FORMER DREAMWORKS PREXY TAKES HELM AT GVR
SAN JOSE, CA - Global VR has named former DreamWorks animation movie studio head Jim DeRose its new president and CEO. His 30-plus years of senior executive experience includes presidential posts at Mattel USA, the Hanes Division of Sara Lee Corp. and Acclaim Entertainment. GVR chairman and founder Milind Bharvirkar, who remains actively involved in future product development, said DeRose "has my full support," noting the new CEO's "solid understanding of both the creative process and the game industry." Officials also said DeRose has a track record of improving operations, facilitating turnarounds, raising capital and developing plans for accelerated growth.
VIDEO VIOLENCE BILLS ADVANCE IN ILLINOIS; SETBACK IN CALIFORNIA
Illinois House bill 4023, a measure to ban youth access to violent video games, passed a key Senate committee this week by convincing margins and is headed to the full state Senate for a vote. The Senate Housing and Community Affairs Committee on May 3 voted 6-2 in favor. The proposal had already passed the House on a vote of 91-9 on March 16. The bill's strongest backer is Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
'In California, a proposed ban on youth access to violent video games fell one vote short of getting out of committee on May 3. The Arts Committee voted 5-4 in favor, but six "yea" votes were required to clear Assembly bill 450, authored by Assemblyman Leland Yee (D-San Francisco). The committee will vote on the bill again this week; one wavering lawmaker reportedly may join the "yea" forces. Both the Illinois and the California bills focus mainly on consumer games but mention "rentals" in their statutory language.
ROWE INCREASES DIGITAL JUKEBOX PRODUCTION, CITES STRONG SALES
GRAND RAPIDS, MI , Rowe International Corp. is reporting sales of digital jukeboxes to "hundreds of operators' in the first third of 2005," prompting the company to steadily increase production month after month,. According to sales and marketing senior vice-president John Margold, "May's production is better than double the number of machines originally planned, and it still won't meet market demand." Rowe's digital line is powered by AMI Entertainment, which provides the network for full remote music management, along with an extensive song library.
ANNUAL HBI GOLF FUNDRAISER SET FOR JUNE 2
CARLSTADT, NJ , H. Betti Industries will host its fifth annual charity golf outing on Thursday, June 2, beginning at 12:00 noon at the Beaver Brook Country Club in Annandale, NJ. Proceeds will benefit the Tomorrow's Children's Fund as well as Michael Lemongello, a longtime employee of Lucky Leo's Arcade who suffered a near-fatal brain aneurysm. Registrations are being accepted until May 20; contact Betson's Joe Ingui at tel. (800) 524-2343, ext. 3318 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Tax-deductible contributions, prizes and hole sponsorships are also welcome.
TEXAS LAWMEN RAID EIGHT LINERS; FLORIDA DOUBLES ADULT ARCADES
Texas law enforcement officials in Montgomery and Harris Counties raided several game rooms on May 4, arresting an unknown number of suspects and seizing cash and more than 100 eight-liner machines. Local press sources called it the largest illegal gambling bust this year. Police said the raids were the result of a three-month investigation that revealed illegal cash payoffs. Conviction of the offense, a class C misdemeanor, carries up to a $500 fine'The Miami Herald is reporting that the number of so-called "adult arcades" that are "impossible to distinguish from a casino" has doubled in the Sunshine State in the past year. Gale Fontaine, president of the Florida Arcade Association, told the paper that 120 adult arcades now operate in Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The legal gaming industry is pushing for elimination of the operations, whose legal status remains unclear.
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