Amusement Source International
Texas Company With Veteran Leadership Reps Overseas Game Brands, Merchandise and More
If you were at this year’s Amusement Expo in Las Vegas, you may have seen an unfamiliar name on the exhibitor list: Amusement Source International. The company is perhaps the newest North American distributor of amusement games and redemption merchandise.
Even if you don’t yet recognize the name, you almost certainly recognize the name of its founder and president, Cory Haynes. A long-timer in the amusement industry, Haynes began his career with Dave & Buster’s at the company’s first location in Dallas in 1982. By 1985, co-founder Dave Corriveau started teaching him about amusement operations and Haynes eventually managed all aspects of D&B’s amusement and midway operations.
“I worked closely with Dave and Buster Corley and they instilled the entrepreneurial spirit in me, which led to the development of such programs as Super Charge, an upsell to game card purchasing, and the Winner’s Circle Store, both of which are still in use within Dave & Buster’s locations today,” Haynes said.
“My time at Dave & Buster’s afforded me the experience to eventually open Amusement Source International and use all the best practices gained through my career.”
Aside from decades with Dave & Buster’s, that 35-year career also included a stint as president and COO of SEGA Entertainment, GameWorks and World Sports Grille from 2009 until its sale in 2011. He also opened a trial concept called BFD, Bar Fun Dining in 2012.
In 2018, Haynes reached out to longtime business associate Jacob Yeh, the president of the Taipei-based Lucky Group International (the company also has offices in Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Los Angeles and Dallas).
“Our conversation led us to recall previous late-night discussions regarding bringing Lucky Group more into the mainstream redemption business,” he said. “Lucky Group had been supplying merchandise to various wholesalers in the amusement industry for well over 30 years and wanted to move to a new market category.”
Lucky Group supplies not only redemption merchandise, but restaurant supplies and furniture to all Dave & Buster’s locations; they were also a supplier for GameWorks and World Sports Grille.
Haynes said in the spring of 2019, after getting the redemption merchandise division up and running at ASI, he turned his focus to developing the game machine side. He and Yeh went on several factory visits and first met the manager of the Wahlap Technologies showroom.
“Before long, we were meeting the general manager of Wahlap, Yoyo Zhou, along with one of the company’s board members,” Haynes explained. “Our meeting ended after 9 p.m. and we were asked if we could meet with the chairman, Benny Su, the next day before a trade event. The next day, we met Benny and discussed my background further, who Lucky Group was and our logistical capabilities.
“The meeting was a success and we started drafting the agreement later that week. I truly feel like the success of the meeting was all parties had such great respect for each other and their accomplishments. Our collective experience includes Lucky Group being in business for over 50 years, Wahlap for over 28 and me being in the amusement industry for over 35 years.”
During this same trip, Haynes and Yeh visited multiple factories, met with their owners, the developers and heads of manufacturing to determine which were quality operations.
Along with Wahlap, they discovered Dream Funs. “While Dream Funs is a newer developer and manufacturer, their owner and mastermind behind their great games is Jin Chan, a young and very talented developer and manufacturer,” Haynes said. “He creates unique pieces and we have received excellent response from our customers. Both companies deliver high quality, popular and reliable machines at a competitive price.”
After returning to the U.S., Haynes decided which pieces to bring to IAAPA Expo 2019 and based on operator response there, he, Yeh and Wahlap representatives met to decide what to bring to their Dallas showroom. In December, he said the initial game lineup was containerized and shipped to the States.
“Little did we know that would be the last IAAPA or any amusement trade show for over a year,” he said. “Two 40-ft. HQ containers of games arrived January 25, 2020. We unloaded, started setting up the showroom and were sending several pieces out to test when the country began to shut down.
“We shipped the pieces out and figured this would be under control quickly and things would be back to ‘normal’ soon. Unfortunately, that was not the case and as we all know too well our industry began to close the doors as ordered by government guidelines. A bright spot during the pandemic is that we were able to leverage our relationships with factories in China and get desperately needed PPE materials produced when others couldn’t and we were able to supply our customers with much needed masks, thermometers, hand sanitizer and other critical supplies businesses needed to reopen.”
This year’s Amusement Expo, meanwhile, was their big introduction bringing Wahlap, Dream Funs and other quality Asian brands into the U.S. market with Pumpkin Party 2, Over Take VR, Monster Eye 2 and Skip Time.
“We launched Amusement Source International with the goal in mind of providing quality games and merchandise at reasonable prices with top-notch service,” Haynes said. “My early career and experiences prepared me to found ASI as I have always loved the family entertainment industry.
“Owning my own restaurant with the gaming concept reinforced the operations experience I had and has helped me work with customers with both points of view – the owner and the vendors supplying retail outlets. I am fortunate that along the way I developed relationships with strong, reliable suppliers who develop quality products that we represent.”
Learn more at www.amusementsourceinternational.com.