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Vol. 49, No.2, February 2009

Vending Features
Class-Action Suits Seek Damages From Heartland Payment Systems
Emily Jed
PHILADELPHIA - Two Pennsylvania law firms have filed class-action suits against Heartland Payment Systems on behalf of all cardholders in the United States whose credit or debit card data was stolen from Heartland Payment Systems’ processing network...

Coinstar Buys Remaining Redbox Stake, Swings To Profit In Q4
Coinstar BELLEVUE, WA -- Coinstar Inc. has inked a deal with a McDonald's affiliate to take full ownership of Redbox Automated Retail LLC. The company, best known for its self-service coin-counting machines, also its fourth-quarter financial results and first-quarter estimates, which beat Wall Street’s predictions...

Microtronic Notes Security Pluses Of ‘In-House’ System; Creates Broker Network
HIGH POINT, NC -- Microtronic US president Terri Starnes-Bryant comments on news stories concerning the security breach of Heartland Payment Systems’ computers that gave hackers access to cardholder identities. Firm establishes broker network for cashless vending solution...

NAMA Advises On Widening Peanut Product Recalls; Kellogg Expands Recall; Hershey, Mars And Nestlé Reaffirm Safety
CHICAGO - The National Automatic Merchandising Association issues a second bulletin alerting its members to new FDA warnings about the danger of peanut products possibly contaminated with the salmonella microorganism. Kellogg and Wells’ Dairy expand recalls; Hershey, Mars and Nestlé reiterate safety of their peanut butter products...

Tough Times Demand Tighter Security Controls
Emily Jed
A zero-tolerance approach to theft is critical to a cash-intense industry operating in a down economy...

VENDING NEWS: Mich Sen. Wants To End Vending Tax Exemption; AMAF Sets March Educational Evening; PA-NJ-DE Council Plans Meet
Mich. lawmaker’s proposed bills, aimed at protecting the health of the state's children, could spell trouble for vendors... Automatic Merchandising Assn. of Florida puts finishing touches on "Steps 4 Success" program set for March 20 in Orlando... Tri-State Automatic Merchandising Council will hold a meeting Wednesday, March 18, at the Crowne Plaza in Monroe Township, NJ.

VENDING NEWS: Peanut Product Sales Plummet; NAMA Advises On Federal Tobacco Excise Tax; Food Firms Disclose Financials
Retail sales of items containing peanuts have plummeted in the wake of the extensive product recalls initiated by Peanut Corp. of America. NAMA issues legislative bulletin apprising operators that the federal excise tax on tobacco products. Kraft revenue is up, earnings down...

Music and Games Features
Andamiro Predicts Fruitful Sales Of Timely Redemption Games
Larisa Jayne Shewczyk
AndamiroAndamiro U.S.A. Corp. (Gardena, CA) has taken the wraps off two innovative redemption games, developed to appeal to the modern player while offering proven play formats...

COIN-OP AND VLTs: As Economy Worsens, States And Operators Seek Video Poker Expansion
Marcus Webb
With state governments coast to coast announcing budget deficits that range from Connecticut's $944 million to California's $42 billion, elected officials are considering a wide range of possible remedies, some of which may have a dramatic impact on their local music and games industries...

COIN-OP NEWS: AMOA-NY Honors Maas; Calif. Videogame Law Suffers Decisive Blow; Minn. Lawmaker Proposes Video Slots For Bars, Airport
New York association presents its highest honor to Michael G. Maas... Appeals court deals what might be the final blow to California state law banning sale or rental of "violent" videogames to minors... Minnesota senator introduces bill that would permit operators to run video slot machines...

COIN-OP NEWS: Midway Games Files Bankruptcy; On-Premise Alcohol Sales Fall; TouchTunes Wireless Broadband
Former coin-op titan Midway Games Inc. files Chapter 11 reorganization for its U.S. operations... A slowdown in the growth of alcohol-based beverages in restaurants and bars both foreshadowed and accompanied the recession… A wireless broadband solution is now available for TouchTunes jukeboxes nationwide...

COIN-OP NEWS: NC Judge Exempts Megatouch From Seizure; Pennsylvania And Operator-Friendly Video Poker? PlayPorTT Heads To National Chain; Sega Cuts
North Carolina judge signs consent order confirming Megatouch videogames are games of skill and not gaming devices... Penn. trade is "ecstatic" that Gov. Ed Rendell has proposed legalizing video poker games in bars with operator participation... Buffalo Wild Wings agrees to install PlayPorTT entertainment stations...

