Posts Tagged arcade machines

Why People Flip Over Vintage Pinball Machines

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 | Permalink

by Maribeth Keane and Ben Marks |

I didn’t really get into to pinball machine collecting until maybe 15 years ago, but when I was a freshman in college, video games were really big. I went to Purdue University. They had a lot of arcade machines there. I always said that Space Invaders and Pac-Man took so much of my money—money that I really didn’t have—that it would have been cheaper to just buy one of those machines.

So one day I went to an auction of coin-operated video games. They had pinball machines there, too, including a 1980 Spider-Man machine. This is about 1988, so the game’s only eight years old. They started bidding at a hundred dollars, and nobody’s bidding. I drag it home and set it up, and sure enough a few things don’t work on it. And of course I don’t know how to fix it, but I go through it, figure it out, and it’s rewarding.

So I started buying these machines, tried to figure out how to fix them, and started to network with other guys who were buying games. I’d say, “Hey, I have this problem, how do you fix that?” You couldn’t find anybody to repair them. As time progressed, I just started buying more games, figuring out how to fix them, and I would run an ad in the paper—“Buying pinball machines, broken or working.” I would get a zillion calls.

Over the course of talking to people, I was developing this library of repair information. Then, in about 1995, I got a new job, and they had this crazy thing at work called Internet access. I’m like, “Wow, I can post all my repair stuff on the Internet.” I made a database and it just kept growing until I ended up with this huge website called

As part of the hobby, I went to the Pinball Expo in Chicago. This was about 1999, and they had all these seminars with people involved in the industry—programmers, game designers, service guys. The next year we presented a demonstration at the show about repairing games. As a joke, we said, “We’re going to make a videotape,” just a goofy, comedy videotape on pinball repair. And so we came up with this Norman-Shaggy thing, where I was Shaggy, the guy with long hair, and Norm was the guy who you never, ever saw, but he talked with a Boston accent. It was loosely based on This Old House, so we called it This Old Pinball. It was a weird morph of a bunch of ideas.

We showed the tape after our repair seminar, and people just went nuts, saying, “Hey, can I get a copy?” And we’re like, “We’re not selling this. It was just a one-time thing.” So then this guy comes up to me and says, “Look, I’m running this pinball hall of fame thing in Las Vegas. I’ll sell your video, and I’ll give some of the money to the Salvation Army and some of the money to our nonprofit pinball hall of fame, and you’ll help a lot of people out.”

If you are a fan of vintage pinball machines, check the ones Pursuit Zone has for sale!

If you are a fan of vintage pinball machines, check the ones Pursuit Zone has for sale!

So we started making these videos, and we turned them into nine, two-hour DVDs. We’ve sold 5,000 of them, or something. It’s unbelievable.

Collectors Weekly: How long does it take to repair the average pinball machine?
Harrell: The quickest I can restore a machine is maybe a week, and that would be the best-case scenario. It takes time to tear them down. All the mechanical assemblies have to be taken apart, cleaned, and the parts must be replaced and put back together. A lot of times I’ll touch up the play fields with clear coat so it doesn’t look like it’s been touched up.

Most of the machines are commercial devices designed to make money for an operator, and most operators just ran the games into the ground. They didn’t really maintain them or take care of them. When they got done with them, they sold them at auction, or maybe cleaned them up a little, ran a rag across them, put new rubber on, and sold them to a homeowner, who then played the bejebus out of it. Or their kids did. Most of the games that you end up with tend to be pretty tired by the time you get them.

Collectors Weekly: Are there a lot of pinball machine collectors?

Harrell: It is a fairly small hobby. I’m the co-editor of one of the pinball magazines, and the subscription number is 1,200 people worldwide. Now, I know not every collector subscribes, but that gives you an indication that the hobby is not huge. There are people who own pinball machines, but they’re not collectors. I would say there’s a difference between a pinball collector and a pinball owner.

We categorize collectors by digits: single-digit collectors, one to nine machines, or double-digit collectors, 10 to 99 machines. Well, I’m a three-digit collector, which is just sick. There’s something wrong with me. If you’re a three-digit collector, you’ve got issues. I think the largest collection known is around 1,500 machines. But the problem is that after you get so many machines, it’s hard to keep them all working and operating or even to have them all restored in the first place because they are a huge time suck.

