Show Specials? No."

Show Specials are listed in the expo directory and demarcated on the show floor with balloons and exhibitor buttons.

"Candidly, we're scratching our heads a bit to figure out why there are only a few takers on this program to date," the association newsletter asked. "If you're an exhibitor, we encourage you to consider jumping in and participating in the AMOA Expo Show Specials program. Yes, everyone loves a deal, and these days, consumers -- including operators of coin-op equipment -- are waiting, expecting and sometimes even demanding a deal before they buy."
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APPLE OFFERING PHOTO BOOTH FINANCING
(Posted August 17, 2009 -- 4PM)

Apple Industries, working with Firestone Financial, is now offering financing packages on its photobooth machines. There are three finance options available on the Face Place photo booth including 0% APR for 18 months, 2.99% APR for 24 months or 5.99% APR for 36 months, the latter two with delayed payments for 90 days. The New Generation photobooth can be purchased with 7.99% APR financing for 24 months and no payments for 90 days. This offer has been extended until September 30th 2009. For more details, contact Firestone's Peter Aldrich at 800/851-1001, ext. 237 or Sal Cifala, ext. 230. All applicable tax and freight and a $200 filing fee are due up front. Some customers may be required to make a down payment based on credit history. To learn more about Apple and its products, log on to the firm's website at www.appleindustries.net.
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OREGON ASSOCIATION HOLDS SUMMER MEETING
(Posted August 17, 2009 -- 4PM)

The Oregon Operators of Amusement and Music recently held its 41st Annual meeting at the Broadmoor Golf Course in Portland, OR. OAMOA President Jerry Johnston presided over the meeting of 20 members. Secretary/Treasurer Gary Kilgore provided the financial report, and VP Lee Prantl reviewed the recent legislative session during which the group successfully defeated a proposed law that would have outlawed cigarette machines in bars.

Roger Martin of Martin & Associates, association lobbyist, also reported on the just-completed legislative session. Later, tradesters discussed how they were dealing with the current economic downturn and voiced concern over recent seizures of several touchscreen games by the Oregon Lottery.

OAMOA members also participated in a group golf outing. They include: back row, left to right: Kevin Claussen, Glenn Hoerth, Jet Black, Rich Gill, Mike McWilliams; front row, left to right: Bob Bolt, Blake Miura, Jerry Johnston, Carol Johnston and Jamie Rust.
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SEGA ANNOUNCES AMOA 2009 LINE-UP
(Posted August 17, 2009 -- 4PM)

Sega Amusements USA says it will have no less than eight games at next month's AMOA Expo, ranging in an assortment of genres. New games from Sega include the following pieces:

Card Gen, utilizing the MLB license and real MLB players will allow players to collect baseball cards, manage their team and play ball. The game (pictured at right) is housed in a unique baseball themed cabinet with a touch screen panel and a card-reading playing field that dispenses a customized MLB player card with every play. Players set their MLB cards on the playing field and play baseball by pitching and batting as well as seeing highlights of a realistic baseball game. There are over 300 different kinds of cards.

Code Red is a carnival style prize vending shooting game. Select one of six mini games and shoot at the eight moving targets within the limited time. If successful, you will be given the option of collecting a small prize or continuing on for a big prize.

Hummer STD (seen at left) will make its appearance at the 2009 AMOA. The game will feature all the great game plays as the full size Hummer DLX such as Race Mode, Time Attack Mode, the boost button feature, the power to jump, land, and destroy, contained in a smaller game cabinet.

King of Harley incorporates a motion motorcycle ride with classic rock tunes of the '70s and original BGM music to bring the players into the Harley world. The deluxe cabinet is linkable up to four units and provides a V-twin experience with motion system and realistic movements.

In the redemption game Missfits, players try to stop the reels, match the Missfits and win tickets. This game comes in an exciting upright cabinet with an eye catching attract sequence. The customizable top prize feature and large prize display are designed to be an eye catcher for players on location.

Pigs Might Fly is Sega's new video ticket redemption game. Players aim the path, plunge the piece's unique interface and shoot a pig up into the air to hit the UFOs for ticket opportunities. If they hit the mother ship, they win the super bonus. This upright cabinet incorporates a 37" LCD screen, a unique controller, and a small footprint.

Sega Bass Fishing Challenge, the full conversion video kit with an optional printer kit for all JAMMA cabinets, now had newly upgraded software including a tutorial and easier difficulty settings. Players can compete with up to four players in a wide variety of famous fishing spots with multiple bonus games and can also choose between a one day fishing trip or a four-day fishing trip. To learn more about Sega's new product line-up, log on to www.segaarcade.com.
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TOUCHTUNES OFFERS WOODSTOCK PLAYLIST
(Posted August 14, 2009 -- 4PM)

TouchTunes is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the famous 1969 festival at Yasgur's Farm with a special playlist to mark the occasion. Beginning August 18, the TouchTunes Woodstock Playlist will be available on over 25,000 digital jukeboxes across the country. It features a selection of the most popular tracks by the performing artists from Woodstock including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Mountain, Ritchie Havens, Arlo Guthrie, Joe Cocker, The Who, The Grateful Dead and many more.

"The Woodstock Playlist makes it easy for friends to create their very own party to commemorate the occasion at their favorite TouchTunes location," said Vicki Saunders, vice president, digital media and music marketing. "And the TouchTunes' sound and experience is an amazing way to enjoy those iconic rock anthems of peace and love all over again."

The TouchTunes Woodstock Playlist includes 44 of the most memorable songs performed at the original festival, as well as Joni Mitchell's follow-up tribute "Woodstock."
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PLANET FUN OPENS WITH EMBED
(Posted August 14, 2009 -- 4PM)

Debit card provider Embed announced the installation of its technology at Planet Fun and Starz Grille FEC in Shallotte, North Carolina. Planet Fun is a 50,000 sq. ft. indoor upscale center which features 32 full size bowling lanes, 4-lanes of Highway 66 mini bowling, a 2-story laser tag arena, 9-hole black light miniature golf, bumper cars, soft playground, redemption and video arcade, party rooms, concessions, pro shop, and the Starz Sports Grille which is a 100-seat sports and media restaurant.

Planet Fun utilizes the Embed system to manage the cashless operation of games and attractions as well as their extensive redemption counter. Embed self-service kiosks are deployed throughout the facility which allow guests to purchase a rechargeable play card that can be presented for payment at the Embed card reader located at each game and attraction.

In addition, the Embed system interfaces with the facility's bowling system to provide a one card solution so guests are able to use their play card throughout the entire location. The installation is highlighted by Embed's wireless solution, Electronic Ticket Interface, as well as the company's Color-Glo Swipers, the color-changing interactive card reader. For more information on Planet Fun, you can visit them on the web at www.planetfuncenter.com.
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ATEI SAYS 80% OF EXHIBIT SPACE ALREADY SOLD
(Posted August 14, 2009 -- 4PM)

Show organizers for ATEI and IGE in London says exhibit sales are already at 80% capacity with a total of 240 exhibitors from 40 nations now contracted. "To be 80 per cent full at this stage of the marketing cycle and set against the broader trading backdrop is extremely encouraging," said Clarion Gaming MD Julian Graves of the January 2010 events. "The amusements offering comprises a buoyant 51 organizations which have an interest in the sector with the dedicated ATEI component comprising some 3,700 square meters of stand space."
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NORTH CAROLINA TRADESTERS PUSHING FOR GAMING
(Posted August 12, 2009 -- 5:30PM)

A group of North Carolina operators and other related businesses, advocating under the name The Entertainment Group of North Carolina, says it has a way to help the state solve some of its budget woes, namely regulated and taxed video gaming.

"We are in a real budget crisis in North Carolina. The Entertainment Group of North Carolina is coming to the General Assembly asking them to regulate and tax the video gaming industry," said William Thevaos, president of this newly formed entity. "While there is an army of lobbyists and special interest groups working the halls of the General Assembly today opposing budget cuts and new taxes, the Entertainment Group of North Carolina is the only group down here on Jones Street asking for more regulation and taxation."

The Entertainment Group has received the support of several key groups including state employees and the legislative Black Caucus. "We are looking for a resolution to our budget crisis," said Representative Alma Adams (D-Guilford) chairwoman of the caucus. "We are here to support video lottery terminals because we see it as a viable option for additional revenue. The games are here, people are playing them, so we need to look at regulating and taxing them."

The group notes that recent Superior Court rulings have validated video gaming rights in North Carolina. Earlier this year, Wake County Superior Court Judge Howard Manning ruled it was unconstitutional to grant video gaming rights to the Cherokee nation without granting the same rights to citizens in all 100 counties.

"We cannot afford to return to the dark days. We need to move forward in a partnership with the governor and legislature to oversee, regulate and tax video lottery terminals," stated Thevaos. "If you really want to clean up video poker, if you want to make video gaming transparent, then enter into a partnership with the industry to regulate and tax it. There are $498 million reasons we need to do it."

Apparently the people of North Carolina support these efforts, at least according to a new statewide poll released by Public Policy Polling, a Raleigh based public research and polling company. The poll shows overwhelming voter support for legislation to oversee, regulate and tax video gaming in North Carolina. According to pollsters, 79% of most likely voters in North Carolina say the state should regulate and tax video gaming to provide additional money for under-funded schools and classroom teachers.
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ICE PARTNERS WITH SEGA AMUSEMENTS EUROPE
(Posted August 12, 2009 -- 5:30PM)

Game maker ICE and Sega Amusements Europe (SAE) have announced an exclusive distribution agreement for Sega to represent ICE's extensive range of product in various countries throughout the world including Russia, France, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Germany, and many countries within Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

ICE VP of Sales Joe Coppola pointed to the strength of SAE's European sales team as a major factor in ICE's decision to move its large sports and redemption based product line under the Sega's European umbrella. "Paul Williams and his sales team at SAE have built a tremendous reputation not only throughout Europe but globally and ICE has always sought partnerships with strong individuals and companies," Coppola said. "We feel that the Sega team can help us grow closer to operators in these various regions of the world and expand the presence of coin operated redemption games."

"Sega has long been the market leader in high end video games; therefore it was only natural that in order to expand our product portfolio we turned to ICE the market leader in redemption and novelty equipment," said Sega MD Williams. "We are all thoroughly thrilled and excited about the future potential that the joining of both brands can bring to the market."

ICE international sales pro Gene Brogowski will continue to work each of these markets in full cooperation a unified effort with the SAE sales team.
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SKEE-DADDLE IS NOW SHIPPING
(Posted August 12, 2009 -- 5:30PM)

Skee-Ball's new children's game, Skee-Daddle, is now in full production and shipping to distribution, confirmed factory president Jeff Hudson. The bright and colorful Skee-Daddle allows players of smaller stature to enjoy the traditional Skee-Ball experience. Children find tossing the soft ball into the point pockets to be challenging, yet not as difficult as rolling the ball up the traditional length alley. Operator adjustable fixed ticket payouts insure everyone is a winner. The game also boasts a small footprint (29" wide x 48" deep x 71" high) so it can fit in just about any space. To learn more, or for a distributor referral, contact Skee-Ball 215/997-8900, e-mail at penn@skeeball.com.
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FUNDING STOP AND AVS FORM VLT FUNDING ALLIANCE
(Posted August 10, 2009 -- 5PM)

The Funding Stop has formed a strategic alliance with Illinois distributor American Vending Sales to help finance operators as they begin to deploy video gaming machines over the coming year. This strategic alliance has been forged with terminal operators to secure custom-structured financing solutions for competitive growth.

The Funding Stop is recognized in the Louisiana video gaming terminal marketplace as a one-stop shop. The commercial finance company will provide all necessary capital to future terminal operators in a tough banking environment and to be their one-stop partner from initial ordering to roll out. The Funding Stop has corporate headquarters in Burr Ridge, Ill., and additional sales offices in New York and New Orleans.

"We are excited to provide financing programs to American Vending Sales and support their customers," said Edgar G. Colomb, president of The Funding Stop. "Our programs are custom-designed with the knowledge that most of our potential customers will face funding challenges amidst one of the worst financial marketplaces of our time. Moreover, as seasoned veterans of the casino gaming industry, bringing three decades of executive gaming experience and niche knowledge of amusement games slot routes (video gaming terminal routes), the principals of The Funding Stop are equipped with a unique understanding of future terminal operators' cash flow and business growth needs."

"American Vending Sales is extremely pleased to be working with The Funding Stop," said Tony Shamma, VP of music and game sales for AVS. "We believe that with The Funding Stop's experience in gaming financing since 1992, they would be able to bring tremendous value to our customers with video lottery terminals."
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TOUCHTUNES APPOINTS JAMES SURA AS VP OF PLAYPORTT
(Posted August 10, 2009 -- 5PM)

TouchTunes Corp. has appointed James Sura to the newly created position of vice president and general manager, PlayPorTT Division. Sura was formerly with Bell Canada, where he was vice president, small and medium business. He will report directly to Charles Goldstuck, president and CEO of TouchTunes.

Sura will be responsible for all business aspects of the PlayPorTT portable music and games product and will be leading efforts to grow TouchTunes' games business overall. He will also handle TouchTunes' business in Canada and Mexico. PlayPorTT is a wireless, portable tabletop system. Customers can take PlayPorTT to their table and play music and games. It also delivers engaging interactive promotional, advertising and marketing features.

Sura will oversee the national roll out for PlayPorTT at Buffalo Wild Wings locations, one of the nation's fastest growing restaurant chains. He will also manage the expansion of PlayPorTT into new national and regional restaurant locations. "I've hand-picked Jamie to execute our long-term business plan for PlayPorTT," said Goldstuck. "He understands the value PlayPorTT brings to leading restaurant and entertainment brands, as well our intended migration strategy from a closed to an open platform environment."

Additionally, Sura will work closely with Francois Guy, director, mobile platform development, and Steve Birrell, VP and GM of national accounts, to deliver the PlayPorTT business plan. While at Bell Canada, Sura was responsible for driving the successful transformation of the company's $450 million mid-market business. Prior to his time there, he was VP of sales and marketing, Snap-on Tools. His experience includes 10 years at IBM in sales and marketing roles, as well as time at several technology start-up businesses.
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FIRESTONE WORKING WITH JVL AND LAI ON FINANCE OFFERS
(Posted August 10, 2009 -- 5PM)

JVL Corp. has teamed up with Firestone Financial to offer a new financing program that provides 5.99% APR financing for 24 months (with no payment for 120 days) or 1.9% APR financing for 12 months.

A minimum purchase of three Encore touchscreens is required in order to be eligible for the program. This offer is available through Oct. 31. "This unique program, which allows operators to generate up to four months of revenue before having to make the first payment, will provide customers with greater flexibility in financing their Encores," said JVL CEO Peter Guterres.

LAI Games USA has also announced a new financing program through Firestone. The two firms have created a program that provides 0% APR financing for 13 months or 4.99% APR financing for 24 months with no money down. A minimum $10,000 purchase is required.

All LAI games, novelty products and kiddie rides are eligible for the program, including Mini Stacker, Star Blitz photobooth and the new ticket redemption game Stacker Double Up. The offer is available through September 30 and open to U.S. customers only.
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ICMOA TO HOST GAMING FINANCE SEMINARS
(Posted August 7, 2009 -- 4PM)

The Illinois Coin Machine Association will host two seminars dedicated to helping operators finance their upcoming obligations pertaining to legalized gaming. Illinois lawmakers have approved video gaming, and state officials are currently working their way through the regulator process. However, some time next year, operators will be faced with significant equipment costs if they want to enter the emerging sector. The seminars will look at various financing options, as well as a number of other issues related to the introduction of gaming in the Land of Lincoln.

The first of these two seminars will be held Aug. 19 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Hawthorn Suites in Champaign, Ill.; the second meeting will take place the following day, Aug. 20, from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Holiday Inn in Elk Grove Village near Chicago's O'Hare Airport.

Speakers will include Firestone Financial's Jim Hines, Gaming Capital Group's Rob Miller, The Funding Stop's Edgar Colomb, The Innovations Group's Matt Sodl andrepresentatives of Wells Fargo Bank, ICMOA law firm Shefsky & Froelich Ltd. and ICMOA PR firm Hodge Schindler. For more information, email ICMOA executive director Rich Mitchell at rmitchell@icmoa.org.
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GLEASON IS NEW MARKETING TOPPER AT D&B
(Posted August 5, 2009 -- 4PM)

Sean Gleason, the marketing maven who devised everything from the Pizza Hut logo to the "nothing diet about it" Diet Dr Pepper campaign, is now turning his talent and two decades of experience to Dave & Buster's. The newly named chief marketing officer will focus on creating strategies and campaigns that communicate the unique positioning that Dave & Buster's holds with consumers. He'll also lead the organization's efforts in developing new products as the company continues to evolve the brand.

"Sean's creative talent and track record of building brands by connecting core consumers is a great fit for D&B," said Steve King, CEO of Dave & Buster's. "Sean will be an outstanding addition to our team as we continue to ramp-up our growth."

Gleason most recently served as senior VP of marketing and communications for Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, a division of Cadbury Schweppes. He led a team that was responsible for consumer-based initiatives. Previously, Gleason worked for Pizza Hut Inc., holding several positions including division marketing director and director of field marketing, ending his tenure as VP of marketing communications.

Gleason attended the University of Virginia and graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications. A Washington, D.C., area native, Gleason spent the first decade of his career at marketing agencies in the area. He's been a resident of Dallas for the last 13 years and has two young daughters, whom he frequently takes to Dave & Buster's, where he is a top-scorer on the Super Trivia game.
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PRIMETIME AMUSEMENTS APPOINTED FALGAS MASTER DISTRIBUTOR
(Posted August 5, 2009 -- 4PM)

PrimeTime Amusements, based in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., has announced their appointment as the master distributor for Falgas kiddie rides in the U.S. and Canada. "PrimeTime is extremely proud to represent Falgas kiddie rides," said Paul Jacobs, VP of sales and marketing. "They are a world-class company with an impeccable reputation within the industry."

Founded in 1960 and based in Girona, Spain, Falgas Comercial S.L. is apremier kiddie ride manufacturer. The company offers a wide variety of over 100 rides and attractions suitable for use in arcades, family entertainment centers, amusement parks, zoos, museums, schools, shopping malls, supermarkets, department stores and a host of other venues.

Falgas rides are sturdily constructed of fiberglass bodies with bright multi-color exteriors, attractive lighting, fantastic sounds and continuous motion. Their trains on tracks, particularly suited to sites such as zoos and amusement parks, have been consistent top sellers for years with some still in operation after more than 20 years on location.

Recently, Falgas has introduced an innovative new concept, a combination kiddie ride and interactive redemption game. The first two models available are the Pirate's Boat and 60's Surf Van. These and many more rides can be viewed at PrimeTime's website www.primetimeamusements.com.

"PrimeTime has been testing some of our rides with great success and they are committed to making a strong marketing effort on our behalf," stated Jose Saus, Falgas VP of sales. "Consequently, we are very enthusiastic about this appointment."
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COINSTAR INKS DEAL WITH KROGER ON RED BOX
(Posted August 3, 2009 -- 3PM)

Coinstar has struck an agreement with The Kroger Co. to expand the presence of its redbox fully-automated DVD rental kiosks at stores nationwide. Redbox DVD kiosks are currently available at more than 200 Kroger locations, and more than 2,600 Kroger-operated supermarkets and convenience stores will feature the popular redbox DVD kiosks within the next year. Coinstar also operates games and bulk vending units in national retail stores.

"Kroger has been a valued customer of Coinstar for a number of years, and we're very pleased to expand our relationship with this industry leader beyond our self-service coin-counting kiosks to now include redbox DVD kiosks," said Gregg Kaplan, president and chief operating officer of Coinstar. "Our products are designed to deliver convenience and value to the consumer while increasing foot traffic for our retailers, and we look forward to partnering with Kroger to serve their customers."

"This partnership with Coinstar will give our customers across the country access to new release DVDs for $1 a night," said Paul Scutt, senior VP for Kroger. "Our shoppers tell us that the redbox kiosks are an easy, convenient and affordable way to watch popular new movies at home with their families." The rollout of more than 2,600 redbox DVD kiosks at Kroger and Kroger-operated banner supermarkets and convenience stores nationwide will be completed in 2010.
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ICE LAUNCHES TWITTER PAGE
(Posted August 3, 2009 -- 3PM)

In an effort to further connect with people within the industry, Innovative Concepts in Entertainment recently announced that they have launched a Twitter page at http://twitter.com/ice_games. Sign up to follow ICE and receive messages about upcoming events and promotions plus late-breaking news and product launches. Twitter is a service for friends, family and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent messages. These messages, often called tweets, are restricted to 140 characters or less and are posted on a profile page or sent to followers.
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VNEA HOSTS CHARTER HOLDER EVENT
(Posted August 3, 2009 -- 3PM)

The Valley National 8-ball Association recently hosted its annual charter holder's workshop in St. Louis. As in years past, the event featured a series of seminars designed to improve and enhance league operators for its members. VNEA veterans Elmar Klapstein, Marshall Kohtz and Anthony Falcigno led the discussions. Topics included league development, divisions and scheduling, juniors, rules and disputes, administration of leagues, marketing and promotions, tournaments and managing a league website.

On the first evening, following a VNEA cocktail party, attendees took in a Cardinals game that showcased two Albert Pujols home runs or visited the local casino for a night at the gaming tables. Lunches and dinners were served compliments of Valley. The factory was also represented at the event by new owner Kelye Stites and sales veteran Joe Bundra. On the second night of the event, participants faced off in their own double-elimination tourney run by championship director Gary Benson.

Other highlights of the event included Tom Elum's Junior League Fundraiser generating over $600, Junior League Silent Auction raising over $900 and a presentation by league software specialist Gary Kluck (League Central).
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July 2009 (Go back to main 2009 menu)

ANALYST TOUTS MFG. AS STATES CONSIDER GAMING
(Posted July 31, 2009 -- 3PM)

A prominent industry analyst has upgraded his recommendation for gaming machine supplier IGT (International Game Technology) in light of expansion of gaming machines in Illinois and Ohio, as well as possibly Pennsylvania, according to a recent report by Bloomberg news. Brian McGill of Janney Montgomery Scott changed his recommendation on IGT from neutral to buy, indicating his belief in the company's stock. In his report, McGill noted that many states are strapped for cash and may well look to gaming for additional tax revenue.

State tax revenues are down across the nation, although Bloomberg noted that casino revenues are also down, experiencing declines as high as 15% in some regions. Gaming critics point to decreased casino revenues as evidence that additional gaming is not necessarily the panacea being sought by public officials.

Earlier this month, Pennsylvania lawmakers on a crucial committee narrowly approved a measure authorizing up to five video gaming units in bars and taverns. The measure does include a role for operators, who split 45% of the net earnings with locations, while the state will get 50% of the profits. The remaining 5% will be used for administration costs. An earlier proposal called for a single gaming provider and did not include operators, but the bill was amended before passage. The proposal awaits consideration by the full legislature.
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CHICAGO MAYOR WEIGHS IN ON GAMING
(Posted July 31, 2009 -- 3PM)

Chicago mayor Richard Daley says Illinois communities that choose not to have video gaming, as allowed by the new law, should not reap the tax revenue benefits produced by the machines. "If everybody opts out, then you have no infrastructure," Daley was quoted as saying in the Chicago Sun Times. "You have no roads, no bridges, no schools, no parks. You have nothing. You can't opt out and say, 'I want all the benefits.' That's truly unfair."

Meanwhile, a Cook County commissioner has already proposed opting out of video poker in all unincorporated areas of the county. Much of the Chicago metro area is located in Cook County. Daley conceded that video gaming "isn't ideal" but went on to say it was the only politically palatable way to generate the much needed money for capital spending in the state. The Chicago mayor has also suggested new city laws that would protect against gaming abuses.
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BIG BUCK PARTIES IN FULL SWING
(Posted July 31, 2009 -- 3PM)

PlayMechanix's Big Buck parties are in full swing across the nation with live events being held in Nebraska, western Washington, Texas and Las Vegas. Participants get a chance to play either Big Buck Hunter Pro and Big Buck Safari for free, cheered on and encouraged by an entourage of Big Buck Girls. Prizes and swag are handed out as well as information about the upcoming Big Buck World Championships, where over $70,000 will be awarded.

At a recent stop in western Washington, operators Dave Evans from Specialty Coin and Jim Marsh from Hart Novelty showed up to check out the competition first hand, as seen here in these snapshots. The current series concludes today at Putter's Place in Las Vegas (11 p.m.) and Saturday, August 1, at Aces & Eights, also in Las Vegas (11 p.m.).

PlayMechanix's Ryan Cravens reports that Big Buck parties will be an ongoing promotion designed to reward players, locations and operators for their support of the CoinUp online system. By the way, the road to the Big Buck World Championships begins on August 1 with the Regional Online Qualifying Tournament on all CoinUp-enabled Big Buck Hunter Pro and Big Buck Safari machines. The top 25 players from each region and on each game will be invited to the regional finals in September. They will be held in eight different cities across the country, and the top three players from each region and each game will emerge from these exciting live-body events. These six players will compete for the top prize of $10,000 in Chicago this October.
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NEW YORK AG HALTS SALE OF SOME TOY GUNS
(Posted July 31, 2009 -- 3PM)

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has called on more than 100 retailers, distributors and manufacturers to halt the sale of toy guns that don't adhere to that state's law requiring specific design features, according to numerous press reports. The announcement came on Tuesday, June 28, during a news conference in which it was declared the law, which can impose fines up to $1,000 per incident, would receive stepped-up enforcement.

According to The Buffalo News, the New York law requires that "to be legal, the fake guns must be a color other than black, silver or aluminum, and they must have a non-removable orange stripe that runs the entire length of the barrel," which is more restrictive than the federal law only necessitating an orange plug on the barrel. Imitation guns may be used to threaten harm and play a role in a police officer's decision to shoot someone brandishing the look-alike, noted authorities.
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QUBICA-AMF DEBUTS REDEMPTION FOR BOWLING LANES
(Posted July 29, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

QubicaAMF Worldwide has introduced its On-Lane Redemption System that provides bowling centers the ability to issue redemption tickets on the lanes. Centers have the ability to set preferences for ticket issuing, ticket value and payout control.

Ticket emitters on the lanes communicate the number of tickets issued, per player, for the session bowled to the Conqueror Pro Management System. On-lane animations display the tickets issued per bowler per frame. Through a series of available reports, a center can see how many tickets were issued by period and their value, see payout percent versus revenue and see revenue for bowling games with redemption by day or period.

"This is the only system on the market that allows centers to turn bowling lanes into redemption games. On screen animations add entertainment value to the game, encouraging customers to bowl more games and return to the center more frequently," says Jay Buhl, VP of Sales for QubicaAMF Worldwide. "Redemption games are increasingly popular among open play bowlers, and represent a successful revenue generating tool for centers that cater to this market segment."

One ticket dispenser per pair of lanes is the only hardware component to be installed. It holds two ticket emitters, which can service both lanes simultaneously. The ticket dispenser mounts on the floor in front of the ball return making it accessible to bowlers on both lanes, and does not interfere with bowler activity.
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AMOT HOLDS ANNUAL CONVENTION
(Posted July 29, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

Texas tradesters gathered earlier this month, July 16-18, for the 36th annual convention of the Amusement and Music Operators of Texas, held in Kerrville, TX at the Y O Ranch Resort Hotel. At the annual gathering, the group elected Larry Lindelow as AMOT's new president. Kirby Cline is 1st VP. Varzric Grigorian is 2nd VP. Ramsey Meredith will serve as secretary, and Coy Harbin is the new treasurer. Joe Franz is the association's executive director, and Denis Smith is the immediate past president. New directors include Joe Hello, Bob Hourihan, Ronny Linebaugh, Mike Nations, Chandler Mayes and Jake Plaia.

During the group's general membership luncheon, AMOT top lobbyist Lee Woods offered a recap of the past legislative session, the statewide smoking ban and what each company can do, as a grass root effort, in the coming months to be prepared for the next legislative session.

Texas Rep. Roland Gutierrez, District 119 from San Antonio, was the featured speaker at the annual AMOT banquet. Representative Gutierrez spoke on the different factions that are trying to come together to implement gambling in Texas and how he will work to make sure operators are included in any initiatives. Look for more coverage of AMOT's summer show in the September issue of RePlay.
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ICE INTRODUCES SECOND NEW GAME
(Posted July 29, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

Less than a week after announcing its most recently new game, game maker ICE says it is also set to release Go Ballistic, an exciting, interactive ball toss video redemption game that requires players to physically move around by tossing soft play balls at an interactive screen.

Game trends are shifting towards more interactive, movement-based or sports-themed games, which combine video game technology with fitness. Go Ballistic is an action game suitable for the whole family.

There are five mini-games to choose from, and the mini-games are not level progressive so players have complete freedom to select whichever game and whatever level they want to play. Each mini-game features an attention-grabbing theme and a mission that players must accomplish by tossing balls at moving targets onscreen to win points. There is no limit to the number of balls per game so players can toss as many as they like. There is, however, a time limit so speed and skills do come into play. The more points earned, the more tickets won. Initial collection reports on this game have been very strong, reported the factory.

Height and design of the cabinet encourage game play for the entire family, as well as multi-players. The game dimensions are 78" x 47" x 87". The machine is equipped with a 47" touch screen monitor, superb animated graphics and dynamic surround sound. For more information, contact your local authorized ICE distributor or call 716/759-0370; website www.icegame.com.
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AAMA ELECTS COHEN AS CHAIRMAN, HOSTS ANNUAL DISTRIBUTOR GALA
(Posted July 27, 2009 -- 3:30PM)

The American Amusement Machine Association concluded nearly a week's worth of meetings on Friday night with its annual Distributor Gala featuring close to a dozen new games set for fall release. During its meetings, the association elected Firestone Financial CEO David Cohen as its new chairman.

At the gala, the association handed out its top awards for the year, honoring industry veteran Neal Rosenberg with the prestigious Joe Robbins Award. Family Fun Companies' Jim Chapman was presented with the trade group's President's Award, chosen by the association's staff. Lastly, outgoing chairman Dave Courington (pictured here with Cohen) was presented with a special commemorative for his two years of service during what have clearly been trying times for the trade. During the gala, AAMA also presented a $10,000 check to each of its two charities of choice, the Children's Miracle Network and Kids Enjoy Exercise Now (KEEN).

Several dignitaries from other associations attended the event, including AMOA's president Russ Mawdsley and first VP Gary Brewer, NAMA president Richard Geerdes and EVP Dan Matthews and the Bowling Proprietors Association of America's national exhibit sales manager Greg Taylor.

In the meetings that led up to the gala, AAMA held elections, voting Cohen into the role as association chairman. Rosenberg will serve as vice chairman, AMI's John Margold as treasurer, Drouillard International's Dave Drouillard as assistant treasurer, Namco's Frank Cosentino as secretary and Benchmark's Al Kress as assistant secretary. Both Cosentino and Kress are former AAMA chairmen.

Newly elected or re-elected board members include Rich Babbich (Game Exchange of Colorado), Todd Cravens (Betson), John Margold (AMI), Darren Decatoire, Neal Rosenberg, Ed Urich (Happ) and Sondra Doyle (Sureshot Redemption). Look for more coverage of the meetings and the gala, including a catalog of new product debuts, in the September issue of RePlay.
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DREW MANISCALCO JOINS ELAUT USA
(Posted July 27, 2009 -- 3:30PM)

Drew Maniscalco has joined Elaut USA as the firm's new VP of Business Development. In his new role, Drew will focus on seeking new opportunities to grow Elaut's crane sales, operations and marketing as well as expand Elaut's product line up. Elaut USA CEO Jack Guarnieri said: "Drew is a great addition to our team, and we are thrilled to have Drew with us as we continue to take advantage of opportunities in this market and beyond." Maniscalco will also be involved in the operations of PinballSales.com as he is very familiar with the consumer side of the business as well.

Maniscalco brings over 20 years of industry experience to Elaut. He recently worked as VP of Sales and Marketing for Chicago Gaming where he was instrumental in the licensing of key game titles for the consumer pieces Arcade Legends and Nicktoons Racing. He also developed the popular kiddie game SpongeBob Jellyfishing. Previously he was a Special Products Manager for Sega, and along with Carlos Echaves developed the hit redemption game SpongeBob, a coin roll down that was one of Sega's most successful redemption pieces.

"The opportunity to work with Elaut is very exciting," said Maniscalco. "Jack has created a new excitement within the company, and I look forward to this challenge. I would like to thank the Duba family (Sandy, Roger and Doug) of Chicago Gaming for the privilege of working with them for the past four years." Maniscalco can be reached at Drew@elautusa.com or by phone at 813/818-1090.
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ULTRACADE DEFENDANTS ASSERT INNOCENCE
(Posted July 27, 2009 -- 3:30PM)

Two industry veterans accused by federal authorities of allegedly producing and selling unauthorized game software and hardware rightfully owned by Global VR (GVR) as a result of the sale of UltraCade to GVR have both proclaimed their innocence. The two defendants, UltraCade founder David Foley and Connecticut game dealer Mike Daddona of Automated Services, were indicted by a federal grand jury in California earlier this month on an array of charges connected to the alleged offense.

Foley has pleaded innocent to the charges and reiterated that plea when contacted by this publication. Daddona's attorney Hugh Keefe issued this statement about the case late last week: "It is important to remember at this time that this is merely an accusation. We intend to vigorously defend this charge in court, and we expect to be fully vindicated."

At the center of the allegations are charges that Foley illegally used hardware, removed from UltraCade to his home before the sale of the company to Global VR, to produce game packs. The UltraCade system offered multiple classic arcade titles, all of which had been licensed by their original creators for use on the system.

In their indictment, prosecutors claim Foley kept illegally making the games even after he sold the company to Global VR and left the employ of that company. He then allegedly sold games to Daddona and provided the latter with the means to duplicate game packs on his own. The indictment claims this activity continued for some time after Foley left Global VR even though the supposedly illegal games carried artwork and graphics claiming them as valid Global VR games.
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ICE DEBUTS PHOTO FINISH
(Posted July 24, 2009 -- 2:15PM)

Innovative Concepts in Entertainment is off to the races with its newest redemption piece, Photo Finish Racing. The game creates the atmosphere and excitement of a live horse race at your location. The three- to five-player unit is fully automated with a commentator calling the players to participate. Game play is supported by onscreen displays and the traditional horn calling the horses to post. As the horse enters the starting stalls, players feel as though they are there thanks to the 47" LCD monitor display. Enjoy the background sounds and sample the atmosphere of the races while you wait for the starting bell.

Photo Finish Racing is a true test of ability; players must use their skill to roll a ball into the different value scoring holes in the table to make their horse sprint, gallop or trot down the course to the finishing post. The game also features race commentary and sounds of the horses' hooves pounding the turf as players watch them gallop past the furlong markers. Ultimately, the object of the game is to utilize ball rolling skills to beat fellow riders to the winning post.

After the race has concluded, this highly interactive game will leave players gearing up for the next one. The dimensions of the three-player unit are 71" x 68" x 112", making this piece an attraction in itself. An optional stool feature is now available. Bring the races to your location today!

For more information, contact ICE at 716/759-0370; email ice_sales@icegame.com; website www.icegame.com.
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COAST TO COAST OFFERS HALLOWEEN PRE-PACKS
(Posted July 24, 2009 -- 2:15PM)

Halloween is the second largest retail shopping season, and Coast to Coast Entertainment is ready to take operators' Halloween pre-pack orders. The firm's Halloween pre-packs start at $.99 per item and include free shipping. Pre-packs are available in both regular and jumbo sizes and, as always, offer quality plush at discount prices. For more information, contact Coast to Coast at 800/224-1717 or visit their website at www.cranemachines.com.
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GUITAR HERO ARCADE ROCKS CALIFORNIA EXTREME
(Posted July 24, 2009 -- 2:15PM)

CA Extreme, a celebration of coin-op pinball machines, videogames and amusement novelties, cranked up the volume at its 13th annual event with a two-day Guitar Hero Arcade tournament. Raw Thrills, developer of Guitar Hero Arcade, and Betson Enterprises, the exclusive Raw Thrills distributor for coin-op products, were official sponsors of the event held in Santa Clara, Calif., July 11-12.

Over 50 players from all over North America entered the contest to compete for the grand prize that consisted of a Wii console complete with a full band kit and five Guitar Hero Arcade titles. The total prize package of Guitar Hero products with a retail value of over $2,000 was awarded to the top 16 players.

Players were required to test their skills against each other on five predetermined Guitar Hero Arcade songs. Each player was required to compete on the same level of difficulty and was awarded points for the placement of their song scores in the five categories. The top 16 players advanced to a four-round showdown that narrowed the field to two players who battled it out in a best of three contest.

"A lot of people were introduced to Guitar Hero Arcade for the first time," noted Bowen Kerins, tournament director of CA Extreme. "Guitar Hero Arcade was being played before, during and well after the tournament events on both days." Players from as far as Massachusetts and Burnaby, Canada, entered the competition.

Alec Castillo, age 14, held off stiff competition from Justin Kelly, a 33-year-old pinball enthusiast who just couldn't resist the chance to compete. "I play Guitar Hero Arcade at my local theater all the time," said Justin. "It's a great game." At the end of the event, Tony Maniscalco of Betson Enterprises and Kerins presented Castillo with a championship plaque and the Ultimate Guitar Hero prize package.

"Coin operators already know the value of promoting tournaments and contests on the Play Mechanix Big Buck Hunter Pro and Safari products," said Tony Maniscalco. "Guitar Hero Arcade is the perfect product to drive location traffic with organized contests!"

To see the excitement created by the Guitar Hero Arcade tournament at CA Extreme 2009, visit the Betson4Games channel on www.youtube.com.
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AMOA SHOW BADGES NOT GOING OUT BY MAIL
(Posted July 24, 2009 -- 2:15PM)

Attendees at the September 24-26 AMOA Expo will not be receiving their admission badges in the mail in advance of the event this year, the association announced last week.

"All advance registrants will receive a confirmation via email that will contain a bar code to be scanned at an express registration counter on-site. Registrants will be reminded to bring a printed copy of the confirmation for securing a badge upon arrival at the tradeshow," the association explained in its weekly email. "Many shows are using the exclusively onsite badge production system, and besides saving money on paper and postage, it provides a more accurate system for verifying registrants who attend."
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COURT OPENS UP SKILL PRIZES IN OHIO
(Posted July 24, 2009 -- 2:15PM)

On July 16, an Ohio appeals court ruled that some provisions of the state's 2007 skill game law were unconstitutional. Specifically, the court ruled that the $10 limitation on prizes is not legal under the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

"On first review, we believe that skill games operated anywhere in Ohio can award any level of merchandise prize; it is not limited to just $10," wrote OCMA executive director David Corey in an email to members. "The July 16 appeals court decision finally clarified what many of you have known for quite some time: the provisions in HB 177, passed on October 17, 2007, signed by the governor on October 25, 2007 and effective, by emergency provision, on October 25, 2007, was a poorly and hastily written law, was afforded minimal public comment and is riddled with issues. However, this court decision seems to have created an immediate opportunity for all OCMA members and struggling-to-survive bars."

In related news, Ohio lawmakers recently approved a budget bill that provides for the placement of video gaming terminals on location. While the bill did not specify where the games would be placed, Governor Ted Strickland reportedly followed up with an executive order limiting the placement to the state's seven race tracks and granting those tracks 10-year-licenses to operate the machines. Ohio tradesters expect a court challenge of the governor's order.
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NEVADA OP SQUASHES TAX HIKE
(Posted July 22, 2009 -- 4PM)

Carson City's Doug Minter gets the "fireman" award from RePlay for being Johnny on the Spot and calling association lobbyist Scott Craigie in time to squash a nasty proposed tax increase. Seems some members of the Nevada Senate (behind closed doors) came up with a bill that would levy a $200 tax for every single location where a company does business in the state.

Spelled out, Doug said it would cost jukebox, game and vending operators $200 for every account. (Right now, operators pay $200 one time for the standard annual business tax.) "If an operator has 100 locations, that would cost him $20,000 instead of $200," Doug advised. Thank you, Doug and Scott, for putting this fire out before it burned the house down.

By the way, Doug is more or less the permanent president of the Amusement & Vending Operators of Nevada, an association that could use a lot more support from the rank and file in the state. So, what are you wallflowers waiting for?
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BAY TEK HITS THE ROAD WITH NEW MERCHANDISER
(Posted July 22, 2009 -- 4PM)

Bay Tek Games is debuting its new, three-tier merchandiser, Road Trip, featuring simple yet entertaining game play. "This true game of skill has tested well in a diverse cross section of locations anywhere from bowling centers to waterparks, casinos and FECs to sports bars and large retail chains," the factory declared. "The small footprint and game selections allow Road Trip to fit well into any location." Operators can choose between a white or black cabinet and between spindles or capsules for the small prize design.

Players step up and spin the wheel three times to try to accumulate enough miles on their first road trip from New York to Chicago. If they make it, they can pick a small prize or continue on to the next road trip to Denver. Spin three more times, get enough miles and choose again, medium prize or continue onto the last road trip to Hollywood for the opportunity to play for a large prize with three more spins.

