HYPOLUXO, FL -- Benchmark Games, a leading U.S. manufacturer of redemption equipment, said it initiated a policy of direct sales and service to operators in the Florida market, effective May 1.
Benchmark's Bill Freeman is the company's liaison to operators for both sales and service in the Sunshine State. Prior to joining Benchmark, Freeman worked for Sega Gameworks for eight years, rising to the post general and technical manager. At Benchmark, he reports to Tony Maniscalco, an industry veteran who recently joined the company as director of North American sales after a three-year stretch at Betson Enterprises.
Maniscalco said Benchmark launched the direct sales policy as "a way of giving back to operators in their home state." But since Freeman is selling games on commission, direct sales will not result in a price break for Florida operators, Maniscalco said.
According to Maniscalco, Benchmark has experienced no problems with Brady Distributing, which has two Florida branch offices. He said Benchmark also remains on good terms with Betson, which is planning to open its first Florida branch in Orlando.
Maniscalco said both distributors are outstanding companies and that Benchmark will continue to sell through distribution in all other states.
The amusement industry has seen more than a dozen distributors nationwide shut their doors over the past decade. In the past two years, most surviving distributors reduced their workforces by about at least 40%.