WASHINGTON -- Officials from the National Automatic Merchandising Association and American Amusement Machine Association expressed how changes to the metallic content of coins could negatively impact vending and amusement operators at a recent U.S. Mint stakeholders meeting.
The Mint is exploring ways to lower the cost of producing coins and held the March 13 meeting to gather feedback from industries that would be impacted by changes in the metal composition of coins. Representatives from the banking, parking and armored car service industries and manufacturers of coin acceptance and counting equipment also attended the meeting.
NAMA senior vice-president of government affairs Eric Dell was joined by Craig Hesch of A.H. Management Group Inc. (Rolling Meadows, IL), Chuck Reed of Crane Payment Innovations, Bill Carpenter of Vend Natural Holdings (Annapolis, MD) and Nicky Gacos of Colorado Café Associates (Jersey City, NJ). The group implored the Mint to consider the vending industry when making decisions about the future of coins since any change could necessitate costly equipment retooling or replacement.
"I traveled from Illinois to attend the meeting because of its importance to the industry," Hesch said. "The Mint is assessing potentially changing the metallic content, shape, size and weight of coins for the nickel, dime and quarter. This could have a substantial negative impact on our entire industry."
Dell said the meeting was productive. "The Mint announced that a federal register will be released soon, which will allow NAMA's membership to comment on proposed changes to the metallic content and changes of coins," he reported.
Representing the amusements industry were AAMA president John Schultz, CPI national OEM manager Chris Felix and lobbyist John Russell.
Schultz said AAMA's message to Mint officials was to leave current coinage in place because it works, rather than risk the costly consequences.