"This is the game that will fill that street demand," predicted sales honcho Rick Rochetti. "We are very confident that this is the piece for the fall. Road Trip units are available for purchase now for August delivery. Make sure to book your reservations for AMOA and come play Road Trip in Las Vegas." For more information on Road Trip, log on to www.baytekgames.com or call 920/822-3951.
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BIRMINGHAM VENDING REMAINS READY
(Posted July 22, 2009 -- 4PM)

To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of the demise of one southern distributor are greatly exaggerated. After reading several comments in a recent issue of RePlay, Birmingham Vending topper Steven Toranto reminded us that his distribution business in Alabama is still up and running strong. "We are still supplying and distributing all of the same lines. We have not lost one manufacturer/distributor relationship. With our lower cost structure, we are able to offer our customers the best pricing, support and service. In fact, we are the only local distributor that handles Touchtunes, Rockola and Ecast jukeboxes." Steven explained to RePlay. Birmingham Vending is operating out of a 25,000 square foot facility in Alabama with full parts and service support.
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SMART OFFERS SELF-REDEMPTION 101
(Posted July 22, 2009 -- 4PM)

Smart Industries recently launched its Prize Center School online. This service offers potential operators of the Prize Center self-merchandiser a comprehensive tutorial in how to place and run the unit. Prize Center allows operators to offer ticket redemption in locations that are not set up for a traditional prize counter. The unit provides a way to take tickets and dispense with a wide range of prizes. Smart's online tutorial offers answers to just about any question that might arise regarding the operation of its innovative prize dispenser. Check it out at http://www.smartind.com/pages/prc-school.html.
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GLOBAL VR SET TO DEBUT NEW DRIVER
(Posted July 17, 2009 -- 11:30AM)

At this week's AAMA Gala in Chicago, Global VR will premier Twisted, the newest edition to the factory's family of successful drivers, according to an announcement released by one of the factory's distributors. The unique game play and the heart-pounding action of this new driver will appeal to players of all ages, particularly when combined with the factory's new Mini Motion platform. Four games can be linked together. The Mini Motion 42" LCD will ship in late August, while the deluxe 42" LCD and the standard 32" LCD will both ship in late September. Look for more information in a future issue of RePlay.
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JESKE EXITS SHELTI
(Posted July 17, 2009 -- 11:30AM)

Shelti's Annette Jeske is leaving the pool table maker to pursue a new career. Having completed a master's degree in health services, she has accepted a job with a Medicaid program in Michigan that helps the elderly find the services they need. Please direct sales and service questions to Cathy Scarbrough at Shelti HQ, 877-893-1739, or direct at her office, 815-384-8018. Accounting questions can be directed to Diane Skinner, also at the toll-free Shelti number.
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FIRESTONE PROGRAM EXTENDED ON TOUCHTUNES KITS
(Posted July 20, 2009 -- 6PM)

Jukebox operators now have until the end of September to get great rates on TouchTunes boxes and kits when they finance with Firestone. TouchTunes CD Conversion Kits are being offered at 0.00% APR financing for 12 months. All TouchTunes jukes can be financed as long as 36 months and rates start at 0% APR. The minimum purchase on both promotions is two units. For more details, visit www.firestonefinancial.com/programs. All applicable tax and freight are due up front. The $200 filing fee will be included in the financing. For transactions of 10 units or more, the filing fee will be waived.
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SIGNED, SEALED AND DELIVERED: REPLAY'S AUGUST ISSUE READY TO MAIL
(Posted July 17, 2009 -- 11:30AM)

Back from the printer and ready for your mailbox, RePlay's August 2009 edition is chock full of news and features.

Find out what sets Hey Day FEC in Norman, Okla., apart from the eatertainment pack in Arcade Profile, how career operator Bill Masterman has cracked open Washington state's bowling center market in Thumbnail Sketch and what professionals in Operator Interface say about changes in the distribution landscape of the Southeast.

Moreover, get firsthand reports from Bowl Expo and the Billiard and Home Recreation Show, along with analysis of those markets, plus the latest scoop on the IAAPA-IALEI merger process, info on the latest amusement and vending product and much more found only in the print edition of RePlay Magazine.
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MISSOURI ASSOCIATION MEETING SET FOR AUGUST 15, LEGISLATIVE ISSUES TO BE DISCUSSED
(Posted July 17, 2009 -- 11:30AM)

The Missouri Amusement and Music Operators Association will hold its annual meeting on Saturday, August 15, in the Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., at the Inn at Grand Glaize.

The membership meeting will take place from 11 a.m. to noon followed by a luncheon from noon to 1 p.m. At 1:30 p.m., an auction will commence for prizes donated by manufacturers and suppliers, followed by a free afternoon during which attendees can enjoy many activities, including an optional golf tournament. A meet-and-greet cocktail party will also take place Friday evening.

Association president Tom Newman of Newman Amusement in Poplar Bluff will preside.

"We're expecting between 50 and 60 people," reported Ron Kinney of Kinney Amusement and Vending in Springfield, incoming president and founding member. Among those, according to Kinney, will be AMOA president Russ Mawdsley and AMOA board member Norm Farber of BFC Enterprises in St. Louis.

Kinney also reported to RePlay results from recent legislative lobbying. "We had a house bill, HB566, that would have allowed fraternal organizations to have one Class II gaming device, or slot machine, that would not be operated by operators for every 40 members," he said. "We got that stopped. We also had some word changes in HB620 and HB671. The wording that we took out would have allowed fraternal orders to own their own pool-tab machines. Since that happened in May, we've gotten word from our lobbyist that the governor will veto them."

He went on to say, "It's easy to fight against stuff, but it's hard to let them be for something such as letting us be involved with gaming like in Illinois. We got close to it one year, but we've really kind of given up and been on the defensive since then. Sometimes you want to be careful what you wish for, but our industry needs something. I think I'd be willing to take on those challenges."

To reserve a room negotiated at $70 per night, contact the Inn at Grand Glaize at 800/348-4731 and ask for Barb Teer (fax 573-348-4694). For more information, call Kinney at 417/831-0405, ext. 104, or association legal contact Chuck Van Bebber at Moss Distributing, 877/334-6111.
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MORE CHANGE AT ELAUT USA
(Posted July 17, 2009 -- 11:30AM)

On the heels of Neal Rosenberg exiting Elaut USA comes another change at the top. Chief financial officer Knut Danielsen has accepted a position with a Manhattan-based financial firm and will be leaving today. Knut has been in the amusement industry since 1997 when he was controller of Mondial International and Mondial Distributing.

"Knut has been a good friend of mine since we worked together at Mondial in 1997," said Elaut CEO Jack Guarnieri, adding that they threw a party for their friend and colleague. "Knut lives in Greenwich, Conn., and we are moving further away from his home to Lakewood, N.J., in September. It was only natural, since we don't have an Elaut helicopter yet, that Knut would look for a position closer to home."

Replacing Knut as CFO is Michael Carle, current CFO of Freehold Raceway in Freehold, N.J. Michael brings over 20 years of progressive, professional accounting and supervisory experience. Mike was controller of a publicly traded company and has held a number of financial and leadership positions, including controlling a budget for sales revenue of a $40 million company, as well as directing customer service and billing functions of a company with $50 million in annual sales revenue.
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LAI GAMES ANNOUNCES NEW BIZ AND MARKETING MANAGERS
(Posted July 17, 2009 -- 11:30AM)

LAI Games, manufacturer of coin-op prize vending and ticket redemption games, photobooths and kiddie rides, has appointed Richard Powell as U.S. controller and business manager and Allison Timberlake as marketing manager.

Richard brings over 20 years of financial and accounting experience to his new role. "It's great to be a part of LAI Games," stated Richard. "I look forward to helping this dynamic team reach even higher levels of success."

Allison is a 12 year veteran of the aviation industry with significant experience in product marketing. She is also a graphic designer and brings a unique and creative viewpoint to LAI's marketing efforts. Regarding LAI Games, she said, "The products are fantastic, and I look forward to contributing to the continued growth and success of LAI and the coin-op industry as a whole."

U.S. GM Peter Gustafson said, "Richard brings not only a solid knowledge of accounting and finance to our organization but also a creativity and drive that will allow us to provide even better service to our customers. And Allison's passion for marketing and eye for design make her a great addition."
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QUINN OPENS ILLINOIS FOR OPERATOR-RUN VIDEO LOTTERY
(Posted July 15, 2009 -- 11:00AM)

When Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the $31 billion public works policy into law on Monday, it officially made his state the forerunner in the movement across the country to boost state coffers brought low by economic woes by legalizing video gaming. According to the Chicago Tribune, the 30% of revenues collected by the state, an estimated $300 million per year, will fund repairs for roads, schools and transit systems.

The newspaper noted that Quinn said he was "'not that big a fan' of video poker. But he said communities have 'adequate protection' because local officials can refuse to allow video gambling and voters can ban it in local referendums."

As RePlay has reported, Illinois' bill requires operator and distributor involvement, making Illinois Coin Machine Operators Association "the largest gaming entity in Illinois," as lobbyist Zach Stamp described last June at the state association's annual meeting. Expected for some time, state operators have been in a frenzy of preparation.

A law firm that spoke to members of ICMOA at that same meeting told operators to expect a 30 to 50 page form, which will request a wide range of personal and financial information.

The first gaming machine is not expected to hit the streets for approximately a year because of the time required to put in place a licensing process and central computer system.

Meanwhile in neighboring Ohio, Governor Ted Strickland directed the Ohio Lottery on Tuesday, July 13, to immediately begin taking action intended to result in the installation of up to 17,500 video slot machines at the state's seven horse race tracks, which will receive a 10-year license, according to Ohio Coin Machine Association EVP David Corey. OCMA has led a crusade for operators to be factored into that process by lawmakers.

"It is very likely that this order will be challenged in the courts," said Corey, "and as we get a better read on the order and the legislation, we will determine our next course of action. Thanks to all OCMA members who worked so hard on this effort. Many legislators were complimentary of your efforts and said that this is the beginning, not the end."
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MICHAEL JACKSON JUKE PLAYS NEARS ONE MILLION
(Posted July 15, 2009 -- 11:00AM)

Since his sudden death, Michael Jackson's songs and albums have leapt up numerous music charts, notably that of TouchTunes' plays. The jukebox manufacturer and music content provider reported that there were 700,442 paid plays in the U.S. with another 17,345 in Canada between his passing on June 25 and July 6.

In the entire network of music, Jackson held 14 slots in their Top 100 chart, including the top two: Billie Jean at no. 1 and Thriller, no. 2. Beat It and P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) were also in the top 10.
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NDA ELECTS NEW BOARD MEMBERS
(Posted July 15, 2009 -- 11:00AM)

The AMOA-National Dart Association elected new directors for the board during its annual meeting at Team Dart. New for 2010 include Terry Meier, Dawn Orloff-Niesen and Stefan Reichert.

Terry is owner of Dolphin Coin in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. He has been in the coin-op business for 50 years and engaged in the dart business for the past 22 years. He served as president for the Michigan Coin Machine Operators Association and currently serves as their tournament director. NDA noted in a bio that Terry is concerned about player retention, works to increase youth involvement in darts and will help stop taxation on businesses.

His colleague Dawn is the league director for American Amusement Arcade in Bloomington, Minn. She has been in the coin-op and dart business for 28 years. She has worked with the Minnesota Operators of Music and Amusements since its inception, has served as president and tournament director and currently serves on the tournament committee. Dawn is an active member of the NDA as one of two people who has attended all 23 Team Darts. She has served as president of the NDA board of directors and currently serves on the tournament committee. Furthermore, she assists Big Brothers/Big Sisters, United Way, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and other local organizations in their fundraising efforts.

Lastly, Stefan is president of DSAB e.V. in Waldalgesheim, Germany. He has been in the coin-op and dart business for 21 years. Stefan serves as the second mayor of his town and has served on the town association's board of directors and as commander of its fire brigade. Stefan also serves on the VNEA board of directors.

Terry, Dawn and Stefan will begin their board duties on January 1, 2010. For more information, contact Alyssa Pfennig, director of membership, at 800/808-9884, ext. 135.
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OHIO OPERATORS PUSH MORE FOR VIDEO POKER
(Posted July 13, 2009 -- 11:45AM)

Ohio operators have continued pressing lawmakers for inclusion in any possible gaming bill. The latest measure before state lawmakers proposes video lottery terminals be placed in seven locations throughout the state. Officials have also discussed placing games in racetracks, and voters may also see a casino referendum this fall, according to press reports.

The Ohio Coin Machine Association sent out a plea for its members to once again contact their state representative and the governor's office.

"There is still an intense debate about VLTs in Ohio and potentially bars," reported OCMA's David Corey. "There is definitely still time to get an amendment in this proposed constitutional amendment to be voted on in November, but we need to act now in order to be considered a viable option."
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ROSENBERG DEPARTS ELAUT USA
(Posted July 13, 2009 -- 11:45AM)

Industry veteran Neal Rosenberg has exited Elaut USA. The likeable Rosenberg felt his job was complete, and was looking for another industry challenge, according to the company. Neal was instrumental in the merger of Monduce with Elaut N.V. in 2005, the buyout of Bruce Amusements in 2008 and the creation of Elaut USA, which merged PinballSales.com with Monduce.

"It's not unusual for the key players who put these mergers together to move on," Neal said. Jack Guarnieri, Elaut USA CEO, commented, "Without Neal's effort, ideas and perseverance, much of what was accomplished the last few years at the former Monduce would not have happened. On a personal and professional note, I thank Neal for all that he has done."

"Coin Row" on Tenth Avenue in New York City. Leo and Neal founded Beverly Music & Vending Services, which served as one of the original models of an independent service company filling the technical needs of many small operators. Neal went on to a 20 year stint at Betson Enterprises, serving as director of operations, and finally to represent Elaut N.V., the original Belgian crane manufacturer.

Neal can be reached through his home office of S&N Enterprises by phone at 516/764-7888 (cell 516/680-0450); fax 516-766-7771; and email nrosen213@aol.com or nrosen213@optonline.net.
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BIG BUCK PARTIES LEAD UP TO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
(Posted July 13, 2009 -- 11:45AM)

Operators of Play Mechanix's CoinUp-enabled Big Buck Pro and Big Buck Safari videogames have been holding Big Buck parties across the country this summer complete with prizes, swag and even the Big Buck Girls, all in preparation of the upcoming Big Buck World Championship where over $70,000 will be awarded.

The road to the Big Buck World Championships will officially begin on August 1 with the regional online qualifying tournament on all CoinUp games. The top 25 Big Buck Hunter Pro players from each region, as well as the top 25 Big Buck Safari gamers from each, will be invited to regional finals in September. The finals will be held in eight cities across the country, and the top three players from each region and game title will emerge from these exciting live body events. These players will compete for the top prize of $10,000 for Big Buck Hunter Pro and Big Buck Safari in Chicago this October.

Operators who want to be a part of this event or others like these must first connect their Big Buck games to CoinUp at no charge. PlayMechanix says game revenue increases by 27% when they are connected to the network. Plus, more tools have been added, including the addition of a WiFi menu that makes connecting to a wireless Internet network easier. To learn more, contact Ryan Cravens atrcravens@playmechanix.com or call 630/942-1070, ext. 132.
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TOP CEC EXEC EXITS PIZZACADE CHAIN
(Posted July 10, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

Longtime Chuck E. Cheese exec Gene Cramm, who served as executive VP, will leave the national pizzacade chain as of August 3. The publicly-traded company made the announcement as part of a Form 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. No word yet on what's in store next for Gene.

Effective immediately, J. Roger Cardinale, EVP of development and purchasing, will assume Cramm's duties, the company added. Cardinale has been with CEC since November 1986.
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I.T. SALES PROMOTION DELIVERS FREE STANDS WITH GAMES PURCHASE
(Posted July 10, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

Incredible Technologies' showpiece cabinet has become a mainstay in sports bars and taverns from coast to coast. Die-hard players and casual fans alike have even been heard to remark that playing Golden Tee on a showpiece cabinet, connected to a big screen HDTV, is a "religious experience," according to the factory.

Operators have also spoken out in praise. Robert McGowan of R&M Vending in Crosby, TX, stated, "Our top location has five Golden Tees with three being showpieces. They out earn the old upright cabinet 10 to one."

Operators can now upgrade their locations to showpieces and save. Through the end of July, I.T. is offering showpiece integrated stands (a $300 value) for free with the purchase of any five I.T. games. Choose from Golden Tee Golf, Silver Strike Bowling, PowerPutt Mini-Golf and Target Toss Pro: Bags/Lawn Darts. Buy five games and get five stands free, saving $1,500!

For all the details, call the I.T. sales hotline at 800/262-0323, ext. 106.
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BENCHMARK RELEASES RECEIPT UPGRADE FOR T2P
(Posted July 10, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

Benchmark Games has debuted a new receipt printer/scanner upgrade for the Tickets to Prizes (T2P) redemption unit. This upgrade is now standard on all dedicated versions of T2P and offers the ability to print a receipt instead of issuing tickets or requiring customers to purchase their prize immediately, according to the factory.

"Customers can print the receipt and come back later after playing more games and winning more tickets, allowing them to redeem for an even bigger prize," said topper Al Kress. "The customer may also take the receipt home, come back and play another day. An audible announcement tells the customer that the receipt has been scanned into memory and/or alerts them that the receipt has already been used. This is a fabulous option for both the customer and location."

Kress went on to say that the upgrade can be purchased in two formats -- a full kit with memory board and a complete kit minus the ticket takers -- and allows the operator to receive up to a $1,000 credit for returning certain useable parts of the older version. For more details, call 888/538-1000.
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PIONEER'S PATRIARCH LAUDED AT WISCONSIN OPERATOR FETE
(Posted July 8, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

An emotional highlight at the June WAMO conference at the Milwaukee Hilton was the presentation of their Clinton Pierce Award for lifetime achievement. The recipient, Joel Kleiman of Pioneer Sales & Service, was the sixth tradester (and the first distributor) so honored over the years (others, like Jim Stansfield last year, were operators). Unable to accept the award in person due to back problems, Kleiman (shown with his son and second in command Jon back at the office) celebrated his 90th birthday on May 15 and has spent more than half that time in the vending, music and games business. Considering the tavern-heavy nature of the business in Wisconsin, most of Pioneer's customers are route operators; many, like Joel Kleiman, are able to trace their company roots back many decades.

Joel founded Pioneer Sales in downtown Milwaukee back in February 1962, but has run the distributing business mostly from his familiar headquarters in Menomonee Falls for many of the years since. Prior to Pioneer, he worked for Automatic Canteen and was president of Rowe AC for a while. (And, as many operator customers know, Joel also distinguished himself as a fighter pilot during WWII.)

Clint Pierce, the late operator whose name graces the lifetime achievement award, was a leader in the Wisconsin trade, a founder of Music Operators of America and president of that national association early on. The award was presented to Jon Kleiman at the WAMO fete by Roger Westmont (Modern Specialty). Jon said, "It's always nice to get an award of any kind, but it's especially so when it comes from the people you sell machines and supplies to. That really feels good!" Congratulations!
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EAST COAST AMUSEMENTS TO SERVICE ECAST-POWERED ROCK-OLA JUKES
(Posted July 8, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

Ecast's authorized service center East Coast Amusements has been designated the preferred "out of warranty" service center for all Ecast-powered Rock-Ola digital jukeboxes. With East Coast Amusements at the helm, Ecast operators have a trustworthy source for repairs of their Ecast-powered Rock-Ola units.

"Dick Donlan and East Coast Amusement are synonymous with service excellence, technology, innovation and trustworthiness," said Scott Walker, VP network operations, Ecast. "Dick and his highly competent crew have been servicing Rock-Ola amps, cores and pre-amps for a number of years and have set up the necessary infrastructure to handle more than just his local marketplace. Ecast operators with Rock-Ola on their routes can rest assured their service needs are in the best hands with him."

"We are thrilled to take the lead on Rock-Ola service for Ecast customers," said Dick Donlan, East Coast Amusements owner. "Over the years, we have invested a lot of time, money and effort to make sure that operators have a timely and cost effective outlet for their jukebox service."

Donlan noted that East Coast Amusements is able to quickly repair any component of all Rock-Ola models, including LCD displays. In order to ensure that operators feel no pain during the Rock-Ola transition, they have designed an IR remote control to replace any obsolete Rock-Ola controls and work with any Mojo-powered jukebox and the EQ.
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CHINESE AUTHORITIES SENTENCE MEGATOUCH SOFTWARE COPIER
(Posted July 8, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

On June 18, the Guangzhou AIC issued a penalty against Fang Ming, owner of the Panyu-based company North Star, for infringement of Megatouch copyrights.

The penalty included a substantial fine and an order to stop illegally copying Megatouch product. The penalty also ordered the confiscation and destruction of 10 sets of copied Megatouch software that were seized during a January raid, as well as confiscation of North Star's sales revenue.

"We appreciate the Chinese government's cooperation and assistance," stated Robert C. Fay, director of government relations for AMI Entertainment Network. "If North Star engages in future copy activities involving Megatouch software, they will be subject to further criminal charges."
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THAILAND POLICE SEIZE MEGATOUCH COPIES
(Posted July 6, 2009 -- 5PM)

Officers from the Royal Thai Economic and Cyber Division, along with local police from the province of Chonburi and the city of Laem Chabang, recently raided the Forum Plaza shopping mall in Chonburi and the Harbor Mall in Laem Chaban and seized illegal copies ofMegatouch software. Galaxy Edu-Hitech, AMI Entertainment Network's Megatouch distributor in Thailand, assisted authorities in carrying out the June 17 raids. "Protecting our intellectual property is important to our company, and we appreciate the cooperation of Galaxy and the Thai police agencies," noted Robert C. Fay, director of government relations for AMI.
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NBVA TAKES ITS CASE TO CONGRESS
(Posted July 6, 2009 -- 5PM)

Nine members of the National Bulk Vendors Association recently went to Washington, D.C., at their own expense and on their own time to seek an exemption from the tracking labels requirement for vended products. They were responding to provisions in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, the sweeping legislation that affects the vending and redemption industries. Those in attendance included Judy Fisher-George, Dax Logue, Phil Brilliant, Carl Morcate, Tom Paszkiewicz, John Lander, Bob Wascher, Don Goletz and Kevin Dumphy.

The law in question requires that, effective August 14, all children's products and their packaging manufactured on or after that date bear permanent tracking labels. The tracking labels must contain certain basic information, including the name of the manufacturer of the product, the location and date of manufacture and identifying cohort information such as the batch or run number.

The NBVA representatives met with members of Congress and their staff to educate them about the bulk vending industry and the adverse effects that the tracking labels requirement will have on the industry. On behalf of NBVA, they argued that this requirement is not technologically or economically practicable for the industry, and that bulk vending toys are rarely if ever returned in the event of a recall, as the remedy provided by the CPSC is to discard the product. The primary purpose of the provision, recall effectiveness, is therefore wholly inapplicable to vended products, they claimed.

In the absence of relief from the government, the law and retailers may require that all vended products, manufactured on or after August 14, have tracking labels with the requisite information. However, the NBVA says it will continue to advocate on behalf of its members. Recently, the trade group retained Quin Dodd and Matthew Cohen of the law firm Mintz Levin. The NBVA will continue to seek out a statutory exemption for vended products from Section 103 of the CPSIA in any future amendment to the law and advocate the same before the CPSC.
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AMOA SET FOR SECOND NOTRE DAME MASTERS PROGRAM
(Posted July 6, 2009 -- 5PM)

AMOA is set to launch the second installment of its AMOA-Notre Dame Masters Program this fall. Fresh off a two-year hiatus, Masters II will offer a blend of new topics and presenters coupled with updated successes from Masters I. Participants from any of the previous AMOA Notre Dame Management Program classes are eligible. The sessions will be held Oct. 31-Nov. 1 and May 1-2 in conjunction with Session 3 of Class 14 on Notre Dame's South Bend, Ind., campus.

Presenters will include Chas Grundy, John DeSouza, Kara McClure, Ed Hums, Logan Jordan, Jerry Langley and Joe Holt. Topics will range from Technology's Future and Banking and Credit to Social Network, Ethics, Strategic Planning and Marketing Strategies, plus much more. Space is limited. Reserve your spot today by contacting AMOA's Lori Schneider at 800/937-2662 orllschneider@prodigy.net.
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IALEI AND IAAPA BOARDS VOTE TO SUPPORT MERGER
(Posted July 3, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

Officials from the International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment Industry (IALEI) and the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) say the due diligence review process for the merger of the two organizations is complete and that the boards of both organizations have voted in support of the proposed merger.

The IAAPA board met via conference call on June 25. The board voted to support the merger agreement with IALEI contingent on the resolution of several contractual matters. A spokesperson for IAAPA refused to elaborate when asked by this publication about the specific contractual issues pending resolution, saying it would be inappropriate to provide details as the negotiations over these issues are ongoing. Mandt said the financial considerations of the proposed merger also remain confidential at this point.

When asked further about the fate of the Fun Expo, which is half owned by IALEI (AAMA and AMOA also own 25% each), David Mandt, who serves as IAAPA communications manager, said: "Those plans are still in discussion, and we won't be able to provide specifics until after Sept. 4."

Officials with AAMA and AMOA have both said they were closely monitoring developments with regard to the Fun Expo. "AMOA continues to have talks with AAMA concerning the future of our tradeshows. Nothing specific to report, but we are studying the situation diligently," AMOA president Russ Mawdsley told RePlay during a recent interview. "Our concern with the IALEI-IAAPA merger rests mainly with how it affects our partnership with IALEI and AAMA in the Fun Expo tradeshow. Whatever other issues may exist for IALEI, AMOA wants the end results to be in the best interests of the members of IALEI. For whatever reason, AMOA was not approached by IALEI regarding a possible merger, even though we both are operator associations."

"We have been working in conjunction with the AMOA to protect our flanks with regard to our investment in the Fun Expo," added AAMA president John Schultz. "No one knows what's going to happen yet."

During a meeting in New Orleans on June 30, the IALEI board also passed a resolution to support moving forward with the combination merger agreement with IAAPA and dissolving IALEI. Leaders of the fun center association had approved a similar measure this spring, but critics of the decision, including a member of the board and a former association president, Frank Seninsky, have openly challenged the process used by the board to make that initial decision. IALEI leaders have defended that earlier decision and apparently re-affirmed their resolve with this latest vote.

In making the joint announcement, both associations said the next steps in the merger approval process are:

July 1-Sept. 4 - The IAAPA and IALEI transition teams will work to finalize the details of the contingent items for the merger. Both boards will be kept apprised on the progress and will be required to approve the final arrangements.

July 15 - Ballots and informational packets containing specific details of the combination proposal will be distributed to all IALEI members so they can vote on the final merger/dissolution agreement.

Aug. 15 - All ballots due from IALEI members.

Sept. 4 - Results announced.

"Legal counsel for both IALEI and IAAPA have been very involved in the process and have completed thorough due diligence reviews. With the support of both boards, we now look forward to the vote by IALEI members," said IAAPA president and CEO Charles Bray.

"We are pleased progress continues in our merger with IAAPA," said Dorothy Lewis, chairman of the IALEI board of directors. "This has been a complicated process but we are working through it carefully to ensure all the bases are covered from a business and legal perspective. It will now be up to our members to make the final decision."

If the IALEI membership approves the IALEI/IAAPA merger/IALEI dissolution agreement, Lewis and Bray anticipate the transition process could begin in September and conclude by the end of the year.
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NDA LAUNCHES VIDEO CONTEST
(Posted July 3, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

The AMOA-National Dart Association (NDA) is hosting a video contest for sanctioned players to create their own video showing just how much fun they have on league night for a chance to win free entry to Team Dart XXV. The contest runs now through February 1, 2010. The winner will be honored during the opening ceremony on April 19, 2010, at Team Dart XXV, featured on the NDA website and in the spring issue of ThrowLines Magazine. The winner of the contest will also receive one free entry to Team Dart XXV, April 16-24, 2010.

To enter the contest, participants must upload the video on the NDA's YouTube group page at www.youtube.com/group/ndadarts. Participants must register with YouTube and become a member of the NDA group before uploading their video. Participants must then fill out an entry form at www.ndadarts.org/videos/ in order to notify the NDA of their submission in the contest. The winning video will be chosen by the NDA. The contest is subject to the NDA's Official Rules.

The NDA is an international trade association of coin-operated vending companies representing approximately 300 members and 250,000 players worldwide. For more information about membership in the NDA, its annual international Team Dart competition or biennial Dart Summit educational conference, contact Alyssa Pfennig, director of membership, at 800/808-9884, ext.135, or visit the NDA website at www.ndadarts.com.
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FREEMAN OFFERS SAVINGS ON FREIGHT AND STORAGE FOR VEGAS EXPOS
(Posted July 3, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

Exhibitors at the 2009 AMOA International Expo or the IAAPA show now have more incentive to exhibit at both. Freeman Decorating Co. will provide a "Return to Warehouse" transportation service from the Las Vegas Convention Center to the Freeman warehouse in Las Vegas at the end of the AMOA Expo at no charge. Also, there will be no storage charge for AMOA exhibitors who are also exhibiting at the IAAPA show (November 17-20). That's a savings of $500 to $1,000 on average, according to a recent announcement by show management. Published advanced warehouse crated material handling rates at the IAAPA show will apply on IAAPA exhibitors' invoices.
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AMI AND FIRESTONE FINANCIAL OFFER 0% ON MEGATOUCH
(Posted July 3, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

AMI Entertainment and Firestone Financial have teamed up to offer operators several summer finance deals, including 0% APR for 18 months on all Megatouch countertops, including the popular Rx.

Operators can take advantage of 7.99% APR financing for 24 months with a 90-day delay or 4.99% APR financing for 12 months with a standard 30-day delay on a minimum purchase of three Megatouch units. On a minimum purchase of six units, operators have a choice between 5.99% APR financing for 24 months with a 90-day delay and 1.99% APR financing for 12 months with a standard 30-day delay. Operators may also lock in 0% APR financing for 18 months with a standard 30-day delay or 2.99% APR financing for 24 months on a 12 unit minimum purchase with a 90-day delay.

These offers end on September 30. All countertops must be on one invoice. Purchases for this promotion may not be combined with any other offers, and operators will be responsible for freight, tax and $200 filing fee. To learn more, contact your local AMI distributor or the Firestone Sales Department at 800/851-1001.
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SHELTI EXTENDS PROMO DEAL
(Posted July 3, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

Shelti Inc. says it will continue to honor orders placed under its "Summer Sizzler" promotion through the month of July. Buy any combination of three Shelti Bayside coin-op or programmable pool tables or Eye darts and get a free gas grill. Buy any combination of 10 or more Bayside tables or Eye darts and get the free gas grill, plus a $500 pre-paid Visa card. Buy any combination of 20 of the same units, and Shelti will pick up the freight in addition to the grill and the pre-paid Visa card. For more information, contact your distributor, call 817/235-9930 or log on to www.shelti.com.
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BCA BILLIARD EXPO HOSTS 1,120 BUYERS AT VEGAS SHOW
(Posted July 1, 2009 -- 5:30PM)

The 2009 Billiard Congress of America's (BCA) International Billiard & Home Recreation Expo was held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, June 25-27. Buyer attendance for the three-day event was 1,120. The number of companies exhibiting at the event was 116, while the total number of booths was 412.

"I was excited to see how well the show turned out, and I am very pleased with all of the positive comments that I have received from both exhibitors and buyers," said Ivan Lee, co-chair of the expo and 2008-2009 chairman of the BCA Board of Directors. "Informally, the show was a roll-call for the billiard industry, and the exhibitors that attended saw a strong show of support from the retail base. Many buyers commented that Las Vegas is the right place for the BCA Expo, and they were happy to be back in Vegas. I was also impressed with the Business of Billiards seminar series. We had very good attendance at the seminars this year, and the information presented was timely and very useful.

"If you are involved in the billiard industry and didn't participate in the BCA Expo you missed out," added Lee. "But don't take my word for it, ask the exhibitors, retailers and room operators that came to the expo."

The BCA has secured the Las Vegas Convention Center for the 2010 expo, which will take place June 24-26, 2010, and the Sands Expo and Convention Center, June 23-25, 2011.

Founded in 1948, the Billiard Congress of America is a non-profit trade organization dedicated to growing a united, prosperous and highly regarded billiard industry through BCA leadership. Look for first-hand coverage of the Billiard Expo in the August issue of RePlay.
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REDEMPTION PLUS NOW HAS LAVA LAMPS EXCLUSIVELY
(Posted July 1, 2009 -- 5:30PM)

Redemption Plus has become the official distributor of the Lava Lamp product line for the amusement redemption markets.

Lava Lamps have held a place in the hearts of generation after generation, and Lava Lite LLC is the only manufacturer of the original shape of cool. Redemption Plus will offer customers four different sizes ranging from 10" tall to the enormous 27" Grande in varying colors, as well as an assortment of Lava barware.

The first motion lamp was designed in 1963 by an English engineer, Edward Craven Walker, who sold it under the name Astro Lamp. In 1965, the Astro Lamp was brought to the U.S., renamed Lava Lamp and production took off in Chicago. "Redemption Plus is a premier supplier to the family entertainment industry, and we are excited to have them as a partner," said Larry Gutkin, CEO of Lava Lite. For more information, please visit www.redemptionplus.com.
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ECAST RELEASES MICHAEL JACKSON TRIBUTE AND HOLIDAY TUNES
(Posted July 1, 2009 -- 5:30PM)

Ecast this week released its "Remember the Time" playlist to its nationwide network of over 10,000 digital jukeboxes. The playlist is a collection of songs dedicated to Michael Jackson's rich music career and commemorates the passing of one of music's contemporary legends.

The collection spans more than 50 songs, comprising primarily the pop star's best-known songs but lesser known ones as well. It also includes cover songs from Alien Ant Farm, Chris Cornell, Fall Out Boy, Willie Nelson and others, and was compiled by Ecast's music department.

Hannah Blair, lead curator, commented: "Michael Jackson's career bridged a remarkable number of disparate genres and eras, beginning with the early Jackson 5 days through the disco '70s and the pop '80s. It's clear how much he was influenced by soul artists from the very beginning. In particular, I was struck by "(Come 'Round Here) I'm the One You Need" where Michael sounds like a pint-sized Wilson Pickett on that track, which is a Smokey Robinson cover."

Michael Jackson was clearly a favorite on the Ecast music network, racking up nearly 240,000 plays in 2008, with "Billie Jean" topping the list at 32,756 plays and "Thriller" a close second at 30,486. Interestingly, average Michael Jackson tracks played for the first quarter of 2009 were well ahead of 2008 totals. With the artist's death, those numbers are expected to dramatically increase, indicating fans' intentions to mourn him through his music.

"Since Michael's passing, fans are mourning him in a number of ways. First and foremost, they're obviously playing their favorite songs and reconstituting their own collections of Michael Jackson music. As such, we're hearing about record downloads on iTunes and Amazon. This playlist is Ecast's way of celebrating the life of a beloved artist and musical talent," said Scott Walker, VP of network operations for Ecast.

Also going live across the Ecast 100 broadband network today is the Independence play list. The Ecast Independence list covers more than 175 songs, delivered using the Ecast shuffle mode to spur patron music discovery. With songs from every genre as well as songs to celebrate every state, the list offers plenty of patriotic and holiday KABOOM. For more information, please visit www.ecastnetwork.com.
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June 2009 (Go back to main 2009 menu)

WARNER BROTHERS IS SOLE BIDDER FOR MIDWAY
(Posted June 29, 2009 -- 5PM)

Warner Brothers appears to be the only bidder for Midway Games, according to a report in The Los Angeles Times. If a deal goes through, Warner would take over the video game creator recently owned by media mogul Sumner Redstone.

"Midway had hoped that the film studio's $33-million offer, made in late May, would spark a bidding war that would boost its price," the paper reported. "A Chicago investment group and several game publishers kicked the publisher's tires, according to a source familiar with the discussions, but none pulled the trigger."

The paper went on to say that Midway's properties and expertise will greatly expand Warner's fledgling presence in the consumer video game business. Midway left the coin-op business in 2001, and the company has struggled to achieve profits in the intervening years.
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BENCHMARK OFFERING TWO-PLAYER MONOPOLY PUSHER
(Posted June 29, 2009 -- 5PM)

Benchmark Games is re-introducing the Monopoly two-station pusher from U.K. game developer Cromptons. Operators who purchase a new Crompton's pusher from Benchmark will receive a $500 credit toward the purchase of any new Benchmark game. "Here is just one more incredible way of upgrading and expanding your business and earn $500," said Al Kress of Benchmark. "The Monopoly two-station coin pusher is a winner."

Monopoly 2 pushers are now available in a card swipe compatible version. Players swipe their card and Monopoly automatically dispenses tokens for play. The game also offers a large variety of user program options and is available with a handy program module. A skill feature allows player to indicate an area where coins can be dropped into just the right place to win. For more details, call 888/538-1000.
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ECAST HOLDS FIRST OPERATOR ADVISORY MEETING
(Posted June 29, 2009 -- 5PM)

Ecast recently hosted the first meeting of its newly formed Operator Advisory Board (OAB). Consisting of operators from across the country, the OAB was formed to further develop the relationships between the digital juke network provider and its operator partners. "This meeting of the minds has been long overdue. While we always work closely with our operators, you can never have enough face time, especially with a group such as this -- who truly represents the majority voice of operators everywhere," said Scott Walker, VP of network operations of Ecast.

The two-day event took place at Ecast corporate headquarters in San Francisco. Friday's business session consisted of presentations from various Ecast departments and emphasized three main areas: defining "operator," best practices for maximizing revenue, potential new markets for Ecast and their operating partners.

"The level of engagement was excellent. The group was very receptive to some of the new directions that Ecast is exploring. They truly understand that we are committed to the coin-op industry and also see the new opportunities that may be available to them through Ecast's evolution," said John Taylor, CEO of Ecast.

"It was time well spent and I look forward to our next gathering," said Tony Yula, president of Power to the Games. Other members of the Ecast Operator Advisory Board include Dave Ruthruff (Digital Music), Kris Gilmore (Troy Vending), Denis Smith (Vend Music), Ray Carpenter (Rainbow Novelties), Julie Nordeen (Stansfield Vending), Tim Zahn (American Amusement Arcades) and Bob Pernolia (Commonwealth Vending).
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FLIP 2 WIN WILL BE CARD READER READY
(Posted June 29, 2009 -- 5PM)

Family Fun Companies says its new Flip 2 Win player pusher will be card ready. "With more and more locations utilizing card reader systems, we wanted to make sure those locations can reap the same full cashboxes everyone else has been experiencing," said Family Fun's Jim Chapman. Flip 2 Win uses a self-filling system to keep the coins flowing to the customer's hand while they play. This feature enables the many card reader locations to take advantage of this two-player pusher.

"With the expertise of our engineer Alex Mazon we now have Flip 2 Win ready for the card reader segment of the market. So many times these locations are not able to take advantage of quick coin games as players have to go to a changer for their coins," said Chapman. "With our system the operator can drop from one to 10 coins per swipe right at the game. There is no need to search out a changer. Players swipe their card, get their coins and play in a very simple manner. The system also fills itself to make it much easier to operate." For more information please contact Jim Chapman, 920/497-6991 or Lisa Chapman, 920/491-9453.
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NEW VALLEY OWNER TO MOVE PLANT BACK TO U.S.
(Posted June 26, 2009 -- 3PM)

Kelye Stites, who heads up Champion Shuffleboard and recently acquired Valley-Dynamo from Brunswick, said he will move the latter's factory from its current Mexico digs back to the Dallas area in a facility he has secured near the current Champion plant in Richland Hills. Brunswick moved production of the pool tables, air hockeys and foosball games to Mexico in early 2007. Stites told RePlay that he hoped to be up and running in early August, following a move-out deadline of the end of July at both the current Valley-Dynamo plant and its administrative offices in Grand Prairie, TX. Stites also indicated that he might change the name of the parent company, while continuing to utilize the various brand names for the respective table game products.
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AMI RELEASES NEW MEGATOUCH SOFTWARE
(Posted June 26, 2009 -- 3PM)

AMI Entertainment has released a final version of its spring software update for Megatouch games. This release includes a host of new features for both operators and players, including simplified network configuration, a new installation option, two exciting new games and plenty of updated content for classic Megatouch titles.

The two new games developed for the release are Photo Hunt Widescreen Edition and Fight the Landlord. Photo Hunt Widescreen is an updated version of the number one touchscreen game of all time. Larger photos complement the sleek background while the classic game play remains intact. Photo Hunt Widescreen Edition is available exclusively on Rx and Aurora widescreen systems.

Fight the Landlord (pictured at right) is a westernized version of one of China's most popular card games, Dou Di Zhu. Players compete by discarding singles, pairs and trios of cards, attempting to be the first to discard all 17 cards in their possession. Easy to learn but hard to master, this popular card game is ready for a whole new audience.

"We strive for diversity in our game portfolio, and Fight the Landlord, a card game phenomenon in China, is the latest example," said A.J. Russo, AMI creative director. "This unique game, along with Photo Hunt Widescreen, draws players in and gives them a reason to keep playing, which in turn creates more coin-drop for operators." Look for the full story on this new release in the next issue of RePlay Magazine.
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FIRESTONE OFFERING FINANCING ON DANCE DANCE; CREDIT FIRM ALSO READY FOR ILLINOIS GAMING
(Posted June 26, 2009 -- 3PM)

Betson and Firestone are offering a new finance deal on Konami's Dance Dance Revolution X, namely 4.99% APR for 24 months with the purchase of only one game. "The low rate and payments allows operators to add this must-have game to their locations," said Jim Hines, VP of sales at Firestone. All applicable tax, freight and a $200 filing fee are due up front. For more finance information, contact the Firestone sales team at 800/851-1001.

Firestone also announced this week that it is gearing up for a wave of new business in Illinois in light of what looks like the implementation of legalized video lottery. "We're excited about changes in Illinois law that legalizes VLTs," said Firestone top exec David Cohen. "We're not newcomers to Illinois. We have an excellent, long-standing track record with coin-op operators across the state, having provided financing for over 275 coin-op operators in Illinois. We're the industry specialists."

Cohen says his company has financed over $286 million in the last three years, representing over 10,000 contracts in all 50 states. "We have a strong reputation and name recognition in our industry," he said. In the past, Firestone has financed VLTs for operators in Louisiana, Montana and West Virginia.
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I.T. OFFERING NO MONEY DOWN AND 0% ON LAWN DARTS
(Posted June 26, 2009 -- 3PM)

In an effort to assist operators in managing cash flow this summer, Incredible Technologies has established a financing plan for Target Toss Pro: Lawn Darts. No down payment is required, and no payments are due until July 25. The total amount financed can then be spread over six months at 0% interest.

"Lawn Darts re-energizes play on Bags games," said Don Pesceone, VP of sales. "When operators install the Lawn Darts update, earnings go up. It would be difficult to find more value for $695 than TTP: Lawn Darts, and players have been raving about the new Raw Talk feature that establishes a new standard of authentic commentary for a bar game."

Target Toss Pro: Lawn Darts and Bags is actually five games in one:

  • Classic Lawn Darts -- just like you played in your back yard
  • Cricket -- the classic barroom darts game
  • 501 -- the other classic barroom darts game
  • Poker Darts -- go for the royal flush!
  • Bags -- the beanbag toss game that's a tailgating phenomenon!

The no money down, 0% financing program ends July 25. For more information, call I.T. at 800/262-0323 or visit the game's official websites at www.targettosspro.com and www.itsgames.com.
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SACOA OPENS OFFICE IN INDIA
(Posted June 26, 2009 -- 3PM)

Debit card system supplier Sacoa has opened an office for sales and support in India. It will provide service to local clients in the India region and will be the second international Sacoa office, joining existing facilities in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The new branch is being headed up by SS Bowling Network & STG Amusements Pvt. Ltd., with offices at CB-202, IInd Floor, Guru Harkishan Plaza, Ring Road, Naraina, New Delhi.

Thakur Surender Singh, director of SS Bowling, has extensive experience in India, Nepal and other countries with many years of expertise in FEC operations.