We started a pinball club, a local Detroit pinball club. We call it the Detroit Pinball Collectors Club. We’ve got a little clubhouse, and so I’ve got a bunch of games there, too. And I’ve got games at a friend’s house. I’ve got games all over the place, unfortunately, just because the one single thread in pinball collecting is you can never have just one, and you always run out of room. If you’re a real collector, it seems like you’re just always amassing more games. I have a really great time restoring them and playing them. I’m probably an average pinball player, maybe above average, but I’m not great. But it’s fun. It’s a fun thing, and it doesn’t become old quickly like, say, video games.

Collectors Weekly: How did pinball evolve in the United States?

Harrell: It was a game that morphed from the French game of bagatelle. In the 1930s, it really exploded as a gambling thing, and that’s where pinball got this gambling association.

Coming out of World War II, the gambling laws were changing in the United States. In particular, in 1950, the Johnson Act made it difficult for slot machines or any sort of gambling device to be used in public. It was a federal offense. So, pinball had to shed its gambling association to become a game of skill. In 1947, they came up with this crazy idea of adding flippers to the machine.

Gottlieb came out with the first flipper machine. Instead of just letting the ball fall into a hole worth points or money, now the player actually had some control over the ball. With flippers, you could steer the ball into different point areas. All the companies jumped on this flipper technology—Gottlieb did not patent it. Soon everybody was using flipper machines, and it made all the pre-flipper machines of the ’30s and early ’40s—the pre-1947 stuff—obsolete.

In the ’60s, games became more technologically advanced, and in the ’70s they were still using the same electromechanical principles of coils (which are magnets), relays, and stepper units, which are, more or less, one-bit memory units, in a mechanical sense.

By about 1977, 1978, the companies all dropped the electromechanical stuff and went to solid state, using microprocessors to control the games as opposed to having everything hardwired with relays and stepper units. I collect the pre-solid state games.

Collectors Weekly: Who were the major manufacturers?

Harrell: During the 1930s, there were literally hundreds of companies making pinball machines. After World War II, though, there was only a handful. The key players were Gottlieb—the biggest, and pretty much the Cadillac of pinball—and Williams, which was substantially smaller but still an up-and-coming game company. They were the two prime manufacturers. There were smaller players like Chicago Coin, Keeney, and United that made pinball. But really, it was Gottlieb and Williams. Even Bally only made a handful of pinball machines during the 1950s. They made mostly bingos. They looked like pinball machines, but they were really gambling devices. They didn’t have flippers.

The artwork on pinball machines, especially in the ’50s, was fairly racy because the players they were attracting were mostly male bar patrons, ages 20 to 50. There were always lightly clad, well-endowed women on the back glass. The general thought is that Gottlieb had the best artwork. There are some people who collect the machines just because they like the artwork. For them, Gottlieb is pretty much the king.

In the 1960s, Williams started making more machines, and Bally started to get into the market more aggressively. As the bingo machines became clearly illegal, Bally shifted its production over to pinball, and by the mid-1960s, it was starting to make a lot more pinball machines. So now the big three players were Gottlieb, Williams, and Bally, with Chicago Coin as a runner-up. United was bought out by Williams, and Keeney was out of business.

By the 1970s, Gottlieb was still the leader because of its artwork, game play, and quality. Williams was second. But Bally began pushing the envelope as far as artwork was concerned. The company hired a new artist named Dave Christensen, a guy who had been doing slot-machine art in the Bally slot-machine department. They shifted him over to pinball and he really brought Bally pinball machines to the forefront because of his racy artwork, which was much more realistic than the cartoony art that Williams and Gottlieb were creating. The women Christensen drew looked almost real, maybe a bit super-human.

For a while, Bally was up-and-coming, but as soon as the crossover to solid state happened, when companies dumped electromechanical technology for microprocessors, Bally and Williams really took over. Gottlieb fell behind because the operators didn’t view their system as being reliable. Gottlieb’s approach to game design also lagged, but the company eventually went out of business in 1995 because they could never get past the reliability issue.

Collectors Weekly: Did Williams and Gottlieb have their own artists?

