AAMA Kicks Off Meeting; Joe Camarota New President


The AAMA’s annual meeting continued today, kicking off the main event as attendees arrived from all over the nation. (The event officially started earlier this week, consisting mostly of various committee meetings.) Among the news to come out of the annual gathering so far, AAMA members selected their new board of directors and chose Joe Camarota (Alpha-Omega Amusements & Sales) as its next president.

For the rest of the week, RePlay will be updating readers on the breaking news, manufacturer releases and more from the event.

New AAMA President Joe Camarota with Executive VP Pete Gustafson.

Today, industry-wide attendees were invited to Enchanted Castle, an FEC near the gala’s home-base of Lombard, Ill., for an FEC Connect event. Attendees had the chance to tour the FEC and hear from its operators, getting an inside look into how the place was run. Additionally, entrepreneur extraordinaire and frequent RePlaycontributor, Bob Cooney, offered a crash course in VR. Cooney emphasized that VR is here to stay, and in his opinion, will be the next big display technology that dominates multiple media forms as the new norm. He also emphasized that ubiquity, and even wide-spread adoption, are a ways away, leaving a strike-while-the-iron-is-hot moment for operators to make a profit. Cooney says that the coming generation will require a brand-new concept to keep them entertained, meaning operators cannot rest on their laurels and need to have their eyes and ears open to new ideas.

“Who’s your biggest competitor?” Cooney asked the assembled crowd. “Fortnite, that’s who. Fortnite isn’t a game, it’s a place. It’s that generation’s version of going to the local arcade.”

Because of this, Cooney said operators need to be looking for new ways to wow. After the talk, attendees of the Gala returned to the HQ for a brief rest and sponsor presentations from Stern Pinball, Andamiro USA and Barron Games. The annual meeting continues tomorrow with more sponsor presentations, keynotes from Howard Kahn and Ed Rensi and a usually impressive dinner celebrating AAMA’s lifetime achievement recipient. For more information, stay tuned to Instant RePlay!

Bob Cooney