Jorge Mochkovsky, president and CEO of Sacoa, said: "The opening of this office will promote new sales, better service and support for customers in the region." To learn more, email sales.india@sacoa.com.
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GOING DOWN SOUTH: BLOG ABOUT A NEW DISTRIBUTION LANDSCAPE
(Posted June 26, 2009 -- 3PM)

Check out RePlay Magazine's blog, where operators from the Southeast and around the country are discussing the changes in distribution down South. The brand new Betson Southeast office and Brady Distributing's soon-to-open branch in Atlanta are stepping up their game in the region. Share your thoughts and find out what others are saying about the state of the industry there and what the strategic decisions of these major distributors could mean to business. Sound off at http://replaymag.blogspot.com.
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BOWLING BIZ ABUZZ ABOUT FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT
(Posted June 24, 2009 -- 10PM)

The lure of family entertainment, namely redemption and large-scale leisure attractions, is at the forefront of an ongoing discussion within the bowling industry about how to grow and attract a wider range of customers. This week's Bowl Expo in Vegas offered more than half a dozen seminars on family entertainment, games and birthday parties, and the trade show floored, which opened today, was filled with exhibitors from the game and leisure industries.

Roughly two dozen amusement exhibitors were showing their goods and services at Bowl Expo, more than a few for the first time; that group included a new consulting firm called FEC NRG founded by four well-known amusement distributors -- American Vending Sales, Brady, Mountain Coin and Shaffer Distributing. Representatives from several other amusement game distributors including C.A. Robinson, Betson and Lieberman Companies were also seen walking the show floor aisles.

The American Amusement Machine also debuted its new Location Trade Show pavilion, which simulates a small game room. The pavilion included exhibits by Andamiro, Bay Tek, Benchmark, Chicago Gaming, LAI, Game Room By Design, Namco, Raw Thrills, Redemption Plus and Smart Industries. A number of other amusement firms took their own booths including Medalist Marketing, which signed up as a full-fledged sponsor of Bowl Expo as a first-time exhibitor. "I have high hopes," said Medalist VP Chris Peppard. Look for full coverage of amusement exhibitors at Bowl Expo in the August issue of RePlay.

Walking the show floor, a reporter for this publication also ran into a handful of bowling center operators who say they will be making the FEC plunge by upgrading their facilities this fall with a redemption game room component as well as other attractions. "Bowling centers are trying to reinvent the model and bring new people into their locations," said Bill Merrick of Qubica/AMF.

"Bowling has finally awakened fully to the FEC concept," added convention seminar speaker Frank Seninksy of Amusement Entertainment Management, a consulting firm that has worked to bring FEC attractions to a number of bowling centers.

Jumpstarting the day, former U.S. Senator and popular movie and television actor Fred Thompson (seen here), who ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2008, was the keynote speaker at the general membership meeting of the Bowling Proprietors Association of America, which sponsors Bowl Expo. "Small business is the backbone of our economy," said Thompson in discussing the current recession. "Things will work themselves out in a free market system."

As noted earlier, look for full coverage of Bowl Expo in the August issue of RePlay.
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BENCHMARK OFFERS $1,000 TRADE-IN DEAL
(Posted June 24, 2009 -- 10PM)

Benchmark Games is offering a $1,000 credit towards the purchase of its popular Big Rig Truckin' game when an operator trades in a Benchmark Big Haul. "Here is just one more fantastic way of upgrading and expanding the games business while earning $1,000," said Benchmark CEO Al Kress. "It's a winner in every respect." A one-year top to bottom and front to back warranty comes with the Big Rig game. Operators will be asked to send back to Benchmark the "heart" of their current Big Haul machine. The factory will then issue a credit for $1,000 with the order of a new Big Rig Truckin'. The $1,000 trade-in ends August 3, 2009. Operators can contact their distributor or call Benchmark (561-588-5200) to take advantage of this offer.
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OHIO OPS HOPING TO GET ON BOARD WITH GAMING
(Posted June 22, 2009 -- 9AM)

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland has recently proposed expanding gaming at the state's seven racetracks by allowing them to operate up to 2,000 video lottery terminals. Ohio amusement and music operators are hoping they can also convince state officials to include operator run gaming machines in hospitality venues, reports the Ohio Coin Machine Association.

"While this can be perceived as a negative development, we can also view it as an opportunity," said OCMA executive director David Corey. "An opportunity to continue what we have been educating legislators about these last few months -- 'if you are going to expand gaming; include Ohio's 10,000 small business hospitality venues; specifically, bars and bowling centers.'"

Corey went on to say that Ohio officials have not closed the door on VLTs in bars as part of their response to filling the gap in looming budget shortfalls. Ohio operators are being urged to contact their elected state officials. In addition, operators should encourage their location customers to do the same.

"We need a huge grassroots effort on this issue," said Corey. "If they don't hear from you, your bars, and everyone else, they will think that VLTs at racetracks only is OK by you. Please don't let them think this, because it can't be farther from the truth!"

OCMA is also coordinating its efforts with the Ohio License Beverage Association (OLBA), which is engaging members to conduct the same grassroots efforts as OCMA. To learn more, contact OCMA at 614/784-9772; email ocma@the-ocma.org.
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VIRGINA OPS MEET TO REBUILD ASSOCIATION
(Posted June 22, 2009 -- 9AM)

Virginia operators, who once had an active state association that has since gone dormant, met on June 11 in Charlottesville to begin the rebuilding process. "The meeting was attended by eleven operators from around the state and a rep from JVL," reported John Newberry of Venco Music. "We agreed to re-establish our old association, The Amusement and Music Operators of Virginia."

At the meeting, a board of directors was elected with John Newberry as president, Tony Moore as VP, and Charles Rowland as secretary/treasurer. They have also agreed to have Jeff Smith of The Smith Group in Richmond run the association as well as hand its government relations duties.

"I have contacted several other operators who wish to join," added Newberry. "This has needed to happen for a long time and we have great support from a lot of good companies. Any interested parties please contact me." Newberry can be reached at 800-762-9962; email jnewberry@vencomusic.com.
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LEININGER IS NEW MOMA EXECUTIVE
(Posted June 22, 2009 -- 9AM)

Longtime MOMA member and officer Chuck Leininger has been named by the Minnesota Operators of Music and Amusement as its new executive director. He takes over for longtime executive director Hy Sandler, who is retiring.

"I will do my best to keep all members informed of any matters relating to MOMA," reported Leininger. "I would like to welcome any emails or phone calls with suggestions as to how to make our organization stronger and more friendly to all of our members."

MOMA president, Matt Zasmeta has also appointed Tim Williamson (Williamson Music) as an additional board member.
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BETSON SOUTHEAST SERVES UP SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY
(Posted June 18, 2009 -- 10:30PM)

Betson Enterprises held a grand opening spotlight show at the newly opened Southeast office located in Marietta, Ga., on June 11. The distributor displayed the latest amusement games such as Guitar Hero Arcade, H2Overdrive and PUTT along with top earning redemption games while offering innovative financing options to operating companies throughout the region.

The spotlight show and grand opening marked a major milestone and reflected the continuing growth of Betson Enterprises by adding their twelfth national branch office. Over 125 attendees, 50 operating companies, and 15 suppliers spent the afternoon speaking to industry veterans and enjoying a good old-fashion barbeque. Betson personnel said they were glad to speak with the local operators and explain the commitment to service and parts the new office would provide. "We want to invest in the operator and help him manage his business through these difficult economic times and are very excited to open our new Betson Southeast office to show our commitment," said Bob Geschine, president of H. Betti Industries.

Educational seminars were conducted on topics such as "Generating Profits Through an ATM," "How to Increase Sales Through Lavazza Blue Coffee," and "New Financial Strategies to Grow Your Business" given by David Cohen, CEO of Firestone Financial and Geschine.

"From the country barbeque to our financial services seminar it was a very good day in Marietta, GA. We enjoyed a tremendous turn out that exceeded all expectations. From the panhandle of Florida to the coast of South Carolina customers were interested in seeing new equipment and checking out our new facility," said Dave Capilouto, branch manager. For more information on Betson products and financing visit the company website at www.betson.com.
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TOUCHTUNES TO FEATURE CANADIAN BAND THE NEW CITIES
(Posted June 18, 2009 -- 10:30PM)

TouchTunes says they will add the debut album by The New Cities to jukeboxes throughout Canada. Lost in City Lights (Sony Music) features eleven synth-pop tracks by the six-member band and their first single "Dead End Countdown" is currently a Top 5 hit on Canada's CHR chart radio chart. "We're really excited to be part of this program and it's a cool way to get our music out across the country to new fans," says Nick Denis, one of the two keyboardists in The New Cities. "We definitely count being added to the TouchTunes catalog as a milestone for The New Cities."

"We're always looking at up and coming bands, and there's been a lot of buzz around The New Cities," said Vicki Saunders, VP of digital media and music marketing at TouchTunes. "We've launched a number of high-profile music promotions in the U.S. for major artists including Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews, Wyclef Jean, Billy Joel, Miranda Lambert and many others. We're excited to partner with Sony Music on our first promotion in Canada with such a promising band."

TouchTunes will be promoting the tracks from Lost in City Lights with special interactive banners on the jukebox screens, calling attention to the album's new availability.
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PAST PRESIDENTS WEIGH IN ON IALEI MERGER, SENINSKY RESPONDS
(Posted June 17, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

Controversy continues to roil the ongoing deliberations between IALEI and IAAPA over a proposed merger, namely because of internal conflict within the former FEC-focused organization. Past IALEI president Frank Seninsky and former board member Bud Umbach, who resigned in protest, have questioned the way in which the board voted to proceed with the merger and an alleged lack of information about the merger and its implications since that decision in March.

A group of past IALEI presidents responded in a letter released this week, saying: "Many of the statements made public by a small group of former board members who disagree with the majority vote of the board are by our reading rife with inaccuracies and unsubstantiated opinion. The process of analyzing a merger is painful, but the outcome either way is hopefully to the betterment of the members of the IALEI. The IALEI board, its staff and advisors are working through difficult times. We find certain attacks on them from this small group of current and former board members to be inappropriate. Board members are bound by confidentiality of sensitive matters when they accept the board election."

The letter went on to say that although the authors, 10 past presidents of IALEI, are not all of one mind concerning the merits of this potential merger, they "believe the current IALEI leadership is acting in the best interests of the association as they see it. In short, the process needs to be fair and balanced, not a public lynching of the rule of the many by the wishes of the few."

Past presidents of IALEI who signed the letter included Phil DeAngelo, Jack Cohen, Larry Davis, Joey Herd, Gene Hinkle, George McAuliffe, Ed Pearson, Harold Skripsky, George Smith and Ken Vondriska.

Seninsky responded in an email, writing: "All of the past presidents that signed the letter are good people and have done a lot of good for IALEI. I do not believe that any of them would ever intentionally hurt this industry. I also do not believe that facts can be construed as a public lynching by a few."

Seninsky went on to dispute a number of statements made by the past presidents, including their contention that a majority of the board voted to pursue the IAAPA merger instead of remaining a stand-alone organization or possibly merging with the American Amusement Machine Association.

"There was never a majority vote of the board of directors for the option of a merger with IAAPA," Seninsky contended in his email. "That is a fact and has been confirmed by the IALEI attorney. The board did not have an opportunity to discuss any of the three options (and I ask why only three options) and vote yes or no for each of the three options. Rather the entire vote was staged and seven board members got their way even though eight others had totally different opinions."

Additionally, Seninsky said his informal survey shows that IALEI members are opposed to the IAAPA merger and that finances are not the motivating factor behind the move to merge with another association. "IALEI has just picked up 121 new members over the past five months from the insurance program alone," he claimed. "IALEI has switched over to a virtual office and cut some expenses. Even the Fun Expo did not lose money this year as expected."

Following a period of due diligence, IAAPA's board is expected to vote next week on whether to proceed with the merger. IALEI's board will in turn cast a final vote on the merger on June 30. The decision will then be up to the members of IALEI, who will have an evaluation period from July 15 through August 28 vote to consider the proposed merger before a vote of the entire membership either in person or by proxy. The latter form of voting was recently approved through an IALEI by-laws change.
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AAMA TO HOST REDEMPTION SEMINAR
(Posted June 17, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

Family Fun Co. top execs Rich Oltmann and Jim Chapman will host a redemption seminar at Enchanted Castle on Friday, July 24, for attendees at the annual American Amusement Machine Association annual meeting and Distributor Gala. The seminar will teach the ins and outs of all aspects of running an FEC. It is designed to share with manufacturer and distributor sales teams the vital information they need to help them sell redemption to their customers.

Topics to be covered will include how a redemption counter should look, how to layout a gameroom, the proper prize mix, how to successfully market an FEC, various promotions that bring in customers and how to sell games to operators. No topic is off limits during this informational seminar.

"Education is vital to our growth," said AAMA in announcing the event. "You will come away with a new perspective on the value of redemption and how to help your customers get the most out of their locations. This is not just for the FECs. The information shared here works for all aspects of our industry. You owe it to your team to expose them to this knowledge." Go to AAMA's website at www.coin-op.org to learn more.
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SIX FLAGS FILES FOR REORGANIZATION
(Posted June 14, 2009 -- 7PM)

Theme park operator Six Flag filed for bankruptcy organization on June 13. Six Flags is struggling under $2.4 billion in debt and was unable to refinance or meet its payments, but the amusement powerhouse has reportedly already negotiated a new debt structure with its lenders. According to the New York Times: "That proposal would eliminate $1.8 billion in debt and slice off the $300 million in preferred stock payments."

Chief executive Mark Shapiro was quoted as saying, "The current management team inherited a $2.4 billion debt load that cannot be sustained, particularly in these challenging financial markets." Six Flags experienced a 24% drop in revenue over the past year. Despite that decrease, the company still managed to cut net losses by $140 million during that same period.
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FIRESTONE OFFERS DEALS FOR RAW THRILLS VIDEOS
(Posted June 14, 2009 -- 7PM)

Firestone Financial is working with Raw Thrills to offer special 7.99% financing with no payments for 90 days on half a dozen videogames, including Guitar Hero, Big Buck Safari standard and deluxe, Nicktoons Nitro, H2Overdrive and The Fast and Furious Drift. The term is 36 months and the minimum purchase for financing is $10,000. Jim Hines, VP of sales at Firestone, said: "Firestone is pleased to offer low financing and three months of no payments on these popular games. Now is the perfect time to preserve your capital and continue to use Firestone to grow your business." The offer ends August 31. All applicable tax, freight and a $200 filing fee are due up front. For more details, contact Firestone at 800/851-1001.
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IAAPA ASIAN EXPO DRAWS 3,500
(Posted June 14, 2009 -- 7PM)

At press time, preliminary estimates indicate more than 3,500 people, including 2,700 buyers from 40 countries, participated in IAAPA's Asian Attractions Expo 2009. The four-day event took place June 9-12 June at the COEX Convention and Exhibition Center in Seoul, Korea.

Participants attended industry educational sessions, visited local attractions, built relationships at networking events, learned about what's new in the industry and purchased products and services on the tradeshow floor.

"Given the worldwide concerns over the H1N1 virus, the current political climate in the region and the state of the global economy, we are pleased that more than 3,500 people participated in Asian Attractions Expo 2009," said IAAPA president and CEO Charles Bray. "We greatly appreciate the strong support for this year's expo from throughout Asia and particularly from our host country of South Korea."
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CONGRESS APPROVES FDA REGULATION OF TOBACCO
(Posted June 12, 2009 -- 2PM)

The U.S. Senate yesterday approved a measure that would grant the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate tobacco products. The U.S. House has already approved a similar measure, and President Obama has said he would sign the bill, making Congressional approval of the measure very likely. Industry watchers have said such a move would likely have a major impact on cigarette vending.

During the Clinton years, the FDA asserted its right to regulate tobacco, but the Supreme Court rejected their effort, saying the agency needed the OK of Congress. "Cigarettes remained less regulated than cosmetics or pet food," The New York Times reported on June 11. "But with broad bipartisan support in both the Senate and House, and a campaign pledge by Barack Obama to sign such legislation if he became president, the anti-tobacco forces came into alignment."

The Times went on to report that the measure, called the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, "would empower the FDA to set standards for cigarettes, regulating chemicals in cigarette smoke and outlawing most tobacco flavorings...The law would also further restrict marketing and advertising of tobacco products...But while the FDA could mandate a reduced level of nicotine, an addictive chemical, the law expressly says the agency cannot ban it. Public health advocates say outlawing nicotine would force addicts to turn to a black market or other sources."
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GREEN COIN TO REPRESENT MEDALIST
(Posted June 12, 2009 -- 2PM)

Green Coin Machine Distributing will now be representing games from Medalist Marketing in the southeastern region. Those pieces include Medalist's Spectrum line: Elite darts, Sterling pool with Flex-Tec electronics, Nova foosball and the new Spectrum Fireball table game.

Green's Ed Chermak said the dealer would be putting together some aggressive promotionals to help launch the new line. "Green Coin is thrilled to bring these products that have been such a staple of the Midwest and West Coast markets to the Southeast region," he said. "We are equally excited about the fact that Medalist also provides promotional tools to support their line of products."

Medalist EVP said: "We look forward to working with Team Green, Ed Chermak and Royce Green, and believe that our two companies have something both unique and timely to offer Southeast operators." To learn more, contact Green Coin at 843/626-1900.
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ANTIQUE APPARATUS/ROCK-OLA TO FOCUS ON CONSUMER AND SPECIALTY MARKETS
(Posted June 12, 2009 -- 2PM)

In the wake of AMI Entertainment's acquisition of Rock-Ola's coin-op jukebox business, Glenn Streeter's Antique Apparatus/Rock-Ola will continue to focus on the development, production and distribution of consumer jukes featuring the Qsonix music management system -- the Rock-Ola Music Center series -- along with its other specialized jukebox products that will continue to bear the Rock-Ola brand name by mutual licensing agreement with AMI.

Since September 2008, the AMI Network has been Rock-Ola's commercial content partner, and the companies have shared distribution channels. A seamless transition of production and support is anticipated by both parties. As the production of the Slimline, Wall-Rock and Rock-Star commercial jukeboxes move to AMI's new facilities in Mexico, Rock-Ola/AACO will continue to produce the commercial Classic Rock bubbler jukeboxes for AMI at the Torrance, Calif., factory.

"Stewardship of the iconic Rock-Ola Mfg. Corp. for the past 17 years has been an amazing journey during a remarkable time and a great honor," commented CEO Glenn Streeter. "Considering the historic parallels between Rock-Ola and AMI Entertainment and the common commitment to quality and innovation, I am assured that the Rock-Ola line of commercial jukeboxes will continue to grow and thrive through its acquisition by AMI Entertainment."

As noted, AACO will continue to manufacture its complete line of Digital Music Center and CD Nostalgic products for the home market, including wallettes for individuals and 1950s retro-style restaurants. At its uniquely-appointed Torrance factory, Rock-Ola/AACO will continue to design and build limited editions of specialized or "branded" equipment for a variety of commerce and consumer sectors. As the sole jukebox factory remaining in the U.S., Rock-Ola/AACO custom products provide extra value for other American industries.

Streeter also announced that the coin-op Classic Rock (DA8-PV3) bubbler juke is now available with a larger, more user-friendly 19" touchscreen. The unit has a slightly narrower depth measurement, and design has been streamlined. The Classic Rock has a full-range, built-in Peavey 900 Watt amp, $1-$20 bill acceptor, credit card reader and connectors for additional speakers. The DA-8 is available exclusively from AMI/Rowe International.
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AMI ENTERTAINMENT ACQUIRES ROCK-OLA MFG.
(Posted June 10, 2009 -- 7AM)

AMI Entertainment Network Inc. has acquired the commercial jukebox assets of Rock-Ola Manufacturing Corp. Since its founding in 1927, Rock-Ola has produced some of the most well-known coin-operated entertainment products. The company began manufacturing jukeboxes in 1935, and today Rock-Ola offers a line of commercial digital jukeboxes addressing the full-range of operator needs.

"This acquisition is a natural evolution of the AMI-Rock-Ola relationship," said Mike Maas, president of AMI Entertainment Network. "Rock-Ola commercial jukeboxes have been produced exclusively for connection to the AMI network since last fall."

Rock-Ola's commercial jukebox models, Slimline, Wall-Rock, and Rock-Star, will now be produced alongside Rowe jukeboxes. Under the agreement, Glenn Streeter retains ownership of Antique Apparatus Co. (AACO) and Qsonix Inc., who will use the Rock-Ola name for their consumer products. AACO will continue to manufacture and sell both digital and CD Nostalgia boxes, including the Q and Mystic, while also maintaining production of their wallettes, designed for 50s-style diner locations.

"It's been a great honor to run this American icon for the past 17 years," reflected Streeter. "And nothing is more American than a Rock-Ola jukebox playing rock n roll music delivered by AMI Entertainment. I am confident that AMI will stay true to the history of quality and innovation, adding to Rock-Ola's stature in the industry."

AACO will maintain service for the commercial products during the transition. In early July, all service and support will shift to the industry-renowned AMI technical support team in Grand Rapids, MI (USA). AMI will honor all valid warranties on Rock-Ola products including all Ecast-powered Rock-Ola jukeboxes.
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COASTAL'S SPIDER BOT SELLS OUT
(Posted June 10, 2009 -- 7AM)

Coastal Amusements' new Spider Bot, released in March of this year, is sold out through June. Orders are now being taken for shipment in July. Spider Bot has a "retro-futuristic" theme. A mechanical spider tries to steal the player's prize. The player must shoot the spider with his ray gun in order to kill the spider before it reaches its web. Tickets are awarded based on the number of hits.

Spider Bot is also equipped with a progressive bonus to award large amounts of tickets, should the player score enough hits on the spider. The game is also available as a direct prize, capsule-dispensing game for those locations not equipped for ticket redemption. Log on to www.coastalamusements.com to learn more or find a distributor.
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GUITAR HERO ARCADE HITS THE 2,000 MARK
(Posted June 10, 2009 -- 7AM)

Raw Thrills and Play Mechanix have shipped over 2,000 units of the video Guitar Hero Arcade since production started three months ago, the companies announced this week. Betson, which is serving as the game's exclusive distributor, reports that many regional and national amusement facilities (movie theaters, FECs, LBEs, bowling centers, amusement parks, big box retailers) have covered all their locations with at least one game and have doubled up in many others. Coinstar, the national route that specializes in big box retail including Wal-Mart, reports Guitar Hero Arcade as its number one video, according to Betson.

Operators have also reportedly been successful in promoting the game through special contests with players competing for prizes and top honors as the Best of the Band. Brown University radio station, WBRU, is running weekly Guitar Hero Arcade contests on campus to offer a much-needed break from the rigors of collegiate academia, and more arcade events are beginning to pop up all over North America.

"The current pipeline of orders for Guitar Hero Arcade is growing daily and we have not experienced this type of excitement for a video game in a long time," said Bob Boals, EVP of Betson Enterprises.

North America is not the only region where Guitar Hero Arcade is experiencing success. Spain, Italy, Germany, England, France, Singapore, Philippines, New Zealand, Australia, India, Middle East, Africa, China and Canada are also enjoying brisk sales with the game, reported Betson. Guitar Hero Arcade is currently available through a special finance program being offer by Firestone Financial.
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ECAST OFFERS SUMMER JAM PLAYLIST
(Posted June 8, 2009 -- 8PM)

Ecast is celebrating the advent of the sunny season with its Summer Jam playlist. Easing in the summer with the sound of favorite outdoor music festival bands, the playlist automatically made its appearance on all 10,000-plus Ecast-powered jukeboxes and will entertain bar goers for the remainder of the month. Bringing together bands from the 70s, 80s and 90s and today, the playlist offers visibility to a crowd appealing mix of eclectic fusion rockers in the Ecast catalog. The list spans seminal jam band the Grateful Dead and their peers the Allman Brothers to songs from Phish, Widespread Panic, Dave Matthews, Blues Traveler and more. Let the summer of love begin, again!

"Rock bars make up a significant part of the Ecast network and this is a great playlist for their patrons, regardless of age," said Ecast VP Scott Walker, VP Network Operations, himself a huge jam band fan. "Playlists lets us mix up existing content in new and relevant ways, keeping consumers coming back for more and offering tremendous value to the labels and artists we carry."
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OHIO OPERATORS GET READY FOR JUNE 18 MEETING
(Posted June 8, 2009 -- 8PM)

The Ohio Coin Machine Operators Association will host its annual meeting on Thursday, June 18, at 1 p.m. with a social reception to follow at 4 p.m. The event will take place at the Ramada Plaza in Columbus. Topics on the agenda include the possible expansion of gaming, maybe even into bars, as well an update on the legal situation with regard to redemption and skill games, the latest on smoking regulation and the possible expansion of the lottery to include on-premise keno machines. To find out more, call OCMA at 614/784-9772.
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ILLINOIS OPS PONDER GAMING PROCESS
(Posted June 5, 2009 -- 3:30PM)

With the state on the verge of approving legalized video gaming in Illinois, operators were beginning to ponder what looks to be a fairly daunting process ahead for them. Tradesters from the Land of Lincoln got a detailed update on what gaming will entail for both them and their customers at this week's Illinois Coin Machine Association annual meeting and trade show, held just over the state line in Lake Geneva, Wis. By all accounts, the licensing process will be more than thorough, what one insider described as akin to a "legal colonoscopy."

Fortunately, for Illinois operators the bill, which has yet to be signed by Governor Pat Quinn but is likely to become law one way or other, is very industry friendly. It requires both operators (who have to be Illinois residents) and distributors but precludes location ownership of the games. Moreover, the revenue will be dedicated to capital improvement funding, meaning that it will be very difficult politically for state politicians to reverse their decision in the future.

"You are on the verge of possibly becoming the largest gaming entity in Illinois," long-time ICMOA lobbyist Zach Stamp told the members at Thursday's session. "You are going to need to step up and become a cohesive association. There are going to be challenges and assaults out there, every year. We are not done. There is a lot more work on defense."

In addition to an in-depth look at the possibility for video gaming, Illinois operators held a board meeting, listened to a national update from AMOA President Russ Mawdsley, three informative seminars (covering redemption, online video games and on-premise advertising), and an evening cocktail party and equipment show that featured many of the industry's newest products. Look RePlay's first-hand coverage of the ICMOA, including much more on gaming in Illinois, in the July issue of RePlay Magazine.
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IALEI APPROVES PROX VOTE ON MERGER
(Posted June 5, 2009 -- 3:30PM)

The International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment Industry (IALEI) says its members have overwhelming approved a bylaws change recommended by the board. This change will allow IALEI members to vote by mail with a proxy on important issues including the potential merger of the association with IAAPA.

"We really wanted to get a system in place which would make it much easier and more practical for our members to fully participate in the important decisions facing the association," said chairwoman Dorothy Lewis. "We are extremely pleased with the vote which showed that 93% of the responding members support the boards' position to facilitate greater membership involvement in voting."

IALEI is currently developing a merger proposal with IAAPA and if approved by both association boards, this important proposal will be presented to the IALEI membership later this summer. Controversy continues to swirl around this proposed merger. Expect much more on this story in the upcoming issue of RePlay Magazine.
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MEI BILL VALIDATOR IS NOW STANDARD FOR MEGATOUCH
(Posted June 5, 2009 -- 3:30PM)

MEI and AMI Entertainment Network (formerly Merit) have reached an agreement by which MEI will be specified as the standard bill validator for all new domestic Megatouch touchscreen games. AMI selected the MEI bill validator based on what it described as "excellent reliability and superior acceptance rates."

"MEI makes a great bill validator," said Steve Jarema, vice president of hardware engineering for AMI. "We will continue to offer customers choices in bill validators on Megatouch, but specifying MEI as the default allows us to provide a consistent value and reliability for our operators and the best gaming experience for patrons."

"We are very pleased AMI recognized the superior value of our products and awarded MEI default status. Our goal is to provide operators with the opportunity to make more money through Megatouch games due to the superior reliability and performance of our products," said Chuck Reed, marketing director for MEI's vending division.
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RUDOWICZ FORMS CONSULTING FIRM; TAKES ON FREEDOM SMOKELESS
(Posted June 3, 2009 -- 4PM)

Mike Rudowicz, former president of the American Amusement Machine Association, has formed Entertainment Connections. In this new venture, he will be working with a select few companies as a coin-op specialist to help facilitate a number of business operations such as relevant licensing opportunities, new product development, and market analysis.

His first order of business will be to establish a worldwide distribution network to include North America, South America, Europe, and the Asian marketplace for Freedom Smokeless Corp. Freedom Smokeless Corporation manufacturers tobacco-free alternative smoking products.

"We are proud to welcome Mike Rudowicz into the Freedom Family," said Freedom Smokeless' Glenn Kassel. Freedom CEO Mike Lewis added, "Having an experienced, well-respected guy like Mike on our team will help us immensely."

With over 35 years of experience in the coin-op industry, Rudowicz hopes his Entertainment Connections will become an invaluable and sought-after service.
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BILL FREEMAN JOINS BENCHMARK SALES TEAM
(Posted June 3, 2009 -- 3PM)

Benchmark Games has named 20-year industry veteran Bill Freeman as the newest member of the company's sales team. Al Kress, CEO for Benchmark Games, said: "We are excited to have this 30-year veteran of the amusement and entertainment industry as part of Benchmark's sales team and we look forward to major contributions from Bill."

Freeman has wide ranging experience and in-depth knowledge of the entertainment industry. He is a qualified teacher and trainer in many areas with excellent people skills. Among his many career accomplishments, he has owned A Game Service for the past 11 years and provided business consulting to the games industry. Freeman is well versed and skilled in the service and technical support for video games and pinball. He has been a consultant on game rooms setup, management and coin-op refurbishment.

Prior to establishing his own company, he was GM of the GameWorks in Orlando. From 1986 to 1996, he was a computer systems technician at Walt Disney World, where he was responsible for audio and video quality for the entire EPCOT Theme Park. Prior to that, he held positions in several other industries and served four years in the U.S. Navy, where he was a flight simulator systems specialist. Benchmark is happy to welcome Bill Freeman to its sales team.
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BRUNSWICK & SACOA JOIN FORCES
(Posted June 3, 2009 -- 3PM)

Brunswick and Sacoa have joined forces to offer a full-function interface between Brunswick's Vector Plus Center Network System and the Sacoa Playcard System. The interface has successfully been installed at Strikz Entertainment in Frisco, Texas, where all transactions at the front desk are now run from the Brunswick terminal. This Vector Plus Game Card Interface is available through Brunswick and includes the game card software, a magnetic stripe reader and an Ethernet card.
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NBVA TO FOCUS LOBBYING ON PRODUCT LABELING
(Posted June 3, 2009 -- 3PM)

The National Bulk Vendors Association has agreed to sign a representation agreement with their lobbying firm Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. to engage the federal government on the issue of permanent product labeling. The deal is the largest undertaking the association has ever committed to in its 59-year history and obligates the association to pay $120,000 in fees over the next year.

"We've dedicated ourselves to this issue because it has far reaching repercussions threatening the future of our business," said Randy Chilton, NBVA president. The funds will be paid from donations provided by members and industry professionals who understand the severity of the situation. "The vending community is very generous and we hope to be fully funded by the end of the summer," said Chilton.

The labeling provisions of the CPSIA require that manufacturers of products designed for children 12 years of age or younger have permanent labels indicating where and when the product was made. The idea is to be able to track a product in the case of a recall. Vending machine toys and novelties are so small that there is not enough surface area to include this information and the price points of the item make it all but impracticable.

That is why the vending industry is fighting these provisions, and Congress has recognized that permanent labeling cannot be possible on every type of item. The provision becomes effective on August 14th of this year. "We've been educating our membership and the industry at large over the past few months and have included a lot of information at our website at www.nbva.org. Further, anyone wishing to contribute to our Legislative Fund should do so by contacting our association headquarters at (888)-NBVA-USA (628-2872)," concluded Chilton.
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VINCENT PARRILLO JOINS PYRAMID AS VP
(Posted June 3, 2009 -- 3PM)

Currency validation provider Pyramid Technologies has hired Vincent Parrillo as VP of sales and marketing. Parrillo will be responsible for the company's sales and marketing activities worldwide. "Pyramid Technologies is very pleased to have Vincent join our organization to help us continue our sales growth both domestically and internationally" said David Mays, CEO and founder of Pyramid. "We are excited to have Vincent on our team because he brings more than a decade of sales experience managing distribution channels and a track record for implementing profitable growth strategies."

Parrillo comes to Pyramid Technologies from SIMCO Electronics where he managed sales in Southern California. Previously, Parrillo was a sales director at Data I/O Corporation where he spent more than eleven years. While at Data I/O, Parrillo managed the US, European and Asian sales organizations over the course of his career.

Parrillo holds both a Bachelors and Masters Degree from the University of California, Irvine and has managed sales organizations both in the U.S. and in Europe. He is fluent in both English and German and has recently relocated from Los Angeles to Phoenix, AZ. To learn more about Pyramid log on to www.pyramidacceptors.com.
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MICK WHITE TO HEAD UP SALES AT SHELTI
(Posted June 3, 2009 -- 3PM)

Shelti Inc. recently welcomed Mick White to lead their sales team. He has more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience in the industry, including work with Tornado, Great American, Valley-Dynamo, and Merit. He can be reached at 877/893-1739, or 817/235-9930. Shelti Inc. manufactures the Bayside coin-op and programmable pool tables, Eye2 darts, Pro Foos foosball and an entire line of home table games. The company is located in Bay City Michigan, www.shelti.com.
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MERIT & ROWE NOW UNDER ONE BRAND
(Posted June 1, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

The merger of Merit Entertainment and Rowe International is now complete with the selection of AMI Entertainment Network Inc. as the new entity's name. "Our diverse, collective digital entertainment portfolio has been simplified into four distinct segments," said Mike Maas, AMI's president and chief executive officer. "Games, Music, Video, and Emerging Media, all organized under AMI Entertainment Network, Inc."

Each AMI Entertainment Network segment features associated brands that independently provide top-quality content to patrons and value to operators. As part of this integration, Megatouch will be the touchscreen game brand of AMI while Rowe will be a music brand. "By employing complementary system standards and industry-leading innovations, these repositioned game and music brands will be more versatile than ever before," Maas continued.

The rapid expansion of AMI's content delivery network continues to attract numerous partners with exciting products and applications. "With our Megatouch and Rowe brands, plus strategic partners, we are poised to offer the world's most compelling, digital entertainment solutions, all backed by the best technical support team in the business," added Maas.
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HAIM STARTS NEW FIRM, GOLD COAST INTL
(Posted June 1, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

Industry veteran Marc Haim, who headed up the now defunct export biz R.H., Belam, has launched a new international trading firm called Gold Coast International. GCI is dedicated to the international distribution of coin-op machines at wholesale export prices. New equipment will be supplied in original factory cartons, used machines will be checked and complete in good working order, then packed or palletized as needed, Haim reported.

"I will continue to manage this business with many of the experienced export staff, and we will offer unbeatable prices combined with efficient rapid service for all international customers," Haim said. "We assure you of your satisfaction, we appreciate your support, and look forward to working with you. Our new website is being constructed, at the moment we are still using the www.belamny.com website."

GCI is located at 1010 Northern Blvd., Great Neck, NY 110021; 516-472-0730; fax 516-472-0737; website www.belamny.com.
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IALEI HAS A NEW ADDRESS
(Posted June 1, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

The International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment Industries (IALEI) is moving its headquarters. Effective immediately, the group's office will be at: Hershey Square #208, 1152 Mae Street, Hummelstown, PA 17036. IALEI can be reached at the same phone and fax numbers: 888/464-6498 or 717/533-0534; fax 717-533-0535.
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AMOA EXPO TO CELEBRATE IN SONG
(Posted June 1, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

This year marks the 120th anniversary of the jukebox, and AMOA plans to celebrate this milestone in style at the association's fall expo. At the annual Opening Gala Reception on the pool deck of the Las Vegas Hilton on Thursday, September 24, AMOA will sponsor a performance by Sonny Turner, former lead singer of the Platters.

Sonny joined the group at age 19 and helped bring the Platters back on the pop charts during the 1960s with such hits as "I Love You 1,000 Times;" "With This Ring;" and "Washed Ashore." As well, he re-recorded the group's classics such as "Only You;" "The Great Pretender;" and "The Magic Touch." To learn more about the fall show, log on to www.amoashow.com.
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May 2009 (Go back to main 2009 menu)

ICMOA SET FOR IMPORTANT STATE MEETING
(Posted May 29, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

Illinois operators, as well as those from nearby states, have only have a few days left to sign up for what is reportedly shaping up to be a crucial ICMOA state show at the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, Wis., particularly with the recent approval of state regulated video gaming (see our earlier story). The association has brought together manufacturers and seminars on timely subjects. Here's a look at the line-up:

Thursday, June 4:

ICMOA Board Meeting (11 a.m. -- 2 p.m.)
Update on Video Gaming (2-4 p.m.)
Manufacturer Cocktail Party and Equipment Show (6-10 p.m.)

Friday, June 5:

Seminar: Merchandising for Success led by Family Fun's Jim Chapman and LAI's Debbie Gonzalez (8:30-9:30 a.m.)
Seminar: Getting the Most From Online Tools by Play Mechanix's Ryan Cravens and Incredible Technologies' Don Pesceone (9:45-10:45 a.m.)
Seminar: Advertising on the Street: Barfly, Tap TV and Rivals (11a.m.-12 p.m.)
Golf (12:30-5 p.m.)
Cocktails, Dinner and Auction (6:30 p.m.)

For more information, please contact the ICMOA at 815/416-0741.
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BENCHMARK RELEASES POKERKARD
(Posted May 29, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

Benchmark Games is now shipping its newest licensed game, Big Tony's Pokerkard, a one- to four-player Texas Hold'Em game. PokerKard is an amusement game that allows players to kick back and enjoy pitting their poker skills against friends and others without losing their shirts. Players pay $2 for 30 minutes and receive 1,000 points, a structure that encourages them to buy-in for more points while still offering good play value.

Initial samples have been testing since early December in the U.S., with production starting in mid-May at Benchmark's factory in Hypoluxo, FL. "Initial test results are very strong, guest satisfaction is off the charts, location owners understand the benefit immediately and our operator customers are enjoying excellent collections," said Benchmark's Gene Lipkin.

Big Tony's Pokerkard features include both hi-top and sit-down configuration, a unique player card for storing points and player ratings and a 37" hi-res (HD) LCD touchscreen, For more details, visit Benchmark on the web at http://www.benchmarkgames.com.
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ANDAMIRO'S WINNER'S CUBE IS NOW SHIPPING
(Posted May 29, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

Andamiro USA is now shipping its newest instant redemption pusher game, Winner's Cube. The objective of Winner's Cube is remarkably simple. Players control the horizontal and vertical movement of a slim rod that is mounted onto a motorized mechanism with two buttons that direct the rod. Once the button is released, the movement of the rod will stop at the location of the desired position. Players will have 20 seconds to plan and position the rod so that it is aligned to an opening hole of the prize display. Once the rod is positioned successfully, the motorized mechanism will proceed to extend the rod into the hole where it will push a prize off the clear display shelf and drop the prize into the redemption basket.

Operators enjoy a fair amount of flexibility in configuring the type and size of prizes so they can customize the game to their specific types of locations.

The complete design and construction of Winner's Cube follows a transparent thematic design that projects a clean, suave look that appeals to all ages. Redemption prizes are displayed through a gigantic transparent display, and white lights are used to illuminate the prize shelves. Contact your local distributor for more information, or call Andamiro's Satinder Bhutani at 310/767-5800, ext. 102. His email is satinb@andamirousa.com.
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VIDEO GAMING IN ILLINOIS LOOKS LIKE A "DONE DEAL"
(Posted May 27, 2009 -- 12PM)

Operators in Illinois have been fighting hard to achieve passage of state-regulated, legalized video gaming for almost two decades. By all reports, their long-fought campaign has finally succeeded. Both houses of the state legislature have approved video gaming in bars and fraternals, and the bill is now awaiting likely signature by the governor.

"It's a done deal," one veteran Illinois tradester told this publication. "This state is falling apart, and the politicians know this is good for the state."

Last week, the measure passed through both the house and senate as part of HB 255, a capital improvement bill aimed at rebuilding crumbling public infrastructure including many schools. Legalized gaming is expected to bring in as much as $700 million per year for Illinois' coffers, garnering a significant share of the current gray market in the state, which according to some estimates includes as many as 65,000 machines on location.

In addition to video poker, the bill included a number of fee and tax increases, many of the latter so-called sin taxes, as well as a provision that will allow state residents to play the lottery online, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.

"This is the bill that will put thousands of our people to work, repair the infrastructure of our state and do great things moving forward for the citizens and the economy of the state of Illinois," state representative Lou Lang of Skokie told the Tribune. Lang sponsored the measure.

Governor Pat Quinn is reportedly holding off on signing the bill, hoping to get lawmakers to agree to an increase in the state's income tax. However, it appears at press time that he is making progress working out the final details with state lawmakers and is expected to sign the measure. The bill will become law 90 days after passage, barring an unlikely veto.

John Neville, a veteran operator who along with the late Ray Shroyer has long been involved in the fight for achieving state-regulated gaming, told RePlay that the stars finally aligned for the Illinois Coin Machine Operators Association and Illinois operators in general. "Almost everybody has been on board," said Neville, who serves as ICMOA's head of legislative affairs. "It's been a cooperative and cohesive effort by ICMOA, and we couldn't have done it without the help of our lobbying team."

Under the provisions of the law, liquor pouring establishments, fraternals, veterans organizations and truck stops will be allowed five gaming machines, all connected to a central computer system overseen by the Illinois Gaming Board. License fees will be dedicated to the establishment and operation of the computer system, although 25% of those fees will also be dedicated to compulsive gambling treatment programs. Neville said the licensing requirements will be stringent in order to protect against fears of corruption.

"The new high-tech games will be directly linked to a central system within the state's gaming board, which will monitor in real time play on the machines. Criminal background checks will be required of distributors and liquor licensees to guard against undesirable elements. In fact, this legislation will do to illegal gaming what the end to Prohibition did to bootlegging and black-market alcohol," Neville wrote in a letter he sent to several newspapers on behalf of ICMOA.

"The Illinois Coin Machine Operators Association, whose members will distribute the new machines to our customers, pledges to make this new adult entertainment opportunity succeed for all of our citizens," Neville's letter continued. "As residents of the communities we serve, it is clearly in our business and civic interests to guarantee we and our customers adhere to the letter of the law. By licensing, regulating and taxing this recreational activity, responsible adults will enjoy a fair game of chance while contributing to the state's fiscal well-being."

Operators will pay out 25% of the machines' gross receipts to the state for rebuilding public schools, as well as roads, bridges, schools and mass transit systems. Additionally, operators will be required to share 5% of the gross receipts with local governmental entities. Maximum bets on the machines will be limited to $2, and players can win no more than $500 for any one bet on the games.

