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Vol. 50, No. 4, April 2010

Vending Features
B+ Equipment Plans NAMA Launch Of 24RoboMart 'Shop' In USA
Tim Sanford
24RoboMart On display at the upcoming NAMA OneShow will be an indoor-outdoor automated convenience store from France's B+ Equipment. The machine can accommodate up to 800 items, and allows patrons to select several items for purchase in a single transaction...

CompuVend Clients Explore Profit Enhancement At Vending Users' Meeting
Tim Sanford
CompuVend, Psion Teklogix Some 50 operating company owners and managers gathered in New Orleans for the latest in a series of users' group conferences held by CompuVend Systems. The event was organized as a forum for ideas to improve profitability and acquaint CompuVend users with initiatives designed to boost operating control and efficiency. Among these is a powerful new handheld computer from Psion Teklogix...

FDA To Restrict Cigarette Vending To Adult Locations
by Staff Reporter
When a new federal law takes effect, giving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco products on June 22, the agency will restrict cigarette vending to locations for patrons 18 and over, as part of a broad new scheme designed to limit tobacco sales to youth nationwide...

Mass. Senate Approves School 'Junk Food' Ban In Vending Machines
Emily Jed
The Massachusetts Senate approved a bill last week that bars the sale of "junk food" and sugary drinks in school vending machines and stores. Voting unanimously to back the measure, senators said they were motivated to act based on reports that one in three of the state's schoolchildren were overweight or obese in 2008...

MEI Plans EasiTrax User Group Conference At OneShow
Tim Sanford
MEI has scheduled a half-day breakout meeting for users of its comprehensive EasiTrax management information system during the upcoming NAMA OneShow. It's set for Wednesday, April 28. A highlight of the session will be the application of telemetry to full-line vending...

NAMA Responds To Calorie Labeling Requirement For Venders In New Healthcare Law
by Staff Reporter
NAMA is working with congressional staff members and counsel to establish guidance and clarity on what vending operators must do to comply with the healthcare reform bill passed by Congress and signed into law by the President. The vending association's government affairs chief says NAMA will be closely involved in discussions with the FDA...

PepsiCo Announces Global Goals For Product Lines, Environment
by Staff Reporter
PepsiCo has announced a range of new worldwide goals for product development, environmental impact and workplace practices. The new agenda was unveiled at the company's annual investor conference. The beverage giant plans to display calorie counts and key nutrients in food and beverage packaging by 2012, and eliminate direct sale of full-sugar soft drinks to primary and secondary schools around the world by 2012...

USAT Files With SEC For Public Stock, Subsequent Rights Offerings
by Staff Reporter
USA Technologies has announced its filing of two registration statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The first relates to a proposed public offering of up to $3 million of USAT common stock and related three-year warrants; the second, to a proposed rights offering of USAT common stock and related three-year warrants...

VendEver Rolls Out Cotton Candy Machine
Tim Sanford
Cotton candy vending machines are getting lots of interest from full-line and amusement operators alike. The Cotton Candy Factory, which entertains while preparing and serving a portion of spun sugar, is the newest machine in this burgeoning vending category. It's now available in the U.S. through VendEver Corp., headed by industry veteran Brian Duke...

Vendture Plans Rollout Of Vend-it-Hot Machine
Tim Sanford
Vend-it-Hot is among the new full-line vending machines rolling out this year. The combination vender can hold popular food items under refrigeration, reheat them during the vend cycle and deliver them to the patron ready to eat. Its gravity-driven delivery system transports cold food through the rethermalization process in about a minute...

Music and Games Features
Alabama Bingo Brawl Reaches New Heights
Marcus Webb
Alabama's long-running electronic bingo "brawl" reached new heights in mid-March when Attorney General Troy King suddenly announced that he would take over the Governor's Task Force on Illegal Gambling ... not at Gov. Bob Riley's request, but in open defiance of Riley's wishes...