Harrell: Yes, they had preferred artists. During the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, artwork wasn’t always created in house. Williams or another company would design a game, and then they would hand the game over to another company that just did art. This second company had their own staff artists. In the case of Gottlieb, they used one particular artist, Roy Parker.

So the look of each manufacturer’s machines took on a personality based on the artist—the theme was almost irrelevant. The art really didn’t have anything to do with the actual game play. It could be about almost anything. Clearly some games were designed with a card game like poker or blackjack or something like that in mind. But with a lot of the themes, the art could’ve been anything. The art company would often come up with names for the games, and they would do all the artwork based on the actual whitewood, which was the name for the raw prototype game without art on it. They would pretty much do whatever they wanted, but they knew what the companies were expecting, so that’s why the companies used the same artists over and over.

There were different artists in different years. Gottlieb started out with Roy Parker, who died in 1965 of cancer. Art Stenholm took over and did a lot of Gottlieb artwork through the rest of the ’60s. So you had these artists who would do games for a particular manufacturer for years and years. By the ’80s, the games were getting more sophisticated with voice and speech, and the theme of the game was more set in concrete, so an artist couldn’t really re-theme a game. So a lot of the artists were brought in house and actually worked at Williams or Gottlieb or Bally, and the artwork on the games became much more entwined with the theme.

Collectors Weekly: When did movie promotion begin?

Harrell: Bally was the first company to do that. They were the first company to get an official licensed theme. During the 1950s, Gottlieb had done some unlicensed themes. They had a game called Guy’s Dolls, and it just happened to come out at the same time as the Broadway play called Guys and Dolls. So they were trying to wrap themselves in the popularity of pop culture at the time without actually having to pay any money for it.

In 1975 Bally was the first company to pay for a license. The game was Wizard, which was based on the Tommy movie by the Who. They paid very little for the licensing at the time, but they were able to promote the machine around the movie. And since it was called Wizard, they actually would go around to different cities and give the machines away at pinball tournaments. They would host pinball tournaments to try and increase the popularity of their brand.

Then all the other companies followed suit. Gottlieb got a license in 1979 for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Williams did it to a much lesser extent. Bally was the key player in licensing themes. They really felt that they could bring new people in to play pinball if they recognized the theme.

Today, the only pinball manufacturer left is Stern out of Chicago. Just about every game they put out, if not every game they put out, is a licensed theme because they are really strong believers in the idea that themes attract new players to pinball. In other words, you can get somebody to play an Indiana Jones pinball machine because they just walked out of the Indiana Jones movie, that sort of thing.

Bally also did a lot of games based on rock groups. They did a KISS machine, which was hugely popular, and one with Ted Nugent. The payments to these guys were so small. For the Ted Nugent game, everybody on the road crew, the management, and the band got a machine. That was the licensing fee, probably 15 machines. Stern did the Ted Nugent deal.

Collectors Weekly: What were some of the other most popular themes?

Harrell: Gottlieb was really good at card themes. They were known for that. Card games like poker, you’re trying to get different hands, a royal flush, they used that name a bunch of times—Card Whiz, Royal Flush, Pop-a-Card.

In the 1950s, Gottlieb would run a machine for maybe three or four weeks in their factory and then make anywhere from 500 to 1,500 machines. They would produce maybe 10 different games a year. By the 1960s, production numbers began to bump up. One thousand was now a low production number, and 2,500 to 3,500 was a good run for any particular game. The games were becoming more popular. They were selling more of them.

By the 1970s, some of the machines were breaking sales records, especially the early Bally licensed stuff. They were selling 10,000 machines, 15,000 machines, and this is an incredible number of machines compared to what they were selling just a few years before. But in the mid-’70s, video games were just on the horizon, and by 1979, microprocessor games like Space Invaders, which was a black-and-white game, really started to cut into the pinball market share.

When Pac-Man came out in 1980, pinball really took a dive. Where just a couple years before they had been selling 8,000, 10,000, 12,000, or 15,000 machines, now manufacturers were having a hard time selling 2,000 machines. So the popularity would go down, and pinball would constantly have to reinvent itself. By the late 1980s, Bally was almost out of business, and Williams bought them just to get the name and basically kill a competitor.