Neville said a number of gaming machine suppliers have already expressed interest in attending next month's ICMOA meeting in Lake Geneva, Wis. Check out icmoa.org for more information on that event. Neville said he also hopes to dedicate this victory to Ray Shroyer, an Illinois operator who worked tirelessly for the measure but succumbed to another long fight against cancer before seeing this day arrive.
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VIRGINIA OPS HOPING TO RE-ESTABLISH ASSOCIATION
(Posted May 27, 2009 -- 12PM)

Operators in Virginia are set to hold an organizational meeting next month, hoping to re-establish a healthy state association. Items on the agenda include the organization and funding of the association, proposed changes to Virginia's gaming laws that could affect cranes, the issue of gaming on a larger scale and state lobbying insights from Jeff Smith of the Smith Group in Richmond.

"This is a very interesting time in our industry, and it is important for us to ban together and have a unified voice in Richmond," the meeting announcement declared. "If we don't watch out for ourselves, who will?"

The meeting will take place starting at noon on June 11 at the Holiday Inn University in Charlottesville, Va. To learn more, contact John Newberry of Venco at 800/762-9962 or email jnewberry@vencomusic.com.
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TOUCHTUNES PROMOTING SAVING ABEL SWEEPSTAKES
(Posted May 27, 2009 -- 12PM)

TouchTunes is promoting a sweepstakes to give away a legendary Paul Reed Smith guitar signed by the members of rock band Saving Abel (Virgin). Saving Abel fans can enter the sweepstakes at TouchTunes digital jukebox screens nationwide or online at www.touchtunes.com/savingabel through June 8.

Originating from Corinth, Miss., Saving Abel is Jared Weeks, Jason Null, Scott Bartlett, Eric Taylor and Blake Dixon. The band boasts a cool, alt-rock, Southern-tinged sound that is instantly familiar and irresistible. Songs range from the intense rocker "New Tattoo" to the sexy groove of "Addicted" to the haunting new anthem "Drowning (Face Down)."

"We're just trying to connect with people," said Jared Weeks. "And we're going to keep doing what we do until they don't want to hear it anymore!"

The sweepstakes is timed to support the marketing push for "Drowning (Face Down)," the band's third consecutive top five hit from their certified-Gold debut album Saving Abel. The song is anticipated to mirror the success of the album's Platinum-selling first single, "Addicted" which has consistently been a TouchTunes jukebox favorite since the album release.

"TouchTunes digital jukeboxes play hundreds of millions of songs annually, and that's growing," said Vicki Saunders, VP of music marketing. "It's great to work with Virgin to promote Saving Abel to their rapidly expanding audience and to contribute towards the band's move up the charts."
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ASCAP WINS BIG ROYALTIES FROM YOUTUBE
(Posted May 26, 2009 -- 1PM)

A federal judge has ordered the website YouTube to pay ASCAP $1.6 million in back royalties as well as $70,000 a year in the future to cover songwriter royalties for music played in videos hosted on the site. ASCAP was seeking as much as $12 million back royalties. YouTube is also involved in litigation with a number of record labels, some of which want their artists' material removed from the website completely.
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AMOA ANNOUNCES $10,000 PRIZE AT SHOW
(Posted May 26, 2009 -- 1PM)

One lucky AMOA operator is going to fly home from this fall's International Expo $10,000 richer in a first-time show prize giveaway, the association announced last week. AMOA Expo will be held in Las Vegas September 24-26. The cash prize will be based on some form of giveaway activity that raises the players' chances of winning the more they participate. AMOA non-members will also be eligible to win a $5,000 prize giveaway.

"The drawing will take place on the show's final day and the winner need not be present to claim his or her prize," AMOA reported in its weekly Off The Top email newsletter. "But, the only way to qualify will be through attendance at this year's Expo. More info will be coming your way soon."
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BRADY OFFERING TRADE IN PROGRAM
(Posted May 26, 2009 -- 1PM)

Brady Distributing is currently offering a trade-in program with generous credits applied toward the purchase of new equipment at any of the dealership's offices including Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. Game sales that trigger the trade-ins include the purchase of new pieces from Bay-Tek, Family Fun Companies, ICE, Merit and Namco. To learn more, contact your nearest Brady Distributing office or log on to www.bradydist.com.
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TEXAS SMOKING BAN DOA
(Posted May 26, 2009 -- 1PM)

A proposed statewide smoking ban in Texas appears to have been sidelined, according to numerous press reports from the Lone Star state. The bill made it through committee but failed, by one vote, to get a full hearing in the state senate. Sponsor Rod Ellis, a Democratic senator from Houston, said he will bring the measure up in future legislative sessions. Texas lawmakers only meet every other year.
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STERN DEBUTS NBA PINBALL GAME
(Posted May 21, 2009 -- 1PM)

Stern Pinball is ready to shoot some hoops with their new pinball machine aimed squarely at both basketball and pinball enthusiasts. The new NBA pinball game, launched during this year's NBA playoffs, features 20 players from 20 different NBA teams. NBA pinball offers several popular pinball mechanical features including a spinning disk in the playfield center, a captive ball, drop targets, ramps, a diverter, and much more.

The game features a basketball backboard with a magnet in its center. When the player shoots a basket, the magnet holds the ball momentarily and then drops it toward the basket, assisting the player. NBA has three spectacular basketball shots. There is a ramp shot off the flippers aimed at the basket. There is also a jump shot, made when the ball goes up a plastic ramp and circles just below the basket. And there is a free throw shot, where the ball is thrown 12 inches through the air to the basket.

There are 20 teams and players featured in the NBA pinball artwork. Some of the players featured in the new pinball machine game include: Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett, Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant, Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade, and Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard.

"The NBA has tremendous fans who are dedicated and passionate about the game of basketball," said factory topper Gary Stern. "The new NBA pinball machine allows players to shoot and score, keeping track of a player's basketball points earned for shooting baskets and normal pinball points."

Pinball Hall of Fame artist Kevin O'Connor created the artwork, David Thiel produced the sound, and NBA video game veteran Tim Kitzrow announces the game. Visit www.sternpinball.com to locate your nearest Stern Pinball distributor or retailer.
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ECAST NAMES BRADY IN ALABAMA AND GEORGIA
(Posted May 21, 2009 -- 1PM)

Broadband music and jukebox supplier Ecast has selected Brady Distributing to carry its family of digital jukeboxes in Georgia and Alabama. Brady will distribute Ecast-powered models from NSM, Digital Fusion conversion kits from Amusement Technologies and the Ecast EQ high-def flat panel jukebox introduced at AMOA last year. Ecast and partners NSM and Amusement Technologies will be demonstrating their product lines at the Brady Atlanta show next week.

"Brady Distributing is a first-class organization and we very much look forward to our work together with them," said Scott Walker, VP network operations, Ecast. "We are confident the Brady team will quickly establish themselves in these new markets as they have done in their existing markets."

"Ecast has a solid national footprint and we intend to expand it further in Georgia and Alabama," said Jon W. Brady, VP and secretary of Brady. "We have always been about providing a quality, full service customer experience and are eager to move forward with Ecast-powered digital music."
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GLOBAL VR PARTNERS WITH STREAK
(Posted May 20, 2009 -- 2PM)

Video game maker Global VR has entered into a strategic partnership with one of the kiosk industry's preeminent suppliers, Streak Technology. GVR will create a kiosk system for Streak, which has also been involved in building amusement games on contract for other developers.

Founded in 1994 by Robert (Bob) Stewart, former Atari exec, Streak rapidly achieved status in the emerging kiosk industry. Under Bob's direction, Streak became a multi-million dollar company employing over 40 people. "We are proud to join forces with Global VR," said Stewart. "It makes great sense to combine our talented teams. This partnership allows us to enjoy both economies of scale and talent that will enable us to better serve our customers' needs."

Over the past 15 years, Streak has developed strong relationships with many companies by providing turnkey manufacturing services. The company has built over 50,000 amusement machines and kiosks. Streak was responsible for the design and manufacturing of products such as Tickets.com, a product which allows users to pick an event, choose a seat and receive the printed ticket; Build A Bear Vending; the Internet kiosk Streak Model 700, and over 8,000 Polaroid photo booths.

"We are extremely excited to have Bob and his team join us," said GVR president Ken Bayer. "As a combined entity, Global VR/Streak Technology is one of the strongest, most experienced providers of integrated kiosk and video game products for the coin-op industry. We provide a full range of services including concept and design of hardware and software, prototyping, manufacturing as well as service and support."
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TOUCHTUNES TO PROMOTE KENNY CHESNEY ALBUM
(Posted May 20, 2009 -- 2PM)

TouchTunes has taken on a summer-long partnership with BNA Records to assist in the awareness for Kenny Chesney's Greatest Hits II, available in stores and on TouchTunes digital jukeboxes across the nation starting May 19. Featuring 15 tracks, GH II includes Chesney's brand new "Out Last Night," the party song destined to be the anthem of Summer 2009.

TouchTunes is also working with BNA to support Chesney's Sun City Carnival Tour. Next month, the company will be offering an exclusive sweepstakes for fans for a chance to win a VIP fly-away for two to attend one of his high-energy concert performances. Details of the sweepstakes will be announced in the coming weeks.

"I think everyone can relate to a night out with friends at your favorite bar and the feeling you get when 'your' song comes on the jukebox," said Vicki Saunders, VP digital media and music marketing, TouchTunes. "Kenny Chesney is a TouchTunes favorite and top performer at our more than 38,000 locations, and we expect his Greatest Hits II album will be a crowd pleaser too."

"There's nothing like a song on the jukebox," said Chesney, the singer and songwriter from East Tennessee. "When your song comes up, you get a certain kind of rush. And no matter your mood, there's always a song on the jukebox that can fix it. Being part of the digital jukebox nation like this is pretty cool."
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ON SITE'S SPORTSCAPE NETWORK DEBUTS
(Posted May 20, 2009 -- 2PM)

OnSite Sports, the advertising and media platform supported by a consortium of coin-op distributors called Rivals Media, is launching SportScape, a TV sports network engaging away-from-home sports viewers via a unique platform that combines live network TV sports programming with original digital message management.

"SportScape provides a new way for marketers to engage sports fans -- an on the go demographic of young adults that most traditional media struggles to reach," said OnSite in its official announcement.

SportScape's broadcast is aimed at top sports-oriented bars throughout the U.S. and utilizes patented technology and processes to enhance the away-from-home sports viewing experience by wrapping live broadcast television with dynamic sports-fan-relevant content. The SportScape affiliate network plans to have a significant presence in every city with a professional football team in time for the start of the 2009 season. All existing OnSite Network locations have been converted to the SportScape brand.

"For decades, marketers have sought out opportunities to connect their brand to the powerful emotional ties sports fans have with their favorite team," says Rick Sebok, CMO of SportScape. "SportScape makes that connection when TV viewing is done away from the home, which now represents up to 30-percent of all sports viewing. Marketers may struggle getting their message to disinterested consumers with changing in-home TV viewing habits and growing DVR presence, but the away-from-home sports TV viewing experience remains passionate and strong."

SportScape understands sports fans and delivers the content they want-enhancing the sports viewing experience and driving consumer engagement. SportScape delivers narrowcast content and messaging through an L-shaped banner that partially frames the broadcast or cable television network. There is never any disruption of the selected TV programming.

SportScape also offers interactive features to boost viewer participation, including on-premise games that match the televised sports event, whether it is football, baseball, hockey, basketball or auto racing. Additional SportScape capabilities include text messaging for contests, sponsored promotions or topical surveys. To learn more, visit www.SportScape.tv.
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JOHN SCHULTZ NAMED NEW AAMA PRESIDENT AS RUDOWICZ EXITS
(Posted May 18, 2009 -- 4PM)

AAMA Chairman Dave Courington confirmed that the association will not extend Mike Rudowicz's employment contract past its current term. "Mike's 40 years of industry experience was a great benefit to the association. Having worked as a distributor, manufacturer and working directly with operators while at WICO gave Mike a great background to look at the association's needs from many different perspectives," Dave said. "The association, as well as the entire amusement industry, owes Mike a debt of gratitude for his years of dedicated service. We all wish Mike the very best in his future endeavors."

On May 15, the AAMA Board approved John Schultz to take over the post of president. John has served on a variety of committees and most recently as vice chairman of the executive committee. "John's industry experience coupled with his association work positions him as the right man for the job," added Dave. Schultz brings 40 years of experience in the coin op industry. He will relocate to Elk Grove Village, IL on June 1, and can be reached at jjukeman@aol.com.
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PRIMETIME TO HANDLE JVL LINE
(Posted May 18, 2009 -- 4PM)

PrimeTime Amusements, based in Fort Lauderdale, has announced their appointment as an authorized distributor for JVL Corp. in the state of Florida. "We're extremely proud to team up with JVL to provide the highest quality countertop video games available today," said Paul Jacobs, PrimeTime VP of sales and marketing.

Longtime industry veteran Larry Sinclair, head of amusement sales for PrimeTime, will be spearheading the sales effort to operators throughout the state. He can be reached at 321/439-3780 or by email atlarry@primetimeamusements.com. In addition to the newly acquired JVL line, PrimeTime continues to market an exclusive lineup of their own proprietary products, including boxing machines, basketballs, air hockeys, and pool tables.
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PENNSYLVANIA PROPOSING NON-OPERATOR POKER
(Posted May 18, 2009 -- 4PM)

Pennsylvania operators are concerned that support for state regulated video gaming will not include them. Operators have lobbied for legalized video poker for close to two decades. In 1990, state lawmakers approved video gaming, but the measure was vetoed by then Governor Robert Casey who said video poker was linked to organized crime.

In light of the current financial crisis, Governor Ed Rendell is backing video poker. Unfortunately, he is not thinking about including amusement machine operators.

"Rendell has proposed a plan in which the state would contract with a single, large national supplier to install an estimated 35,000 machines in establishments holding liquor licenses," reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "The machines typically combine a range of slots, games and poker options on a single device. They cost about $15,000 each but under the governor's plan, the national vendor would supply them rather than sell them, in return for a share of the revenue determined by contract. Administration officials estimate each machine could generate $30,000 annually, or more than $1 billion collectively."

Under Rendell's proposal, half of the money would go for tuition assistance at the state's colleges and universities, while a fourth would go to the location, and the rest would be used for paying for the system including the machine supplier's share of the revenue.
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ECAST EXTENDS 'ONE' PROMOTION
(Posted May 18, 2009 -- 4PM)

Ecast is extending the One Promotion deadline by 30 days, offering operators a chance to cash in on significant savings if they purchase qualifying Ecast-powered hardware by June 15 and connect those new units to the Ecast network June 30. To learn more, contact your Ecast sales representative or call 866/HIECAST.
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BETSON SOUTHEAST IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS
(Posted May 18, 2009 -- 4PM)

Betson's doors are open at their new office in Atlanta. The new showroom and warehouse is strategically located in Marietta, Ga., on 2150 Newmarket Parkway Suite 100 and can be reached by dialing 770/303-0146 or by faxing 770-303-0655. Betson will maintain a staff of skilled technicians and provide parts availability to minimize any downtime for customers.

To celebrate the grand opening Betson Southeast will proudly host an open house June 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to welcome customers. Betson will be serving up some tasty food as well as the latest in new products. The distributor will also host three educational seminars on the following topics: ATMs (11 a.m.), Lavazza Blue espresso vending (12 p.m.) and successful financial strategies (1:30 p.m.).
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IALEI AND IAAPA WORKING THROUGH MERGER
(Posted May 15, 2009 -- 4PM)

Officials with International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment Industry (IALEI) and the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) said they are making progress on concluding a potential merger between the two groups. IALEI members are supposed to return a proxy vote on the decision by June 1, and the two groups say they hope to have the merger finished by the end of summer.

However, behind the scenes a fierce war of words is being raged by several IALEI leaders, including a former association president, who oppose the merger plans and say the process goes against IALEI's formal bylaws. Direct participants in the merger negotiations have all signed a non-disclosure agreement, precluding them from commenting on any of the details.

"We are making progress in the due diligence review for the potential merger with IALEI," said IAAPA President and CEO Charlie Bray in an official statement released this week. "IALEI has provided us with more than 1,000 pages of legal documents and our counsel is reviewing those carefully to understand the details and implications of a potential agreement."

IALEI Chair Dorothy Lewis echoes a similar perspective. "We're working through the merger process in a methodical manner, and we want to make sure we cover all the details," she said. "It simply takes time."

The bylaws of both associations, advice from legal counsel, and the laws for managing these issues in Illinois (IALEI's state of incorporation), Pennsylvania (location of IALEI's headquarters office), and Delaware (IAAPA's state of incorporation) must all be consulted and carefully considered at each step of the merger review process, the associations noted in their official statement.

As the due diligence process continues, a transition team made up of members of the IALEI board, the IAAPA FEC Committee, and IAAPA staff continues to work through the details to create a final merger proposal.
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AVS EAST TO HOST OPEN HOUSE
(Posted May 15, 2009 -- 4PM)

American Vending Sales East will host an open house, Thursday, May 21, at the dealer's Clifton, N.J., offices from 12-5 p.m. The distributor will showcase many new pieces of equipment, with factory representatives on hand. Attendees can also expect cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. Operators planning to attend are asked to RSVP by today if possible, by calling 862/208-1200. AVS East is located at 1 Austin Place, Clifton, N.J.
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TEXAS LAWMAKERS DEBATE SMOKING BAN
(Posted May 15, 2009 -- 4PM)

Lawmakers in Texas are pushing for a statewide smoking ban in bars and restaurants, according to a recent update from Amusement and Music Operators of Texas. A smoking ban proposed in the state's last legislative session failed to gain momentum, but this year's bill SB 544 will be on the Senate floor as early as today. AMOT was rallying the troops, urging operators to contact their local lawmakers and express their opposition to the move.
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APPLE'S NEW GENERATION DEBUTS ON THE TONIGHT SHOW
(Posted May 13, 2009 -- 3PM)

Last Friday, May 8, Jay Leno and guest Jamie Lee Curtis went inside Apple Industries' New Generation photo booth on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in front of a national television audience and took their picture together. "It was a hilarious moment," said Apple sales topper Mel LaForce, "because Jamie Lee Curtis sat on Jay Leno's lap and they both made all kinds of crazy faces while the Photo Booth took four photos." Apple president Allen Weisberg added: "Photo booths are practically as American as apple pie and being on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno proves the popularity of this great American tradition." Check out the Tonight Show video link at: http://www.hulu.com/watch/72422/the-tonight-show-fri-may-8-2009?c=1497:1664
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JVL TO HOST CALIFORNIA SERVICE SCHOOLS
(Posted May 13, 2009 -- 3PM)

Touchscreen game maker JVL will host two upcoming service schools, including one in the Los Angeles area on June 23 and a second in San Diego on June 25. The first event will take place at 8217 Lankershim Blvd, Unit 26, North Hollywood, CA; 818/252-7171. The second class will be held at the Embassy Suits, 2400 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA. Both classes will get underway at 10 AM and last for an hour and a half; lunch will be served from 1-2 PM. To learn more about either of these events, contact JVL sales pro Valerie Bechtold at 909/226-1005.
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REPLAY AND REDEMPTION PLUS TO HOST GAME ROOM WEBINAR
(Posted May 13, 2009 -- 3PM)

Prize supplier Redemption Plus and its consulting affiliate Pinnacle Entertainment Advisors will team up with RePlay Magazine to host a special webinar entitled "How To Build a Profitable Redemption Game Room" on June 10 from 12-1 p.m. (central). Topics to be covered by session leader George McAuliffe include developing a great game room mix, exploring the fundamentals of merchandising, buying products customers want and doing so efficiently, simple methods to control the redemption process and hitting cost of sales targets while driving new business.

George McAuliffe is president of Pinnacle Entertainment Advisors by Redemption Plus. He is a 30-year veteran the family entertainment industry that has helped numerous bowling centers and FECs on the economics, space planning, layout, and operations of high earning game rooms. George is past president the International Association of the Leisure and Entertainment Industries (IALEI) and a regular contributor of articles to RePlay, as well as other publications. Participants can register for this free webinar, presented by RePlay, Pinnacle and Redemption Plus, by logging on to https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/649626834 or calling 866/679-2523.
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SEGA READIES FOR ANOTHER RAMBO RUN
(Posted May 13, 2009 -- 3PM)

Sega Amusements is set to begin another production run of its deluxe shooter Rambo in June. The game has been garnering steady new orders and re-orders, according to factory sales pro Tom Keil. "Rambo has been earning impressive cashbox averages in FEC locations around the country," said Keil. "These earnings allow FEC's to pay for their game in less than five months with retail pricing under $12,995."

Rambo Deluxe attracts players' attention with its eye-catching cabinet design and the history of Rambo as seen on the big screen. The 56" DLP monitor is combined with computer graphics and real movie pictures for visual realism along with woofer sound enhancing the game's cinematic feel. The realistic look and feel of the proven Ghost Squad machine guns along with the recoil action also provides a true action experience. For more information please contact your local distributor; website www.sau.sega.com.
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INDUSTRY VETERAN STITES BUYS VALLEY DYNAMO
(Posted May 11, 2009 -- 3PM)

As of May 8, 2009, substantially all operating assets of Valley-Dynamo, LLC were acquired by a limited partnership controlled by Kelye Stites, owner of Champion Shuffleboard Ltd. and other businesses in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Included in the sale by Brunswick are all coin-operated and consumer products under the Valley, Dynamo and Tornado brands.

"Valley pool tables, Dynamo pool and air hockey tables and Tornado foosball tables are the unquestioned leaders in their categories in both coin-op and consumer markets," said Stites. "I am delighted to have the chance to offer these quality products to Valley-Dynamo customers and to continue to operate the company independently."

The company intends to continue to operate under the Valley-Dynamo name. The company's current headquarters and distribution center in Dallas/Fort Worth will remain open on an interim basis until a new location is identified. Company contact information will remain the same.
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TOUCHTUNES NAMES CHARLES GOLDSTUCK AS CEO
(Posted May 11, 2009 -- 3PM)

TouchTunes Corp. has named Charles Goldstuck as its new chief executive officer, according to an announcement made by TouchTunes chairman Bill Meder. Goldstuck was formerly president and COO at Bertelsmann Music Group (U.S.) (BMG).

While at BMG, Goldstuck oversaw the business operations of the BMG Label Group including: the RCA Music Group (RCA Records, J Records, Arista Records), and the Zomba Label Group (Jive Records, LaFace Records and Verity Records). The BMG Label Group is home to superstar artists Usher, Alicia Keys, Whitney Houston, Dave Matthews Band, Chris Daughtry, Foo Fighters, OutKast, Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, Sarah McLachlan, Rod Stewart, and Avril Lavigne, among many others.

"Charles is a proven business leader in the multi-channel, multi-product environment, encompassing the fully-integrated distribution of music, digital marketing and entertainment," said Meder. "He has a clear, forward-thinking strategy for the company that we are confident is going to take TouchTunes to the next level."

"TouchTunes is clearly a leader in digital interactive entertainment and is one of those rare media companies that are growing rapidly. I look forward to building on their great success," said Goldstuck. "It is gratifying to have the opportunity to lead TouchTunes into the next phase of its growth as the company expands through marketing partnerships with the music industry, with advertisers, and with a growing installed customer base in the bar, restaurant and retail channels."

Goldstuck began his career at music publisher Warner/Chapell Music in Los Angeles heading up the Latin American division. He later joined Capitol Records where he rose to EVP. Following that he moved to New York to be EVP/GM of Arista Records. In 2000, Mr. Goldstuck left Arista with Clive Davis to form J Records, a joint venture with BMG, which was eventually merged with RCA Records to form the RCA Music Group. In 2004, he was elevated into the role of President and COO of BMG (US). He is a board member of various corporate entities, as well as the City of Hope Children's Foundation and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. Goldstuck was educated at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
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BRADY ANNOUNCES GEORGIA SPOTLIGHT SHOW
(Posted May 11, 2009 -- 3PM)

Brady Distributing will host a spotlight show for its new and existing customers in Georgia, Thursday, May 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch will be served from 12-2 p.m. The show will be held at the Norcross Hilton, 5993 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Norcross, GA 30092, and the day-long line-up will include two special presentations on the new OnSite advertising network, which is being marketed by a group of distributors including Brady called Rivals Media. Look for the full story on OnSite and Rivals in the June issue of RePlay Magazine.
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STATE SHOWS SLATED FOR JUNE
(Posted May 11, 2009 -- 3PM)

Five separate state associations will host state meetings and shows in June, and the AMOA reported last week that the national association would be represented at each of these events. AMOA President Russ Mawdsley will be on hand for at least three of these events. Here's the line-up:

  • June 1, Michigan Coin Machine Operators Association (MCMOA) -- Hawk Hollow Golf Club, Bath, MI;
  • June 4-5, Illinois Coin Machine Operators Association (ICMOA) -- Grand Geneva Resort, Lake Geneva, WI;
  • June 10-12, Minnesota Operators of Music & Amusement (MOMA) -- Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge, Deerwood, MN
  • June 10-11, Wisconsin Amusement & Music Operators Association (WAMO) -- Hilton City Center, Milwaukee, WI;
  • June 18, Ohio Coin Machine Association (OCMA) -- Ramada Plaza Hotel & Conference Center, Columbus, OH
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COINSTAR REPORTS 42% INCREASE IN REVENUE
(Posted May 8, 2009 -- 7AM)

Coinstar, parent company of the national Sugarloaf amusement route, announced results for the three-month period ended March 31, 2009. The company, whose main business is change machines that take a small percentage for counting and crediting coins, saw consolidated revenue increase to $271.2 million, a 42.3% increase from the prior year period. Earnings (EBITDA) for the period were $42.1 million.

"We're pleased with our first quarter performance and a solid start to 2009, especially in an economic environment that remains challenging," said CEO Paul Davis. "The Company's DVD kiosk and Coin processing product lines continue to post strong results, underscoring the value proposition and resiliency of these businesses. In addition, our portfolio approach and ability to drive foot traffic continues to resonate with retailers, and based upon the first quarter performance we reiterate our 2009 guidance of more than $1.2 billion in revenues and nearly $200 million in EBITDA."

Looking ahead, company execs estimate that revenue for the second quarter of 2009 will range from $300 million to $310 million. Revenue estimates for the full year range from $1.2 billion to $1.3 billion with EBITDA between $185 million and $195 million. At the close of the market Thursday, Coinstar's stock was trading at $35.43 a share, more than $3 below its 52-week high of $38.90, meaning the company's stock has made an impressive rebound from its low point last fall.
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BETSON KICKS OFF SUMMER WITH SPOTLIGHT SHOW AND GOLF OUTING
(Posted May 8, 2009 -- 7AM)

Betson Enterprises will host a Summer Barbecue and Spotlight Show on Wednesday, June 3, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at their Carlstadt, N.J., office along with their 9th Annual HBI Golf Outing on Thursday, June 4. All metro operators from New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania are invited to attend the tri-state preview of the latest in post-ASI product releases.

Featured at the spotlight show will be H2Overdrive, a new driver from Raw Thrills along with their Guitar Hero Arcade. Chicago Gaming will be previewing its new interactive mini golf simulator called Putt while Jennison Entertainment will be showcasing their new Intermission coin roll down and Vegas Sensation pusher.

Other new previews on display will be Arachnid's new convertible Galaxy 2 dart game, Apple's photo booth lineup, Benchmark's Pokerkard, Bay Tek's Big Bass Pro, Family Fun's Flip 2 Win pusher, ICE's Price is Right pusher and X Prize, Namco's Barber Cut Lite and Razing Storm, Merit's RX touchscreen, I.T.'s Lawn Darts, Global VR's Justice League and Need for Speed Carbon, Skee Ball's Super 21, Shelti's Bayside pool table, Stern's NBA flipper, LAI's Double Up Stacker and more.

Also on the agenda are three educational seminars focusing on ATMs (12 noon), increased coffee profits with Lavazza (1:30 p.m.) and new financial strategies (3 p.m.).

On Thursday June 4, the fun will continue when Betson hosts its 9th Annual HBI Golf Outing. This year's event will be held at the scenic Beaverbrook Country Club in Annandale, N.J. Registration and lunch will be served at 11 a.m. and a shotgun start will begin promptly at 12 p.m. The cost per player is $150 and includes lunch, golf, cart, beverages on course, cocktail hour, dinner and prizes. Hole sponsorships are available for $250 and limited sponsors are available for both the cocktail hour and beverage carts. This year's golf outing will be benefiting Several Sources of North Jersey, a local charity supporting mothers and their babies needing help and compassionate shelter.

For registration please call Joe Ingui at 201/438-1300, ext. 3318, or visit
http://www.betson.com/images/pdfs/Golf_09.pdf to download a golf outing form. The deadline for paid registration is May 22.
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TALKIN' ABOUT THE NEW GENERATION
(Posted May 5, 2009 -- 7PM)

Are you having trouble attracting young players to your leagues? Well, RePlay Magazine's newest contributing writer has got some insight into two crucial groups who could help fill your ranks, if they are approached and handled the right way.

Alyssa A. Pfennig, who serves as director of membership for the AMOA-National Dart Association (NDA), will make her debut appearance as a RePlay columnist in the June issue, picking up where her NDA colleague Leslie Murphy left off in our "Exchange Place" feature. Pfennig and Murphy plan to alternate columnist duties, bringing our readers keen insights into league promotion and effective marketing strategies. In her debut column, Pfennig will tackle the question of how to attract players from Generations X and Y.

"Everyone wants something of value for their time and money, but younger players highly value a great experience and want to be pampered," she writes. "You may scoff at this, but it's the truth and if you do not provide that high level of customer service and that 'great experience' in leagues, you will not have any new players in the years ahead. Younger players have a low tolerance for poorly run leagues, unethical behavior, indifferent attitudes from league coordinators, delays or scheduling errors, etc." Look for more on this vital topic in our June issue of RePlay.
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NDA OFFERS FOUR-PART WEBINAR SERIES
(Posted May 5, 2009 -- 7PM)

The National Dart Association is continuing its successful foray into webinars with a four-part series entitled "Smart Marketing Ideas to Boost Your Profits." The series is designed to help the NDA charter holder members ensure their future and stay current with the latest marketing and branding strategies to edge out competition.

The four-part live webinar series will kick off May 12 with "Branding Your Business and Leagues." NDA members can register today and pay only $69 for all four webinars. All webinars are $25 each for charter holders if they register individually; the sessions will take place at 2 p.m. EST. Charter members and their representatives must pre-register for all webinars. Non-members can register for $499 for all four webinars or $149 individually. Interested members can sign up at www.ndadarts.com (click on 'LEARN') or contact the NDA toll free at 800-808-9884, ext 135. Here's the full line-up:

May 12
Part I: Branding Your Business and Leagues

May 27
Part II: Marketing to Locations and Players

June 9
Part III: Increasing Your Online Presence

July 22
Part IV: Connecting with Social Media: The Ins and Outs
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BETSON TEXAS TO HOST SPOTLIGHT SHOWS IN OKLAHOMA
(Posted May 5, 2009 -- 7PM)

Betson Texas will host back-to-back spotlight shows in Oklahoma with a host of new products. The events will take place Tuesday, May 12, 2009, at the Sheraton Oklahoma City Downtown, One North Broadway, Oklahoma City and Wednesday May 13, 2009, at the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel and Convention Center, 6808 S. 107 E. Avenue, Tulsa, OK. Both shows will run from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The two-day event will feature manufacturer representatives with the latest equipment, plus financing specials and lunch. Reps will be on hand from LAI, Merit, Coinco, Betson Enterprises and Betson Imperial Parts & Service. Featured equipment will be Guitar Hero Arcade, Megatouch Rx, Slimline and Mini Stacker among others. For more information on the show and/or to RSVP contact Steve Fabian at the Betson Texas office 877-638-4900, ext. 223.
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VETERAN ROWE TECHNICAL TEACHER PASSES AWAY
(Posted May 4, 2009 -- 6PM)

Back in the "post war day" when the 45rpm jukebox was the industry's signature machine, many an operator and his mechanic learned how to fix the insides of Seeburg and Rowe AMi jukeboxes from a guy named Art Seglin. His specialty was sound, but he was familiar with most of the workings of all sorts of machines back when the state of the art included reed switches. Originally with Seeburg, Art Seglin was best known for his many years teaching technical service for Rowe. In fact, after he retired in 1968, he wrote the curriculum on vending machine service and repair for New Jersey's Hudson County Occupational Center and ended up teaching the course himself when the school couldn't find another such seasoned vet to do the job.

Art passed on April 12, 2009 from a bacterial infection that had set in during prior surgery on a broken hip. He'd been in the Elms Rehabilitation Center (Cranbury, N.J.) when he died and was buried some days later at the Mount Lebanon Cemetery in Iselin. Art is survived by his wife of 67 years, Florence, daughter Joyce, son Mark, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Art and Florence were friends of New York State matriarch Millie McCarthy as well as the RePlay Adlum family who join other longtimers in wishing the Seglins God's peace.
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FIRESTONE SEEKING SPECIALISTS
(Posted May 4, 2009 -- 6PM)

Firestone Financial says it is seeking a Workout Specialist who will assist customers in resolving payment difficulties; the industry focused finance firm will also add a new Credit Analyst position necessitated by changes in the company's underwriting standards. David Cohen, Firestone's president and CEO, said, "Because we've increased our underwriting standards but want to continue turning transactions around in a timely manner, we decided to hire an additional credit analyst.

"We're fortunate that many of our customers' businesses are somewhat recession-proof," Cohen continued. "When money is tight, their customers seek low-cost entertainment, visiting local bars and restaurants, using juke boxes, vending machines and arcade games. Families eat out at local restaurants and visit recreation centers close to home. Our customers, the small business people who own the equipment, need financing to upgrade and maintain machines.

"Despite opportunities for many operators, this tough economy has also posed many challenges," Cohen concluded. "We want to continue to provide sound business advice to work through these difficult situations so that these struggling businesses will recover. In turn, our new Workout Specialist will take on this very important role at Firestone," Cohen explained. Both new positions are at Firestone's office in Newton, Mass., just outside Boston. Qualified candidates should contact Deborah Wishner 800-851-1001, ext. 269, or email dwishner@firestonefinancial.com.
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AAMA ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR SUMMER MEETING, GALA
(Posted May 4, 2009 -- 6PM)

The American Amusement Machine Association (AAMA) has announced its schedule for this summer's annual meeting and distributor gala, which will be held at the Oakbrook Hills Marriott Resort in Oakbrook, IL, a suburb of Chicago. The gala has become a regular event on the trade calendar, offering distributors a sneak peak at new products under development by member suppliers. The meetings will be held July 21-24 with the gala talking place on the night of July 24.

All of AAMA's committees will meet, as will the full board and the association's officers. There will also be a welcome dinner, a golf outing and, new this year, a special daylong redemption seminar at the world-renowned Enchanted Castle in Lombard, IL, hosted by the location's owner Richard Oltmann and his firm's sales pro and redemption expert Jim Chapman.

Marriott room reservations are now available, and AAMA has negotiated a special room rate of $120 per night. To learn more about this event or to pre-register, log on to AAMA's website at
www.coin-op.org.
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NEW JERSEY RESOLVES MERIT COUNTERFEIT CASE
(Posted May 1, 2009 -- 10:30AM)

The suspect in a 2007 counterfeit case involving Merit Megatouch games has agreed to three years of probation as part of final resolution of the New Jersey criminal case that could preclude a formal conviction. Merit worked closely with the Morris County, NJ, prosecutors to investigate the selling of counterfeit Megatouch equipment on eBay. As a result of that investigation Nisan Naveh was arrested on May 15, 2007, for alleged trademark infringement, and the alleged selling of counterfeit gaming consoles and computer software from his New Jersey home. On March 24, 2009, Naveh entered the Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program in Morris County.

PTI is a probationary program available only to first time offenders. While serving in this 3-year program, Naveh must remain offense-free, and upon successful completion of the program, the charges against him will be dismissed. Should he re-offend, Naveh could face serious repercussions such as punishment on the underlying charges, or punishment for new offenses, which could be made to run consecutively to the original charges.

"Merit is thankful to the Morris County Prosecutors office for their assistance in this case. We will continue to aggressively protect our trademarks and copyrights worldwide," said Bob Fay, Merit's Director of Government Relations. "We want to show our distributors that we are protecting their interests in the marketplace while sending the message to potential counterfeiters that illegally duplicating Megatouch products carries severe legal consequences."
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FORMER JUKE EXEC STARTS INVESTMENT PORTAL
(Posted May 1, 2009 -- 10:30AM)

Former jukebox exec Joe Pankus has launched an investment website called www.jukeboxstocks.com. The site will address vexing investment topics including when to enter the stock market, what to buy or sell, and when to retreat to the sidelines. Two model portfolios, plus a list of stocks with high earnings, are integral parts of this well documented and easy to navigate web site.

"One portfolio, for example, had the investor in cash for about 160 of the 250 trading days in 2008, and still showed a significant gain in value for that portfolio for that year," declared Pankus. "Stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) are the investment vehicles that are examined and followed. Stocks, incorporating specific technical and fundamental metrics, make up a cherry list, similar to the top 100 stocks listed in several financial news publications, but with one big difference -the immediate online access to detailed current info, plus a historical price pattern, for each listed stock symbol. ETFs become considerations when the market direction is down, a strategy that produced remarkable gains in late 2008."

Pankus' career includes CEO positions with Seeburg, Wurlitzer and Barden Entertainment. With Seeburg in the 1980s, he spear-headed the introduction of CD technology and worked to help create the AMOA Jukebox Committee. A passionate and experienced stock trader for many years, Pankus says he wants share much of his knowledge with the creation of this investment web site. Though Pankus is not a registered investment advisor, and past performance is no guarantee of future results, he believes the information provided on the website might be helpful in making investment decisions. Pankus can be reached at jpankus@aol.com or his direct line, 847-921-4505.
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April 2009 (Go back to main 2009 menu)

RIVALS MEDIA LAUNCHES ONSITE ADVERTISING
(Posted April 29, 2009 -- 4PM)

Rivals Media, a group of amusement and music distributors that have banded together on an interactive advertising initiative called OnSite, is currently launching with a limited time, no upfront investment, costs or risk to operators across the country, regardless of location or venue. OnSite projects its advertising message through an L-shaped overlay that frames traditional TV broadcast or cable television. The system, which attaches easily to each TV screen, communicates with OnSite's network using a wireless Internet connection.

The network's content will include a mix of local and national sports and entertainment news, custom messaging and promotions for the location, paid advertising and public services announcements. Working with the location, operators can also promote new games, leagues, tournaments and other promotions right where it counts, on the location's TV screens. OnSite was founded in 2006, and the first screens were launched in Chicago and New York a year later. OnSite is already running paid advertisements on its network of more than 100 locations. These advertisers include Miller, Chevrolet, Coors Brewing Company, Mexico Board of Tourism, US Army and Jim Beam among others.

Brady Distributing's Chris Brady, a spokesperson for Rivals, said the group embarked on the project that became Rivals Media in hopes of finding a new source of revenue for their operator customers. OnSite and Rivals believe a key to their success in the marketplace will be the strong bond that already exists between locations and their operators, who in turn have a history of working closely with their local distributors. Operators will share generously in the OnSite advertising revenues, according to Rivals partners.

"From our perspective, this is all about making sure coin-op is involved in this very lucrative industry that is emerging," explained Brady. "This can really help solidify the relationship between the operator and his location. But that advantage with locations doesn't last forever, and there are a lot of players, many of them not in coin-op, looking at this opportunity."

Look for much more on this new partnership in the next issue of RePlay Magazine or log on to OnSite's website at www.osn.net.
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OTTUMWA, IOWA REMAINS VIDEO GAME CAPITAL
(Posted April 29, 2009 -- 4PM)

Officials in Ottumwa, Iowa, met today to declare that the city remains the Video Game Capital of the World. Ottumwa was the home of the original Twin Galaxies arcade, which went on to become the world scoreboard for video game players and publisher of a popular video game record book. Twin Galaxies has since moved to Fairfield, Iowa.

The meeting, which took place at the local chamber of commerce, included representatives from the mayor's office and all the city council members as well as the local tourist bureau and Ottumwa Development Council. They also announced plans to develop the Official Video Game Hall of Fame.

Among the visiting dignitaries was famous videogame player Billy Mitchell ("King of Kong" movie), who is going on record as the first donor to the new project, committing his Donkey Kong machine as a gift to the museum. This is the machine on which he achieved the Donkey Kong world record.

In related news, the career of Twin Galaxies' founder Walter Day is the subject of a fascinating three-part documentary created by VBS.TV and available at http://www.vbs.tv/video.php?id=20983333001. The short movie explores the relationship between video games, Day's work as the world's video game scorekeeper and his dedication to the practice of transcendental meditation.
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TOUCHTUNES' BARFLY TO RAMP UP ROLL OUT
(Posted April 29, 2009 -- 4PM)

TouchTunes announced today that the company will greatly accelerate and fully fund the national build-out of its Barfly on-location TV advertising network, targeting 20,000 locations in the U.S. by the end of 2009. "We see a unique opportunity at this time to accelerate the growth of our Barfly national network," said Bill Meder, CEO of TouchTunes. "With this major initiative we're forging ahead with our partners into the next phase of growth by bringing our unique, interactive media capabilities to many more locations."

Barfly converts existing TV screens into advertising systems, whereby its media interface wraps around the regular television broadcast. Barfly provides customized bar messages for promoting the location's name, food and drink specials and upcoming location events; interactive games and quizzes via texting; and major advertising campaigns.

TouchTunes said the accelerated build-out will provide amusement and music operators with the opportunity to grow their businesses and generate new revenue streams while creating unique value for their customers. For bar owners, the enhanced and professional-looking messaging is designed to help promote their business and builds customer loyalty. For advertisers, Barfly hopes its national expansion will offer an ideal way to reach the coveted demographic of 21-34 year-olds, which TouchTunes says its already reaches and knows well through its digital jukeboxes. TouchTunes provides the Barfly systems to bars and restaurants at no cost.

The Barfly expansion will target both existing TouchTunes digital jukebox locations and new venues. Further, locations that have a TouchTunes digital jukebox, or PlayPorTT with a Barfly solution can offer a unique, integrated messaging and entertainment experience for patrons, as well as for advertisers.
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ICMOA TO HOST MEETING AND PRODUCT SHOW
(Posted April 29, 2009 -- 4PM)

The Illinois Coin Machine Operators Association will host the 2009 ICMOA Annual Meeting and Product Show in Lake Geneva, Wis., on June 4-5, 2009. Organizers say they hope the event will become a regional equipment show, open to all operators and likely to draw tradesters from Illinois as well as other nearby states. In addition to an equipment show, the event will include seminars to address on location advertising and redemption merchandising as well as an operator cocktail hour. Registration deadline is May 25. To learn more, contact ICMOA's executive director Richard Mitchell at 815/416-0741; website http://icmoa.org.
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ATEI TO RETURN TO GROUND FLOOR
(Posted April 29, 2009 -- 4PM)

The 66th annual Amusement Trades Exhibition International (ATEI) will move back down to the ground floor of Earls Court 1 in January 2010, show organizers at Clarion Gaming have confirmed. Taking place directly alongside sister show, the International Gaming Expo, ATEI will retain its own internationally renowned identity and dedicated entry point through the front of Earls Court, as well as being supported by an extensive global marketing campaign.

