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Vol. 48, No. 10, October 2008

Vending Features
‘ACM’ Powers Up Portable Devices, Ad Revenue For Operators
Emily Jed

NEW YORK CITY — Consumers can now charge their cellphones, PDAs and MP3 players on the fly and in a flash through a new line of Automated Charging Machines (ACMs) from Hercules Networks. The company recently began rolling out its charging stations in malls nationwide and aligned with its first vending operator partner who’s placed units in hospitals, colleges and universities throughout New York City

California Governor Signs ‘Healthy’ Vending Legislation
Emily Jed
SANTA MONICA, CA — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed legislation requiring vending machines on California state property to satisfy “healthy” nutrition standards. SB 441, introduced by Tom Torlakson (D-Antioch), requires that at least 35% of the food and at least one third of the beverages offered in these vending machines meet “accepted nutritional guidelines” by January 1, 2011…

Coinco Debuts Vantage During October’s National Vending Show
Tim Sanford

ST. LOUIS — Coin Acceptors Inc. introduced the Vantage Series of bill acceptors for vending at the 2008 National Automatic Merchandising Association National Expo here. Vantage technology emphasizes increasing revenue while reducing service and operating costs…

Mad Dog Debuts Energy Shots For Vending; Takes On Manufacturing Of Extended Energy Chew Line
Emily Jed

TEMECULA, CA — Mad Dog Energy is building on the success of its flagship energy chew vending program with a new line of liquid energy shots and a branded machine dedicated to vending them. The company also has severed its relationship with Vroom Foods and is now manufacturing energy chews under its own brand in four novel flavors…

MEI Unveils Cashflow Validator, Optional Note Recycling
Tim Sanford

WEST CHESTER, PA — New from MEI is a bill validator and add-on recycling module designed to increase vending sales by enabling acceptance of the higher-denomination banknotes typically dispensed by automated teller machines…

NAMA EXPANDS ETHICS CAMPAIGN: Newest Program Elements Are Presented In Open Letter To The Industry

CHICAGO — The National Automatic Merchandising Association is expanding its ethics campaign to help operators who conduct business honestly and ethically, according to an open letter from NAMA. The letter about industry ethics was released on September 26 and signed by NAMA’s top executives. Campaign elements to be discussed at next week’s National Expo…

Pepsi Q3 Net Drops, Discloses $1.2 Billion Cost-Reduction Program
Emily Jed

PURCHASE, NY — PepsiCo Inc. reported a 9.6% decline in third-quarter net income, citing weak U.S. beverage sales, and lowered its profit forecast for the year as a result of the rebounding dollar. Year to date, PepsiCo's net revenue was $30.52 billion, versus $27.13 billion during the comparable period in fiscal 2007. Net income was $4.42 billion, up slightly from $4.40 billion a year earlier.

U.S. Mint’s ‘Green’ Campaign Promotes $1 Coins
Marcus Webb
WASHINGTON, DC — If George Washington and Abe Lincoln can’t persuade Americans to use $1 coins for everyday transactions, maybe Mother Earth can. The U.S. Mint is planning a four-month ad campaign, backed by a $12 million budget, that depicts coins as an environmentally conscious alternative to banknotes and urges citizens to “do their part” to help the planet by using $1 coins…

VMI, Cantaloupe Systems And Sprout Form Strategic Pact
Tim Sanford

BERKELEY, CA — The Vending Marketing Institute, Cantaloupe Systems and Sprout are working together to embed technology, improve operational efficiency and develop interactive consumer programs for unattended retail locations. VMI members will deploy telemetry and cashless services across their; Cantaloupe’s Seed will support these deployments…

Music and Games Features
Amusement And Vending Industries Grapple With Worsening Credit Crisis
Nick Montano

NEW YORK CITY (Oct. 2008) — This week’s turmoil in the credit and financial markets will have a lasting effect on coin-op concessions, especially equipment financing. Betson’s Bob Geschine and Firestone Financial’s David Cohen see challenges ahead, but say the industry’s top lenders are prepared. VT’s financial editor Allan Gilbert talks about the vending operator…

Belgian Company Bolsters U.S. Position With Monduce Buy; Guarnieri Becomes Chief Exec. Of Newly Formed Elaut USA
Nick Montano
EDISON, NJ — Belgian coin amusement pioneer Elaut nv/sa has concluded the second phase of its U.S. expansion plan by completing its acquisition of Monduce Inc. The company is changing its name from Monduce to Elaut USA. Industry veteran Jack Guarnieri has been named chief executive officer of the newly formed Elaut USA

DemROCKracy: TouchTunes Continues Its Music, Politics Mix
Nick Montano

NEW YORK CITY (Sept. 2008) — A special Rock The Vote playlist went live on TouchTunes jukeboxes today, six weeks before the general presidential election. It features music from the music provider’s DemROCKracy band competition – Jackie V. (Austin, TX), Otep (Los Angeles) and Mae (Norfolk, VA) – along with major artists Good Charlotte, Wyclef Jean and Christina Aguilera…

Ecast Explores Noncoin Media Markets; Introduces IQ Info Terminal
Nick Montano

SAN FRANCISCO –– Ecast is offering a new digital media product to boost its presence in markets outside the coin-op realm. The Ecast IQ is based on the large-screen format of the EQ jukebox (see story here), but does not incorporate music and payment components…

Fantasy’s Eventure Portable Photobooth Is Ready For Delivery
Nick Montano

SALEM, NH — Fantasy Entertainment reports that all backorders for its Eventure photobooth have been shipped and the portable model designed for the rentals and events market is now available. The photobooth company announced general availability for the machine during last month’s PDN PhotoPlus International Conference and Expo in New York City...