By the early 1990s, pinball was on upswing again. Manufacturers were selling boatloads of machines, with the Adam’s Family being the most popular game of all time. And then in the mid-’90s, home-gaming consoles became popular and once again pinball’s popularity started to slide. People weren’t going out so much to be entertained. Arcades were having a hard time, some even closed.

In 1999, Williams/Bally stopped making pinball machines. They just stopped. They said, “We’re just making slot machines.” Remember, Gottlieb had already gone out of business in 1995. So now there was only one pinball manufacturer left, a company called Data East, which in 1995, was bought by Sega.

By 1999, Sega wanted out, so they basically dumped the pinball company. A long-time Data East guy, Gary Stern, picked it up for a very fair price. So now, Gary Stern is running Stern Pinball. There are no stockholders to answer to, it’s just Gary. Because of that autonomy, his pinball machine company has been able to survive. He’s been able to keep his company afloat even during these poor economic times. That’s good because if Stern Pinball goes under, there’s nobody left making any new machines. There almost has to be a new pinball manufacturer out there to keep pinball alive as a pop cultural icon.

Collectors Weekly: When did multi-player games appear?

Harrell: Originally, machines were all single-player games. It was one player at a time. But starting in 1954, Gottlieb came up with the idea to have two or even four people playing at a time. Player one would play ball one, then player two would play ball one. Then player one would play ball two, and player two would play ball two. Suddenly it was more competitive.

The problem was that with electromechanical architecture, the amount of circuitry needed to support multi-player games came at the expense of game play. Basically, it meant that the games couldn’t be as complicated as far as game play and game features were concerned. So there was always this kind of wresting match—do you have a multi-player game that people can play more or less head to head, or do you have a single-player game where the rule set can be considerably deeper but with only one person playing at a time?

As far as collectors go, most collectors like single-player electromechanical games because the games are more involved and they have a deeper rule set. There’s more to do. With the advent of solid-state microcomputers and microprocessors, all games became multi-player just by default because now the game could remember.

Collectors Weekly: Did the transition from wood rail to metal rail change game play, or was that just the frame?

Harrell: No, it was purely aesthetics. At first the games didn’t have a lot of security. There was a coin box. The coin doors were wooden. The legs were wooden. The side rails that held the top glass in place were wooden, and that’s why they call those games wood rails. Most games from the 1950s cost a nickel to play. So you only had a few bucks worth of nickels in the coin box. By 1960 the price of games had gone up to a dime, so now there’s more money in the coin boxes and they just felt that they needed more security. Also the cost of wood was going up. Metal was actually cheaper to produce. It’s also harder to pry them off, to get the glass up, and then get to the coin box.

Collectors Weekly: How do you choose new games to collect?

Harrell: There are games that I’m looking for, clearly. The one thing that’s very interesting about this hobby is it doesn’t have to be expensive. You can buy machines off Craigslist or out of the want ads, or wherever, for anywhere from $50 to $500. These are decent games that are restorable; something to work on and have fun with. And when you’re done, you got a game to play.

I tend to try and look for things that I can afford, that seem interesting and that maybe I don’t have a lot of experience with because it is a huge learning experience, the whole thing, working on the different games and learning their ins and outs.

Collectors Weekly: What do you look for in game play?

Harrell: I’ve never played a pinball machine that didn’t have some sort of objective. The game play always has an objective. With pool themes, those are pretty generic. You need to try to get all the stripes or all the solids. And once you get all the stripes or all the solids, in some games, anyway, then you want to get the 8-ball. Some Games are actually called 8 Ball or the 8-ball is an important part of the theme. But there’s always some objective, and sometimes there’s an order to the objective.

One thing that’s unusual about pinball compared to a lot of other amusement games is that you can actually win something from playing it. This goes back to that 1930s gambling association. The machines couldn’t pay out, but they could award a free game. So what’s a free game? I guess some people thought it was something of value, but really it’s just another game you get to play for free. So in a lot of games like Flipper Pool or Bank-a-Ball, both 1965 Gottlieb games, if you had hit all the targets associated with all the solids or all the stripes, you would get what’s called a replay. You would basically win a free game. And on some machines, you can win multiple free games if you accomplished enough things.

