ONE IOWA TOUCHPLAY LAWSUIT FAILS; OTHERS AWAIT RULINGS
DES MOINES, IA — Hawkeye Commodity Promotions (Cedar Falls) lost its bid in federal court Wednesday to block Iowa’s pending ban on TouchPlay gaming machines. The ban is due to take effect May 4. U.S. District Judge Linda Reade appeared unimpressed that Hawkeye stands to forfeit $5.7 million that it spent on 724 machines (and has not had an opportunity to recoup). TouchPlay operators now await the outcome of a second lawsuit in a different court.
NORTH CAROLINA OPERATOR TO BECOME 2006-‘07 AMOA PRESIDENT
SOUTH BARRINGTON, IL — Howard Cole of Cole Vending (Weaverville, NC) has been confirmed as the next president of the Amusement and Music Operators Association. Cole, who now serves as AMOA’s first vice-president, will succeed president Jim Pietrangelo, Top Draw Amusement (Winchester, VA), on Sept. 29 at the conclusion of the AMOA International Expo in Las Vegas. Current treasurer Lloyd Williamson of Williamson’s Amusements (Winona, MN) will assume the post of first vice-president. Current secretary Russ Mawdsley, Russell-Hall Inc. (Holyoke, MA), will become treasurer; Gary Brewer of Brewer Amusement (McMinnville, TN) will become secretary. In other association news, Williamson reported that AMOA’s reserve fund topped $2 million for the first time ever.
CHUCK E. CHEESE’S Q1 NET DROPS 3%; GROSSES UP 6%
IRVING, TX — CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of the 522-store Chuck E. Cheese’s chain, said its first quarter earnings rose to $227 million from $214.1 million. Net income in the first quarter of 2006 decreased to $29.2 million from $31.3 million in Q1 of 2005. Executives said new store development and an increase in comparable store sales of 1.2% spurred the increase.
OKLAHOMA SENATE JOINS HOUSE IN APPROVING VIOLENT GAME BAN
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Senate on Monday unanimously (47-0) approved a ban on youth access to violent video games. The bill (HB3004) passed the House unanimously in March. Under terms of the proposal, offending retailers could be fined up to $1,000. The bill and its amendments now await reconciliation between the two chambers; final passage is expected. If the governor signs the bill, it will take effect on Nov. 1.
PROPOSED BAN GOES UP IN SMOKE IN SOUTH CAROLINA
COLUMBIA, SC — South Carolina House members voted narrowly (55-52) this week against a proposed statewide smoking ban in bars and restaurants. Local news sources said 17 lawmakers declined to cast a vote on the measure, which appears likely to resurface next year.
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