The move follows hot on the heels of news that Clarion has secured an option to stage a standalone amusements show at the nearby Olympia venue in 2011, pending further liaison with ATEI exhibitors. The amusements focused ATEI, which takes place on January 26-28, 2010, will occupy the right-hand side of Earls Court 1, with the soft gaming, remote gaming, lotteries and betting components of the International Gaming Expo occupying the left and central areas of Earls Court 1 and the whole of Earls Court 2.

"The ATEI brand has benefited from millions of pounds of investment across seven decades and we are determined to continue building on its global success by listening to our stakeholders and responding to their requests," said show director Emma Green. "A return to one level and a standalone show at Olympia are both propositions that have been put to us and I am delighted to now be in a position to offer both options. We will carry on exploring further opportunities to make ATEI the first choice coin-op amusements show for the UK, Europe and the world."
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BAY TEK & BETSON SOUTHEAST ROLLOUT LEASE PROGRAM
(Posted April 28, 2009 -- 4PM)

Bay Tek Games and Betson are offering a special lease program to welcome Betson Southeast as the factory's new product distributor in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Florida. Betson Southeast will be offering a complete line up of products such as Big Bass Wheel, Extreme Smokin Token, Chameleon Paradize, Fireball Alley along with the entire BayTek redemption line-up.

Betson Financial Services has created a stop and go lease program for Bay Tek's Big Bass Wheel Pro. Qualified customers can take advantage of this program and lease a Big Bass Wheel Pro for up to 18 months. "This special lease is designed to allow operators to secure high volume locations with a flexible payment option based program," Betson said. For details, call Betson Southeast at 770-803-3040.
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TOUCHTUNES BUYOUT IS TERMINATED
(Posted April 27, 2009 -- 2PM)

Victory Acquisition Corp., a specified purpose acquisition company, has terminated its proposed merger with TouchTunes Corporation, according to a report released on Business Wire. As previously announced, Victory and TouchTunes had entered into a merger agreement pursuant to which TouchTunes would have become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Victory following approval of the merger by Victory's stockholders.

Through a special meeting of stockholders, holders of more than 20% of Victory's common stock issued in Victory's IPO voted against the merger and sought conversion. As a result, the merger cannot be completed, and Victory will be liquidated.

Jonathan Ledecky, president of Victory, said: "Despite significant progress towards completing this merger, particularly given extremely challenging economic conditions and tight time constraints, we were not able to complete this merger ahead of the SPAC's expiration date."

Victory was formed two years ago with the intention of finding a suitable acquisition. Any merger had to be approved by the investors in Victory, and if no merger was approved within the two-year period, the shares were to be repurchased, liquidating the company.

"TouchTunes is an exceptional company with a strong track record that was well received by the market. We wish them continued success as they grow the business and continue to innovate," said Eric Watson, Victory's chairman. "We believe that TouchTunes has some game-changing products and a highly talented management team. While the deal was not able to be consummated, Victory and our board delivered to shareholders in a difficult economic environment the key benefits of a SPAC structure--capital preservation and a high growth investment option. We continue to see a significant flow of deal opportunities for our other SPAC, Triplecrown Acquisition Corp., and hope to apply the lessons we have learned in this transaction."
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APPLE AND FIRESTONE TEAM UP ON FINANCING
(Posted April 27, 2009 -- 2PM)

Apple Industries has announced a finance program on their New Generation and Face Place photo booths that will be made available through Firestone Financial Corp. There are a total of four different finance options, three for Face Place and one for New Generation. The New Generation finance program offers 7.99% APR for 24 months. The first payment is due 90 days after the contract has been funded.

The first Face Place finance program offers 0% APR for 18 months. The first payment is due 30 days after the contract has been funded."This is a great opportunity for operators who have larger type locations like campgrounds, resorts, family fun centers, movie theaters, tourist attractions and bowling centers. Face Place, with its unique camera shaped cabinet, is a dynamite piece in those types of bigger locations," explained Apple's Mel LaForce.

The second Face Place finance program offers 2.99% APR for 24 months. The first payment is due 90 days after the contract has been funded. The third Face Place program offers 5.99% financing for 36 months. The first payment is due 90 days after the contract has been funded. All finance programs require a signed contract by July 31, 2009 and must be funded by August 31, 2009. All finance programs require a filing fee of $200. The filing fee along with any required sales taxes and freight are due up front.
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TOY LABELING TOPS DISCUSSION AT BULK SHOW
(Posted April 27, 2009 -- 2PM)

The potential impact of toy labeling legislation ruled the day at the 59th annual National Bulk Vendors Association convention and trade show in Las Vegas. Show goers heard updates from the association's Toy Safety and Regulation Committee, which was formed to provide communication and guidance to the membership. Dax Logue with Brand Vending Products and Jonathan Becker with L.M. Becker Co., both suppliers within the industry, head up this committee effort.

NBVA show organizers reported high spirits and increased on-site registration, even though total registration declined. Exhibitors connected with key customers and wrote a great deal of orders, organizers added. The show's Friday Night Gala featured awards, a few speeches, and lots of dancing.

The Young Bulk Vendors was also reportedly a big draw at this year's convention. This new group, made up of the youth in the industry, was created to provoke innovative thoughts and ideas. YBV will be tasked with bringing a new perspective to the executive committee, and the president of the YBV will have a seat on the committee. John Honeycutt, Great Dane Cranes, serves as president of the group, and Glenn Kitnick, Atlas Vending, is its VP. Newly appointed NBVA directors include John Honeycutt, Great Dane Cranes; Carl Morcate, VenDynamics; and Steve Schechner, Capital Vending.
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INTERGAME AND BACTA ANNOUNCE SHOW ALLIANCE
(Posted April 24, 2009 -- 6PM)

BACTA, the UK trade association, and InterGame Ltd., publisher of InterGame Magazine, on Wednesday reached agreement to run one united trade show next year. Under the agreement, InterGame will support BACTA's new European Amusement and Gaming Expo (EAG Expo), which will be held at the Excel exhibition centre in London, on January 25-27, 2010. Earlier this year, InterGame held a trade show during the same days as the London ATEI in a nearby hotel.

InterGame will promote EAG Expo using its database of potential show goers and exhibitors. InterGame's David Snook said: "The prospect of three trade shows in London next January was something which we could not contemplate for the good of the industry, so the agreement with BACTA is the best solution. The synergy involved here, with BACTA's influence in the UK industry and InterGame's within the international market, is a powerful combination."

Martin Burlin, who is heading BACTA's trade show sub-committee, said: "The agreement gives EAG Expo a powerful supporter and most importantly in InterGame, a respected international publication and an international media partner."

ATEI organizers earlier this week announced plans to hold a stand-alone amusement show in 2011 to address some of the same concerns that prompted both the InterGame IGX show earlier this year and BACTA's plans to hold their own show. BACTA previously owned and sponsored ATEI.
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BRADY DISTRIBUTING TAKES ON VALLEY IN ATLANTA
(Posted April 24, 2009 -- 6PM)

Brady Distributing has just received the approval to be the exclusive provider of all Valley products in Georgia and Alabama, which the distributor will serve from a new, soon-to-open office in Atlanta.Valley has been partnered with Brady for many years in the southeastern states including Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Arkansas.

"Valley's Great Eight pool table means more profits, and table revenues are up substantially because players are loading the table with dollars instead of searching for quarters," said Brady Distributing in its announcement.

Brady is headquartered in Charlotte, NC, in an 84,000 square foot facility that includes two showrooms, administrative offices, production shop, parts, and advancement departments, and warehouse facilities. Brady represents over 60 manufactures in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Louisiana, Mississippi, Virginia, and West Virginia. To learn more, contact Brady in Charlotte at 704/357-6284 or one of its other offices in Memphis (901/345-7811) and Orlando (407/872-1666).
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AVS TO HOST OPEN HOUSE ON APRIL 30
(Posted April 24, 2009 -- 6PM)

American Vending Sales in Chicago will be hosting a festive open house themed around Margaritaville on Thursday, April 30 from 12-6 PM. As always, they will provide delicious food and drinks along with all the latest equipment from their family of product suppliers. Many factory representatives will be in attendance, and AVS is expecting to be offering a number of show specials too. The AVS office is located 750 Morse Ave., Elk Grove Village, IL, phone 847/439-9400.
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ATEI ORGANIZERS PREPARING FOR A STAND-ALONE 2011 AMUSEMENT SHOW
(Posted April 22, 2009 -- 10AM)

ATEI show organizers say they are listening to the call for a stand-alone London amusement show and have secured an option to stage the 2011 edition at Olympia's National Hall. "In responding to strong customer demand for a standalone amusements expo close to Earls Court, which will continue to host the International Gaming Expo, Clarion remains determined to guarantee the future of an event, which has served the industry across more than six decades," Clarion said in a statement, which comes several months after this year's IGX show, sponsored by InterGame Magazine at a nearby hotel, and strong rumors that another show sponsored by the U.K. trade organization BACTA is in the works.

"The development follows feedback from an extended program of consultation with ATEI exhibitors, with a significant number of U.K.-based protagonists voicing their desire for a suitable location in central/west London close enough to sustain a cross-over of visitors to IGE," the Clarion Gaming statement went on to say. "Olympia, a venue regarded by many in the U.K. industry with fond memories, was ATEI's home throughout the 1980s, prior to its move to Earls Court in 1991, after which followed huge expansion and rapid growth in international attendance. Olympia's availability in January had previously remained beyond reach, but with the current tenants now vacating in 2011, Clarion has quickly agreed to terms with owners Earls Court Olympia to secure first option on the venue."

Explaining the move further, show director Emma Green said: "We have worked closely with our stake holders for several years to try and resolve difficulties born out of changing market dynamics and Olympia has frequently been requested as an alternative venue. Using our strong ties with Earls Court Olympia, I am pleased to confirm that we now have the option of Olympia's National Hall for January 2011." ATEI 2010 will remain under one roof along with the IGE gaming show.
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BETSON TO REPRESENT COAST TO COAST
(Posted April 22, 2009 -- 10AM)

Coast to Coast Entertainment recently welcomed Betson Southeast as their new distributor for Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Florida. Betson Southeast will be offering a complete lineup of products such as Toy Taxi, Hot Stuff, Jewelry Stop and Wheel of Prize cranes. They will also handle the Coast to Coast pusher and skill stop products for all territories. David Capilouto, branch manager for Betson Southeast said, "Coast to Coast and Betson have teamed up to bring valuable redemption equipment at an affordable price to their operators. We are excited about handling the Coast to Coast redemption lineup. In these economic times, we need to offer operators great pieces to enhance their redemption routes with great manufacturer support." Coast to Coast products are sold with a one-year limited warranty.
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BRADY TO HOLD SPRING SHOW IN KENTUCKY
(Posted April 22, 2009 -- 10AM)

Brady Distributing will hold its annual spring equipment show, representing a broad range of equipment suppliers, in Louisville, Kentucky, on Wednesday, May 13 from 10 a.m. -- 5 p.m. As in year's past, the event is co-hosted by Moody's Amusement Service and will take place at 5010 Pasafino Court, Louisville, KY 40299, phone 502-267-8857. If you would like to attend this event, please RSVP to Randy Cesco at 704-516-0343 or Phyllis Wilson at 901-345-7811.
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ICE ADDS AVS EAST AS DISTRIBUTOR
(Posted April 22, 2009 -- 10AM)

Innovative Concepts in Entertainment (ICE) of Clarence, N.Y., has expanded its relationship with American Vending Sales, authorizing the distributor to handle its entire product line from their Clifton, N.J., office. AVS already offers ICE products in the Chicago market.

"We consider this both a significant and important decision on the part of both companies," stated Ralph Coppola, president of ICE. "From our vantage point, we felt this move provided us with better and more competitive product exposure in the very important tri-state market, including the seasonal locations. AVS's approach toward working with selected suppliers in a committed way was a key to making this happen."

"This is a great time to pick up the ICE line," said Vince Gumma, president of AVS East. "Locations on the Jersey shore are gearing up for the summer, and arcades and FECs are doing their spring buying. Tom Faranda and Lenny Vasile, AVS East sales consultants, are ready to hit the ground running with the ICE product." AVS East is a full service coin-operated amusement and vending distributor serving New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
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GARY GOUSE JOINS GREEN COIN
(Posted April 22, 2009 -- 10AM)

Industry veteran Gary Gouse, a long time sale exec at Birmingham Vending, recently joined Green Coin as a regional manager. He will oversee Green's office in Jackson, MS, as well as a new office Green is planning to open in another "southern state" soon. Gouse started in the industry in 1977 with Birmingham Vending, serving as sales manager over the three offices. A lifelong resident of Birmingham, Gouse is married to his wife of 38 years, Anita, and they have two daughters and one grandson all living in Birmingham.
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BETSON BALTIMORE TO HOST GRAND OPENING
(Posted April 20, 2009 -- 2PM)

Betson Baltimore will celebrate the grand opening of its new facility on May 14 from 11 AM -- 3 PM with an equipment spotlight show. Operators are invited to attend the event located at Holabird Industrial Park, 6615 Tributary Park, Baltimore, MD 21224. To learn more, call 800/296-4100 or email Nick Sarioglou at nsarioglou@betson.com.
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SECOND NOTRE DAME MASTERS PROGRAM SET
(Posted April 20, 2009 -- 2PM)

AMOA is set to move forward with its second AMOA-Notre Dame Masters Program. "Open exclusively to alumni of the 37-year-old AMOA-developed continuing education program on the beautiful campus in South Bend, IN, about 27 students participated in the inaugural two-session Masters initiative," reported AMOA's Off The Top newsletter.

Notre Dame program chairman Phil Juckem announced the first session of Masters II will be conducted October 31 - November 1, 2009. The second half of the program will be held May 1-2, 2010. The cost of the program is $1,000, which includes tuition, fees, materials and some meals. A $100 discount is available for students who pay in full prior to the start of the program this fall. For more details, contact AMOA's Lori Schneider at: llschneider@prodigy.net.
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WINDY CITY'S ARTURO VELASQUEZ IS GONE
(Posted April 17, 2009 -- 2PM)

Arturo Velasquez, the charming gentleman who started with one jukebox as a young immigrant and grew his business into one of Chicago's largest music and games routes, passed away on Friday, April 17. Velasquez was known not only for his success in business including both the jukebox industry and the food supply trade, but also as a generous member of his Chicago community, which has honored him with numerous awards.

"My dad passed away this morning very peacefully at home with his family around him," reported his son Ed Velasquez, who today heads up Chicago's Velasquez Automatic Music. Visitation will take place Monday, April 20th, 3 - 9 PM at St. Rita of Cascia Shrine and Chapel (the high school North entrance), 7740 S. Western Ave., Chicago, IL. A funeral mass will follow on Tuesday, April 21st, 11 AM at the St. Rita of Cascia Shrine and Chapel. May he rest in God's Peace.
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BETSON SOUTHWEST TO CARRY ROWE/AMI AND MERIT
(Posted April 17, 2009 -- 2PM)

Betson has reached an agreement to exclusively market and distribute Rowe AMI products from its new Georgia office, located temporarily Smyrna near Atlanta. With Rowe's support, Betson Southeast is offering a 0% short-term finance program and a multiple purchase program on select models including GrandSTAR, NiteHAWK, Solara and Vision 2. Operators can purchase three jukes and get one free, or buy 10 and get five free.

The new Georgia distributor will also offer Merit's line of products into the Southeast from their Georgia based office. The territory of distribution will include Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, Northern Florida and Alabama. Betson currently carries the complete line of Merit, and they are currently offering an exclusive limited time Stop-n-Go lease program for $109 per month on the new Megatouch RX as well as a special trade in/trade up program. To learn more, call 770/803-3040.
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AAMA ADDS VIBO STUDIO BENEFIT
(Posted April 17, 2009 -- 2PM)

The American Amusement Machine Association has teamed up with Vibo Studio, the firm started by former Apple Industries design specialist Vince Bondi, to provide association members with what it describes as "a one-stop solution for all graphic and design needs."

Vibo Studio is a graphics and design solutions company offering custom cabinet graphics, advertising and brochures, illustrations for editorials, presentations for speeches, even websites and banner ads. Vibo offers services for both print and web materials. Association members will receive special pricing. To learn more, go to AAMA's website at www.coin-op.org.
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APPLE INDUSTRIES AND MERIT TEAM UP
(Posted April 17, 2009 -- 2PM)

Apple Industries and Merit Entertainment have announced a strategic partnership to develop and promote their respective products and services. First, these two companies spiced up the recent ASI Show in Las Vegas while co-promoting Penthouse content on Merit's Megatouch countertops with an appearance by Penthouse Pet Valentina Vaughn. Apple's Onyx photo booth was featured in Merit's show booth to give visitors a chance to walk away with a souvenir photo of themselves and Vaughn.

Merit's countertop systems feature fun and challenging games built around enticing Penthouse visuals, and MegaNet-connected Megatouch systems feature exclusive Pet of the Month content. Apple and Merit have also teamed up to offer photo options for Merit's TAP.tv system, which is geared for restaurants, nightclubs and bars. Images from Apple's photobooths will be displayed on the location's TAP.tv screens, giving patrons a more personalized experience.

"Imagine people in these locations seeing their images on Tap screens while patronizing these establishments," mused Allen Weisberg, president of Apple Industries. "The ideas to promote these images are endless and will certainly add a new, more personal and interactive form of entertainment to our industry."
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SOUTH CAROLINA ISSUES GOLDEN TEE LOTTERY TICKET
(Posted April 15, 2009 -- 1PM)

South Carolina is a golfing destination with nearly 400 courses statewide. If you love golf, South Carolina is the place to go. Now if you love Golden Tee, you can parlay your affection for the sport into a huge payday by buying a Golden Tee Golf instant ticket in the South Carolina Education Lottery. The tickets cost $2 each, and players can win up to $20,000. They're available at all SCEL retail outlets across the state.

"We hope that the winners of the big prizes are fans of Golden Tee," said Elaine Hodgson, CEO of Golden Tee manufacturer Incredible Technologies. "It would be a great way of rewarding them for being loyal fans of our game."

South Carolina is the second state to issue a Golden Tee themed lottery ticket. The first was Illinois last year. "Golden Tee is a powerful brand, and our huge base of players is very attractive to state lotteries and major corporations. All this exposure is very beneficial to the amusement operators who have purchased our games," Hodgson said.
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ARACHNID WELCOMES JOHN HASSETT
(Posted April 15, 2009 -- 1PM)

Arachnid Inc. welcomes the return of industry veteran John Hassett, formerly with Merit Entertainment, to their sales and marketing team. John first worked for Arachnid from 1990-96 in the sales department. He concentrated on the introduction and education of new operators to the league arena. On his return, John will concentrate in the Midwest working with distribution and operators. "John brings a professional and personal sales approach that fits our company very well. He also knows the vast majority of our distribution and operator network, which will make this a smooth addition," said co-president Sam Zammuto. Hassett can be reached at 920/883-2052.
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BETSON TO OFFER PROPRIETARY GAMES ON NEW TURF
(Posted April 15, 2009 -- 1PM)

Betson Enterprises says its new office, Betson Southeast, currently located in a temporary facility in Smyrna, Ga., will be the exclusive distributor in Georgia and Alabama for all Raw Thrills, Konami, Chicago Gaming and Jennison Entertainment products. In addition, Betson Southeast will also market and distribute these products in South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi and northern Florida territories from their newly formed Georgia location.

Betson is now offering special leasing and financing programs for Big Buck Safari, Safari Deluxe and Guitar Hero Arcade by Raw Thrills, Putt by Chicago Gaming along with Intermission and Hollywood Reels by Jennison Entertainment. These programs are available for all of these markets through the Betson Southeast office. To learn more, call 770/803-3040.
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GLOBAL VR WINDS DOWN PGA GAME TOURNEYS
(Posted April 15, 2009 -- 1PM)

After six years of operating online tournaments for its EA Sports PGA Tour videogame, Global VR will bring the virtual competitions to a close. "Due to the decline in the video golf market, we will be discontinuing all EA Sport PGA Tour Golf products," the factory noted in a letter to customers. "This also includes all online services for the PGA games."

As of April 30, the following modes of play will no longer be available: Monday Tournaments, Two Week Tournaments, Operator Run Tournaments using the factory server, the Challenge Match features, the World Tour and Plus Points. Factory execs told RePlay the tournament system was receiving increasingly less support from operators, prompting their decision to end it.

"To help operators continue earning on their EA Sports PGA Tour Golf cabinets, we recommend they upgrade to EA Sports PGA Tour Golf: Team Challenge with the Access Pass or the All Access Pass for Team Challenge," the factory advised. "All Access Pass will unlock all the courses, which were previously only available for online cabinets. This will give the players continued play on all courses."

Global VR is providing all operators who are in good standing with a complimentary copy of All Access Pass for each cabinet they currently have online. To be eligible for their complimentary copies, their account with Global VR must be paid in full.
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MOXIE MANIA GETS OK IN N.Y.
(Posted April 13, 2009 -- 3:30PM)

Pace-O-Matic's Moxie Mania has been ruled a game of skill by a New York state judge, giving it the OK to be placed on locations, according to a report by Buffalo's WKBW.com website. The court ruling came in response to an earlier ban on the games by state liquor regulators. "We always believed the game was a legal game of skill," Pace-O-Matic attorney Earl Cantwell was quoted as saying. "The SLA lacked information and any good authority to base its decision on."

According to the website, close to 200 machines are up and running in the region. These games remained on location throughout the case, and Pace-O-Matic is now looking to expand its market presence. "Bill Crowley, spokesman for the New York State Liquor Authority, said the entity will review the judge's ruling at a meeting next week and decide whether or not to file an appeal," the website reported.
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BUFFALO WILD WINGS HONORS MENDOTA VALLEY AMUSEMENT
(Posted April 13, 2009 -- 3:30PM)

Buffalo Wild Wings, the national sports grill and bar known for its award-winning Buffalo, N.Y.-style chicken wings, recently announced the recipients of its Annual Vendor and Franchise Awards given out each year in six different categories and presented by executive team members during the company's March convention.

The 2008 Fellowship Business Partner of the Year was awarded to a partner that may be small in size but is big in their impact, the company said. This year's recipient was Mendota Valley Amusement, which operates a number of stores and manages game operations nationally.

Other winners included Miller Coors, Bacardi and a number of franchise owners and operators.

"We are pleased to recognize these incredibly committed franchisees and business partners who have made a significant impact on the Buffalo Wild Wing's growth and success over the past year," said Sally J. Smith, president and CEO of Buffalo Wild Wings. "Our success is due in large part to the support and dedication of these award recipients, and we look forward to their future contributions in 2009. Congratulations to all of our 2008 award winners."
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ALLSTAR VENDING HEADS WEST
(Posted April 10, 2009 -- 4PM)

Allstar Vending has opened a product distribution center in San Jose, Calif. The new shipping supplies U.S. vending operators in western states. It is also attracting numerous walk-in customers doing business in the area, reports Allstar president Adam Dorfman.

According to Dorfman, the shipping center facilitates faster order fulfillment and reduces delivery fees for Allstar's western U.S. customers. It also strengthens the bulk vending supplier's commitment to the U.S. market. "We're a North American company," he said. "While it would have been cheaper to open a shipping center in Vancouver, BC, we felt it was important to reinvest where our business is."

The center handles all of the company's product lines: capsuled novelties, stickers, tattoos and bulk confections. It will also function as a landing point for product imports shipped from China, reducing freight costs. Allstar's headquarters in Pointe-Claire, located on the Island of Montreal in southwestern Quebec, will continue to serve the eastern states.

Separately, Allstar Vending is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. To commemorate its two decades in the industry, the company is planning to roll out a series of sales promotions based on the number 20. Visit allstarvending.com to view the latest bulk and flat vending products.
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SWEDE TOPS PINBALL RANKINGS
(Posted April 10, 2009 -- 4PM)

As of early April, Jorian Engelbrektsson of Sweden topped the International Flipper Pinball Association's charts in the running to be the 2009 World's Greatest Pinball Player. The pinball playing season started in March. "We are also proud to announce that we have 4,127 players ranked," said IFPA president Josh Shapre. "This April represented IFPA's third anniversary, and we're proud to say our player base has grown 10 times in those three years."
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APEM DEBUTS NEW RUGGED SWITCH JOYSTICKS
(Posted April 10, 2009 -- 4PM)

APEM Components has released switch-based, ruggedized joysticks in their 8000 series. The joysticks operate using snap-acting switch technology, offering one or two axis control with single step or progressive switching. Gold-plated contacts offer high reliability when switching at low current levels. The 8000 series also features micro switches with normally open and closed contacts in single and double-pole configurations. All products are supplied with 150 mm long, twisted wires with tinned ends. Custom wire and connector assemblies, as well as higher and lower force options, are available upon request. Joysticks can be drop-in mounted or assembled from behind the panel. For additional information, visit www.apem.com and select Industrial Joysticks from the products list or call 877/246-7890.
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VNEA PREPARES FOR ANNUAL CHAMPIONSHIP
(Posted April 8, 2009 -- 5:30PM)

The Valley National 8-Ball League Association is celebrating their 29th Annual International Championships at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada from May 21-30, 2009. This year's Awards Banquet & Entertainment will take place on the final day, Saturday, May 30.

This year's tournament will include many new specials as well as the induction of five new members into the VNEA Hall of Fame, the selection of the association's Tournament All-Star Teams and presentation of its Meritorious Service Award, Lifetime VNEA Sanctions and the President's Award.

"As you can see, this year's tournament is going to be an absolutely spectacular event," said VNEA executive director Gregg Elliott. "With record numbers in players and prize money, we are looking forward to a fun-filled, competitive week." To learn more, log on to www.vnea.com.
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AAMA IS NOW ON FACEBOOK
(Posted April 8, 2009 -- 5:30PM)

The American Amusement Machine Association is now offering a portal on Facebook for members to indulge in the modern joys of social media. Members of the trade are encouraged to join the group and start discussions, post upcoming events, upload photos, contact other community members and more. "An online community is only as interesting as what its members bring to it, so we encourage you to have fun and get involved," enthused the association's email newsletter Loose Change. "Now more than ever our members need to communicate their thoughts, ideas, opinions, jokes, what have you. And utilizing the AAMA we feel is the perfect medium to do so." A link to the Facebook page can also be found on AAMA's main website at www.coin-op.org.
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JLO REMINDER: DON'T FORGET SCHEDULE B
(Posted April 8, 2009 -- 5:30PM)

The Jukebox License Office (JLO) is reminding operators that if the number of boxes licensed in 2009 is fewer than the number licensed last year, there is a requirement to fill out Schedule B, which is on the flip side of Schedule A. This news was reported by AMOA's Off The Top email newsletter. Operators who omitted this information when they submitted their license information with payment this year, will soon be receiving a letter from JLO requesting this information. For more information, contact the JLO at 800-955- 5853.
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I.T. ANNOUNCES NEW SERIES OF SILVER STRIKE TOURNAMENTS
(Posted April 6, 2009 -- 5PM)

This summer Incredible Technologies is conducting a series of four online Silver Strike Bowling tournaments, dubbed Bowlapalooza, that's designed to keep interest high in the popular game all summer long. There are four distinct monthly tournaments and Bowlapalooza's rock concert theme will resonate with players as they start with the Opening Act in May, are thrilled by the Headliner in June, enjoy an Extended Jam in July and then return for an Encore in August. Each tournament runs 25 days -- from the first of the month to the 25th -- and has a prize purse of $10,500. Every month the top 200 players will cash with the winner pocketing a cool $1,000.

"Our format is designed to encourage repetitive play," said Scott Morrison, marketing VP and Bowlapalooza tournament director. "Players must play a minimum of 25 games during the tournament to qualify -- and since they are ranked by their best 25-game average -- they can play as many games as they like to improve their average. A bad game can't hurt them. We even added a cool incentive by creating a series of four limited-edition Bowlapalooza player cards. Anyone who plays 100 games or more during each tournament gets a card. We know many of our players will want to collect all four."

The weekly and monthly Silver Strike Bowling sweepstakes drawings will be suspended during Bowlapalooza. "As attractive as our national sweepstakes is to our loyal players, we're substituting the Bowlapalooza tournaments for the sweepstakes during the summer," Morrison said. "We want to shake things up with a high profile event that sparks competition and will generate real excitement all summer long. And best of all there's no additional cost to players or operators."

Event promotion will include downloadable posters for operators, a full-color attract mode ad screen, a feature in the weekly Live Wire newsletter to players, a tournament announcement before every game played and a special Bowlapalooza website. "Operators are urged to download and print the posters from their Operator Services account," Morrison said. "They should also consider piggy-backing on our contest with their own by offering local prizes for the best bowlers in their locations. All the leaderboards will be on the tournament website so there's virtually nothing that operators need to do other than to make sure the game is registered properly and spread the word."

Bowlapalooza will be conducted on 2009 Silver Strike Bowling games only and all players need to identify themselves before each game. Operators who wish to provide their players with Silver Strike Bowling player cards can call Cheryl Osorio at 800/262-0323 x 195. Each card is only 50 cents and will provide players who have not been participating online instant access to the tournament.
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COASTAL AND BRADY STRENGTHEN RELATIONSHIP
(Posted April 6, 2009 -- 5PM)

Coastal Amusements and Brady Distributing today jointly announced that Brady will take on the role of Coastal's exclusive distributor in the Georgia market. Brady is a distributor of amusement and vending equipment in the U.S. with offices in Charlotte, NC, Miramar, FL, Orlando, FL, Memphis, TN and our new addition, Atlanta, GA. To learn more, go to www.bradydist.com.
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NDA GEARS UP FOR TEAM DART
(Posted April 6, 2009 -- 5PM)

The AMOA-National Dart Association (NDA) is gearing up for a jammed-pack Team Dart XXIV with nearly 10,000 entrants from 7 countries.

"Despite the current economic conditions, we have reached the same level of entrants for Team Dart XXIV as last year. We are looking forward to a great event and crowded tournament floor," said NDA's President, Robert "Whitey" Tolliver.

Dart players, especially in Singles and Doubles events, will notice higher payouts without losing the benefit of multiple levels, geared towards players with beginning to Master skills. Players will also enjoy a return to the Round Robin format for all 4-person team events on the second day of play. This return means three days of team play for both '01 and Cricket, with the first two days as Round Robin and the last day as Double Eliminations finals.

Kickoff Team Dart XXIV at the Opening Ceremony and Players' Party on Monday, April 20 at 8 p.m. Free draft beer, parade of nations and live entertainment makes this a can't miss event! The NDA hopes to see you in Vegas. The NDA is an international trade association of operating companies representing approximately 300 members and 250,000 players worldwide. To learn more, visit the NDA Web site at www.ndadarts.com.
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COINSTAR NAMES KAPLAN AS NEW PRESIDENT
(Posted April 6, 2009 -- 5PM)

Coinstar has appointed Gregg Kaplan, former CEO of Redbox Automated Retail, to the positions of president and chief operating officer of Coinstar, succeeding Paul D. Davis. Consistent with the leadership succession plan previously announced on Sept. 2, 2008, Davis became CEO and was named to Coinstar's Board of Directors on April 1. Davis has served as Coinstar's chief operating officer since April 2008 and succeeds Dave Cole, who retired as CEO and Coinstar director.

"I'm delighted that Gregg Kaplan has joined the management team of Coinstar," said Davis. "He's an experienced and innovative executive having pioneered the self-service DVD rental category and grown Redbox from a start-up in 2002 to the leader in the category, with a network of 14,000 kiosks in 48 states. His extensive knowledge of self-service operations and product expansion will be a great asset to the company, and we look forward to his continued contributions across all of our businesses."

Kaplan will have responsibility for all of Coinstar's lines of business and functional areas including operations, sales, manufacturing, supply chain, customer service and R&D, and will report directly to Paul Davis.
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ICE TO PARTNER WITH BRADY IN GEORGIA AND ALABAMA
(Posted April 3, 2009 -- 2PM)

Game maker Innovative Concepts in Entertainment says it will partner exclusively with Brady Distributing for representation on its extensive game line-up in the states of Georgia and Alabama, markets that Brady will now serve through an office soon to be opened in the Atlanta area.

"We have had a very long standing relationship in the Southeast with the Brady family and their company," said ICE President Ralph Coppola. "This is a family we have the utmost respect for. They have supported ICE for so many years in the southeast region of the United States, and we feel they are best suited now to handle these other markets.

"Brady's four offices in the Southeast, starting with their headquarters in Charlotte, and then Orlando, Miami and Memphis have all been extremely successful in maximizing sales of the ICE product line for many years," Coppola added. "The sales teams in each of these offices know our product and know the customers who operate our extensive product line very well. Georgia, which will house Brady's newest office, is really right in the middle of Brady's territory. Who better to serve and support these territories than the company that has clearly been the leading distributor in the Southeast for many years now?"
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ELAUT USA APPOINTS DISTRIBUTORS
(Posted April 3, 2009 -- 2PM)

In a formal move announced today Elaut USA has beefed up their distribution network. American Vending Sales East has been added as a factory authorized distributor. The move gives operators another choice in the North East marketplace for Elaut product, the factory said. This comes as Elaut USA also names Betson Atlanta as a distributor as well as Weiner Distributing in the Baltimore area.

"Operators are recognizing our products as must-have core essentials" said Elaut USA CEO Jack Guarnieri. "In response to that demand we have responded by providing more resources to those operators."

AVS president Vince Gumma said: "We are proud to represent the Elaut product line in our AVS East Office and we will continue to aggressively promote their products as we have done in our Elk Grove Village Office."

Weiner Distributing CEO Chuck Weiner added: "I've been a believer in Elaut cranes for many years and we are proud to represent them. They are good for our customers and they are good for us." "For over 25 years, Chuck Weiner has built a solid distribution company by teaching his customers how to make money, they are a value-added distributor and they are a perfect fit for promoting Elaut cranes," added Guarnieri.
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STERN PINBALL INCLUDES LOCATION FINDER ON WEBSITE
(Posted April 3, 2009 -- 2PM)

Stern Pinball, Inc. has added a button on the Stern Pinball home page (www.sternpinball.com) called 'Where to Play' that leads people to a game locator. This new service is called Pinball Rebel (http://www.pinballrebel.com/locator/index.php). Pinball Rebel enables anyone to find a particular pinball machine in a specific area, as well as add pinball machines and their location to the site themselves. Although a young site, Pinball Rebel has hundreds of games listed, and the list is growing by the day. Factory honcho Gary Stern said: "Pinball Rebel helps players to find games in their neighborhood, and to add games to the site, to help other people play. We feel this is a great tool in our effort to get more people playing pinball."
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AMOA MID-YEAR MEETING REPORT
(Posted April 1, 2009 -- 7:30PM)

The AMOA held its annual mid-year board meeting on Amelia Island from Saturday, March 28 through Monday, March 30. Eleven committees convened to brainstorm and fine-tune methods of promoting the AMOA International Expo, membership benefits and the amusement trade. "We changed the format of the board meeting to encourage more interaction," said Jack Kelleher, EVP. "There were less committee reports and meetings, and it was acknowledged as a good meeting overall."

Presided over by current president Russ Mawdsley of Russell-Hall, the three days culminated in two sessions of the board meeting that ratifies committee recommendations and new officers to the executive board. As expected, following this fall's AMOA Expo, Gary Brewer of Brewer Amusement will become president; Donovan Fremin, Delta Music, first VP; and Andy Shaffer, Shaffer Services, treasurer. Joining their ranks as secretary will be John Pascaretti of Wolverine American, who will likely ascend to the presidency in four years. That would make Pascaretti the first sitting AMOA president from the industry's distributor tier.

Phil Juckem of All Brands Vending and Gaines Butler of Metro Distributors moved into vice president positions with terms expiring in 2012. John Newberry of Venco Business Music, Kathy Oligmiller Miles of Rushmore Amusement and Steven Lyons of Jefferson County Amusement were selected to fill vacancies in various director classes.

Total AMOA membership to date stands at 1,270 members, a 7% downturn that was better than expected, according to directors. Promotions to increase that figure include the new membership benefit of webinars on various topics planned to launch this year, along with a variety of incentives to attend expo, notably a substantial monetary prize with numerous chances to enter the drawing. The recipient will have to be present to win. Look for our complete firsthand coverage of the meeting, including a run down of association initiatives committee by committee, in the May 2009 issue of RePlay Magazine.
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COASTAL APPOINTS AVS EAST AND EAST COAST
(Posted April 1, 2009 -- 7:30PM)

AVS East is now an authorized distributor of Coastal Amusements' coin-operated equipment. "Coastal is extremely pleased to be working with AVS East," said Sal Mirando, EVP of Coastal Amusements. "We have a long-standing relationship with AVS in Chicago, and we look forward to an equally successful partnership on the East Coast."

"Coastal has a history of producing great earning games," commented Vince Gumma, president of AVS East. "We are excited to be able to provide these pieces to our East Coast customers." AVS East is a full service coin-operated amusement and vending distributor serving New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The company is located in, Clifton, NJ.

East Coast Amusements of Canton, Mass, has also been named an authorized distributor for all Coastal Amusements' games. "Coastal is looking forward to working with Dick Donlan, a long time tradester and trusted colleague of the coin-op community," said Coastal President Lenny Dean.

"I have personally worked closely with Coastal Amusements' products for many years. Understanding the value that the Coastal line brings to both the street and arcade business, we are thrilled to be able to represent their products in New England," confirmed Dick Donlan, president of East Coast Amusements, a full service coin-operated amusement and vending distributor serving all of New England.
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INDUSTRY LEGAL COUNSEL NAMED PARTNER
(Posted April 1, 2009 -- 7:30PM)

The national law firm of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal reported today that Michael E. Zolandz has been promoted to partner in the Public Law & Policy Strategies Practice in their Washington, D.C. office. Zolandz serves as legal counsel to AMOA and AAMA.

Zolandz advises clients in the financial services industry, non-profits, global corporations, and associations at the intersection of politics, policy, business and finance. In the current environment of significant federal intervention in the capital markets, Sonnenschein's Political Intelligence practice is at the forefront of tracking and analyzing key developments for clients.
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March 2009 (Go back to main 2009 menu)

BETSON SOUTHEAST TO OPEN; CAPILOUTO JOINS TEAM
(Posted March 31, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

Betson Enterprises, a division of H. Betti Industries Inc., announced today that David Capilouto, former co-president of Greater Southern Distributing has joined the Betson family and will manage its newly created Southeast office in Georgia. H. Betti Industries President Bob Geschine commented, "We will be doing business, including delivery and service out of a temporary facility for the month of April and we are hopeful our new facility will be ready shortly thereafter. We will have plenty of stock of all our Raw Thrills products including our latest hit Guitar Hero Arcade, as well as other manufacturers that we represent."

Betson will carry the following lines at its Atlanta office:

American Alpha Andamiro Apple Industries
Arachnid Baytek Benchmark
Bob's Space Racer Bromley Champion Shuffleboard
Chicago Gaming Elaut Family Fun
Five Star Fun Company Intermatic
Injoy Motion Konami Jennison
LAI Games Medalist I.T.
Merit Namco OK Manufacturing
Playmechanix Raw Thrills Rockola
Rowe Sega Shelti
Skeeball Smart Stern Pinball
Triotech Wurlitzer Zamperla
Coast to Coast

"I am very pleased to have David on board," added Geschine. "We are really fortunate to have his intimate knowledge of the Southeast marketplace and his management abilities as part of the Betson team." Betson says it will soon be announcing some attractive financing and leasing opportunities on the products that it represents. Contacts at the new office include:

SALES
David Capilouto 770-274-9081 or dcapilouto@betson.com
Rick Murphy 770-274-9082 or rmurphy@betson.com
Craig Boyd 334-224-4680 or cboyd@betson.com

PARTS
Keith Hamm 804-305-8969 or khamm@betson.com
Carl Frazier 214-608-3143 or cfrazier@betson.com
Service & Warranty 800-524-2343, Option 6
Raw Thrills Service 800-753-2513
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JACOBS JOINS PRIMETIME AMUSEMENTS
(Posted March 31, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

PrimeTime Amusements has appointed Paul Jacobs to the newly created position of VP of Sales & Marketing. Jacobs will oversee the sales and marketing of PrimeTime's proprietary products, along with their inventory of reconditioned arcade equipment. Jacobs, a veteran of over forty years in the coin-op amusement industry, brings an extensive resume to the company. His experience includes working in all sectors of the industry -- operating, distributing, and manufacturing.

"I am particularly pleased to be joining PrimeTime, a young, progressive company which operates within the highest standards of our industry," he said. "The company has very aggressive plans for the future, and I am fortunate to be able to participate in those efforts."

PrimeTime Amusements is an operator of high-end arcade game entertainment centers located in restaurants, hotels, and bowling centers across south and central Florida, some of which can be viewed on their website www.primetimeamusements.com. In addition, the company manufactures a line of interactive games that can be operated either indoors or outdoors. Execs say the company will soon be marketing an exclusive line of high quality air hockeys, pool tables, and dart machines.

"We enthusiastically welcome Paul aboard," stated David Goldfarb, President of PrimeTime Amusements. Jacobs can be reached at 305-770-4263 (office), or 561-512-3642 (cell), or via email at paul@primetimeamusements.com.
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ECAST OFFERS SOME RELIEF WITH DEATH AND TAXES
(Posted March 31, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

In keeping with the April Fool's holiday, the Ecast Death & Taxes playlist made its appearance today on all 10,000-plus Ecast-powered jukeboxes. The playlist, which centers on the theme of the upcoming April 15 tax deadline first made its appearance last year. Song performance reports showed an average play increase of 68% for track promoted on the playlist.

As with all Ecast playlists, Death & Taxes gives additional visibility to the Ecast catalog, encouraging single song downloads and thereby boosting cashbox revenue. From literal song titles like Cheap Trick's "Mr. Taxman" and Tower of Power's "Taxed to the Max" to more heartfelt titles like Soundgarden's "Fell On Black Days" and Blue Oyster Cult's "(Don't Fear) the Reaper" the list includes recognized artists spanning country, R&B and rock, giving a little tax relief for everyone.