Some people remember playing that game. They’d put in a dime, rack up 10 credits, and play the rest of the afternoon for free. There are a lot of people who have that sort of recollection from their youth. Even today, if you get to a certain replay score, you can still win a free game. In some states, pinball machines were outlawed because winning a game was viewed as winning something of value. It felt too much like gambling. So Gottlieb figured that instead of rewarding the player with an extra game, they’d just reward the player by making the current game last longer. So you would win additional balls instead of winning free games.

Collectors Weekly: Finally, what was a conversion machine?

Harrell: There were really three types. Back in 1947, when flippers were invented, a lot of the non-flipper machines were converted to flippers with a kit. That was one style of conversion machine. Then in the 1970s, there were a couple experiments where you could buy a machine, say a Bally Mata Hari, and you could flip a different playfield into it. They would sell just the playfield, which is the wood portion that the ball rolls on, plus a different score glass and a different set of chips for the computer. It let you convert a base machine into an entirely different game.

The idea didn’t go over so well. Bally/Williams tried it again in 1999 with Pinball 2000. Again, you would buy a base machine, and in order to make it into a different game, you could basically flip in a new playfield, some new memory cards, and the new back glass art. None of these ideas seemed to work all that well. Pinball 2001 took this idea further and probably was the one format that could have worked, but Bally/Williams closed its pinball division in 1999, so it never really took off. So there you go, three different types of conversion machines.


Visit our website:, for further information about vintage pinball machines, arcade machines, or bally pinball machine.

How to Start an Arcade Business

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013 | Permalink

by Family Entertainment Center |

If you are looking to start an arcade business, the new amusement entrepreneur must first understand the local market opportunity, the demography of that local market, and just as important, his or her own arcade business goals.

There are many options to consider when looking to start your arcade business, including the arcade games you will need for your target customers, and the type of game play your arcade business will offer. This includes different arcade machines, redemption games (ticket games) and the play value of each of these game types.

Start an Arcade Business

If your goal is to start an arcade, you may very well be looking at starting a fun center business with an arcade game room. The reasons for this are many, check out the article Video Arcade Game – A Business in Decline to see how and why the arcade business is changing.

When starting an arcade business, there are several things to keep in mind. Your arcade game room is a player in the overall family fun center attraction mix. Depending on your fun center business goals and your target market demographics it might be a key player, or it might just be a necessary component to the long term success of your business. Make no mistake, arcade game machines are still in fashion and profitable in the right location, with the right mix and game room design.

The point of this conversation is to open the eyes of the new arcade startup to the bigger picture. Old style, stand-alone video arcade game room just doesn’t have the pull, or the community attraction they once had. However, a successful arcade business has become an integral component of your overall attraction mix and the fun center or indoor party center business itself.

Family fun center businesses are smart to include an arcade game room, if it makes sense for their target aged customer and local demographic. For a younger indoor party center demographic (typically 10 years and under), video arcade games are not as popular as redemption games. Secondly, mothers are the primary buyer for this younger demographic and justified or not, often see the content of these video arcade games as violent and destructive. If on the other hand, your market includes tweens, teenagers and young adults, a video arcade game room is expected and will do well with the right arcade game mix and game room design.

Arcade Business – Design for Profit

Among all the video games and redemption (or ticket) games available for your arcade business, each one has it’s own playability or play value. When combined together into a cohesive arcade game room, the total mix of your video game selection should provide your arcade business customers a well rounded and highly playable guest experience. Depending on your target demographic, a good game room needs to offer your guests an assortment of arcade machines and gaming experiences.

For example, you need quick play games, novelty games, merchandise and redemption games, shooting games, driving games and traditional pinball games. If you are going to be catering to a younger demographic you may also want to include kiddie games.

How to Start an Arcade – Space Planning

Here are some base rules of thumb when looking at designing a successful arcade game room:

  • Use an estimated 50 sqft of floor space per game (100 games = 5,000 sqft).
  • You can bunch games up side by side, or back to back to save space.
  • Video arcade games need approximately 4 feet clearance in the front of the game.
  • Basketball or SureShoot type games require 6 feet of clearance in the front of the game.
  • Redemption games can vary dramatically however, a minimum of 2-3 feet in front and 1-2 feet on each side.
  • If you are using multiples of the same type of games or titles, you can push these games side-by-side to reduce the amount of space required.
  • For larger, multiplayer arcade coin games or redemption games that can be played by 4 to 6 players at a time, this type of cabinet game should be used as an eye-catcher and placed in a visible spot with a minimum of 4-6 feet around the entire game.