Alabama Senate Passes Bingo Legalization Bill; High Court Blocks Taskforce
Marcus Webb
Just days after supporters had pronounced the measure dead, a bill to legalize electronic bingo machines in Alabama passed the state Senate on March 30 by a margin of 21 to 13. If the House approves the bill later this month, and if the measure can subsequently survive a near-certain veto by Gov. Bob Riley, then bingo operators would be protected from police raids and seizures of their machines for eight months...

Alabama Supreme Court Reviews Bingo, Again
Marcus Webb
Alabama's Supreme Court will consider another controversial bingo question: how much authority does the governor's gambling taskforce really have? Is it empowered to conduct raids in every county in the state, or only in the home county of taskforce director, Mobile Co. District Attorney John Tyson? The issue is before the high court...

Alabama's Largest Bingo Hall Reopens; Jesse Jackson Protests Bingo Closures
Marcus Webb
The latest round in what the Alabama Supreme Court has called the "three-ring circus" of the state's electronic bingo market saw VictoryLand resort reopen last week, complete with more than 6,400 electronic bingo machines that owners say are legal under criteria set forth last year by the high court…

American Gaming Systems Assembles Team For Illinois VLTs
Nick Montano
AGS, a maker of class II and III gaming equipment and technology, is building a marketing and sales team for the planned video gaming market in Illinois. The AGS team will consist of experienced sales personnel who share backgrounds in coin-op, gaming and hospitality. In February, Ryan Cravens joined AGS's marketing team...

AMOA-NY Opens Inquiry Into Jukebox Ad Revenue
by Staff Reporter
Advertising revenue paid to jukebox operators is the subject of an examination being organized by the Amusement and Music Owners Association of New York. The state trade association said it is asking operators nationwide to participate in a study designed to gauge the accuracy of Ecast Inc.'s advertising commission structure...

Apple Industries To Distribute Mobile Star Karaoke Venders
by Staff Reporter
Mobile Star Corp., which is developing karaoke vending machines, announced a preliminary distribution agreement with Apple Industries, the Bronx, NY-based photobooth company. Mobile Star and Apple ran a pilot test of the machine in New York City during the last holiday season...

Dave & Buster's Credit Card Hacker Sentenced; Settles FTC Charges
Marcus Webb
Dave and Buster's has settled charges that it failed to adequately secure the credit and debit card information of customers, the Federal Trade Commission said this week. According to the FTC complaint, about 130,000 credit and debit cards were affected, with issuing banks paying out several hundred thousand dollars in fraudulent charges...

First AAMA/AMOA Amusement Expo Draws 1,800+
by Staff Reporter
The new Amusement Expo drew 1,830 registered participants to the Las Vegas Convention Center for a three-day run from March 10 to 12. It was the first-ever national coin-op trade show cosponsored by the American Amusement Machine Association and Amusement and Music Operators Association, both based in Chicago. The show was collocated with Fun Expo, which covers the FEC trade...

Florida Legislator Seeks To Legalize Online Video Poker
by Staff Reporter
A state lawmaker in Florida is introducing a bill proposes to legalize and regulate online video poker. Florida's Internet Poker Consumer Protection and Revenue Generation Act of 2010 is considered the first of its kind. If passed, the law would allow businesses to operate online poker rooms under state supervision...

Funding Stop Names Preferred Construction Company For IL VLT Sites
by Staff Reporter
The Funding Stop has appointed Crane Construction Co., a 50-year-old builder, a preferred contractor for its video gaming terminal customers. Funding Stop president Edgar Colomb cautions that every VGT site in Illinois is likely to require some level of development to comply with codes set forth by the Illinois Gaming Board...

Home Videogame Market Continues To Evolve
by Staff Reporter
America's $9.9 billion consumer videogame industry continued to see sales drop in January and February, said research firm NPD Group. But various developments announced in March indicated that the shape of the home game market might soon be changing its marketing strategies, including EA's charging for demos...

Illinois Governor And Chicago Mayor Tap-Dance On Video Poker
Marcus Webb
The political fortunes of the planned Illinois video lottery industry remain uncertain as leading politicians around the state continue to wrangle over or dodge the issue. More than 60 cities, towns and other jurisdictions have opted out of participating in the tavern-based VLT market, created by the state's 2009 Video Gaming Act and slated to roll out later this year...