"Ecast understands the need to keep consumers engaged by delivering fresh and relevant content; it's the reason we chose broadband as our connection solution back in 1999," said Scott Walker, VP network operations at Ecast. "Having timely, fun playlists appear in conjunction with important calendar dates throughout the year helps keep the patron engaged with the juke experience and keeps our operators in the money."
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CLARION APPOINTS NEW ATEI SHOW DIRECTOR
(Posted March 30, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

Clarion Gaming has announced the promotion of Emma Green to the post of Show Director, responsible for world-leading business-to-business exhibitions, events and conferences. Emma, who was selected from a large field of candidates, has worked on eight editions of the London Shows (ATEI and the International Gaming Expo, incorporating ICE and ICEi), as well as The Betting Show, having joined what was then BACTA-owned ATE Limited in October 2001.

Heralding the appointment, Clarion Gaming Managing Director Peter Rusbridge said: "There's no doubt that Emma was the stand out candidate. She combines a detailed knowledge of the sectors that Clarion Gaming serves and is a highly skilled exhibitions professional. She has developed her knowledge base, which has been built over the last eight years, and provides the continuity of expertise that our customers across all sectors quite rightly expect from Clarion. She heads a skilled and experienced team which understands the business and has the expertise and the commitment to continue to deliver world class shows and events."

"It's a great honour to extend my involvement with leading events such as ATEI and IGE," stated Emma Green. "Over the last eight years I have developed a great empathy with the sectors that we serve and the personalities working within them. The entire team at Clarion is committed to working in partnership with customers and stakeholders to continue to deliver world beating events."
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MALINOWSKI EXITS SEGA
(Posted March 30, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

Industry sales veteran Ron Malinowski has departed Sega Amusements after eight years with the firm. The familiar tradester and Chicagoland resident got his start with Bally and then later worked at video game maker Capcom. "The business climate is tough right now; it kind of reminds me of the mid-1980s. I'm proud of my record at Sega, and I thank them for the opportunity," said Ron. Armed with expertise in sales, operations, distribution and retail, Malinowski is anxious to dig in and explore new challenges. He can be reached at 708/471-8035 or 847/698-4947; email rmalski@aol.com.
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SURESHOT TAKES TO THE STREET WITH ICE
(Posted March 30, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

Sureshot Redemption and game maker ICE have partnered to provide redemption prizes for the popular street version of Deal or No Deal. This is an operator driven program devised to encourage street play. To participate in the program, operators of the street version of Deal or No Deal simply sign an agreement with Sureshot, which maintains an online prize depot where players can redeem their points for Sureshot prizes. The prizes are shipped out to the winners by the redemption merchandise firm. For more details, contact Sureshot's Bryn Netz at brynn@folandgroup.com or call 866-722-1191.
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AMI PREVIEWS NEW JASON ALDEAN ALBUM AND OFFERS WHITE LIES CONCERT TICKETS
(Posted March 30, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

AMI Entertainment has partnered with RED Distribution to bring the new Jason Aldean album, Wide Open, to its network of digital jukeboxes. The album hit bars and nightlife establishments Tuesday, March 24th, giving patrons a chance to hear it before its release date to stores in the U.S., April 7. The pre-release includes promotional loops on screen that feature the "Wide Open" song video and album art, as well as promoting a prize giveaway targeted to Jason Aldean fans. Beginning March 31st, by simply registering to win on an AMI jukebox, patrons will be in a drawing for valuable prizes including the grand prize of a personal call from Jason and an autographed cowboy hat.

AMI is also proud to partner with XL Recordings and Universal Music to offer ticket giveaways to the upcoming White Lies and Friendly Fires tour. Fans of these two exciting live acts can register to win tickets anywhere an AMI jukebox is installed. Fans are asked to enter a name and e-mail address on-screen at the jukebox for a chance to win tickets to regional stops on the tour. The tour dates run from April 1-11, starting in Ann Arbor, MI, and concluding in San Francisco with stops in Indianapolis, Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle and Portland.
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IN THE WINNER'S CUBE WITH ANDAMIRO
(Posted March 27, 2009 -- 2PM)

Andamiro USA is now shipping its newest instant redemption pusher game, Winner's Cube, which was unveiled at the recent ASI show in Las Vegas. The objective of Winner's Cube is remarkably simple. Players control the horizontal and vertical movement of a slim rod that is mounted onto a motorized mechanism with two buttons that direct the rod. Once the button is released, the movement of the rod will stop at the location of the desired position. Players will have 20 seconds to plan and position the rod so that it is aligned to an opening hole of the prize display. Once the rod is positioned successfully, the motorized mechanism will proceed to extend the rod into the hole where it will push a prize off the clear display shelf and drop the prize into the redemption basket.

Andamiro intends on releasing a two-player version of Winners' Cube in the future with a bigger prize display case for more attractive and valuable prizes. This will allow players to have the option to choose playing for a small prize or the bigger prize, all in one touch of a button. The complete design and construction of Winner's Cube follows a transparent thematic design that portrays a clean-suave look that appeals to all ages. Redemption prizes are displayed through a gigantic transparent display and white lights are used to illuminate the prize shelves. Contact your local distributor for more information, or call Andamiro's Satinder Bhutani at 310/767-5800, ext. 102. His email is satinb@andamirousa.com.
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BETSON BOLSTERS SALES STAFF
(Posted March 27, 2009 -- 2PM)

Betson Enterprises reports that Eli Backer has been appointed as head of equipment sales for the company's Hayward, California branch. Hayward office manager Mark Meenan said: "It is great to have Eli back in this office. He has a great relationship with our local customers. Having Eli here will allow us do an outstanding job and help satisfy our customers needs." Eli can be reached at 800-526-7906 or 510-293-9127

Betson also announced an addition to its sales staff in their Dallas office. Keith Fleming has relocated back to the Texas market to focus on the street business and spend time in the Houston area. Betson Dallas manager Brian Serck said: "We are looking to refocus on the street business here in Texas, and that is Keith's strength. We are very happy to have Keith back working our territory, and we are sure the operators are as well." Keith can be reached at 214-437-5841.
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BIRMINGHAM VENDING OFFERS ATTRACTIVE DEALS
(Posted March 27, 2009 -- 2PM)

Alabama distributor Birmingham Vending is promoting a series of Tax Day specials that are good through April 15. They include free shipping on games from Incredible Technologies (with an upfront purchase of $3,000 or more), special pricing and free freight on a minimum of five Merit RX games and free freight on the up front purchase of at least three Coastal Sea Wolf games. A 3% convenience fee will be added on all sales pre-paid with a credit card.

"We are also willing to look at all trade-in and consignment sales," said Birmingham topper Steve Toranto. "We want to help maximize operator return. In light of all the recent changes affecting our economy we want to assure our customers that Birmingham Vending continues to offer full sales, service and support for all the major manufacturers in the coin-op amusement industry. We have consolidated our operations to our corporate office, which is located in Birmingham, Alabama, and from this central location we can ship your coin-op purchases throughout the Southeast."

To learn more, go to www.birminghamvending.com, call 800/288-7635, or email toranto@gmail.com. Birmingham also offers financing through Firestone, Vend Lease, ACG Equipment Financing and Betson with approved credit. Additional promotions are being offered that include 90 days same as cash, extended financing and some very attractive lease terms on games from Raw Thrills.
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REPORTER'S NOTEBOOK: SHIFTING SANDS OF COIN-OP
(Posted March 26, 2009 -- 2:30PM)

What a week, and it's not even over. The global economy is creating some interesting alliances, partnerships and new attitudes about how to do business. The same is true in the coin-op amusement industry, which has seen its fair share of change in recent months. This past week has been no exception with several big news stories breaking and a few more on the horizon.

TouchTunes: We learned on Tuesday that TouchTunes, the pioneer in music downloading, has a new owner. Victory Acquisition Corp., a publicly traded investment vehicle started by two veteran investors including the founder of U.S. Office Products, is buying the digital juke and advertising firm for a deal that could be valued at a whopping $367 million. We can only assume that the potential for on-location advertising growth is part of the promise the new owners see in this deal. That's not surprising considering the rush to market being made by dozens of companies including a partnership of amusement and jukebox distributors called Rivals Media, about which RePlay is hoping to bring our readers more in the coming days.

Direct Sales Controversy: RePlay continues to hear rumbling from operators that were first sounded at ASI in Las Vegas about concerns over two companies -- Lease America and Powerhouse Vending -- whose business models include selling or leasing equipment directly to locations and then providing the content for a much smaller percentage of the cash flow, say 30%. Both firms maintain that they too are operators who are simply utilizing variations on an emerging business model. Lease America's music feed from AMI was recently discontinued, and representatives of Lease America declined comment, citing pending legal action. Lease America's website claims they intend to pursue the matter in the courts. Powerhouse Vending supplies leased jukeboxes connected to Ecast. Expect more news on this front, including specifics on how these companies do business and the concerns being raised by traditional operators.

Southeast Distribution: Last week, we learned that Brady Distributing plans to open an office in the Atlanta area in the next three months. That news came after learning earlier that Birmingham Vending was closing its distribution offices in Florida, although that company continues to offer equipment from its Birmingham HQ according to an announcement that went out today. Meanwhile, reliable sources say the landscape in Georgia will change further in the coming months with the likely closure of Greater Southern Distributing and surprising plans by another powerhouse dealer to open up in the Atlanta market. (Repeated phone calls by this publication to Greater Southern have gone unreturned.) We are also pursuing news from trusted sources that an online game distributor based in the southeast has also undergone a significant restructuring.

Look for more on these stories here on our website and in future issues of our print edition of RePlay Magazine.
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I.T. AND PLAY MECHANIX SIGN ON FOR BETSON TURNING STONE
(Posted March 25, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

Betson Enterprises said today that Incredible Technologies and Play Mechanix have been added to the growing list of participants who will be offering seminars at this year's Betson Enterprises Turning Stone Expo.

Incredible Technologies and Play Mechanix are working together to offer an exciting and informative seminar called "Coin Drop Stimulus Program" about how to increase coin drop on games such as Big Buck Hunter, Big Buck Safari, Guitar Hero and I.T. titles like Golden Tee Live, Silver Strike Bowling, and the all-new release called Lawn Darts. This newly designed seminar will discuss in detail topics such as online vs. offline earning comparisons, online promotions, increasing your cashbox, regional, local and in-house tournaments and cultivating your player base. This seminar is specially designed for all Northeast operators interested in adding additional revenue to their existing machines in the field.

The complimentary seminar is set for 2PM on Friday April 17, and RSVP is recommended. In addition to the seminars, Betson will be hosting a cocktail party that evening from 7-9 PM. The Saturday exhibition from 9AM - 4PM will include the latest amusement products from all major manufacturers that were on display at the ASI show in Las Vegas.

Turning Stone is one of the largest shows of its kind in the northeast and is expected to attract over 400 attendees. Traditionally this expo attracts operators from the New York State region, but this year the event has been expanded to welcome operators from all of New England, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. For more information on the show and/or to register, you can contact the Betson Syracuse office directly at 800/541-1142 or your local Betson office or visit http://zgreenwald.org/expo2009/ to register online.
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SHAFFER SERVICES ACQUIRES BIG CITY VENDING
(Posted March 25, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

Two family owned route operations with long histories in central Ohio came together last month when Andy Shaffer of Shaffer Services struck a deal with Donald and John Rizek to acquire their firm Big City Vending. Shaffer will assume control of all customers, routes and equipment totaling more than 30 loyal accounts. "This acquisition is about more than taking over a route for us; this move is about a fourth generation family-owned business merging with a partner with the same values and respect for the industry," said Andy Shaffer. "This had everything to do with the people and the promise behind Big City."

Aiding in the transition, Don is actively employed with Shaffer Services while his brother John serves as a consultant. The new unified front began operationally on February 16 and has been very well received by all customers on the route. Pictured from left: (back row) Bob Davis, Paul Westbrock, Rick Murray; (front row) John Rizek, Andy Shaffer and Donald Rizek.
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ITALIAN SHOW ATTRACTS 25,000
(Posted March 25, 2009 -- 1:30PM)

The 21st edition of SAPAR's ENADA Spring International Amusement & Gaming Machine Show ended this past weekend. The show was organized by Rimini Fiera SpA with the sponsorship of the AAMS and the support of Euromat, ASCOB, Astro, Fidart and Sicon. Show organizers report the four-day ENADA Spring attracted 25,545 trade visitors (a 1.5% rise on 2008), of whom 2,810 were from abroad.

"This show once again confirms its role as the sector's leader in the southern European market, occupying 40,000 square meters distributed over six halls at the west end of the expo center," said show chairman Lorenzo Cagnoni of Rimini Fiera. "It is a record-breaking expo, which has never been so large, attractive and healthy."
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TOUCHTUNES AND VICTORY ACQUISITION ANNOUNCE MERGER AGREEMENT
(Posted March 24, 2009 -- 11:30AM)

TouchTunes Corp. and the publicly traded investment firm Victory Acquisition Corp. (NYSE Amex: VRY), have signed a definitive merger agreement, the companies announced today. Victory will acquire TouchTunes for 33 million shares of Victory stock. Victory also will assume up to approximately $40 million in net debt. TouchTunes stockholders will also be eligible to receive up to an additional 9.5 million shares based on the achievement of certain future EBITDA targets over the next five years.

The combined company will operate as TouchTunes and is expected to trade publicly on the NASDAQ Stock Market or another national stock exchange. Its corporate headquarters will remain in New York and its main Canadian offices will continue to be based in Montreal.

"We are excited about the merger with Victory because it will allow us to access significant equity capital to leverage our existing installed customer base, and rapidly roll-out the Barfly and PlayPorTT product initiatives," said William Meder, TouchTunes Chairman and CEO. "Our 38,000 locations generate over three billion consumer visits annually providing advertisers with exceptional opportunities to interact with consumers."

"We believe that Victory's capital will allow TouchTunes to accelerate the EBITDA growth that TouchTunes has already experienced in its existing jukebox business," said Eric Watson, Chairman of Victory. "With up to $310 million in equity capital at closing, TouchTunes should be able to expand its market presence and accelerate its already significant technology lead and distribution channel advantage."

"TouchTunes' opportunity to take Barfly and PlayPorTT from their initial pilot success and deploy them into TouchTunes' existing 38,000 location base and beyond makes the marriage with Victory's capital an outstanding investment proposition for our loyal shareholders," said Jonathan J. Ledecky, President of Victory. "Our due diligence revealed several major national brands that are interested in advertising on the Barfly platform if it can scale to capture the customer visit traffic generated by an accelerated national roll-out schedule."

The proposed transaction is subject to Victory receiving stockholder approval of the transaction and customary closing conditions. It is anticipated that Victory will mail a final merger proxy statement on or about April 13, 2009 with a stockholder vote and closing to occur by April 24, 2009.

A copy of the preliminary merger proxy statement, along with a copy of the merger agreement and an informational slide show has been filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A copy of these filings can be found on the SEC website and may also be found on Victory Acquisition Corp's website at www.victoryacq.com.

Victory Acquisition Corp. is a specified purpose acquisition company formed by veteran investors and entrepreneurs Jonathan Ledecky and Eric Watson for the purpose of effecting a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition or similar business combination with an entity that has an operating business. Victory raised $330 million in an initial public offering in April 2007. Victory has 33 million shares outstanding along with 38 million warrants convertible into shares at an exercise price of $7.50. It currently has approximately $330 million in equity capital equal to approximately $10 per share.
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IALEI AND IAAPA AFFIRM MERGER TALKS
(Posted March 23, 2009 -- 11:30AM)

In a joint statement issued Friday, officials from the International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment Industry (IALEI) and the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) confirmed in a formal statement that the two trade associations are considering a merger. The IALEI board of directors met during Fun Expo in Las Vegas on Tuesday, March 10, and voted to talk further with IAAPA about merging IALEI into the IAAPA organization. The IALEI board appointed a task force of members to work out the details with IAAPA.

"Approximately six months ago, we started a thorough review of the future of our organization, the way we do business, and how we support our members," said IALEI Chairman Richard Sanfilippo. "As a result of those conversations, we carefully considered a number of options, but the board felt merging into IAAPA was the best long-term decision for our organization and our members." Continuing, he added, "We have always considered IAAPA as an association with common interests and one which we have partnered with over the years to benefit our members. Many of our board members, association leaders, and founders have been involved in leadership roles within IAAPA and we feel the combined resources and leadership will create one strong voice for the FEC (family entertainment center) industry."

Following the IALEI board meeting, IALEI and IAAPA signed a memorandum of understanding. The IAAPA board of directors and membership of IALEI will vote on a final proposal in May.

"We appreciate the interest of the IALEI board in merging the two organizations," said IAAPA President and CEO Charlie Bray. "I think it's a natural combination. Both organizations offer a number of services to family entertainment centers, and FECs have been one of our largest constituent groups for several years. Some of the services we offer are similar and some are different. The merger will allow companies to have the best of both worlds with one membership. We look forward to more formal discussions about this unique opportunity," Bray added.

IALEI is a 17-year-old nonprofit trade association representing family and location-based entertainment centers and leisure and entertainment facilities of all kinds. Founded 90 years ago, IAAPA is an international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. IAAPA member facilities include amusement/theme parks, water parks, attractions, family entertainment centers, arcades, zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, resorts, and casinos.
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BENCHMARK REPORTS SUCCESSFUL ENADA
(Posted March 23, 2009 -- 11:30AM)

Benchmark Games says it has concluded a successful ENADA trade show in Rimini, Italy. Benchmark displayed their line of X-treme games including the Pop-It X-treme, Slam-a-Winner X-Treme, Red Hot Fire & Ice and the Red Hot X-Treme 7s, as well as its traditional pieces like Red Hot and Slam-a-Winner.

John Denlinger, Benchmark's international representative, said: "These games experienced a great deal of traffic and interest and we expect solid orders to follow the show especially in light of the coming holiday season."

This show follows on the heels of a productive ASI and Pizza Expo in Las Vegas where Tickets to Prizes with a receipt printer/scanner was exhibited as well as the rest of Benchmark's product line including the entire X-treme line-up. To learn more about Benchmark's game line-up, call 561/253-3300 or log on to www.benchmarkgames.com/catalog1.htm.
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BMI AND TOUCHTUNES PRESENT DEVO AT SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST
(Posted March 23, 2009 -- 11:30AM)

DEVO, the iconic new wave, art punk pioneers who cautioned us three decades ago about the dangers of de-evolution that have in large part come to pass, performed new material this past Friday at the South By Southwest music conference in Austin. TouchTunes Music and BMI sponsored the Austin Music Hall showcase. Additional musical appearances at the show include Tricky (Domino), Datarock (Nettwerk), Stardeath and White Dwarfs (Warner Bros. Records), and The Black & White Years (Brando Records).

"TouchTunes connects with music lovers and that is what we are all about," said Mark Mothersbaugh of DEVO. "We love that BMI and TouchTunes are the sponsors of our first-ever performance at SXSW."

TouchTunes promoted the DEVO showcase on Barfly screens in 34 locations throughout Austin, including the Austin Music Hall and on the outside wall of the Emo's Lounge building. BMI and TouchTunes are also co-sponsoring an invitation-only VIP preferred viewing area at the show for special guests.

"DEVO is a TouchTunes' fan favorite and we are extremely pleased to be the host of what will be an amazing moment of music history," said Vicki Saunders, VP of music marketing at TouchTunes, before the show. "It will be fun to see a whole new generation experiencing the art of DEVO."
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SHELTI LOOKS TO EXPAND IN BAY CITY
(Posted March 19, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

Table maker Shelti is looking to expand its business and even hire additional staff, according to a report in the Bay City, Mich.-based factory's local newspaper. According to a report in The Bay City Times, Shelti will get a municipal tax break for the next 12 years. The tax break is on a "$500,000 investment in new machinery and equipment and an additional $50,000 in building improvements to accommodate the new equipment. It plans to bring 56 new jobs to the city and generate new taxes of up to $41,204 and save $58,903 during the 12-year life of the abatement," the paper reported.
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BRADY DISTRIBUTING TO OPEN OFFICE IN ATLANTA
(Posted March 18, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

Brady Distributing out of Charlotte, N.C., plans to open a new office in the Atlanta, Ga., area in the next 90 days, confirmed topper Jon W. Brady. "That timetable may be a little ambitious but we have been looking at this for several months and have received a lot of encouragement from our customers," Brady told RePlay. "We see an opportunity in Georgia and Alabama, and the timing seems to be right. So we are going to seize the moment."

Brady is looking at a modest sized office, somewhere around 5,000 square feet, possibly in the North Atlanta area, where they will offer game sales, service and support. The distributor will staff the office with a combination of existing employees and a few new hires from the region.

"It's not going to be a grandiose facility but we think we can serve the market well," added Brady. "Atlanta is closer to Charlotte than many of our customers in eastern North Carolina. We believe in this industry and we are in it for the long haul. That's why this makes sense for us at this time."
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I.T. LAUNCHES LAWN DARTS, REVIVES DESIGN CONTEST
(Posted March 18, 2009 -- 3PM)

Banned for 21 years as the world's deadliest backyard game, lawn darts is back, courtesy of videogame maker Incredible Technologies. Target Toss Pro: Lawn Darts, the newest game in the factory's TTP series, provides all the fun minus the risk inherent in flinging heavy metal spikes directly at your loved ones. The game is simple: heave foot-long javelins with aerodynamic fins into the air and hit the target on the ground, preferably without impaling your little brother. The game was outlawed in the U.S. and Canada following several unfortunate accidents.

TTP: Lawn Darts accommodates one to16 players and features four-, eight- and 16-player team and tournament formats. The update includes four new games: Classic Lawn Darts, 501, Cricket and Poker Darts. Bags is included as well. TTP: Lawn Darts and Bags are offline games with factory pricing set at $1 per play. "This new affordable update will re-energize your Bags cabinets," said sales VP Don Pesceone. "It's just the shot-in-the-arm your locations were looking for. The game is available as an update, a kit and as a dedicated showpiece cabinet. Call your distributor or the I.T. sales hotline today at 800/262-0323, ext. 106."

In other news, I.T. has also brought back what was originally a one-time 20th anniversary promotion as an annual event, its design-a-hole contest. "We had to bring it back," said marketing manager Dan Schrementi. "Players have been inquiring for months as to when it would return. We hope to double the number of entries and votes this year."

Senior game designer and Golden Tee golf course architect Jim Zielinski heaped praise on last year's entrants. "Last year's contest just scratched the surface on the level of creativity and the unbelievable amount of hole knowledge our players have," he said. "This year, we expect to see more originality, and (co-creator) Larry (Hodgson) and I will have an even tougher time narrowing down the field to three finalists."

The contest runs through April 15 and is open to all Golden Tee players. Online voting starts May 1, and the winner will be announced on May 15. For more info on this year's Golden Tee Design-A-Hole contest, visit www.goldentee.com.
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THAI POLICE RAID ALLEGED MEGATOUCH COUNTERFEITERS
(Posted March 18, 2009 -- 3PM)

Officers of the economic and cyber crime division of the Thai Police recently raided factories in Bangkok and Pattaya, which were suspected of selling alleged counterfeit Megatouch machines. The Ecotech officers also shut down suspected illegal Megatouch copies operating in four shopping malls around Pattaya. Software discs and other documentation were among the items seized by police, while the factory's managing directors and staff attendants at the shopping mall locations were arrested.

Galaxy Edu-Hitech Company, Merit Industries' Megatouch distributor in Thailand, assisted police in planning the raids. "This is our first action against copies in Thailand, and I anticipate other actions in the upcoming weeks," said Robert Fay, Merit's director of government relations. "We'd like to thank Galaxy Edu-Hitech and the Thai police for helping Merit enforce its copyrights and trademarks in Thailand."

SACOA TAPPED FOR TWO NEW D&B STORES
(Posted March 18, 2009 -- 3PM)

A customized version of Sacoa's PlayCard System has been tapped for use in Dave & Buster's two newest locations in Arlington, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, which bring the chain up to 52 stores. The Argentine-based Sacoa has for years been the preferred supplier of cashless payment systems to the big American chain. "The group has been operating with Sacoa since 1996," said Sacoa's Jorge Mochkovsky, "and throughout that time it has used our system. Dave & Buster's is one of our largest customers, and we are its sole supplier for its Power Card equipment. It controls and monitors all of their games. The fact that the relationship has continued even through changes in leadership at Dave & Buster's is a testimony to the quality of our equipment."
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WRG PASSES 10,000 MACHINE MARK
(Posted March 18, 2009 -- 3PM)

WRG Services has reached a processing milestone. The full-service ATM partner, located in Willoughby, Ohio, now provides ATM transaction processing services for over 10,000 ATMs in the U.S. This number represents an increase of over 17% from 2007. WRG CEO Mike Stevenson said: "When we started processing ATM transactions over 10 years ago, our hope was to add a dozen terminals a month. Our rate of growth in 2008 exceeded the market leader; we averaged growth of well over 100 deployed ATMs per month."
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NEW GAMES ABOUND AT ASI
(Posted March 16, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

ASI 2009 played host to approximately 50 new game introductions, proving that even if the economy impacted operator attendance, it thankfully hasn't slowed the pace of new product development on the part of the industry's game and attraction suppliers, many of whom are now tailoring product to a price sensitive community of buyers.

A dozen new videos were debuted at the show; a handful of them were either software updates to existing platforms or even kit games that can be used by operators to upgrade cabinets already on location, something the industry has seen little of in recent years. Two major factories, Global VR and Sega, both released video games specifically designed both as dedicated games and as upgrade kids. They are Justice League Heroes United (Global VR) and Sega Bass Fishing Challenge.

Complementing this trend were a number of new cabinets on the market created to accommodate flat screen monitors set behind a pedestal cabinet similar to the one introduced last year by Incredible Technologies. New cabinets of this variety were debuted by Bay Tek, Fun Co. and Unique Billiards and Game Rooms. Meanwhile, Ecast unveiled a new kit solution for former NSM and Rowe CD jukes.

In the redemption category, ASI played host to 20 new game debuts including at least one new piece from every major redemption game maker. In fact, this category far overshadowed the recently dominant merchandise game category, which saw fewer than half a dozen new debuts at the spring show.

Several table games and updated version of Rock-Ola's digital nostalgia juke were all that accounted for traditional street entries, although that's not surprising considering that the fall AMOA Expo is normally considered the place where factories release games for the route market.

Rounding out the new product debuts at ASI 2009 were fewer than 10 specialty machines including two new dance game updates, a music game debut from a new coin-op firm (PM Studio's DJ Max Technika), several specialty photo and video vendors and a handful of new punching machines. For a complete look at the new products on display at ASI, check out our April issue which will include a game debut catalog.
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DOROTHY LEWIS IS IALEI'S NEW CHAIRPERSON
(Posted March 16, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

Dorothy Lewis of Funstation Associates in Connecticut took office as the new chairperson of the International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment Industry (IALEI) just before last week's Fun Expo. She takes over from Richard Sanfillipo of Sam's Fun City in Florida, who becomes the group's immediate past chair. Lewis is joined on the executive board by First Vice Chairman Paul Kramer of Bullwinkle's in California, Second Vice Chairman Edward Tucker of Gator Park in Arkansas and Secretary/Treasurer Suzanne Provenzano of Elmwood Entertainment Center in Louisiana.

IALEI board members for the coming year are: William Carlson (Bill Carlson Co., Nev.), Bill Dubeil (Unbelieva-Bills, N.J.), Michelle Kapuscinski (Fiesta Village, Calif.), Erick Lewko (Bounce House, La.,), William Roosa (CNL Lifestyle, Fla.), Frank Sirre (Leisure Planet, Calif.), Bud Umbach (Kokomo's, Mich.), Alan Ramsay (CML Ent., R.I.), and Patrick Rothwell (Laser Mania, Miss.).

Lewis hinted at the possible big changes to come for IALEI, declaring, "Change is good. Change will help us. I promise to work hard to bring change that will be beneficial to our membership." Just prior to her taking office, IALEI's board voted to explore in detail a possible merger with IAAPA, the amusement park association.

The incoming chairperson also thanked her late boss Rich Bartlett, who passed away last year, saying that without his encouragement she could have never gotten involved in IALEI. "He gave me the freedom to volunteer my time, and I think he would have been proud," she said.
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ASI AND FUN EXPO ADAPT TO CHALLENGING TIMES
(Posted March 13, 2009 -- 6PM)

A product rich Amusement Showcase International and Fun Expo came to a close today with trade leaders grappling with a rapidly changing landscape for both national industry events and the trade associations that sponsor them. Both shows reported decreased exhibit space and attendance, although the declines were more stark on the ASI side because Fun Expo's fall attendance declines were already prefiguring its move to the spring six months later. Despite this grim news, attitudes remained hopeful as the attendees who did come to Vegas made the trip with the intent to do business.

ASI played host to 96 exhibitors, down 37 from the previous year; those companies occupied 250 booths, down a whopping 181 booths. There were 10 first-time exhibitors at the show. Total attendance at ASI was 1,982, down 692, although analysis by the show organizer said that exhibitors brought over 400 less people. The buyer count was 602, down 460 from the previous year. The good news for both shows, the Pizza Expo next door, which appeared to be a vibrant event, brought more than 500 official guests to ASI and Fun Expo, and possibly more unofficial guests through an uncounted entrance near the rear of the two show floors.

"The story of this show goes well beyond the numbers," said Frank Cosentino of Namco, speaking on behalf of the AAMA Show Committee that sponsors ASI. "The numbers, which were better than we expected, only tell part of story. Everybody who came to this show came because they were interested in buying. This is a trade show, not a convention where everybody comes to socialize and party."

Fun Expo reported 82 exhibitors, down one on the previous year, and 140 booths, down two from the fall Fun Expo, which was co-located with AMOA. There were 13 first-time exhibitors, and total registration of 1,015, down 168. Buyers at Fun Expo numbered 594, down 186.

Leaders of the International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment Industry, which sponsors Fun Expo, also publicly acknowledged a development that had been making its way around the show floor via the rumor mill for three days, namely that the fun center association has made formal its intention to explore a merger with IAAPA, the mammoth amusement park association which hosts a yearly international trade show in the fall. This news left more questions than it provided answers, especially with regard to the Fun Expo, which is half owned by IALEI; the other half of that show is owned jointly by AAMA and AMOA. "There will be a Fun Expo in 2010; it will be co-located with ASI, and it will be bigger and better," outgoing IALEI chairman Richard Sanfilippo told this publication when asked about the ramifications of the decision.

"A decision was made to enter into the preliminary stages of formal discussions with IAAPA regarding possible synergies between our associations," IALEI said in its formal statement on the matter. "We are excited about what it will bring to the FEC community and membership specifically." A formal outline of the proposed arrangement was expected to go out to the group's membership next week.

Next year's ASI and Fun Expo are scheduled to be held March 10-12 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, although show organizers said those dates might shift to accommodate being held at the same time as next spring's Pizza Expo, if possible. Look for more on this show in the April issue of RePlay Magazine as well as future updates to Instant RePlay.
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ECAST PARTNERS WITH AMUSEMENT TECH. ON CD JUKE CONVERSIONS
(Posted March 13, 2009 -- 6PM)

Ecast has partnered with Amusement Technologies to bring operators an efficient solution for converting their Rowe and NSM CD jukeboxes into digital boxes powered by Ecast's broadband network. Using Ecast's Mojo core and a central control computer, Amusement Technologies' Digital Fusion kits present a universal approach to conversion, dramatically simplifying parts replacement and conversion time. Amusement Technologies provides Digital Fusion conversion kits for the following models: Rowe MM series wall box, second-generation wall box, floor models 100-100E and Encore, plus NSM CD wall boxes.

"I've always felt that Ecast is the most progressive juke content provider and I recognized an opportunity in their line-up for a solution that takes advantage of existing CD juke inventory," said Dick Donlan, owner Amusement Technologies. "Amusement Technologies is always looking for ways to make existing capital work harder. Ecast's technology made it easy to develop a simple-to-work kit that gives operators a very affordable way to breathe new life into their existing investment."
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ASI AND FUN EXPO UNDERWAY IN LAS VEGAS
(Posted March 11, 2009 -- 10:30PM)

The Amusement Showcase International and Fun Expo shows are underway this week at the Las Vegas Convention Center; both shows got underway Wednesday. Operator traffic appeared soft at the co-located shows, as expected by organizers, but the shows opened their doors to attendees at the next-door Pizza Expo and the cross-promotion appeared to pay off with some new faces walking the aisles. One major exhibitor told RePlay that as many as 25% of the leads they met with at ASI came in from the pizza show.

AAMA kicked off its ASI show by presenting awards, including multiple game sales awards to Raw Thrills for Fast and Furious Drift, Superbikes and Big Buck Hunter Safari, which they developed in conjunction with sister company Play Mechanix. LAI Games founder Malcolm Steinberg (pictured here with industry friend Linda Fernandez of 50th State Coin-Op) was honored with AAMA's Lifetime Achievement Award. Shaffer Distributing was named the AAMA Distributor of the Year, and Innovative Concepts in Entertainment was tapped as the Manufacturer of the Year for the first time in the Buffalo, N.Y., - based factory's 26-year history.

IALEI also kicked off its show on Tuesday night with a general membership meeting and awards dinner, where they presented the group's annual Golden Token Awards to both suppliers and operator members. They also elected a new slate of officers, which includes a new chairman, Dorothy Lewis of Funstation Associates. Lewis hinted a big changes to come for IALEI, declaring, "Change is good. Change will help us. I promise to work hard to bring change that will be beneficial to our membership." Look for more on the Golden Token awards and new developments at IALEI in the April issue of RePlay, which will include full coverage of both shows.

New product abounded at ASI and Fun Expo, but the current economic clime was evident in the games that were on display at ASI, notably an increased number of video kits and conversion cabinets from various suppliers, signaling a possible move to more affordable alternatives for operators. Attractive finance deals were also being offered on many of the new games being debuted.

A group of nine distributors also made news at today's ASI by unveiling a plan to market the On Site interactive, out-of-home advertising platform through a partnership called Rivals Media. On Site offers an advertising system that works in conjunction with existing broadcast television, and it will be offered to operators by this group of distributors, all of which will also participate in the advertising revenue stream. The distributors include American Vending Sales, Brady Distributing, C.A. Robinson, Game Exchange of Colorado, East Coast, H.A. Franz, Moss Distributing, Shaffer Distributing and Specialty Coin. Many of these firms also represent digital jukebox companies that are launching similar advertising initiatives.

Pizza Expo runs through Thursday, March 12, and ASI and Fun Expo through Friday, March 13.
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AAMA TO HONOR MALCOLM STEINBERG
(Posted March 9, 2009 -- 3PM)

AAMA will bestow its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award on LAI Games founder and CEO Malcolm Steinberg at this week's Amusement Showcase International convention in Las Vegas. Recipients must be a humanitarian, as well as one who possess innovative and creative qualities with a history of producing new ideas. The winner must have demonstrated ethical strength, as well as emotional, intellectual and moral qualities.

In 1958, Steinberg bought a number of pinball games from his uncle who was involved in Australia's eastern states coin-op business. Steinberg placed the pinballs in sites around Perth, Australia, and the operation business was born. At first, LAI operated Timezone entertainment centers, and then it developed into a supplier of amusement equipment with innovative games like Stacker, Lighthouse and Timebuster. In the late 90s, the company began licensing some of its games to major US manufacturers and in early 2000 the group began to market its products under its own label, LAI Games, initially in the U.S., UK and mainland Europe.

Through the growth of the FEC operation, which is now 200 strong, came the development of a new product and in turn a new company. The Embed debit card system was initially developed for use in LAI's own operations, but the group soon saw the requests flood in to make the system available to the general market. Today Embed has offices in the U.S., Middle East and Australia.

The LAI Group employs over 2,000 people and exports to 26 countries. The operation side of the business has also continued to grow and could be considered one of the group's biggest achievements. LAI now operates in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, and India through the Timezone FEC brand and in 2008 celebrated 50 year's in the biz!

The ceremony will take place on Wednesday, March 11, at the entrance of the ASI/Fun Expo show. "On behalf of the AAMA, and its board of directors, we'd like to congratulate Malcolm and thank him for his 50 years of service and dedication to the coin-operated amusement industry," said AAMA President Mike Rudowicz.
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JUKEBOX LICENSE DEADLINE APPROACHING
(Posted March 9, 2009 -- 3PM)

The deadline for payment of license fees to the Jukebox License Office (JLO) is March 15, and there are many operators of CD boxes who have not yet submitted their paperwork with payment to the Nashville, TN-based organization, reports the AMOA. "Among them are ops who have a substantial number of CD boxes on their routes," the association noted in its Off The Top email newsletter. "And among them are ops who can save $27 per JLO license (after the initial license is secured) by renewing their memberships in the Amusement & Music Operators Association." Operators can renew by phone, fax or email. They can also renew by going to www.amoa.com. For more information about the JLO, call 800-955-5853 or visit the website www.jukeboxlicense.com.
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VENDING SHOW CROSS PROMOTION
(Posted March 9, 2009 -- 3PM)

Tradesters planning to attend either the April 16-17 NAMA Spring Expo at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center or the April 16-18 National Bulk Vending Association's Expo at Bally's, both in Las Vegas, can visit both shows on Thursday, April 16. A single admission badge (for either show) will gain attendees admittance to both shows that day with no additional registration fee. To learn more, check out the NAMA or NBVA websites at www.vending.org or www.nbva.org.
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OHIO'S ROBERT HULL PASSES AWAY
(Posted March 9, 2009 -- 3PM)

Ohio operator Robert L. "Bob" Hull, age 75, of Columbus Road, Mount Vernon, passed away on Thursday, March 5, 2009 at the Centerburg Pointe Nursing Home in Centerburg, Ohio. He was born on June 22, 1933. Bob worked at Pittsburgh Plate Glass and Hopkins Music Company in Galion, Ohio. In 1983, Bob started the R.L. Hull and Sons Inc., a coin operated amusement machine business in Mount Vernon, Ohio. He was a member of the Moose, life member of the Elks and charter member of Amvets Post #95. He served in the United States Navy.

Bob enjoyed playing cards and took great pride in teaching his children th enjoyments of outdoor activities such as, camping, hunting, fishing, golf and bird watching. He is survived by his beloved wife of 54 years, Beverly Anne (Cramer) Hull, his children; David (Carol) Hull of Howard, Deborah Summers of Mount Vernon, Douglas Hull of Howard and James (Karina) Hull of Gambier, nine grandchildren, a great granddaughter, a brother, Ronald (Susann) Hull of Mount Vernon and a sister, Pat Campbell of Lima.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Knox County, 17700 Coshocton Ave., Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050.
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MIDWAY CO-FOUNDER HANK ROSS IS GONE
(Posted March 4, 2009 -- 5:30PM)

One of the founding fathers of Midway Manufacturing, Hank Ross, died peacefully from congestive heart failure on February 12th in Rancho Bernardo, CA. He was 90. As a degreed electrical engineer, Ross started his career in the coin operated amusement industry over 50 years ago at Exhibit Supply. He then went on to work for United Manufacturing for 11 years before starting Midway Manufacturing with Marcine (Iggy) Wolverton in 1958.

Together at Midway they created many electromechanical games that became classics. Ross was also involved in many of the great video games that were made under the Midway and the Bally/Midway name after Bally's acquisition of Midway in 1969. Ross retired from Bally/Midway in 1985 and finished out his career as a consultant for Grand Products in 1992.

Dave Marofske Sr., his sidekick for many years, said: "He was truly one of the great game developers and over the years gave some great input to many game designs. He was a quiet man in many ways and stayed in the background, but he was a force at Midway in all of their game designs. He will truly be missed."
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BETSON TURNING STONE SHOW SET FOR APRIL
(Posted March 4, 2009 -- 5:30PM)

Betson Enterprises will once again hold their annual expo, April 17-18 at the Turning Stone Casino/Resort in Verona, NY. This year will be the 10th anniversary of the annual expo. The two-day event will feature many strategic seminars and round table discussions. In response to customer demand several additional educational seminars and workshops have been added. Over 50 manufacturers and product suppliers of amusement and vending equipment will be displaying their latest equipment from the ASI show.

This year's expo will begin on Friday April 17th at 11 AM with a NYSAVA member luncheon. Seminars will kickoff later in the afternoon at 12 PM and continue until 5 PM. Seminars topics will include, ATM- Operating/instruction on the proper setup, prize mix and percentaging of instant prize equipment with ticket to prize units, new financial strategies to grow your business in these challenging times and a presentation on the Lavazza Office Coffee products.

A reception will be held in the evening from 7-9 PM. The Saturday Exhibition from 9AM - 4 PM will include the latest amusement and vending machine manufacturers and their products along with financial institutions and state and national trade associations.

The event is expected to attract over 400 attendees. Traditionally this expo attracts operators from the New York State region, but this year the gathering has been expanded to welcome operators from all of New England, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. For more information on the show and/or to register, you can contact the Betson Syracuse office directly at 800-541-1142 or your local Betson office or just visit http://zgreenwald.org/expo2009/ to register online.
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BENCHMARK TO OFFER MONOPOLY PUSHER
(Posted March 4, 2009 -- 5:30PM)

Following a very positive reception at this year's ATEI in London, Bell-Fruit Games and Benchmark will be bringing the new Monopoly pusher to the U.S. market this spring. Bell-Fruit Groups export manager Mick Lee said, "We have been delighted with the response to the new Monopoly pusher and in Benchmark we feel we have a very experienced and respected partner to provide the best support for the product." To learn more about the game, contact Benchmark at 888/538-1000 or log on to www.benchmarkgames.com.
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SEGA TO UNVEIL NEW GAMES AT ASI
(Posted March 4, 2009 -- 5:30PM)

Sega Amusements will unveil several new games at next week's ASI show as part of an impressive line-up of 10 games. Players will get to compete with their lures in Sega Bass Fishing, which will be made available as a full conversion kit for all JAMMA cabinets. To demonstrate the game's excitement for as many as four players at a time in 16 different fishing spots, the factory will hold a virtual Bass Fishing Tournament at the Las Vegas show. Sega will also be debuting Missfits, the company's newest ticket game. Using a giant stop button, players attempt to stop the big reels to match up each miss-fit character to win the top prize. This game features a front access ticket and coin box, customizable payout settings, and the small foot print makes the unit compatible for all location sizes. Look for more on these and other new games in next month's issue of RePlay. "We're anxious to introduce a wide array of new products, especially a few pieces for the street, that will hopefully get the juices flowing," said Sega sales topper Ron Malinowski. "ASI and Fun Expo along with the pizza show are going to offer an exciting venue for us, and we may even have a few surprises. So make sure and visit the Sega booth at ASI."
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TRIOTECH'S TYPHOON IS NOW SHIPPING
(Posted March 4, 2009 -- 5:30PM)

TrioTech's Typhoon, the factory's updated version of the popular Mad Wave Motion attraction, is now shipping, reports company sales pro Dave Swafford. "The initial collections have been extremely strong," said Dave, who was also happy to report that the company had installed eight XD motion theaters since the beginning of 2009. The two-player Typhoon offers a sleek new cabinet, digital 5.1 surround sound and a 42" LCD screen. To learn more, contact Swafford at 630/248-3467; email dswafford@trio-tech.com.
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WURLITZER MOVES ITS OFFICES
(Posted March 4, 2009 -- 5:30PM)

Citing the "compounded strains of global economic conditions," jukebox maker Deutsche Wurlitzer, which is part of the Gibson guitar family of companies, has closed its Gurnee, Ill., office and relocated those operations to Trumann, Ark., according to an official letter sent out this week. The Trumann facility is also home to Baldwin Pianos, another Gibson company.