IMA 2009 Results Build Confidence In German Coin Industry’s Future
Tim Sanford
DÜSSELDORF, Germany -- The 28th IMA international trade fair for amusement and vending machines, held here in mid-January, closed on a high note, the show’s organizers report. The industry considers itself very well prepared for the future...

London's Amusement Trade Show Scene: What's Next?
Nick Montano
LONDON -- New questions about the future of the London trade-show scene are circulating in the amusements industry following the conclusion of this year's Amusement Trades Exhibition International, held Jan. 27-29 at Earls Court here...

Martin Dempsey, Coin-Op News Editor, Dies At 57
Nick Montano
Martin Dempsey, editor and publisher of Coin-Op News Europe, died suddenly on February 24, following a heart attack. He was 57...

Nova Licenses Benchmark For American PokerKard Production
Tim Sanford
HYPOLUXO, FL -- Benchmark Games Inc. reports has won a license from Nova Productions Ltd. to produce the PokerKard amusement-only touchscreen video poker cocktail table game, and distribute the piece in the United States, Canada and Mexico. PokerKard runs a lively computer simulation of Texas Hold’Em poker...

Stern Unveils Pinball Game Themed To Fox’s 24 Series
Nick Montano
MELROSE PARK, IL -- New from Stern Pinball is 24, a game based on the Fox Network’s hit espionage drama of the same name. It begins shipping in February...

Bulk Vending
CPSC Grants 1-Year Stay On Testing For Certain Products
Washington - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted 2-0 to issue a one-year stay of enforcement for certain testing and certification requirements for manufacturers and importers of regulated products, including products intended for children 12 years old and younger...

The Phthalates Issue: CPSC Reverses Stance On Existing Inventories
Hank Schlesinger
New York City - A New York Federal District Court judge ordered the CPSC to have all toys made with "toxic" chemicals removed from retail sales. The court ruled that the agency must eliminate a loophole allowing some substances to remain in toys made before a ban went into effect on Feb. 10...

Tomy Europe Acquires Yujin Subsidiary
Nick Montano
Tomy Europe, a leading toymaker based here, has acquired Tomy Yujin Europe, which supplies the novelty vending market, from Yujin Japan and will rename it Gacha International. The agreement will enable the two companies to take advantage of shared operating costs and distribution channels...

Editorial: Vending
EDITORIAL: Vending As An Information Resource
Tim Sanford
When I joined VT in 1967, the vending industry had grown to a point at which it was not novel, but had not been around long enough for most people to have much of an idea what it was...by Tim Sanford

Editorial: Music and Games
EDITORIAL: The Confidence Game
Marcus Webb
"Our economy is not a con game; it is a confidence game." So says Paul Volker, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve under presidents Carter and Reagan. Today, Volker chairs Barack Obama’s newly formed Economic Recovery Advisory Board. His description of the economy as a "confidence game" carries special lessons for an industry that is built on games (and music)... by Marcus Webb

Kraft, Samsung Team Up To Display Operator Videos At Spring Expo
Tim Sanford
Kraft Foodservice is teaming up with Samsung Electronics America to showcase operator videos during the 2009 National Automatic Merchandising Association Spring Expo in Las Vegas, set for April 16-17...

Merit, Rowe Announce Integration Plans; Production Moves To Mexico
Nick Montano
Touchscreen videogame maker Merit Entertainment, headquartered here, and jukebox manufacturer Rowe International will integrate their production and workforces, according to an announcement by the companies' president and chief executive, Michael Maas...

Guest Columns
Videogames in 2009 Coin-Op Machines Are Poised For Big Comeback
by Kevin Williams
Can coin-op videogames make a comeback? Many industry members have their doubts. Skeptics, including many operators, have dismissed the prospect of a return to dominance by video amusement as a major revenue generator, at least in traditional venues. But it's possible that today's dismissal of videogames is as mistaken as the industry's initial view, back in 1980, that saw the category as just a flash in the pan...Kevin Williams

Upfront with the Publisher
UPFRONT: Those Who Lie Dormant Are In For A Rude Awakening When The Skies Clear
Alicia Lavay
I've got three questions for our industry's suppliers and manufacturers, during these difficult times: (1) Are you in or are you out? (2) Do you still believe in the business of automatic retailing and entertainment? And (3), do you still believe in marketing products and equipment in the vending and amusement channel? by Alicia Lavay-Kertes

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