Your family fun center, indoor party center and other amusement attractions are a fun place for families, tweens, teenagers and groups of friends to go play and spend some time (and money) together.
 There are a wide assortment of video games, arcade machines and coin operated games that can help make this experience diverse, entertaining and time well spent for your guests.

To develop a successful arcade game room you need to offer your guests a good variety of game-play and play-ability, from a diverse set of arcade machines and redemption games.

 When designing your game room, the game mix and game room layout are the key areas of planning for long term success in your attraction business. As with space planning for your amusement fun center in general, providing your guests with a visually pleasing and traffic friendly layout is the corner stone of arcade game room success. At a glance, your fun center guests should be able to quickly feel enticed to enter the room and select an arcade game to start playing.

Arcade Game Room – Final Thoughts

Once your guests find games to play, how they play those games are just as important as which arcade machines and games they play. Some games are multi-person games and require a lot more space than a single pinball machine would need. Popular games tend to draw a crowd, and having a visible location for such games, with enough surrounding space to accommodate those crowds is also important.

When looking to purchase arcade machines for your business here are a few key things to keep in mind;

  • Your target demographic – who are your customers, and what ages are they? This will help you to determine the ultimate make-up of your game selection, arcade games vs. redemption games.
  • The amount of floor space you can devote to a your game room. As mentioned above, arcade machines and interactive games vary in size and can require a lot of square footage if you intend to offer 60-70 games.
  • Consider good crowd control and space management when placing games. Focus on visibility and popularity – bringing the hot games to the front of your game room will encourage play and guest participation as friends watch friends play.
  • Use lighting to enhance the room and direct guests focus to specific arcade machines that are proven revenue earners.

Spend the time to plan and design a good game room with the right game selection and space planning now, and it will help draw strong repeat visits and revenue opportunities today and over time. If you need help in arcade game selection, click here to find a list of arcade amusement companies at the amusement equipment directory website.


To read more about arcade games, arcade machines, and used amusement center equipment, visit our website:

How to Find Used Arcade Equipment

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012 | Permalink

by Lee Johnson |

If you’re looking to get an old arcade game for your house, it’s hard to know where to start looking. There is no consistent demand across the population for old arcade games, so the means to find them seem hidden. But getting hold of a used arcade game will lead to hours of fun, and provide a talking point with new visitors to your house for years to come. Finding used arcade machines is actually easy to do, bringing you one step closer to anything from pinball to Pac-Man.


1. Search online. There are many websites that sell used arcade games. You could visit BMI Gaming, Vintage Arcade, Money Machines, or many others (see Resources). If you are looking for a specific machine, you can search many competing sites to find which carry your machine. If you’re just looking for parts for a machine, you could visit websites such as Jamma Boards, Arcade Shop Amusements and Quarter Arcade, who deal in specific parts from machines (see Resources).

Pursuit Zone carries a wide selection of new and used arcade games. Order yours today at

2. Use auction websites. They are a great source for used equipment of all types, and arcade games or parts are no different. The only issue with auction websites is that they rely on the sellers themselves, and although there are usually feedback scores on these websites, you cannot be certain that you’re getting what you asked for. Any errors or omissions in the item description, for example, may lead to you getting something you don’t want. Usually, you can judge if a seller is trustworthy, but be careful.

3. Search local public advertisements. Although searching through want-ads may not turn up an arcade machine or parts all of the time, there is a chance you can hit on a good purchase in this way. Spending your money online is tempting because it is so easy, but the old fashioned method of listing items for sale locally can often turn up better deals.

4. Go to a local amusement arcade. If you are looking for specific parts for a machine and have a general understanding of how arcade machines are put together, you may be able to salvage parts from an old machine. Amusement arcades have to deal with broken machines frequently, and if you’re lucky, you may be able to grab something useful from a machine that is going to be scrapped.