Industry Successfully Positions FECs Nationwide As 'Job Creators'
Marcus Webb
Across the country, owners and planners of family entertainment centers are portraying themselves as "job creators" to city councils and the media, and with apparent success. A growing number of cities seem inclined to take a more favorable view of granting zoning variances and use permits. Local press outlets appear more willing…

Inside Coin-Op, Industry News Amalgamator, Will Go Offline
by Staff Reporter
Inside Coin-Op, which described itself as the "one-stop shop" for an online compilation of industry news from the trade's leading business journals, will go offline in a month. Jim Pietrangelo, the site's administrator and editor in chief, announced the shutdown on March 16...

National Dart Association Greets Spain’s Gaelco As Sponsor
by Staff Reporter
The Amusement and Music Operators Association-National Darts Association has approved Gaelco Darts (Barcelona, Spain) as a manufacturer sponsor. The determination was made at the association’s annual board meeting late in January...

North Carolina Lottery Warns Against 'Slots' (Sweepstakes Games)
by Staff Reporter
Retail stores that sell state lottery tickets should beware of jeopardizing their status as lottery affiliates by operating "video slot machines," warned the executive director of the North Carolina Lottery. Tom Shaheen sent the warning in a letter to retailers on March 12...

North Carolina Police Shut 56 Sweepstakes Gamerooms
Marcus Webb
Police in Burke County, NC, pulled the plugs on 56 Internet sweepstakes gamerooms in the towns of Morganton, Valdese, Drexel and Glen. Sheriffs and deputies in several local jurisdictions within the county, working together, disabled more than 250 Internet terminals and videogames. Operators are told to take machines offline by March 26...

Raw Thrills Selects MEI As Provider Of Banknote Validators
by Staff Reporter
MEI Inc. has announced a long-term agreement with videogame developer Raw Thrills Inc., which has agreed to change its payment systems specification to MEI for the next three years. Raw Thrills begins its exclusive use of MEI banknote validators with Terminator Salvation Arcade, a new video shooter based on the latest "Terminator" movie...

Redemption Experts Assess Impact Of Proposed California Law
Marcus Webb
Redemption experts are studying how a new bill being considered by the California Assembly could affect amusement skill games that award prizes. The bill carries a bland technical title referring to its intent to modify the state penal code regarding slot machines. Its legal language expands the definition...

Some Chuck E. Cheese's Post Anti-Gang Rules
by Staff Reporter
Large signs prohibiting "gang-type conduct or behavior" and "gang-style apparel" have been posted at about 25% of the stores in the Chuck E. Cheese's chain of more than 500 kiddie arcades and pizza restaurants, according to a CEC spokesperson. The warnings appear mainly in CEC stores located in high-crime spots...

Stern Pinball Introduces Iron Man Superhero-Themed Flipper Game
by Staff Reporter
Stern, Pinball, Iron Man2 New from Stern Pinball is Iron Man Pinball, a fast-paced flipper game based on Marvel Studios’ popular superhero movie and timed to coincide with its sequel, "Iron Man 2," which is set to open on May 7. Stern believes that the new game will be a bit hit with fans of the internationally acclaimed Marvel comic books, animated TV show and films...

Without Chicago, Illinois Poker May Fall Short $178 Million A Year
Marcus Webb
The Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability has issued a forecast that projects tax receipts from video lottery terminals may fall short by anywhere from $95 million to $178 million a year, or almost $2 billion over a decade, if the state's planned VLT industry does not operate in Chicago...

Bulk Vending
Groupe Ricochet: For Young Canadian Entrepreneurs, It's All About Image
Hank Schlesinger
When Alexandre Vincent, 26, and Philippe Roy, 27, launched Groupe Ricochet Inc. four years ago, they decided to redefine the way bulk vending operators do business...

