Coin-Op United: Stories from Around the Trade

John Stergides, Chris DeSarro and Sam Westgate have all shared some coronavirus-related insights and commentary to give RePlay an “on the ground” view of what’s going on in their respective areas. We encourage more operators to do the same by emailing us at [email protected].

Electrocoin’s John Stergides

John Stergides, Electrocoin, U.K.

“Thanks for the daily newsletter. We’re also hit by the virus in the U.K., but we’re okay. We’re like birds in the cage with the door open, but cats are waiting outside!”

Chris DeSarro, Clearly The Best Coin-Op, East Liverpool, Ohio

“It’s early right now, but we have lost income from 97 percent of our locations,” DeSarro reported. His operation covers eastern Ohio. “We are a vendor that operates mainly in bars (TouchTunes and ATMs) with a few ATMs in convenient stores that are still in operation. I am hoping that this is a lot shorter shut down than what we are hearing. Keep praying!”

Sam Westgate, J&J Ventures, Effingham, Ill.

In a recent Facebook post, Westgate said he did some “social media rambling.” Here’s what he had to say:

Why are so many folks getting butt hurt because some Governor deemed their job “non-essential”?

I work in the pay-per-play entertainment industry. My feelings aren’t hurt. I understand that people enjoy our products and services and greatly appreciate them when it is safe for them to enjoy what our industry offers.

Thank you to so many “Essentials” out there that are keeping things going. The ones we see and the ones we don’t see. The folks we see in stores, the ones we don’t that keep things running. The truckers that are still going even though they have to eat in their trucks now. My utilities are still working. So is cable, Internet and cellular. If I should need them, the police, firefighters and healthcare are still doing their jobs. I am sure there are more that I haven’t needed yet so thank you to those I forgot to mention.

I understand that some of you feel like you are being taken advantage of for having to work through this crisis while some of us are safe at home. Nonetheless, there so many us that are grateful for what you are doing and unfortunately, we may not see you for a while to be able to say thank you.

When this is all over, or at least dying down, there are so many non-essential things that I am going to need/enjoy: a good haircut, a sitdown restaurant, a night on the town, a movie, a tournament, a trade show, talking to a co-worker face to face, talking to a customer face to face, talking to a stranger face to face.

If you’ve survived the virus someone will likely sell you a “Rona Survivor” shirt, cap or pin. This way, if I haven’t gotten it yet, I will know that you are safe to talk to.

While they are at it, they might as well make some stuff for “Essentials” as well. That way I can tip my “Non-Essential” cap in your direction from 6 feet away the next time I see you.

Anyway, I have to get started on my “work from home” duties. Believe it or not, I have enough to keep me busy for a few weeks at least. So, good luck to all and stay healthy.


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