Wurltizer USA topper Doug Skor remains on board, working from his home office in Barrington, Ill. He can be reached at 888/987-3477; email dougskor@dw-usa.net. U.K. operations have also been moved to Wurlitzer headquarters in Germany.

"We want to assure you that Deutsche Wurlitzer, together with our parent company Gibson, is committed to the jukebox and vending markets in the U.K. and U.S.A.," wrote Mark Swiecicki, VP of Strategic Development at Deutsche Wurlitzer. "In the last few months we have launched several product initiatives for 2009 in both business lines that we believe will provide new opportunities."
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ANDAMIRO DEBUTS THREE NEW GAMES
(Posted March 2, 2009 -- 4PM)

Andamiro USA is set to reveal its two newest ticket-redemption games at the ASI Show in Las Vegas next week. The games are the ball drop attraction Timing, which was first seen at IAAPA 2008, and Fruit Party, the factory's latest coin action piece. Andamiro is also releasing a software update for NXA that features 26 new songs.

Timing challenges players to undermine gravity with their intuitive response. This simple but mind-boggling game will leave players hungry to test their instinctive timing responses and dictate their winnings based on challenging gravity. The necessity of intuitive skills will allow players to sharpen their response rates after every play and keep them coming back for more.

The objective in Fruit Party is straightforward and rewarding. Players watch their coins drop down the chute onto the revolving playfield and to the potential targets around the edge all in hopes of winning different amounts of tickets. When the targets are knocked down, the game will light up to inform the player that he has contributed to Party Time. There are a total of seven segments of targets on the revolving playfield and each one will light up when any player knocks it down.

NXA is the latest software to upgrade Pump It Up (SX, DX, GX, FX) games; it features three new play modes: Brain Shower, World Max and Easy Station. Brain Shower challenges players to solve both logical and intuitive problems on the screen and respond physically. The New World Max features new continents, new missions, and new songs and is suitable for more advanced Pump It Up players. For players new to Pump It Up NXA, Easy Station satisfied with simple steps. Easy Station contains 60 songs and easy and simple selecting options. Look for details on the two new redemption games in the March issue of RePlay. To learn more, contact Andamiro USA at 310/767-5800, ext. 102, or 310/525-1818; email satinb@andamirousa.com.
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SCHULTZ JOINS APPLE INDUSTRIES
(Posted March 2, 2009 -- 4PM)

Industry veteran John Schultz has joined photo booth supplier Apple Industries as Director of New Business Development and International Sales. Schultz, who most recently was President of Rock-Ola Manufacturing Company, will join Apple Industries effective immediately.

Sales Director Mel LaForce said Schultz's experience and industry-wide recognition is an asset for Apple's continued growth into the photo booth arena. "John knows how to work well with people, and he has developed a keen sense of where new markets present themselves," he said. "This will prove to be a valuable asset for Apple as we continue to grow and explore new markets."

Schultz will have the dual role of developing untapped international markets for Apple's New Generation and Face Place photo booths as well as establishing a stronger foothold in the national account arena. "Photo Booths are so ubiquitous," explained LaForce, "they can virtually go anywhere, and John is the perfect person, in both temperament and skills, to take on the challenge of finding and developing new markets for Apple.

Schultz has spent more than 35-years in the industry. Over the last 10 years, as president of Rock-Ola, he steered the jukebox company into unprecedented growth. Schultz recently oversaw headline-making move of Rock-Ola to the AMI music platform. He is currently Vice Chairman of the AAMA Trade Association and is a well-known and respected advocate to all levels of the industry from factory to distributor to operator.

Apple President Allen Weisberg said, "John will add an element of professionalism that will take Apple to the next level. John and Mel will have a blast working together as they build Apple's future as a team."

John will be maintaining his California residence and office and can be reached directly at 310/261-6920 or via email at jjukeman@aol.com. His official email address will be johnschultz@appleindustries.net, which will be active later this week.
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COURT STRIKES DOWN VIDEO GAME BAN
(Posted March 2, 2009 -- 4PM)

A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court ruling that overturned a California law than banned the sale and rental of violent video games; the three-judge panel said the law violated both the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The AMOA, in its weekly Off The Top email newsletter, noted that while the ruling was expected it shouldn't go unnoticed.

"Like another championship for the Yankees or Celtics, this latest in a series of victories on the video game content front was greeted with little fanfare in the industry and consumer media because we have grown accustomed to -- and expect -- such success," AMOA noted. "While the winning streak on this issue is impressive, we need to remain vigilant and not take continued success for granted. As a trade association and as an industry, we've worked far too hard for far too long to let complacency tip the scales the other way. In our nation's capital and all across the United States, there are new (and incumbent) lawmakers who will undoubtedly seek some creative approach to legislate access to video games."
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VENCO OFFERS FREIGHT DEAL
(Posted March 2, 2009 -- 4PM)

Venco Music is offering free freight, programming and an electronic lock, as well as 36-month financing, on a purchase of five or more ATM machines. Moreover, they are offering to waive the first payment for 90 days with monthly payments coming off the top of the machine's monthly surcharge. The offer is good through the end of April. To learn more, contact Venco's John Newberry at 800/762-9962 or by email at jnewberry@vencomusic.com. Venco will also be exhibiting at this month's ASI show in Las Vegas.
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February 2009 (Go back to main 2009 menu)

MERIT AND ROWE ANNOUNCE INTEGRATION PLANS
(Posted February 27, 2009 -- 3PM)

Merit Entertainment, the Bensalem, PA-based manufacturer of touchscreen games, has announced plans to integrate its production and work forces with Rowe International, the digital jukebox maker located in Grand Rapids Michigan. Harbour Group, the St. Louis-based private equity firm, owns both companies, which are actively joining forces under the direction of Merit and Rowe CEO Michael Maas. "It is essential to control costs and increase efficiencies to remain competitive in today's global environment," said Maas. "These changes will reduce overhead and allow both companies to better serve our customers with even more cost competitive products."

Merit and Rowe will operate under a single management team, and go to market with a unified sales force led by Sales Vice President John Margold. Other company functions including marketing, customer service, software, and hardware development have been combined under a consolidated management team. Rowe is shifting manufacturing from Grand Rapids, MI, to Reynosa, Mexico on the Texas-Mexico border. The company has plans to complete this shift in production by the end of 2009; this will mean the closing of the Grand Rapids manufacturing facility. Some employees will be offered the opportunity to transfer to the Texas/Mexico facility.

"There are synergies from the consolidation that will help both companies become even stronger," added Maas. "We are pleased that during generally tough economic times, we are able to maintain our customer service levels and development investments by leveraging the combined strengths of both companies," added Maas.
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SKEE-BALL OFFERS DISCOUNT ON SPIN N WIN
(Posted February 27, 2009 -- 3PM)

Skee-Ball is now offering significant discount on both the standard 4' dial and jumbo 6' dial Spin n Win. For any order placed in March, the factory will discount the price of the 4' Spin n Win by $400.00 and the price of the 6' Spin n Win by $600.00. To learn more, contact a local Skee-Ball distributor or contact the game maker directly at 215/997-8900 for a referral.
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PENNSYLVANIA'S RICHARD ANDERSON PASSES AWAY
(Posted February 27, 2009 -- 3PM)

Former Pennsylvania tradester Richard Anderson, 67, of Erie, died on Feb. 24 at his home. Anderson was a teacher for many years in Buffalo, NY, before moving back to his native Erie, where he assumed leadership duties at Mickey Anderson Distributing after his brother Mike died; both were sons of the late founder Mickey Anderson. "They were old-time distributors of Wurlitzer, Bally and Valley and got out of distributing in the early 90s," recalled RePlay publisher Ed Adlum. Anderson was active in his community and once held the title Man of the Year by Erie's Polish Business Men's Association.

Besides his parents, Anderson was preceded in death by a son, Richard M. Anderson; and his brother, Michael Anderson, Jr. Survivors include his wife of 26 years, Terry O'Neil Anderson; son, Gregg Anderson; and daughters, Terry Richelle, Polly and Karrie Anderson, all of Erie. Also survived by many other family members. Visitation is scheduled at the Carl A. Slomski & Son Funeral Home, Inc., 2101 Ash St. on Friday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. today. Friends may also attend a service there Saturday at 1 p.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Stanislaus Church at 1:30 p.m. Burial will be at Gate of Heaven Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Hospice of Metropolitan Erie or St. Stanislaus Church.
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BIRMINGHAM VENDING SHUTTERS FLORIDA DISTRIBUTION
(Posted February 26, 2009 -- 8PM)

Birmingham Vending, which has been active in distribution for more than 85 years, announced today that it has restructured its internal organization to focus more of its resources on its operations in Alabama and Florida.

"We have restructured our company so that our cost structure is more in line with the current economic environment," said Birmingham topper Steve Toranto. "We have reached an agreement, in principal, to sell the assets associated with our vending distribution business and we are exiting that category. We will not longer sell or support coin-operated snack and drink machines.

"In relation to the amusement business, we have closed our Orlando office and will be relocating to a smaller space to concentrate on our Florida route operations," he continued. "We will continue to maintain our office in Birmingham and will be offering equipment for sale. We will continue to employee service technicians." To learn more about Birmingham Vending, log on to http://www.birminghamvending.com.
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BULLSHOOTER SCORES IN STEEL CITY
(Posted February 26, 2009 -- 8PM)

This month's Pennsylvania BullShooter Regional was the largest qualifying tournament, reported sponsor Arachnid. The event took place at the Radisson Hotel Pittsburgh Green Tree, February 13-15, and was co-sponsored by Betson Pittsburgh.

Michelle Adams won three championships over the weekend in Women's Singles, Women's Doubles Combo with Jean Purgold, and Mixed Cricket with Mark Youngblood. Jean Purgold won her second championship in Mixed Triples with William Cross and Shannon Frye. Shannon took his second championship in Men's Singles Cricket.

In the pro events Jayson Barlow and Shawn Brenneman won Pro Doubles and in Pro Singles, Jayson defeated Shawn in the championship for first and second places. Gordon Dixon and Jeff Carpenter won Pro/Am Cricket. In the Men's Doubles, Stephen Keller and Art Leonard teamed up to win the championship and David Kirkey and Paul Saladzius won Men's Cricket Doubles. The Women's Doubles championship was won by Ange Harding and Heather Wise-Orr.
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NATIONAL TICKET COMPANY EXPANDS SALES STAFF
(Posted February 26, 2009 -- 8PM)

The National Ticket Company has appointed Jason Mauser as National Sales Manager. Mauser joined the company in 1999 as an account manager for the Pittsburgh, PA, and Midwest territory. He attended Washington & Jefferson College, graduating with a BA in Business Administration and a minor in Secondary Education.

Mauser plans to be an integral part of the management team. Technology is rapidly advancing in the ticketing industry, and National Ticket Company continually strives to adapt its products to offer the latest integrations in ticketing to its clients. His goal is to strengthen National Ticket Company's presence in many markets by building partnerships with various system integrators in the industry. Mauser resides in Pittsburgh with his wife, Tracy, and their children, Zakhary, Landon, & Peyton.

National Ticket also recently opened two new sales offices. Chris Conroy, director of inside sales and marketing, will lead a sales team from his office in Chalfont, PA. Patrick Carter, account manager, will manage a sales office in St. Charles, MO.

Chris Conroy previously worked for two online marketing agencies where he served as director of sales. He spent the previous years helping small technology start-ups as well as large companies. Conroy began his career after graduating from the University of Richmond by serving as an officer in the US Army as a Combat Engineer. After completing a four-year active duty commitment, he completed his MBA at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, and then began his business career in the wireless industry with Nextel and ATT Wireless.

Conroy will lead his new team of inside sales representatives, as well as manage online and offline marketing programs for National Ticket Company. He can be reached at 267/218-0558 or via email at cconroy@nationalticket.com.

Patrick Carter has been involved in direct sales and sales management within the printing industry since 1992. All but two years of that time were spent in the ticket industry. He attended Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO and graduated with a BS in Business Administration.

Carter plans to capitalize on his past experiences in his new role with National Ticket to increase business in the Midwest territory and to solidify relationships on behalf of the company with both existing and new customers. Carter can be reached at 636/328-6072 or via email at pcarter@nationalticket.com.
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MARTIN DEMPSEY IS GONE
(Posted February 25, 2009 -- 3PM)

European trade journalist, magazine publisher and show organizer Martin Dempsey passed away suddenly yesterday, according to an email sent by his company MD Associates. Dempsey published Coin-Op News Europe and organized the annual AmEx Irish trade show in Dublin. Funeral announcements will be announced shortly. "As per his family's wishes, AmEx 2009 will go ahead as planned next week," the announcement said. Anyone wishing to contact the family or the business can do so via email mdassociates@eircom.net. AmEx 2009 will be held at Dublin's Green Isle Hotel on March 3-4. Pre-registration numbers for the event were up on last year, according to show organizers. To learn more, log on to www.coin-opexpo.eu.
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COMMENT: LOOK LOCALLY FOR SOLUTIONS
(Posted February 24, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

By Steve White, Editor

As someone who has worked in one form of journalism or another my entire career, I have, of late, developed a love-hate relationship with the news. Why? I am convinced that at least part of the problem we are dealing with in our current economy is a crisis of confidence engendered by the 24-hour news cycle. These forces serve only to magnify the issues vexing the economy, convincing all of us that the world is coming to a drastic, spasmodic end. I'm in no way trying to downplay the current recession, only to talk about it in the proper context, especially for this industry.

At the recent AMOA Council of Affiliated States, Merit and Rowe CEO Mike Maas said a close examination of networked revenue on games and jukes shows coin drop to be down far less than say retail sales. "This industry can be recovered," he said. "I'm happy to be in this industry. The fundamentals are still good." Maas was quick to add, however, that the crisis of confidence was unfortunately reflected in capital expenditures of operators, thus threatening to weaken the supply chain of manufacturers and distributors.

Fellow jukebox maker Dan McAllister of TouchTunes urged operators to think locally when addressing the current crunch. "It's important to understand what your customers are doing to survive and discover ways that you can be part of the solution for them," he said.

These guys are on the right track to developing our industry's own rescue strategy, namely to stop assuming that national trends are being mirrored in your local businesses and to hit the streets for getting a first-hand look at what's going on in locations. In other words, the answers are going to be local.

Look for the rest of this editorial as well as several examples of how operators can make their way in a rough economy by staying focused on their local markets in the March issue of RePlay.
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COURT SETS ASIDE NC POKER BAN
(Posted February 24, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

A 2006 North Carolina law that banned video poker has been set aside by a state judge, who ruled that the state can't prohibit the games to private enterprise while allowing Native Americans to operate the games on their tribal lands. The ruling came in a lawsuit brought by operating company McKracken and Amick, according to a report by the Associated Press. "The legislature couldn't carve out the exception after prohibiting this type of gaming in this law," plaintiff attorney Mike Tadych told the AP. The judge's ruling said the law banning the games was "null, void and of no effect." However, the judge also issued a stay of his order to give the state time to file an appeal or react the ruling's ramifications.
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HOT TOPIC: NEW PRODUCT WISH LIST
(Posted February 24, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

Check out RePlay Magazine's blog, where operators are stepping into research and development shoes to discuss specific new product they'd like to see from manufacturers. Operators are encouraged to explain what's needed in amusement machine design, technology and thinking in order to improve ROI and advance our collective cause, as well as to dialog with others. Give the factories your two cents at http://replaymag.blogspot.com.
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DIAMOND AND FIRESTONE OFFER DEAL FOR STREET OPERATORS
(Posted February 23, 2009 -- 12:30PM)

Diamond Smart Tables can now be financed through Firestone, starting at 0% through 4.90%. This program is four-tiered and details are as follows:

Option 1: 0% APR for 12 months with a minimum purchase of 2 tables. Option 2: 0% APR for 20 months with a minimum purchase of 10 tables. Option 3: 4.90% APR for 24 months with a minimum purchase of 2 tables. Option 4: 4.90% APR for 36 months with a minimum purchase of 10 tables.

On all options, the first payment is due 30 days after the contract has been funded. The offer ends March 31, 2009. Firestone's Sal Cifala said: "Firestone is looking forward to working with Diamond to promote the Smart Table. This high quality product is a great choice for any street location."

This promotion is valid for street operators only. Down payments are subject to credit reviews. Firestone may ask certain customers to make a down payment into the equipment. A filing fee of $200 will be included in the financing of the contract. Any applicable sales tax and freight will be due up front.
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NAMA GOLF OUTING CANCELED
(Posted February 23, 2009 -- 12:30PM)

The annual National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) Western Golf Classic has been canceled for 2009. The golf outing, scheduled to coincide with the Spring Expo in Las Vegas, has been cut from the agenda in order to concentrate on the industry's current priorities.

"In the past, the Western Golf Classic was a fundraiser organized by NAMA's western state councils," said NAMA chairman Jim Brinton. "This year, the committee, made up of representatives from each of the five state councils voted to cancel the tournament. The committee agreed that each state council will refocus and hold individual events to raise money for scholarships and legislative work. We hope that manufacturers will continue to support those efforts."

The tournament had been scheduled for Wednesday, April 15 but Expo attendees will have other opportunities on that day. "There are a number of programs and seminars available," noted Brinton. "We are sorry to lose the tradition of the Western Classic but we also realize that people want to focus on business this year."

The Spring Expo will be held at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Convention Center in Las Vegas with education programs April 15-17, and Trade Show April 16-17.
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POKERTEK PROMOTION EXTENDED THROUGH MARCH
(Posted February 23, 2009 -- 12:30PM)

There's still time to take advantage of low 5.99% APR financing on PokerTek's Heads-Up Challenge. Operators now have until March 31 to finance the piece. The current promotion is for a term of 24 months and two units must be purchased to qualify for 5.99% financing. The first payment is due 30 days after the contract has been funded. Tax, freight and a $200 filing fee are due up front. Firestone may ask certain customers to make a down payment into the equipment. For product information or to find a local Heads-Up Challenge distributor call 800/785-0284.
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REDEMPTION PLUS DEBUTS PLANET PRIZE
(Posted February 20, 2009 -- 11AM)

Prize supplier Redemption Plus is getting to launch their new Planet Prize online redemption program. Planet Prize is a web-based redemption store available to Redemption Plus customers who also have the Embed system. The system allows FECs to offer customers hundreds of prizes online in addition to what is available at their redemption counter. Not only does this development give the consumer a much wider array of choices, but it also eliminates their wait at the facility to redeem ticket points.

Planet Prize requires players to register their game card in the location and set up a login and password. Then, at their convenience, they log on to the facility's website and begin shopping. Within approximately 14 days, their prize will be delivered directly to their door without any added shipping costs.

"We wanted to provide an easy way to fulfill redemption online," said Ron Hill, founder and president of Redemption Plus. "By driving players to our customer's website, they're able to feature online promotions and begin loyalty marketing campaigns to help increase repeat business. It also eliminates the need to stock large amounts of high-ticket items, filling instead their redemption counter with the fastest moving products."

Attendees at ASI/Fun Expo will get the first look at this system. For additional information, contact Redemption Plus at 888/564-7587 or visit www.redemptionplus.com.
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MEI FORMS VENDING PARTS & SUPPORT TEAM
(Posted February 20, 2009 -- 11AM)

MEI has formed a new business unit focused on after-market support services. MEI Parts & Support will build on MEI's industry-leading network of service centers and expand on existing services available for its customers, including spare parts, technical training and support.

The new business unit will be led by Chuck Reed, an industry veteran with extensive experience in driving customer-focused, after-market business solutions.

"MEI enjoys a leadership position through its long-standing partnerships with the industry's best service centers," Reed said. "Our new Parts & Support business unit enables us to implement solutions that increase operator ROI over the long performance life of MEI products. In today's tough market environment, MEI understands and appreciates that operators need to maximize performance in their existing field base."
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ROWE OFFERS ATTRACTIVE FINANCING ON JUKES
(Posted February 20, 2009 -- 11AM)

Rowe International, working with Firestone Financial, is offering three separate finance offers on their line of broadband digital jukeboxes. These options include:

- 6.99% APR for 24 months on a minimum of three units purchased and no payments for 90 days
- 0.00% APR for 10 months on a minimum of five units purchased and no payments for 30 days
- 5.99% APR for 24 months on a minimum of five units purchased and no payments for 90 days

All applicable taxes, freight and a $200 filing fee are due up front. Firestone may ask certain customers to make a down payment into the equipment. This offer expires on April 30. For product information or to find your local Rowe International distributor, visit www.roweinternational.com.
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REPLAY LAUNCHES FACEBOOK PRESENCE
(Posted February 20, 2009 -- 11AM)

RePlay Magazine is now on Facebook, the popular social networking site that has grown exponentially over the last year. The magazine started a group page on the site this week that was quickly joined by dozens of people from the amusement trade. "Social networking sites like Facebook are a powerful tool for connecting with our readers," said editor Steve White. "We look forward to some exciting dialog with our growing list of members." One member of the group got the discussion ball rolling almost immediately, asking, "What could be done differently to re-energize this industry?" To join the RePlay group on Facebook, search for RePlay Magazine on the website. Membership is open to anyone.
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NAMCO UNLEASHES RAZING STORM
(Posted February 18, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

Namco America says its newest video Razing Storm is ready to explode onto the game scene. From the team that created the Time Crisis series, Razing Storm engages the player in a stirring storyline of vital missions that will decide the fate of the U.S.

Players are given the option in link mode to team up against hundreds of enemy soldiers, and demolish the fully interactive environment. Some levels even make use of other heavy firearms in addition to the machine gun, such as cluster shot and a rocket launcher. Using the foot pedal, the player can duck, hide, and reload with an interactive step. Developers claim the most innovative feature of Razing Storm is advanced enemy artificial intelligence that reacts to the style of each player so everyone has a unique experience.

The game features System 357 graphics that come to life in HD on the 60" DLP monitor mounted just feet from the player. Digital surround-sound blasts out of the speakers, making the game all the more realistic as it separates gunfire, voice commands, background music, sound effects, and bass into different speakers. Of course, there's also the heavy recoiling machine gun enhancing the feeling of every explosive vibration. Razing Storm will begin shipping in March. To learn more, go to www.namcoamerica.com.
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24 FLIPPER GAME HITS THE STREETS
(Posted February 18, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

Jack Bauer is back, but this time he's in Stern Pinball's new 24 pinball machine. Designed by Steve Ritchie and Stern's engineering team, Stern has turned Fox's hit television show into a fast-paced pinball machine that will excite show fans and pinball fanatics alike. It's currently shipping and will headline Stern's booth at ASI in Las Vegas next month.

The pinball incorporates action and storyline elements from the television show, which is now in its seventh season. The new 24 contains original speech by Mary Lynn Rajskub, who plays Chloe on the show, as well as by Kiefer Sutherland, who plays the show's star Jack. Ken Hale oversaw the sound production.

Its playfield features a suitcase that holds and releases pinballs for multi-ball play, a sniper house that opens to reveal a bullet-spraying terrorist, an exploding safe house that one can shoot the pinball into, several single sniper drop targets that can obscure and free up playfield shots and, as always, lots of multi-ball action. Pinball Hall of Fame artist Kevin O'Connor created the artwork, featuring suspenseful backglass and side graphics illustrating the intensity, time limits and intrigue of the story and game.

President Gary Stern said, "24 is the hottest show on television right now, and our game lives up to its reputation. 24 is both challenging to the expert player and easy to understand by the casual player. We are very proud of this game." To learn more, visit www.sternpinball.com for more information.
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GRAPHICS FIRM EXPANDS TO AMUSEMENT BIZ
(Posted February 18, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

Vibo Studio, the graphics solutions company headed by Vincent Bondi, has expanded its products and services to the amusement and vending industries for 2009. Bondi said the company's new offerings are designed for today's tough economy.

"We're putting the emphasis on affordability in order to help operators, distributors, and manufacturers cope with today's challenging financial environment," said Bondi. "Let's face it, when revenues go down, the first place that many companies cut is their marketing budgets and staff. But there's good news. Getting professional non-staff help for your graphics needs can provide a high-quality solution that's fast, successful, and -- in our case -- extremely economical."

Vibo Studio's 2009 portfolio of products and services includes a 20% discount for AAMA members. Operators, distributors and manufacturers need visual communication just as much when times are hard, as when money is rolling in. "A growing percentage of business-to-business transactions in the amusement and vending industries takes place online," Bondi pointed out. "Graphic art is especially important for effective, memorable, easy-to-use company websites and brochures."

Versatile in both print and web, Vibo is a one-stop shop with solutions to all graphics needs under one roof. Convenient service packages make it even easier to bring your vision to reality. You can download all Vibo Packages off their site www.vibostudio.com or email Bondi at vin@vibostudio.com for more information.
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HMS MONACO FORMS SOUVENIR FIRM

HMS Monaco today announced the formation of a brand new sister company, EZ Souvenirs. The company will be headed by Stephen Zutty, an executive involved in the souvenir and promotional fields for the past twenty years.

EZ Souvenirs will offer an extensive line of souvenirs including decorative glass, ceramics, embroidered and logo apparel, and specialty imprinted items. This addition to the HMS Monaco family will provide its customers with a wide-ranging source of products to meet your souvenir and promotional needs, the company said.

HMS Monaco and EZ Souvenirs will both be headquartered at 629 Grove Street, Jersey City, NJ 07310. For more information about EZ Souvenirs' expanded line of products, please call 800-777-0901 or e-mail hmsmonaco@hotmail.com.
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MIDWAY GAMES FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY
(Posted February 16, 2009 -- 5:30PM)

Midway Games, a former coin-op powerhouse that has been focused solely on the consumer market since 2001, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The Chicago-based game maker blamed a recent change in control of the company as the key trigger.

According to a report on TheStreet.com: "In December, Sumner Redstone, the chairman of Viacom and National Amusements, sold an 87% controlling stake in Midway to investor Mark Thomas for $100,000, or less than a penny a share. Thomas also assumed $70 million in senior secured and unsecured debt."

Midway CEO Matt Booty said, "We have been focused on realigning our operations and improving our execution, and this filing will relieve the immediate pressure from our creditors and provide us time for an orderly exploration of our strategic alternatives. This Chapter 11 filing is the next logical step in an ongoing process to address our capital structure."
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MERIT RELEASES MEGATOUCH RX
(Posted February 16, 2009 -- 5:30PM)

Merit Entertainment began shipping it newest countertop, the Megatouch Rx, last month. The elegant, low profile design of the Rx, which was exclusively debuted in the December issue of RePlay Magazine, breaks from the past with a radically different form factor, while continuing to showcase the Megatouch games popular with players. The breakthrough design of the Rx keeps it out of a bartender's way while offering a low-angle ergonomic design preferred by most players. The game is weather-resistant for outdoor bars created in the wake of smoking bans and offers a subtle light show that attracts players but still fits in any locale.

The Rx also builds on Merit's development of high-definition games dating back to Luxor in 2006 and continues Merit's move to widescreen that started with the Aurora WS. The media sidebar takes advantage of the extra screen size with much improved operator-ad capabilities, plus the Rx features fully-integrated credit card support to woo younger players. On the business side, the Rx optionally offers a subscription model for broadband-connected machines. Operators pay only a small monthly fee, which amounts to less than buying software kits, and always receive the latest software while never paying for or installing another kit.

"Opening up new locations for our operators was a major priority when designing the Rx," said Colin Higbie, Merit's director of marketing and new business development. "With outdoor bars springing up all over the place in the wake of smoking bans, we saw an opportunity to help operators take advantage of this change."
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LAI OFFERING FINANCING ON SUPER STRIKE
(Posted February 16, 2009 -- 5:30PM)

LAI Game's Super Strike, the factory's new bowling attraction, is now being offered with a 30-month 5.99% APR financing deal, through a partnership with Firestone Financial. The deal, which requires the purchase of two lanes, is being offered to U.S. buyers only. The game's compact design fits conveniently next to other alley rollers and offers optional cabinet lengths of 12, 15 and 19 feet. To learn more, contact LAI by email at sales@laigames.com.
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ICE SAFE AFTER NEARBY PLANE CRASH
(Posted February 13, 2009 -- 11AM)

The game builders Innovative Concepts in Entertainment tell us their safe after a Continental turbo prop from Newark, N.J., crashed in the same suburb of Buffalo, NY, where their factory is located. The Clarence, NY, crash killed all 49 people on the plane, including the crew, as well as one person on the ground. "Several of us have been on that flight any number of times, especially when we go to visit Betson," said Dan Coppola. "The fires are still burning and I could see the smoke clearly as I came to work." ICE's Joe Coppola said a small diner just down the road from the factory where the staff often lunches was hit by the plan when it crashed Thursday evening, approximately two miles from the ICE plant.
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TOUCHTUNES ANNOUNCES BROADBAND SERVICE
(Posted February 13, 2009 -- 11AM)

TouchTunes is now offering nationwide availability of its new Wireless Broadband Solution. The solution provides all of the benefits of a wired broadband connection, at very competitive rates, without the time consuming, complex installation process of many broadband services. TouchTunes is making the service available following a comprehensive, four-month beta testing program. On average, TouchTunes broadband connected jukeboxes earn 25% more than dial up jukeboxes.

"We focused on offering a more flexible and cost-effective way for TouchTunes digital jukebox operators to use broadband to connect to the TouchTunes network, and now we have it," said Dan McAllister, Sr. VP sales. "The TouchTunes Wireless Broadband Solution provides exactly the value and flexibility our operators told us they want. Broadband is important because we know that TouchTunes digital jukeboxes with high-speed connections offer a great entertainment experience and generate more revenue."

The Wireless Broadband Solution from TouchTunes is available across the U.S. for $10.45 a week with a two-year contract. Not only does the solution generate more revenue, but it also provides an enhanced entertainment experience for users. Wireless Broadband advantages include real-time access to song, more advertising capabilities, wireless connectivity for PlayPorTT hand held gaming devices, credit card transactions, reduced service through system alerts and enhanced diagnostics and the ability for patrons to play and share their personal playlists from myTouchTunes.

Beginning in the second quarter, the TouchTunes Wireless Broadband high-speed connection may be shared with other manufacturers' coin-op amusement equipment, provided the manufacturers comply with the wireless network provider's guidelines and requirements.

"Our new Wireless Broadband Solution, with its great national coverage and low cost, will help us expand our broadband network even further and will help our operators grow their businesses," said Steve Birrell, VP sales. "I'm excited to be able to offer this great solution as I take on my new role working with our entire operator community in addition to our large national accounts."
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JVL EXTENDS FINANCE OPTIONS
(Posted February 13, 2009 -- 11AM)

Four attractive finance options on specific JVL products are being extended until the end of February. Operators can finance with Firestone to receive these special rates, including 1.9% APR for 12 months, 6.99% for 24 months or 8.99% for 36 months on JVL's Encore. The touchscreen game maker is also offering Vortex or Retro at 9.9% APR for 24 months. All options carry a minimum purchase of three units and first payment is due 30 days after the contract is funded. Visit www.firestonefinancial.com or call Firestone's sales department at 800/851-1001 for more details.
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JAMMA SHOW OPENS DOORS TO NON-MEMBERS
(Posted February 11, 2009 -- 4PM)

This year the Japan Amusement Machine Manufacturers Association (JAMMA) will reportedly open its show to non-members. In the past, exhibitors at the group's Amusement Machine Show had been limited to the member companies from Japan.

American Amusement Machine Association President Mike Rudowicz said the Japanese trade organization is considering providing a special exhibit space where suppliers from the United States could have their own pavilion of booths. The JAAMA show will be held September 17-19, 2009.

"Should you be interested in exhibiting, please feel free to contact me directly toll-free at 866/372-5190," informed Rudowicz. "The deadline to express your interest is Friday, February 20th."
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CHINESE POLICE ARREST ALLEGED MEGATOUCH COPIER
(Posted February 11, 2009 -- 4PM)

The Panyu Branch of the Guangzhou Public Security Bureau (Police) arrested Yan Xiancheng, owner of Chengtai Electronics, on January 4, 2009, for suspected criminal offenses under the China Criminal Code of Registered Trademark Counterfeiting. The Panyu Procuratorate issued the arrest warrant that same day.

Xiancheng is charged with allegedly making and selling copies of Megatouch units and will remain in custody until his trial date. If convicted, Xiacheng could receive up to seven years imprisonment. Merit Industries originally filed a complaint with the PSB on February 19, 2008, and Chengtai Electronics was subsequently raided on March 4, 2008. At that time, a large number of copied games, including several Megatouch counterfeits, were seized.

"We applaud the actions of the Chinese government in assisting Merit Industries with the protection of its intellectual property rights in China," said Bob Fay, Merit's Director of Government Relations.
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TOUCHTUNES AWARDS A GIBSON GUITAR TO PATRON
(Posted February 11, 2009 -- 4PM)

TouchTunes recently presented the winner of a sweepstakes with a Gibson guitar autographed by Hinder. Andy Malnar of Tickfaw, Louisiana, is the lucky winner of a Gibson Les Paul Studio guitar signed by each member of the band. The Hinder fan and amateur musician entered to win on a TouchTunes jukebox located at The Castaway bar in nearby Hammond.

"You have no idea what this means to me," said Malnar, who has played the guitar since age four. "Two years ago I lost everything I owned in a home fire, including my guitars, drum kit, and recording equipment. Thank you TouchTunes, thank you Hinder, thank you Gibson Les Paul!"

"This is what it's all about -- connecting fans to the artists they love for a great music experience," said Ron Greenberg, CMO, TouchTunes. "This time it's really special because of Andy's story, plus the fact that he's a big Hinder fan. It's great that it worked out this way, and we hope he rocks on for many many years with his new guitar."

At The Castaway bar, where Malnar plays in a dart league, everyone is very excited for him. "We like to play loud, rowdy music on the TouchTunes jukebox there and everyone is looking forward to the next get together to celebrate my new guitar," he said.

TouchTunes received more than 25,000 entries for the sweepstakes, which ran from October 30 - November 13, 2008 on 20,000 TouchTunes jukeboxes. The promotion was strategically timed with the TouchTunes jukebox release of Take It To The Limit, the highly-anticipated new album by Hinder (Universal/Republic Records). Hinder fans were invited to enter on participating TouchTunes jukebox screens, and at TouchTunes website, for the chance to win a Gibson Les Paul Studio guitar autographed by the band. The sweepstakes details were also promoted online at a number of Hinder fan sites.
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GRAND PRODUCTS TO BUILD COTTON CANDY MACHINE
(Posted February 11, 2009 -- 4PM)

Intermatic Manufacturing of Larne in Northern Ireland has reached agreement with Grand Products of Chicago to begin manufacturing of their Fresh Cotton Candy Vendor in the U.S. Intermatic had previously built this unique vending machine in the UK, where it has operated units since 2004. After expanding sales outside of Europe to Africa, Asia and the Middle East, the company has now chosen 2009 to introduce their product to the American market and will exhibit at the upcoming ASI, Pizza Expo and NAMA Spring Show. Production units are expected to be available for late March or early April delivery and orders are now being taken through its North American distributor network.

David Hawthorne, founder and Managing Director of Intermatic, said "We are extremely pleased to announce our partnership with Grand Products for finally bringing our Fresh Cotton Candy Vendor to the U.S. Having our machines produced in America by them adds even more credibility to our product, since Grand Products is highly regarded throughout the coin-op industry as the leader in manufacturing."

"We feel this product will be a great addition to any location where they're operating vending or amusement equipment and we are honored to have been chosen as the American contract manufacturer," added David Marofske Jr., President of Grand Products. "At a time when operators are searching for new and unique entertainment that can help them become profitable again, this machine addresses their needs."

"Everyone was so impressed with their facility and capabilities when we first toured their factory in Des Plaines that I honestly felt there was very little serious competition for our contract," said Intermatic's Director of New Business Development Brian Duke. "Their commitment to quality control, service and customer support is second to none. We also felt it would greatly benefit our distributors to have a central shipping location in the Midwest. There were so many advantages to choosing Grand Products that it really was an easy choice for us."
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COOKE STEPS DOWN AS CLARION GAMING'S HEAD OF EXHIBITIONS
(Posted February 9, 2009 -- 4PM)

Clarion Gaming's Karen Cooke has stepped down from the post of Head of Exhibitions. Clarion organizes the annual London shows including ATEI and IGE. Cooke, who has a wealth of experience in the gaming and gambling sectors, ends a nine-year association with the exhibitions, the last four of which she spent at the helm of the shows.

"I have experienced the exhibitions first as an exhibitor and then an organizer," she said. "Professionally, 2009 was a very successful show and I feel comfortable that now is the right time to take some time out and recharge the batteries. I will then be taking up another role within the gaming industry."

Peter Rusbridge, Chief Executive of Clarion Gaming, said: "Karen is a one-off and we are very sad to see her go. She played a central role in smoothing the integration of the shows into the Clarion portfolio and was pivotal in the development and successful launch of the International Gaming Expo. But she is leaving the shows in the capable hands of the existing and highly experienced team, which has already commenced planning for 2010."
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RAW THRILLS DEBUTS WATER RACER IN LONDON
(Posted February 9, 2009 -- 4PM)

Game developer Raw Thrills, known for its popular racing games, chose last month's London show to launch their brand new racing title, H2Overdrive, which moves the action from the streets to the water. The piece was displayed in the Brent/Namco stand at ATEI. RePlay contributor Kevin Williams (The Stinger Report) in his ATEI report for this publication writes that the game "harks back to the 1998 Midway success of Hydro Thunder. The new fast pace speedboat game includes an impressive flatscreen cabinet, and keypad for player data storage." According to Williams, members of the same team that worked for Midway on Hydro Thunder developed the game.
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A THIRD LONDON SHOW?
(Posted February 9, 2009 -- 4PM)

Following this year's ATEI London show (see earlier report), the U.K. trade association BACTA (British Amusement Catering Trade Association) has announced plans to explore holding its own show, according to RePlay contributor Kevin Williams (The Stinger Report), who covers the European trade scene on occasion for this publication. Further complicating matters, this year's ATEI show, which is traditionally sponsored by BACTA, saw competition from another upstart, the iGX show organized by InterGame magazine. The iGX show reportedly drew 30 exhibitors and more than 2,000 attendees.

Williams writes in his upcoming ATEI show report for RePlay that BACTA has "started a working party to investigate removing its support of the ATEI / IGE event and holding its own new show, possibly in conjunction with the organizers of iGX. In the changing conditions of the international amusement scene, the previously dominant London show looks to a future where it will not only see competition from disgruntled trade members but also possibly from the very trade association that helped sponsor and launch this venerable event. Only time will tell if cooler heads will prevail. Hopefully, a compromise that involves all parties will be struck for all our good."
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STATES LOOKING AT ANOTHER VLT PUSH
(Posted February 9, 2009 -- 4PM)

A half dozen or more state operator associations are likely to make another sustained push to achieved legalized, regulated video lottery or video poker for their members in light of state budget shortfalls across the U.S. "Don't ever waste a good crisis," declared Ohio Coin Machine Association exec David Corey at last week's AMOA Council of Affiliated States Meeting in Phoenix, summing up a consensus among other state association execs and operator leaders. States considering a revival of some form of legalized, small stakes gaming for operators include Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. "The state needs money so that looks like a direction we can pursue," said North Carolina's Brett Thevaos. "We think it's a great opportunity to explore a gaming bill," added Illinois' ICMOA executive director Rich Mitchell.
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MERIT SLEUTH ON THE TRAIL OF BOGUS JUKES
(Posted February 9, 2009 -- 4PM)

Amusement industry veteran Bob Fay, a former FBI agent who currently serves as Merit's director of government relations, says he is currently working to stamp out illegal digital jukeboxes is cities across the U.S. Merit produces digital music machines and its sister companies, Rowe International and AMI Entertainment, are also involved in selling digital jukes and supplying broadband music. Many of these home-made units, which involve illegal duplicate hard drives, are found in the Hispanic areas of major cities, said Fay. Sometimes the units are housed in a legitimate jukebox cabinet, but the music on the hard drive has not been properly licensed nor have appropriate royalties been paid. In his investigation, Fay is working with federal law enforcement, the major music labels and legitimate operators in the locales where some of these rogue units are on location. Fay, who has headed up AAMA and handled international sales and government affairs for another factory in the past, said he expects some official enforcement action on this matter in the not-too-distant future.
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AMOA STATE ASSOCIATION MEETING UNDERWAY
(Posted February 6, 2009 -- 3PM)

Representatives from amusement industry state associations across the U.S. have gathered in downtown Phoenix, AZ, for the annual AMOA Council of Affiliated States Meeting. Hot topics at this year's meeting include smoking bans, taxes and fees and government relations, not to mention the ins and outs of association politics and promotions.

The two-day meeting kicked off this morning with a panel of prominent equipment manufacturers, who discussed strategies for negotiating the current recession. A consensus emerged quickly, namely that businesses need to focus on their customers' needs at the local and regional level, becoming part of the solution for others and thereby increasing the value of the trading relationship.

Merit CEO Mike Maas made the case that the state of coin drop is more closely linked to the price of a gallon of gas than it is to the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Earnings are down, he said, but press coverage of the overall downturn has magnified the loss of confidence across the trade. "This industry can be recover," he said. "I'm happy to be in this industry. The fundamentals are still good." Ted Furkin of Pyramid Technologies concurred in his own unique way: "Don't give up. Don't stop buying games. Keep rolling forward," he declared.

Following the panel, representatives received a teleconference update from AMOA legal counsel Mike Zolandz about the current legislative environment as well as effective tools for succeeding in legislative advocacy. Look for more updates from the Council of Affiliated States next week on Instant RePlay as well as full coverage in the March issue of RePlay.
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MEGATOUCH GETS FINAL OK IN NORTH CAROLINA
(Posted February 6, 2009 -- 3PM)

A North Carolina Superior Court judge, Abraham Penn Jones, has signed a Consent Order relating to a 2007 lawsuit brought by three operators against the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement Division. The order backs up a previous ruling that Megatouch is a game of skill and not a gaming device. The games are therefore not subject to seizure by North Carolina law enforcement agencies.