NBVA Makes Case For Amending Product Labeling Law
by Staff Reporter
On March 17 and 18, the bulk vending industry met with lawmakers to make its case for a permanent exemption from the labeling requirements mandated under Section 103 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. It was the second lobbying mission organized by the National Bulk Vendors Association...

SOMETHING TO CHEW ON: Ball Gum Remains Leader As Bulk Vending Sales Champion
Hank Schlesinger
Even as other segments of the bulk vending industry endured a difficult year, ball gum held its own in terms of sales. The perennial bulk vending favorite continues to enjoy strong volume...

THE NEXT BIG THINGS? Brand Unveils ‘Sqwishland’ Online Games And Solar-Powered Toys
Nick Montano
ITC, vending machine What's the next big thing in bulk vending? Believe it or not, it could be MMORPGs with the industry's own avatars and eco-friendly toys powered by the sun. Brand Vending Products reports that it has created the world's first vending-machine-distributed online games site for children. Also new are solar-powered toys for capsules. Both were unveiled at this week's bulk vending trade show in Florida...

Editorial: Vending
Questions To Ponder at OneShow
Tim Sanford
As we look forward to the first NAMA OneShow, we can't help thinking back over more than four decades of industry expositions. Trade shows in general have suffered from the real contraction of the economy, and also from the illusion... by Tim Sanford

Editorial: Music and Games
Hiring A Veteran Makes Good Business Sense
Hank Schlesinger
Several months ago we posted a story online about the advisability of hiring military veterans. The response from those both inside and outside the industry was overwhelmingly positive. This is an issue that transcends personal politics... by Hank Schlesinger

The Invisible Man
Marcus Webb
The coin-op amusement industry’s recent progress in reestablishing communication with its paying customers is notable, but much more can be done to recognize them... by Marcus Webb

Coffee Service News
Aramark Brings Cooking Light Meals To B&I Menus
Emily Jed
Aramark has joined forces with Cooking Light magazine in an exclusive multiyear agreement that will expand the foodservice company's wellness offerings into North American business and industry locations. Branded demo stations in workplaces promote "healthier" away-from-home meals...

Sony Chief Asks Movie Theaters To Add Healthier Concession Snacks
Emily Jed
Sony Pictures' chief executive is asking the nation's theater owners to offer healthier snacks at their concession stands. In a speech at ShoWest, the largest convention for the movie theater industry, Michael Lynton proposed that adding "healthier" options to existing menus is the right thing to do for the movie industry, audiences and the country...

Winklers Form Group W, Tap Hyde To Lead BrewTek Division
Tim Sanford
Butch and Lynn Winkler, the founders of Holiday House Distributing and Kool Tek, have established a new organization to supply a diverse line of coffee brewers to the OCS industry. Steve Hyde will head up the new BrewTek LLC...

USAT Introduces Kit For Determining Strength Of Wireless Signals
Tim Sanford
A new test kit assesses for optimum wireless signal strength for installing USA Technologies' ePort wireless cashless payment devices. It features a received signal strength indicator that meters the available wireless signal. A vending operator from Atlanta says the test kit takes the guesswork out of deploying cashless systems to machines in the field...

Tri-State Council Plans Joint Jersey Shore Meeting, Golf Tournament
by Staff Reporter
The Tri-State Automatic Merchandising Council (representing Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware) and the Maryland-DC Vending Association will hold a membership meeting on May 20 and 21. The combined conference will take place at the Seaview Hotel in Galloway, NJ, on the Jersey Shore...

Venditalia Planners Report Keen Interest As Milan Show Takes Shape
Tim Sanford
With more than five weeks to go until the grand opening of Venditalia 2010, organizers of the vending trade show report that the exhibit situation is comparable to the same period in 2008. The event is set for Wednesday, April 28, to Saturday, May 1, at the FieraMilanoCity exhibition center in Milan...

Upfront with the Publisher
Make Sure You’re Right, Then Go Ahead
Alicia Lavay
Business owners and managers need to communicate their own commitment and the priorities they set to their employees, and to know when that communication simply isn’t working... by Alicia Lavay-Kertes

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