Global Coin-Op Develops Cashless Solution For Quick-Coin Games; ‘Universal Hopper Kit’ Is An Industry First, Provides Seamless Integration
Nick Montano

KINGSTON, MA (Oct. 2008) — New from Global Coin-Op Equipment is an upgrade that enhances the functionality of quick-coin devices operating in gamerooms using cashless payment systems. Called the “GCE Universal Hopper Kit,” the new option allows cards and other stored-value media to be swiped at the machine, which then dispenses coins or tokens used for play. The solution also permits quick-coins to run in ticketless mode…

Gov. Paterson Vetoes 'Free Game' Bill, Sends Blow To New York Trade
Nick Montano
Gov. David A. Paterson vetoed a bill that would have amended a law prohibiting free games or balls awarded by coin-operated amusement devices. In his veto statement, the governor suggested that bonus balls or time on pinball machines or videogames might threaten the public's safety.

IAAPA Readies Nov. 18-21 Attractions Expo; 50+ Coin-Op Firms Participate, FECs Highlight Seminar Program
Marcus Webb
ORLANDO, FL (Oct. 2008) — “Success in Every Direction” is the theme of the 2008 Attractions Expo, sponsored by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. The event takes place from November 18 to 21 at the Orange County Convention Center here. IAAPA’s associated educational conference begins a day earlier, on November 17…

OPEN LETTER: Firestone Chief Explains Credit Crisis, Interest Rate Hike To Industry

NEWTON, MA — In an open letter to operators, distributors and factories, Firestone Financial chief David Cohen warns that the industry is likely to experience a slowdown in the fourth quarter of 2008. He also said Firestone has money to lend and will not be impacted by the credit crunch. He cautioned, however, that loans everywhere will cost more; while the Federal Reserve cut its interest rate today, the LIBOR market has increased 150 basis points in the past several weeks. As a result, the industry’s biggest commercial finance company will be raising its rates on new loans. Read Cohen’s letter here.

PowerPutt Begins Shipping; New Viddie Appeals To Casual Players
Larisa Jayne Shewczyk
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL -- Incredible Technologies shipped the first 500 units of its latest videogame in late September. IT said the new PowerPutt miniature golf game meets a demand in coin-op for simple and intuitive play for all ages and both genders...

Stern Pinball Downsizes To Adjust To Changing Coin-Op Market, Strengthening Dollar

MELROSE PARK, IL — Stern Pinball Inc. is streamlining its workforce amid rising concerns about the global economic slowdown. The strengthening dollar is among the forces hurting the bottom line of the storied pinball maker, which exports half its new machines to overseas markets…

U-Profit Cancels Under Pressure From IAAPA
Marcus Webb

ORLANDO, FL (Oct. 2008) — The U-Profit Amusement and Entertainment Business Success 2008 educational conference has been cancelled to avoid conflict with the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions’ annual convention and trade show. Owned and organized by Bill Carlson of Bill Carlson Cos., U-Profit was scheduled for November 16-17 at the Holiday Inn Universal here. IAAPA’s Attractions Expo is set for November 17-20 at the Orange County Convention Center

Bulk Vending
‘Score’ Provides Free Consulting To Owners Of Small Businesses
Hank Schlesinger

WASHINGTON, DC — Though world-class experts in their own fields (such as vending), American small business owners typically lack the management expertise needed to see them smoothly through rough economic times. Howard Svigals is an expert and counselor in the SBA’s Score program. He offers advice to small vending operators facing a tough business environment…

How Vendors Can Even Out Cashflow With Credit Savvy
by Raymond Joabar, American Express OPEN

NEW YORK CITY — In a slow economy, credit is an important cashflow tool that can help small businesses cover temporary cash shortages and emergency expenses, as well as invest in growth opportunities. But as useful as credit is, it’s critical to make it part of a complete cash management plan. Otherwise, you may be prone to overusing or misusing credit, instead of making it work for your business… By RAYMOND JOABAR, American Express OPEN

New CPSC Legislation Mandates Compliance From Bulk Vending Industry
by Philip Brilliant, A&A Global Industries
With the passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, bulk vending suppliers and operators share the responsibility for product safety… By Phil Brilliant

WHAT’S NEW IN BULK VENDING? October Product Review
Larisa Jayne Shewczyk

Allstar leverages Hispanic TV sensation “Lola” in new tat series for girls; A&A Global highlights extraterrestrial toy mix. TNT/CEI and VenDynamics introduce their latest flat vending products…

Editorial: Music and Games
EDITORIAL: Coin-Op Needs A ‘New Deal’
Marcus Webb
As of this writing, Congress was busy passing a $700 billion economic rescue plan. By the time this issue mails, America will be 21 days from electing a new president. Also this year, “Web 2.0” – the user-generated, social-networked, collaborative model of the Internet – has quietly gone from controversy to consensus. Arguably, then, we’re looking at a fresh start… a “New Deal”… in New York City, Washington, DC, and Silicon Valley… By Marcus Webb

Upfront with the Publisher
UPFRONT: Turn Obstacles Into Opportunities
Alicia Lavay
People who run trade magazines sometimes are invited to speak, as experts, with prospective suppliers about industry conditions and needs. So when a client recently asked me to address the major issues that have been affecting our industry, and offer suggestions on how we might turn these challenges into opportunities, I was very happy to do so... By Alicia Lavay-Kertes

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