COIN & SHAFFER TO MERGE DEALERSHIPS IN THREE STATES
CLEVELAND - Two major Midwest distributors, Cleveland Coin & Shaffer Distributing, announced on Dec. 20 that they will be consolidating their distribution operations in northeastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and Michigan. Cleveland Coin chairman Ron Gold and selected key personnel will be joining Shaffer's expanding distributorship at a new, larger facility located in the Cleveland area. Cleveland Coin's remaining distribution offices in Michigan and Western Pennsylvania will be run under the auspices of Shaffer's HQ in Columbus, OH. This acquisition brings Shaffer's total number of distribution offices to six. According to Herman Fox, president of Cleveland Coin, "Our current 45,000-sq.ft. facility in Cleveland will now be devoted solely to the growth of our institutional route operations. We will continue to offer our amusement parks, hotels, water parks and FEC customers the world-class service and equipment they have come to expect from Cleveland Coin."
ILLINOIS GOVERNOR SEEKS TO CRIMINALIZE SELLING, RENTING VIOLENT VIDEOS TO MINORS
CHICAGO , Gov. Rod Blagojevich, saying the games industry has failed to keep kids from accessing "adult material," will introduce two laws intended to criminalize the sale or rental of violent or sexually explicit home video games to minors. Coin-operated games were specifically not mentioned in the governor's announcement. However, when other state governments have sought similar bans in the past, amusement industry officials have stated that provisions related to rentals could be interpreted as applying to arcade-type video games by zealous law enforcement personnel. The specific language of the Blagojevich legislation had not been released at press time.
The likely penalty for violating the bans would be a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison or a $5,000 fine. The two bills will also require retailers to label violent and sexually explicit video games, similar to the "Parental Advisory" label found on music CDs, and to post signs explaining the video game rating system. A retailer's failure to place proper signs would likely be punishable by a $1,000 fine for the first three violations and a $5,000 fine for every subsequent violation.
Leaders of the amusements industry continue to urge operators, distributors, and manufacturers to comply with the industry's voluntary ratings program, the Coin-Operated Video Game Parental Advisory System. Information about the PAS is available at http://www.amoa.com and http://www.coin-op.org.
DAVE & BUSTER'S BREAKS EVEN ON NET INCOME FOR 2004 Q4
DALLAS , The Dave & Buster's chain broke even on net income during its fiscal third quarter ending Oct. 31, 2004, compared to a net loss of $0.5 million for the same period last year. "Our year-over-year profitability improvement continues: this marks the seventh consecutive improved quarter," remarked Buster Corley, the company's CEO. The fourth quarter comparable store revenue figure (ending Oct. 31) was impacted by Florida's four hurricanes and East Coast flooding, executives said. Fourth quarter revenues ending on that date rose rise 1.4% (to $82.9 million) while comparable store revenues dropped 1.6%. Food and beverage revenue increased 2.1%, and amusement and other revenue increased 0.6%. (For the last six months of the year, amusement and other revenue did better, increasing 1.9%.)