"This is a huge victory for Merit, our distributors and our operators in North Carolina," stated Bob Fay, Merit's Director of Government Relations & International Market Development. "This Consent Order makes the ruling permanent and gives our customers the comfort of selling and operating Megatouch without the fear of seizure."

The Consent Order states that the Preliminary Injunction previously entered on December 19, 2007 shall remain in force and become the Final Judgment of the Court. Both the state and the operators agreed with the Consent Order. "Merit is thrilled that our efforts and those of our operators resulted in a fair ruling and confirms that our machines have been and continue to be in compliance with North Carolina law." added Fay.
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CIGARETTE EXCISE TAX SET TO INCREASE
(Posted February 6, 2009 -- 3PM)

President Barack Obama has signed into law a reauthorization and expansion of a children's health insurance program for coverage of uninsured children. The new law is funded by a 61 cent per pack increase in the federal excise tax on cigarettes and similar increases for other tobacco products. The federal tax on cigarettes will rise from the current 39 cents per pack to just over $1. The total tax package is expected to raise approximately $65 billion over 10 years. The cigarette tax increase will become effective April 1, 2009. The new law imposes the increased tax on floor stocks of tobacco products, reduced by a $500 tax credit.
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COURT DEALS SETBACK ON PHTHALATES EXEMPTION
(Posted February 6, 2009 -- 3PM)

The Consumer Product Safety Commission's decision to exempt childrens' products bought before Feb. 10, 2009 from impending federal restrictions on phthalates has been overturned by a federal judge in New York, according to an alert issued today by the New Jersey Amusement Association. The CPSC had issued the exemption to previously purchased items late last year. That apparently means the regulation will apply to both newly purchased items as well as products in inventory purchased before Feb. 10.

Meanwhile South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint has introduced an amendment (SA 270) to the economic stimulus bill that would delay the effective date of the new lead content requirement until August 9, 2009.

"The amendment also suspends enforcement by CPSC and state attorneys general until the final regulations are in place, waives civil penalties for first good faith violations, and directs the U.S. Small Business Administration to develop a compliance guide for small businesses," the New Jersey association reported. "Because this amendment was written before the court decision was released it does not contain provisions to delay the effective date of the phthalate ban.

"Debate on the stimulus bill continues today and while it is unlikely this amendment will pass without Democrat support, we still feel the Senate needs to hear from members of the attractions industry about the challenges presented in complying with the CPSIA by February 9, 2009," the New Jersey group concluded.
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JACOBS EXITS BMI
(Posted February 4, 2009 -- 7:30PM)

Industry veteran Paul Jacobs has announced his resignation as president of BMI Gaming, the online supplier of amusement equipment. His exit was effective January 21, but he has been retained as a part-time senior consultant to the firm. "I truly enjoyed my two years heading up the day-to-day operations of BMI Gaming. The e-commerce world was a thrilling experience for me, and I am proud of the company's achievements made under my tenure. Although these are difficult times in our industry, BMI is well positioned for continued success, and I sincerely wish them well," said Jacobs. He can be reached at 561/741-8751, or via email at pcjacobs@comcast.net.
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IS VIDEO POKER MAKING A COMEBACK?
(Posted February 4, 2009 -- 9AM)

Politics makes strange bedfellows, says the old adage, and that is never more true than in times of economic strife when resources are scarce. Officials in at least two states may be looking to video poker, long seen as a societal scourge by many, to help shore up their dwindling tax base. Does this signal a possible comeback for the often unwanted stepchild of the gaming industry? Only time will tell.

Pennsylvania is reportedly one of the states considering an expansion of gambling to include tavern-based pokers to help fund financial aid programs for college students, according to a report this week from the Associated Press. Tax revenue from poker games would help pay for the $128 million plan, the report detailed.

Meanwhile, a state senator in South Carolina has voiced support for reviving video poker nine years after the games were sent packing by a controversial state Supreme Court decision. According to news reports, Charleston Senator Robert Ford even intends to run for governor in 2010 on a pro-poker platform, predicting tax revenues of $750 million from the machines. He is proposing a statewide referendum.

However, law enforcement officials in Chicago appear to be bucking this trend. Cook County sheriffs picked up more than 30 poker games in the city's southern suburbs this week, although no arrests were made, according to the Chicago Tribune.
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ATEI DRAWS MORE THAN 8,200
(Posted February 4, 2009 -- 9AM)

Organizers of last week's ATEI and International Gaming Expo shows in London say the combined events drew more than 23,000 attendees to the Earls Court convention center, representing an increase of just over 1% from last year's attendance. Those figures were based on numbers from the first two days of the shows.

"On Wednesday I spent the entire day with exhibitors and didn't leave once," reported U.S. tradester and RePlay columnist Frank Seninsky of Amusement Entertainment Management. "There's no place on earth where you could see so many of the world's top games. ATEI is also about sharing information and learning about the threats, challenges and opportunities that face us all."

AAMA chairman Mike Rudowicz spent much of ATEI in conversation with foreign amusement associations and tradeshow organizers. "I had several association meetings about amusement concerns worldwide," said Rudowicz. "Whether it's Europe, Asia or the U.S., we're all in the same boat. Governments are concerned as well and are looking at ways to get additional revenue. We're usually in their sights when it comes to finding more revenue. So we talked about different aspects of our business and how to help our members with opportunities to bring their product in." Rudowicz met with members of Euromat, BACTA and the Amusement Industry Counsul of Europe, as well as show organizers for RAAPA and product expositions in Italy and Dubai.

ATEI attracted 8,220 dedicated visitors with a further 2,819 IGE badge holders crossing into the amusement event. This equates to a 1.2 per cent year-on-year increase. The top represented nations (outside the U.K.) were Italy (374), Spain (268), Netherlands (173), Irish Republic (161) and Sweden (148). More than 75 countries were represented on the show floor including the first ever visitor from Azerbaijan.

Attendees at the IGE gaming show, which comprised exhibitors from the low-stake gaming, remote gaming, lotteries, betting and land-based casinos, numbered 14,860 (11,925 in 2008). An increase in visitors from the remote gaming sector and the new addition of the low stake gaming, betting and lotteries contingent was balanced by a reported decrease in the number of visitors from the land-based casino market. A further 3,523 ATEI badge holders crossed over into IGE.
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REDEMPTION PLUS NAMES JASON KORT DIRECTOR OF MARKETING
(Posted February 4, 2009 -- 9AM)

Redemption Plus has named Jason Kort as its Director of Marketing. His responsibility will be to influence businesses that need redemption and incentive merchandise to know, like and trust Redemption Plus. He will manage all aspects of the supplier's marketing policies, objectives and initiatives. "Redemption Plus has a proven track record of building profitable redemption programs and I am excited to help build awareness on this innovative company," said Kort.

Jason brings over 14 years of marketing and advertising experience working with clients such as Sprint, Blockbuster, and Wal-Mart. Prior to joining the Redemption Plus team, he was the Marketing Director for SoftVu where he provided marketing strategy and creative content for their clients. He also helped grow the online start-up at Sunlight Saunas to over $15 million in sales in less than three years. Jason is also an advocate for marketing automation and his writings can be seen in a variety of business publications and blogs.
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CENTURY CLUB MEETING SET FOR ASI
(Posted February 2, 2009 -- 4PM)

The Century Club, a group of industry veterans dedicated to ongoing dialogue about issues affecting the business, will hold its next meeting at the ASI show on Thursday, March 12. This get-together of industry long-timers will run from 2-4pm in the Convention Center's room N230. If you've got 25 or more years in the biz and you're going to the show, don't miss it.
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SHELTI OFFERING BAYSIDE DISCOUNT
(Posted February 2, 2009 -- 4PM)

Pool table maker Shelti is offering its Bayside table, the factory recently announced. For every table up to 14 purchased, operators will get $100 off each table. The discount increases to $150 per table for purchases of 15 tables or more. The offer is good through March 31. Call 877/893-1739 for more details.
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ROCK-OLA DEBUTS NEW FINANCING OPTIONS
(Posted February 2, 2009 -- 4PM)

Rock-Ola is offering three separate, first-quarter financing options on its digital jukeboxes, working in conjunction with Firestone Financial. The options are: 0% interest for two or more jukeboxes for 10 months, 6.99% interest on two or more jukeboxes for 24 months, or 5.99% interest on three or more jukeboxes for 24 months. This Firestone program is designed to work with the current quarter's AMI free music promotion, which is currently offered on the purchase of Rock-Ola jukeboxes. To learn more about how these promotions can work in concert, call Rock-Ola National Sales Manager Jim Belt at 630/212-0871 (email jbelt@rock-ola.com) or Rock-Ola Sales Coordinator Andrea Kowalski at 310/328-1306. Ext. 123, (email akowalski@rock-ola.com).
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BETSON OFFERS LEASE FOR BIG BUCK TRADE-INS
(Posted February 2, 2009 -- 4PM)

Betson Financial Services is currently offering a limited time lease to U.S. operators who trade in their Big Buck Hunter Pro for a Big Buck Safari upright. The low monthly lease payment is $89.

"We have created a limited time lease program that will allow operators to trade-up their old machine with very little money down," said Kevin Fritz, VP of Betson Financial Services. "We have designed this lease offer as well as our other current lease options with the operator in mind. By offering low monthly payments our operators are able to supply their locations with latest equipment during these challenging economic times."

The lease includes 24 payments with a $1200 residual buy-out. There is no advance payment. Prepaid freight, filing fee, and applicable taxes apply. Offer valid to qualified buyers and subject to credit approval. All trade-ins must have clear title. For more information, call 201-438-1300, ext. 3318, or email info@betson.com.
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January 2009 (Go back to main 2009 menu)

BRUCE KAWUT EXITS MONDUCE
(Posted January 30, 2009 -- 4:30PM)
Longtime Monduce topper Bruce Kawut has exited the operating company that he led for many years. "We wish Bruce well in his future endeavors," said Jack Guarnieri, CEO of the company, which also has a new name. Monduce Inc. is now Elaut USA Inc., following a buyout and restructuring last year. Guarnieri is joined in the company's leadership by president Neal Rosenberg, CFO Knut Danielsen and VP of Operations Rich Listash. "Among just these four industry professionals, there is an aggregate amusement industry experience in excess of 120 years," Guarnieri said. "The company is well positioned to provide excellent service and profitable operations as we continue to grow and build on our valued relationships."
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TOUCHTUNES UNVEILS FINANCE DEALS
(Posted January 30, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

TouchTunes and Firestone Financial are working together to offer two new finance promotions. The first program is good on all TouchTunes jukeboxes and includes three different finance options: 0% APR for 12 months, 6.99% for 24 months, and 8.99% for 36 months. All three plans are applicable for purchases of three or more units, and have a first payment due after 30 days.

Another way to take advantage of a Firestone/TouchTunes deal is to finance a TouchTunes CD conversion kit and pay no interest for 12 months. This offer is good on purchases of two or more units, with a first payment due after 30 days.

"Firestone and TouchTunes always try to offer our customers the best deals possible. The time is right to provide operators with not just one, but two promotions featuring 0% interest," said Sal Cifala, Firestone sales executive. Both of these plans expire March 31, 2009.
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MERIT PLAYERS CELEBRATE IN STYLE
(Posted January 30, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

The spirit of competition was strong nationwide in the last days of 2008 as players from Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Washington took home the top honors in Merit's Holiday Cheer Take 2 Tournamaxx Tournament.

First place went to Chapel Hill, NC resident Randy Luenburg. Randy earned his 145,483-point average playing at Babineau's Billiards in Selma, NC on a touchscreen from Raleigh Amusements. "We see a nice jump in revenue thanks to Tournamaxx," said Rick Godwin of Raleigh Amusements. "The players enjoy it and we do too."

Tom Carey of Hazelton, PA took second place with an average score of 145,250 points. Tom plays in West Hazelton on an Aaaamusements Rrr Usss machine at Amore Pizza. C.R.J. Seely rounded out the top three with an average of 144,749 points while playing at Moose Lodge #2147 in Royal City, WA. Rob's Amusements operates the Moose Lodge.

The Holiday Cheer Single Game High Score winner was Rich Shaffer. Rich hit the super score of 155,795 while playing at the High Level in his hometown of Lehighton, PA on a Rex Vending Megatouch.

"Thanks to everyone involved in making this Holiday Cheer tournament another great one," said Bob Mills, Merit's VP of North American Sales. "Take 2 is a player favorite. It's because of the support of our operators and players that Tournamaxx remains such a successful Megatouch feature."
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BULLSHOOTER TAKES AIM AT SOUTH CAROLINA AND OHIO
(Posted January 30, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

The Bullshooter Tour rolled through South Carolina and Ohio at the end of 2008, qualifying participants for the Bullshooter Finals over the 2009 Memorial Day weekend. The South Carolina Regional Bullshooter was held at the Ocean Dunes Resort & Villas. Brady Distributing and Green Coin Distributing co-sponsored the $10,000 qualifier.

Brian Blake won three championships there in Pro Singles, Mixed Cricket with Charlie Daniel and Mixed Triples with Charlie and David Murray. Jerry Hilbourne and Bryan Stamey won both Pro Doubles and Pro/Am Cricket. Meanwhile, Joe Cadreau and Ty Raymond won Men's Doubles and then took second in Men's Cricket Doubles after being defeated by Britt Whitley and Dean Jay. In the women's events, Tammy Light and Sandra Walters won Women's Doubles, and Marcia Marcum and Jodi Kirkpatrick won Women's Doubles Combo. Sandra Walters took her second championship in Women's Singles after defeating Marcia Marcum in the final match.

The Ohio Bullshooter event took over the Holiday Inn in Hudson, Ohio, with sponsorship from Shaffer Distributing out of Columbus. Laurie Carpenter was a big winner there, capturing two championships in Mixed Cricket with John Bennett and Women's Doubles Combo with Tracy Messinger. In singles events, Ken Wright won the pretigious Pro Singles, Kay Hoover won Women's Singles and Neil Quenon won Men's Singles Cricket. Neil Quenon also took home two championships, including second place in Men's Cricket Doubles with Chris Russano.

Top three winners by division received qualifying cards to the finals, which take place May 21-25, 2008. For more information, see www.bullshooter.com.
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LA OPERATOR KILLED IN BIKE CRASH
(Posted January 28, 2009 -- 5:30PM)

Los Angeles area route operator Kyle Wang (Videotronix) was killed Sunday night in a motorcycle accident, according to a report on The Daily News website today. "Kyle Wang of Woodland Hills died at a local hospital after losing control of his Harley-Davidson around 10:20 p.m. at Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Alizondo Drive," the paper reported. "Wang landed 161 feet away from the curb. He was wearing a half-shell helmet, which only covers the top part of the head."
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FORMER AMOT PREXY IS GONE
(Posted January 28, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

Texas operator Mike Hello of Capitol Amusement Co. in Austin passed away on January 22 following a brief and courageous battle with cancer. The former two-time AMOT president was 56. Funeral services were held Monday, January 26 at St. Mary Cathedral.

Hello was born in Austin on March 4, 1952, and later attended Holy Cross High School and McCallum High School. At the age of 16, Mike began working for his father Lee Hello in the family business, Capitol Amusement. After his father's retirement, Mike continued to operate the business with his brothers, Chris and Joseph, and son, Andrew. Mike led the company for 38 years. Capitol Amusement will celebrate 50 years in April of this year. Hello was an active member of AMOT and served in the top elected spot to times.

He is survived by his loving wife, Cindy, with whom he celebrated 38 years of marriage in December; his mother Anna Mae Hello; daughter Amy Edelmon and her husband Donny; son Andrew Hello and wife Cassie; daughter, Elizabeth Hello; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was "Poppy" to his adoring grandchildren, Jay, Avery, Haley, Madeline and a granddaughter to come in April. Donations may be made to Hospice Austin (www.hospiceaustin.org), 4107 Spicewood Springs Road, Ste. 100, Austin, TX 78759, (512) 342-4700.
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PINBALL TOURNEY DRAWS NEW PLAYERS
(Posted January 28, 2009 -- 4:30PM)

The GameWorks Pinball Tournament of Champions held at the Streets of Woodfield in Schaumburg, IL, last month proved that a well-organized promotion can have a lasting effect on bottom line revenues, report its organizers. The entire undertaking was neatly aided by an aggressive publicity campaign that resulted in a diverse mix of media coverage including WBBM and WGN radio as well as local news features in the Daily Herald, Pioneer Press and Chicago Tribune.

The inaugural event drew 55 players, and more than half of those players had never participated in a pinball tournament before. Roger Sharpe, co-director of the IFPA said: "We never anticipated this first ever GameWorks tournament would result in so many players competing. Admittedly, Chicago in winter is not the best place for getting around and especially just before the holidays. What was a nice surprise was the support by the entire staff and management's commitment to provide signage as well as move their five pinball machines from the top floor down near the front entrance."

The tournament reportedly generated over $1,400 on four pinball machines over the two days of the tournament. This was a significant increase over their usual earnings. A month later, with the same pinball machines in operation, GameWorks' pinball revenues have remained at a 40% increase over their average pre-tournament.

With over three decades as owner/operator of New York City's Broadway Arcade, IFPA co-director Steve Epstein offered this assessment: "As someone who was in the business on the front lines for the majority of my life, there is no mystery to the GameWorks success. Promotions can always help build traffic and, when they are executed correctly, they can sustain increased business. The players are there. They just need an incentive to come out and have fun. And what this event demonstrates is that all involved benefit." To learn more about the IFPA, check the organization website www.ifpapinball.com.
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NEW OFFICERS TAKE THE LEAD AT NDA
(Posted January 26, 2009 -- 3:30PM)

A new slate of officers has now assumed leadership of the AMOA-National Dart Association for 2009. They include President Robert Tolliver; VP Chris Warren; and Secretary/Treasurer Maggie Jones.

The board of directors has also welcomed new members. They are Marcia Petersen, Vend Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska and Judy Mehle, BMW Billiards, Ft. Collins, Colorado. Jason Paterchak, Ohio Vending League Systems, Elyria, Ohio was re-elected for a second term.

Robert Tolliver is the General Manager and Dart League Coordinator for TNT Enterprises Wagner, South Dakota. He has served in this position for 13 years running 13 leagues and sanctioning over 800 players per year. He also serves as the Tournament Director for the South Dakota Singles & Doubles Tournament. Robert is a Certified Referee at the South Dakota State Tournament and serves as a Master Referee for the NDA.

Chris Warren entered the business as a partner in Capital Music in his hometown of Helena, Montana in 1981. In 2005, Century Gaming of Billings acquired his route. Chris currently directs the company's Helena-based operations. Chris is a past AMOA President and for the past four years, Chris has been the AMOA liaison to the NDA. He has also been a tireless and successful fundraiser for the Wayne E. Hesch Scholarship Program.

Maggie Jones is the Dart League Coordinator and League Team Leader for Blackhawk Music Company in Sterling, Illinois. She has been in the coin-op business for ten years and involved with the dart leagues for eight of those years. Blackhawk has a player base of approximately 450 players and runs nine leagues each year. Maggie also participates in her leagues so she is able to get instant feedback from Blackhawk's players. She enjoys working at the Illinois State Pool and Dart Tournament and Team Dart in Las Vegas.

Other board members include: Dawn Orloff-Niesen (American Amusement Arcade -- Bloomington, Minnesota); Robert Nisbet (Bullshooter SL -- Madrid, Spain); Sam Zammuto (Arachnid); Cathy Scarbrough (Shelti); Manufacturer Sponsor Chris Peppard (Medalist Corporation -- Pacific, Washington); Helmut Schneller (NSM-Lowen Entertainment); and Mate Vukoja (Cyberdine d.o.o., Sesvete, Croatia).
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LAI CONTINUES COPYCAT CRACKDOWN
(Posted January 26, 2009 -- 3:30PM)

LAI Games, as part of it continued effort to protect the firm's copyright and intellectual property rights, has reportedly started to collect and destroy unauthorized Chinese copies of its games that were already on location.

The factory worked with authorities at the Chinese Copyright Bureau last November on a raid that resulted in the confiscation of an entire production run of illegal copies of Stacker games, which were being produced under a number of different names.

"We will continue to round up copy games and take actions against companies that manufacture, import, distribute or operate copies of our games," said LAI CEO Alan Freimuth. "It's not an easy process. It's time consuming and costly but we are committed to protecting our rights."
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PIN GAME MUSEUM LAUNCHES WEBSITE
(Posted January 26, 2009 -- 3:30PM)

The National Pinball Museum has launched its website atwww.nationalpinballmuseum.org. Log on to check out unique pinball premiums for gift ideas, learn about a little-known pinball museum in Paris that could make your next vacation tax-deductible and sign up for the National Pinball Museum's quarterly newsletter Tilt. The debut issue will discuss curator David Silverman's recent interview with living legend, pinball designer and engineer Wayne Neyens.
Silverman's nonprofit foundation is still seeking a suitable space to tell the history of pinball's contribution to American pop culture through a collection of 700 games. Cash donations and contributions of memorabilia, from ads to publications to games and parts, are welcome and tax deductible. If in Maryland, contact David for a behind-the-scenes tour of his collection and the 40 vintage games he has set up to play at dsilverman@nationalpinballmuseum.org or 301/384-3802.
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CHINESE AUTHORITIES RAID PANYU COPY COMPANIES
(Posted January 21, 2009 -- 9PM)

Panyu and Nancun authorities from the Chinese Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC) conducted a raid on January 13th at the CHA factory located in the Panyu District, Guangzhou. The raid, based on CHA's alleged violation of Merit's China trademarks, resulted in the seizure of eighteen complete Megatouch machine copies.

"The seized units were transported by the authorities to the AIC warehouses and appropriate penalties will be issued," stated Robert C. Fay, Merit's Director of Government Relations. "It was determined that these copy machines were destined for Viet Nam and investigations will be conducted."

On January 15th, authorities conducted a second raid, this time on a North Star factory, also located in Panyu. Ten upright Megatouch machine copies were seized during this action. CHA's and North Star's alleged illegal activities were discovered through Merit's China Monitoring Program. "To protect the integrity of Megatouch, we have teams of agents that monitor suspected copy companies on a regular basis," stated Fay. "Once we confirm illegal activities, we instruct our China team to take action."

Baker & McKenzie, Merit's IP legal counsel in China, coordinated the raids. Fay also praised the efforts of the Chinese AIC authorities for their swift action.
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BENCHMARK AND NOVA PARTNER ON POKERKARD
(Posted January 21, 2009 -- 9PM)

Benchmark Games says it will manufacture and distribute Nova Productions Ltd.'s PokerKard exclusively in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. PokerKard is a one- to four-player touch screen cocktail table video game featuring Texas Hold'Em. PokerKard, which offers players a chance to pit their poker skills against each other for fun, is designed and targeted for bar, hospitality and club locations. Samples will be available in February with quantity shipments appearing in March.

"We've loved PokerKard ever since we saw it last October in the U.K.", remarked Al Kress, Benchmark's president. We heard about its great earnings there and are excited that we've been able to replicate them in multiple test bar locations here in the U.S."

"Benchmark are the ideal partner for Nova and PokerKard in the American market," noted Nova's Peter Robinson. "We're excited about the relationship and Benchmark's ability to deliver a quality product at a competitive price. We know that U.S. operators will love PokerKard and their customers will love it even more".

"Peter and I have known Al, Ron, Gene Lipkin and Benchmark for many years and are convinced they will do a great job in delivering this great game to the U.S. operating community over the next several years," said Kevin Hayes, Nova's American representative. Nova Productions Ltd. is a long established UK coin-op company specializing in the UK's SWP (Skill with Prizes) market.
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NSM MUSIC HONORS OPERATOR AND DISTRIBUTOR
(Posted January 21, 2009 -- 9PM)

Jukebox maker NSM Music last month announced their first-ever operator and distributor of the year awards. The winners were Modern Specialty Co. of Madison, Wis., and the Lieberman Companies with offices in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Modern Specialty installed the 2,000th NSM Icon jukebox at Scatz Bar in Middleton, Wis. "Modern Specialty Company has not only gotten behind our product and put more than a few on their route but the entire service department has gone through a comprehensive school and has a tremendous grasp of the Icon," said Geno Giuntoli, sales topper at NSM.

"When we install a new location we have one chance to impress them and set us ahead of the competition, not only in looks but also sound quality," said Modern Specialty's Roger Westmont. "In both cases the NSM Icon with its gigantic monitor and ability to be made in whatever color the location wants makes Modern Specialty shine over the competition."

Guintoli went on to say of their distributors honoree: "Lieberman Companies Wisconsin office has done an outstanding job this last year not only in getting NSM Icon jukeboxes out in the field but also in the support of the units."

Lieberman also had the pleasure of taking NSM Music's 2,000th Icon at the tail end of December 2008 setting the total sales of the units worldwide at 5,000 units.

PLAY MECHANIX HIRES RYAN CRAVENS
(Posted January 21, 2009 -- 9PM)

Ryan Cravens, formerly of Betson Midwest, has joined Play Mechanix, where he has been appointed to the newly created position of CoinUp Sales and Promotions. His duties will include helping non CoinUp operators join the network and connect their games, as well as creating live body events for CoinUp connected machines.

"The CoinUp Network is a very exciting product that has proven to earn operators more money as well as give them unprecedented control over their machines by allowing them to run their own events and contests," said Dave Snipes, CoinUp Manager. "We are excited that Ryan has joined our team. With his expertise and product knowledge, CoinUp is sure to continue to grow to new levels."
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BIG BASS WHEEL IS NOW STREET READY
(Posted January 21, 2009 -- 9PM)

Bay Tek Games is proud to announce the release of Big Bass Wheel Prize Coupon Game. With the addition of a thermal printer and prize chart, the highly successful ticket redemption game can now be located in any location.

Players spin the wheel and are rewarded with a point coupon instead of tickets. The coupon is then redeemed for a prize displayed on the game's Prize Chart or saved for larger prizes in the future, encouraging repeat play. The Prize Chart, which you request from Bay Tek's website (www.baytekgames.com), is displayed in the game's monitor and as an 8.5" x 11" sticker on the front of the game.

"It's time for our street operators to capitalize on the success of the number one ticket redemption game in the industry," said Bay-Tek sales topper Rick Rochetti. "This game now works in non-ticket redemption locations like movie theatres, bowling centers, roller rinks, truck stops, and more."
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BRITNEY SPEARS LEADS ECAST "CIRCUS" OF FAVORITES
(Posted January 21, 2009 -- 9PM)

Pop princess Britney Spears is back on top with her hit single "Womanizer" taking the top spot on the December BarPulse followed by BarPulse repeat offenders Kanye West and Ludacris.

The monthly Ecast BarPulse reflects the new music American bar-goers choose to listen to and share with others when out mingling with friends in public places. In December, the top plays ran exclusively to Hip Hop and Pop artists, shutting out Rock and Country from the top 10. Britney Spears took the number one and four spots with music from her new album Circus.

Kanye West landed three spots with songs from 808s & Heartbreak and the re-released single "Flashing Lights." Grammy-nominated Jamie Foxx, whose album was featured on the Ecast network, also got two songs from Intuition in the top ten, and rapper Plies with his song "Put It On Ya" rounding out the chart.

Akon's latest protege, Lady Gaga, has something new to sing about. Her infectious track "Let's Dance" out-performed all charting tracks by the online download and airplay favorite superstar Kanye West, coming in at number two.

"The BarPulse charts over the past year show that Ecast most played music is often an eclectic mix but always includes the latest popular music," said Lisa Tiver, Sr. VP of business affairs for Ecast.
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SEGA UNVEILS R-TUNED
(Posted January 19, 2009)

Sega Amusements will begin shipping its newest videogame, R-Tuned, this month. The game lets players fly through urban racecourses with tricked-out auSega R-Tunedtos. There are 16 courses in R-Tuned from which to pick in New York, Hong Kong and Japan.

Players also choose from various types of autos, including sports cars and muscle cars like the Corvette C3, Viper, Supra and Fairlady Z, each of which can be modified with a range of tuning parts, graphics and neon tubes. Other options include Nitro Tune and Unlimited Boost with single and head-to-head modes, both of which enhance the movie-like excitement of racing. Look for more on this standard-size cabinet racer in a future issue of RePlay.

In other Sega news, the factory announced that it has extended its current financing offers through Firestone until the end of March. Check with your local Sega distributor for more details.
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RENO GAMES RETURNS TO ROOTS
(Posted January 19, 2009)

Fifteen years ago, Marty Shumsky and the Reno Games crew pulled up stakes at 5301 Longley Lane, Bldg. D #149 and moved about a mile and a half down the road to the present spot. Effective Feb. 1, they're moving back to the old place mentioned above. They're keeping present phone and fax numbers.
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AM EX SET FOR MARCH IN DUBLIN
(Posted January 19, 2009)

The 30th Irish Gaming and Amusement Trade Exhibition will be held at the Green Isle Hotel, Dublin, on March 3-4. Opening hours will be from noon to 6 p.m. both days, and admission is free to members of the trade.

AmEx 2009 will present the Irish gaming industry seminar, a fact-filled session that will update delegates on recent happenings in the Irish gaming industry presented by the organizers of the Irish Gaming Conference. The session will take place on March 4 at 10 a.m. and be led by gaming consultant John Purcell. From arcades to casinos and from bookmakers to single site operators, this session will update attendees on all market influences that are impacting the industry.

AmEx is organized by MD Associates, supported by the Irish Gaming and Amusement Association (member of Euromat), sponsored by Coin-Op News and promoted by many international gaming and amusement trade publications and exhibitions. To learn more, check out the show website www.coin-opexpo.eu.
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ACES WIRED CASE UP IN THE AIR
(Posted January 16, 2009)

A mistake in handling evidence by state officials may jeopardize the prosecution's case against Texas-based Aces Wired, a high-tech redemption system that rewards players with points redeemable for gift certificates. Texas authorities are trying to prosecute the company including 14 defendants for allegedly violating state gambling laws.

According to a report in the Corpus Christi Caller Times, key evidence including documents related to the case have been misplaced by the District Clerk's Office. Last year, authorities seized 90 machines and a large sum of cash as part of a series of raids against the company across Texas. Machines were seized in Corpus Christi, Dallas, Ft. Worth and San Antonio. An attorney for the defendants has filed a motion to have the misplaced evidence thrown out because of the mishandling. A trial has been scheduled for February 17.

Aces Wired CEO Kenneth Griffith says his company's machines do not violate Texas laws prohibiting gambling.
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GLOBAL VR TO DEBUT JUSTICE LEAGUE
(Posted January 16, 2009)

Global VR will debut its new comic book adventure game, Justice League: Heroes United, at this month's ATEI show in London. Based on the DC Comics Justice League series, Heroes United provides players with non-stop action and an opportunity to save the world from a host of DC Comics villains.

"As huge DC Comic Book fans, developing this game has been a dream come true for many of us," said Mike Kruse, the game's lead producer. "Players will be able to use all of the heroes' super moves such as heat vision, freeze breath, lasso, tiara and more to conquer evil that threatens the world. Our designers have taken their time to ensure that all the familiar elements of an exciting action/adventure arcade game are there, as well as a few surprises."
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BULK VENDING SHOW MOVES VENUE
(Posted January 16, 2009)

The National Bulk Vendors Association has changed the date and location of the 2009 annual convention and tradeshow. The show will now take place at Bally's Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on April 16-18, one week earlier than the original date. The change was necessary for a number of reasons and ultimately will provide a better and more economical experience for association members and show goers.

"We've been having complaints about Caesars Palace for years now and were unable to make any changes because of a long-term commitment we had made," said Randy Chilton, president of the NBVA. "In order for us to survive in these troubled times, we need as many people as possible to attend the convention, stay at the hotel, support our events and become involved in a cause which ultimately puts food on all our tables."

The 2010 convention is planned for Orlando. For more information, contact NBVA at 888/NBVA-USA.
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BENCHMARK OFFERS LEASE, REVENUE SHARE DEALS
(Posted January 16, 2009)

Benchmark Games is now offering Pop It Xtreme under a unique lease or revenue share agreement. Both agreements are for a period of 52 weeks with the revenue share deal offering end-of-term ownership. Under the lease arrangement, operators can run the game, collect it and return it at the end of the lease. Each deal comes with a one-year, front-to-back, top-to-bottom warranty.
To learn more, call 888/538-1000, ext. 112, or 561/253-3300; website www.benchmarkgames.com.
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I.T. BOOSTS SILVER STRIKE PRIZES
(Posted January 16, 2009)

Incredible Technologies' Silver Strike Bowling is entering 2009 on a roll. To keep the momentum going I.T. is increasing prizes while keeping fees unchanged.

Starting in January the typical monthly mega-prize will increase approximately 50% from $5,000 to $7,500. The ten weekly $100 cash prizes will be consolidated into one $1,000 prize. "Although we had more winners with the $100 prize, it just didn't generate the excitement that the $1,000 prize did," said sales topper Don Pesceone. "The return to $1,000 will be a big hit with the players."

Get the full story at Instant RePlay.
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GAMEFLY PARTNERS WITH MEGANET
(Posted January 14, 2009)

GameFly, a popular online video game rental service, has launched an interactive advertising campaign through AMI Meganet's digital out-of-home network. AMI Meganet is a joint venture of Merit and AMI Entertainment. Location patrons can now view GameFly ads and sign up for a free trial subscription to the video game service through more than 15,000 broadband-enabled Megatouch touchscreens and AMI jukes.

"True gaming fans will find ways to play games wherever they are, whether it be at home or out with friends at their favorite bar," said Mike Nickerson, VP of advertising for AMI Meganet. "We're thrilled that GameFly can use our engaging entertainment medium to appeal to players everywhere." The national campaign will last through December 2009.
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AAMA PARES BACK LTS VENUES
(Posted January 14, 2009)

The American Amusement Machine Association has pulled back on two of its usual Location Trade Show venues because demand fell short of the number of exhibitors required for it to be an industry certified event.

One of those two is this month's ATEI show in London, although a number of AAMA members will still exhibit separately. Two of their five planned exhibitors decided not to go, forcing them to relinquish sponsorship of the usual AAMA pavilion.

AAMA President Mike Rudowicz will attend the London show on behalf of the association and participate in a number of meetings with members of the international trade. Read more at Instant RePlay.
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ECAST BEST OF 2008 GOES LIVE
(Posted January 14, 2009)

Ecast has just launched its Best of 2008, a collection of 40 of the most-played songs on the network over the course of 2008. The playlist automatically appeared on all 10,000-plus Ecast-powered jukeboxes across the nation. The Best of 2008 was designed to give additional visibility to the Ecast catalog, encouraging single song downloads and thereby boosting cashbox revenue.

Among the top plays of 2008 are those from artists who were promoted on the Ecast network including AC/DC and Blake Shelton. Get the full story at Instant RePlay.
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TWO-FOR-ONE SHOW DEAL FOR AMOA OPS
(posted Monday, January 12, 2009 -- 7:30 p.m.)

AMOA has worked out a special arrangement with the American Amusement Machine Association (AAMA) and the Leisure & Entertainment Trade Shows (LETS) to offer AMOA operator member attendees the opportunity to receive one free badge with the purchase of one admission badge, according to a report in the recent AMOA Off The Top email newsletter.

The deal is limited to the first 100 AMOA ops who sign up for either the ASI or Fun Expo To qualify, badges must be ordered prior to the advance registration deadline of February 2, 2009, and only one free badge per member firm can be offered

The co-located shows will be held March 11-13, 2009 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The headquarters hotel is the Flamingo Hilton, with a reduced rate of $99 per night. For more information, visit the websites of the two shows: www.asi-show.com or www.funexpo.com.
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MERIT'S AUTUMN HARVEST PROVES BOUNTIFUL
(posted Monday, January 12, 2009 -- 7:30 p.m.)

The competition was blazing in Merit's Autumn Harvest Card Bandits Tournamaxx Tournament with the top two scorers being separated by just 800 points. The top score went to John Walsh of Chapman, KS. He earned his average score of 331,880 on a B & K Enterprises touchscreen at The G Spot in Junction City, KS.

Coming in second was Jonathan Klee of Kent, OH. Jonathan played at the Windsor Pub in Akron where he averaged 331,080 on a Bell Music Megatouch. Debbie Kahle of York, PA came in third and also won the Single Game High Score title for the month. Debbie's third place average was 328,200, but for her Single Game High Score, she hit an astonishing 342,700 points. Debbie plays at the VFW York, which is operated by Staff Amusements.

"Overall Tournamaxx is a great program for us," said Rob Blanken of B & K Enterprises, operator of the winning game. "The bar owners and our other clients ask for it in their locations and really like having it. We're certainly happy with Tournamaxx."
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BIG BUCK SAFARI TOURNAMENT GETS BEESTLY
(posted Monday, January 12, 2009 -- 7:30 p.m.)

Play Mechanix is looking for more hunter heroes with its King of the Beests, the second Big Buck Safari Online National Tournament. The number of Big Buck Safari online games has doubled since the kick off tournament, which means players are likely to see an entirely different set of names on the leader board. The Big Buck Safari King of the Beests Tournament offers a top prize of $250 and a total prize pool of over $750. The tournament runs through to January 21. The only way to participate in these online tournaments is on a Big Buck Hunter Pro online and Big Buck Safari online game.
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EXPORT SALES FACE DOUBLE WHAMMY
(posted Friday, January 9, 2009 -- 1:30 p.m.)

Export sales, which have become a mainstay for many U.S. amusement game makers, are suffering because of a one-two punch hitting international markets: global recession and strengthening of the U.S. dollar over the second half of 2008. The dollar hit a low last May but then strengthened in relation to other currencies including the Euro over the period from May through December. In explaining cutbacks at his pinball factory late last year, Stern Pinball topper Gary Stern cited the strengthening dollar as one of the key factors having a negative impact on sales. Likewise, many other suppliers say it has hurt their revenues. "We had a good year in export sales until the last quarter and then it came to a screeching halt," a sales rep for one major factory told RePlay. While currency rates are certainly playing a role, economic recession in other countries is most often cited as the main rationale for sluggish overseas sales. Look for more on this subject as well as the increasing role that international business is playing for amusement companies, in our upcoming February issue.
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ROCK-OLA OFFERS UPGRADE KITS SPECIAL
(posted Friday, January 9, 2009 -- 1:30 p.m.)

Rock-Ola is now offering upgrade kits for digital wall and including E-Rock, Wall-Rock, Rock-Star and Slimline models with a $500 music credit from broadband music provider Rowe/AMI. "Upgrade kits start as low as $499 and AMI will give the first $500 of music back to the operator, making the standard kit virtually free," the factory announced. "Kits to replace Rock-Olas with Mojos will also receive the first $500 credit for free music. This is a great opportunity to upgrade your Rock-Ola digital jukeboxes to the Superior AMI Entertainment Network. Plus, the hard drive is also free." To learn more, contact Rock-Ola Sales Manager Jim Belt at jbelt@rock-ola.com or the nearest Rock-Ola distributor.
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ASI HOTEL DISCOUNTS
(posted Friday, January 9, 2009 -- 1:30 p.m.)

ASI show organizers announced a discount on rooms at the host hotel, the Las Vegas Flamingo Hilton. Rooms will be available through Jan. 23 at $99 per night. Shuttle transportation will be available between the Flamingo Hilton and the Las Vegas Convention Center on show days. By the way, Advantage Rent A Car is the official car rental supplier for ASI. Book online at www.arac.com and use the rate code ASI2009 or call (800)777-9377. The show will be held March 11-13. For more information, go to www.asi-show.com.
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NAMCO AMERICA STAFFS UP
(posted Wednesday, January 7, 2009 -- 7 p.m.)

Namco America execs say they are hoping to make major inroads into the game market in the New Year with a line-up of three exciting debuts. To that end, they have added several new staffers to their team. Namco's new games -- the unique merchandiser Barber Cut Lite, the machine gun shooter Razing Storm, and motorcycle racer Nirin -- will all be available in the first quarter of 2009. Barber Cut Lite is currently shipping.

Ray Tanzer joins Namco as Technical Director. A seasoned manufacturing vet, Ray will oversee the engineering and manufacturing of all products. With over 20 years of experience in the amusement industry, he is prepared to streamline Namco's manufacturing process. Ray most recently worked at Stern Pinball, and has also boosted production at D. Gottlieb & Co., Premier Technology, Grand Products, and Sega Pinball.

Also joining team Namco is Bonnie Buszkiewicz, senior accountant. Bonnie is launching her first year in the amusement industry. She comes to Namco after working for Pasquinelli Home Building. Bonnie is a graduate of DePaul University, where she earned her degree and moved into the banking and public accounting sector.

Finally, Matt Young joins Namco's Product Strategy department as its Product Coordinator. Matt recently graduated from Augustana College with a degree in speech and communications. He will be working on marketing, promotion and research for the new products team.
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AMOA-NY TO HONOR MERIT'S MAAS
(posted Wednesday, January 7, 2009 -- 7 p.m.)

AMOA-NY will honor industry executive Michael G. Maas, who heads up four music and games related companies, as its Man of the Year. Maas is president and CEO of Merit Entertainment, Rowe International, AMI Entertainment, and Games Warehouse. He will be recognized at the state association's Annual Celebration & Cocktail Reception, which will be held Monday, February 23, 6-9 PM at Riccardo's By The Bay, 21-01 24th Avenue, Astoria, New York City.

"Michael Maas has taken his place as an industry captain while exhibiting leadership, ethics, fairness, and mentorship for owners of businesses in vending, music, and games," said AMOA-NY in announcing the award.

AMOA-NY is reportedly poised to capture several economic development opportunities that will benefit operators, distributors, and manufacturers. "It is quite possible that New York City is going to generally allow up to ten devices in locations," the association said. "If New York City grants this, there is the potential for a multiplier effect in other municipalities beyond New York."

AMOA-NY leaders say they are also on the verge of getting a bill enacted into law that will liberalize restrictions in the penal code that now prevent a "free ball", "extra time" or "free play" from being featured on amusement machines.
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DAVE KRISTAL PASSES AWAY
(posted Monday, January 5, 2009 -- 4 p.m.)

Industry sales veteran David Kristal passed away over the weekend after a brief illness that saw him hospitalized on Dec. 29. He died January 3, 2009. In his 20 years in the amusement industry, Kristal worked for Valley Recreation Products, Merit Industries and Shelti Inc.

Kristal was well liked both among his customers and his fellow factory sales representatives, and he was often seen at trade shows and other industry events visiting with his close friend, I.T. sales representative Don Grivetti.

Wake services will be at Ware-Smith Funeral Home, 1200 W Wheeler, Midland, MI 48642 (989-631-2292) from 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm on Thursday, January 8, 2009. Funeral services will be Friday January 9 at 11 AM at the Chapel Lane Presbyterian Church, 5501 Jefferson Avenue, Midland, MI.

A memorial scholarship fund has been set up for Dave's teenage son Justin. Donations can be sent care of Justin to the Ware-Smith Funeral Home in Midland.
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