A group of operators from around the country sat down – virtually – for an AMOA roundtable yesterday, Aug. 24, to discuss how they’re all dealing with the Covid crisis and related shutdowns, restrictions and guidelines.
The conversation showed the massive disparities between states and regions regarding how business has bounced back (or not). However, there were plenty of similarities, such as states closing down bars earlier than usual in places like Ohio, Kentucky and Colorado.
Panelists included Luke Adams of the Ohio-based Pioneer Vending (which operates in four Midwestern states); Bob Burnham of Paradise Pinball (Colorado and Wyoming); Jim Marsh of Hart Novelty (Washington); Jeff Prescott of Valley Vending (New York); AMOA President Greg Trent of Beyer & Brown (Florida); and Tim Zahn of American Amusement Arcade (Minnesota).
Luke Adams was one of the operators who noted how important it was to have a state association in these times of trouble, noting the Ohio lawsuit that questioned how the state could keep its lottery machines on next to shut down arcade games and other coin-op equipment.
While Gov. Mike DeWine amended the order without going to court, “We did have to go the legal route to get our stuff turned back on,” Adams said. “We had voices coming from all corners of the state.”
Bob Burnham’s state association in Colorado (CAMO) formed at his lead back in April, and hasn’t had such luck, though he reported they at least had the ear of the lieutenant governor.
While the arcade machines are still turned off, he’s looking forward to pool and dart leagues, where up to 10 people will be allowed to play in one location. Since there’s a roster and guidelines for players, he said, Covid outbreaks can be tracked. Burnham added: “If they don’t follow the guidelines and there’s an outbreak, we’re all going to get shut down.”
The overall mood continues to be that of uncertainty, especially in places like New York, where Jeff Prescott said there’s often been conflicting information coming from the governor’s office versus local health officials and the like.
Pick up your latest RePlay issue for more on how operators have been handling reopening, and as always, stay tuned to our Instant RePlay newsletter.