5. Ask about the monitor when buying a used machine. According to Arcade Equipment, the monitor is the most likely cause of problems or failures with machines, and when buying a used machine. Ideally, it will have been previously replaced, but if not, you can invest in a capacitor kit to get a bit more life out of the old one.

Tips & Warnings

  • Only tinker with the machine’s internals if you know what you’re doing. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you don’t!


Are you interested in arcade machines, used arcade machines, or used arcade games? Get yours and more entertainment center equipment at:

Amusement Expo 2011 Gains IAAPA Educational Programming Support

Thursday, October 21st, 2010 | Permalink

June 11, 2010

Today, leaders from the American Amusement Machine Association (AAMA), the Amusement & Music Operators Association (AMOA), and the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) jointly announced future plans for Amusement Expo 2011, which will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center March 1-3, 2011. The conference and trade show for the coin-operated amusement and family entertainment center industries is owned by AAMA and AMOA and managed by William T. Glasgow Inc. IAAPA will develop and produce an educational program for family entertainment center operators that will be scheduled in conjunction with Amusement Expo 2011. The association will also have a booth on the exhibit floor and host a social event at the show.

AAMA, AMOA, and IAAPA have jointly decided not to extend their 10-year joint venture agreement to produce Fun Expo International beyond the 2010 event which took place in March in Las Vegas.

Amusement Expo was produced for the first time in 2010. It was collocated with Fun Expo in Las Vegas. Approximately 2,500 people, including more than 1,000 buyers, participated in the comingled events. One hundred fifty (150) companies exhibited their goods and services on the trade show floor.

AAMA Board Chairman and Firestone Financial President and CEO David Cohen said, “We were very happy with Amusement Expo 2010. From the show floor to the seminars and networking events, the show fueled a renewed excitement about the future of our industry.” Continuing, he added, “Having a single spring event is the right thing for the exhibitors, the buyers, and the associations involved. It allows us to focus our energy and produce a successful, quality event that will grow in the years to come.”

“Amusement Expo 2010 exceeded our expectations and laid a great foundation on which we can build,” said AMOA President Gary Brewer, owner of Brewer Amusement Co. “We are pleased to have IAAPA’s support in providing education programs for an important group of attendees. We look forward to a bigger and better show in 2011.”

“Amusement Expo is an important event for the FEC industry, and we are pleased to offer IAAPA’s quality education program for FEC operators during the show,” said IAAPA President and CEO Charlie Bray.

Amusement Expo 2011 will take place concurrently with International Pizza Expo 2011. Additional information about Amusement Expo 2011 will be available at in the weeks ahead.

About AAMA

The American Amusement Machine Association (AAMA) is an international nonprofit trade organization representing the manufacturers, distributors, and parts suppliers of the coin-operated amusement industry. AAMA was founded in 1981 by a small group of amusement coin-operated machine manufacturers concerned with the future of their industry. A board of directors, selected by its members, governs the AAMA. Committees work with the association staff to develop programs to promote and protect the industry. Members donate their time, effort, and expertise on a voluntary basis. For 30 years, AAMA has served its membership through legislative efforts, promotional arenas, foreign business development, and more.

About AMOA

The Amusement & Music Operators Association (AMOA) is a diverse group of companies engaged in the coin-operated amusement industry. Membership includes operators who own, place, and service coin-activated equipment; manufacturers of coin-operated equipment, including games, jukeboxes, pool tables, dart boards, foosball, and other amusements; suppliers who provide parts or accessories, including monitors, bill changers, locks, etc.; distributors who market and distribute the coin-operated amusements; consultants; members of the recording industry; trade press; and others involved in various channels of the coin-activated equipment business.


IAAPA is the premier trade association for the attractions industry worldwide. Founded more than 90 years ago, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions worldwide and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the amusement industry. IAAPA represents more than 4,000 facility, supplier, and individual members from more than 90 countries. Member facilities include amusement/theme parks, waterparks, attractions, family entertainment centers, arcades, zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, resorts, and casinos.

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Click here for information on Used arcade games.

Click here for information on Used arcade games.

Click here for information on Used amusement park equipment.

Click here for information on Used amusement park equipment.

Click here for information on Used amusement park rides.

Click here for information on Used laser tag equipment.