(Topic ID: 195753)

Can you make Money putting machines on Location?


By trk12fire

2 years ago



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    #1 2 years ago

    Hello,
    I was born with pinball machines in my house. I currently own 4 in my own home, along with 1 additional game I rotate. I rotate, fix and turn games every couple months. It's fun, and I can put an additional machine in my house. However, I always want another machine. My local area has beat up machines that don't even function and the owner of these machines leases them to the business and does no maintenance. The pizza parlors, movie theaters and bowling alley that have the machines are not happy. They're asking me if I'd like to put up my own machine there. That way I could take care of it (which I enjoy) and split the profit. It seems like we split the profit 50/50, but I pay for the machine. I'm guessing each machine will get an average of 2000 plays a year. So I would make 1000 per year, but I pay 6000 for the machine. My question is- Is there money to be made or am I just trying to satisfy my addiction.

    #2 2 years ago

    If so, What pinball machine would you recommend?

    #3 2 years ago

    A good read here about a recent route operator -
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/stern-star-trek-with-4938-plays-pics
    Id push harder for a larger take than 50/50 if it were me however

    #4 2 years ago

    Thank you Thrill,
    I've read that forum and it seems that he just recently started getting his money back. however, when he sells it there would be an additional 3500-4000. That's one of the machines that I own and am thinking of putting on location.

    #5 2 years ago

    Im lucky enough that my job allows me to play on location quite a bit, 3-4 nights a week. Ive talked with a few bar/restaraunt owners at bringing games in and none of them thought twice at a 80/20 split. If you're thinking of games to route I would go with iron man, spider man, or star trek. AFM, MM or WOZ are good ones also but a little spendy. The only game I have ever seen that women will play on a whim is WOZ, its too bad the point system is so screwy on it. They get bummed out when they only score 14k and the WMS next to it is giving out millions+ for an average game. Games with easily reached multiballs are always a big hit with casual players. In my experience stay away from ghost busters and GOT. I constantly have people come up and tell me how "cheap" GB is in regards to drains while im playing and the GOT rule set is to confusing for most casual players.

    #6 2 years ago

    Great info, thank you. I was thinking 50/50 wouldn't work. An 80/20 split would work for me, but the businesses are getting 50/50 now, along with crappy non-functional machines. The balls don't even shoot, haven't been cleaned in years and they have a bunch of bad optos. I planned on buying a Star Wars premium, but I'm not sure if it's worth paying the extra cash for the premium. I just sold my last IM, but I can probably utilize my ST Pro.

    #7 2 years ago
    Quoted from trk12fire:

    I planned on buying a Star Wars premium, but I'm not sure if it's worth paying the extra cash for the premium.

    I doubt it would ever make financial sense to route a premium over a pro - do it if you want the premium in the end to keep for yourself, but not in the expectation that you'll make significantly more money on route (or on resale, since pros seem to retain more value than premiums).

    #8 2 years ago

    I just recently put a EM on location 'Spin Out at a friends barbershop and two days later I went back to check on it and I was shocked to find out it had about $8.00 in quarters in the box.

    #9 2 years ago

    I route 3 games right now at a local brewpub. Here is my take in just 4 months from what I've learned so far.

    1. There has got to be some sort of liability insurance present so that any injuries incurred on the premises, either directly or indirectly involving the games, everyone is covered.

    2. Typical owners want newer DMD games as that's kind of what the public wants. Put in a EM and don't expect to get much in return.

    3. Location, location, location. It helps to put games in a happening spot with lots of traffic. A game in a dark corner of a hardware store isn't gong to make any money.

    4. Have a change machine or, if you can swing it, a bill validator on the game. Before we had a change machine installed the games didn't get many plays. Now we have to sometimes buy quarters from the bank to keep the change machine full.

    5. Good luck getting more than the 50/50 split...I tried and here's what I was told. The amount of food and drink revenue one dining table brings in is about $10k per seat per year. One game may bring in maybe $5k in a year; so the owners going to make more money with a dining table. And the owner has to pay for the electricity too. So to the owner, he'd rather have a table for people to buy food/drinks than a pinball machine. So, 50/50 it is.

    6. Obviously, repairs can vary based on what the issue is. If your game has reset issues or playability issues, expect it to be turned off or get constant texts or calls. Luckily I've had very minor issues that have maybe cost $40 for three games over 3 months now. I know there will be a big unexpected hit that will happen inevitability, but everyday I don't get a text is a good day. I live fairly close to the location, but I've probably been there 12 times on my lunch hour from work or on a weekend from home to fix something.

    7. People love to jam in Canadian quarters, nickles, pennies, etc into the coin slots. I go usually once a week just to clear jams from the coin mechs. If the game isn't taking quarters, the game is off. So expect to be clearing those out.

    8. On the plus side, as of tonight, one of my games will be paid off from just my split. So, it pays to put the best, but yet cheapest, DMD game you can find to put on route. One reason why it makes sense to use the Pro version of the game.

    #10 2 years ago

    I have a GB premium and a GOT pro on location, both earn very well compared to my other machines. There is no way I'd do a 50/50 with any location. That's an old rule of thumb when new pins cost less than $4k. It's easily justifiable to ask for more than 50/50, especially if you have superb equipment and you are doing all the work. As far as proprietors saying a table brings in 10k, that's not a good comparison. Pinball's are an attraction even more so today with the lack of locations to play. Pinball attracts customers to play, then to also take part in the other services of the location like food and drinks. Pinball typically brings in a group of people, not just in one person at a time. I would recommend at least two pins at a location, 4 or more is ideal. The more you have, the bigger the groups come in to play. Lastly, you are not going to make any real money routing pins, more or less you will earn enough to pay the deprecated value and a little for your efforts. You'll need other equipment like a touch tunes and or pool tables. I enjoy people getting to experience good pins and I have justification to have more machines.

    #11 2 years ago

    I had several pins on location and a couple vids years ago. I did a 60/40 split plus payed for all maintenance.
    Here is what you do. Go back to those places and tell them you can bring a game but only at 60/40 split. You simply explain that you need this to be ABLE to keep the machines in top shape. Tell them people will be more willing to play good playing games then they will from crappy games. Another suggestion is don't bite off more then you can chew. Meaning go slow with the amount of games you put out. You want to be able to have the time to go out and inspect your games often.

    #12 2 years ago
    Quoted from schudel5:

    I route 3 games right now at a local brewpub. Here is my take in just 4 months from what I've learned so far.

    I suspect that it also helps that you personally are able to repair just about anything that might fail, break, or burn out.
    Seems like having to get an outside tech, or even send out boards for repair would really hurt operations.

    #13 2 years ago

    Industry standard (at least around here). Is 30-35% to the proprietors. This is not just pinball. There are a lot of locations that pay to rent equipment for the attraction it brings and the maintenance support for the equipment.

    #14 2 years ago

    I have had games on location since mid-March, basically 5 full months at this point. Started with just Fish Tales as a two-week experiment. It went very well so we kept adding more games. At this point, I have 6 pins (Metallica Pro, Congo, Baywatch, WWFRR, Fish Tales, and Prospector) and 1 arcade (NBA Jam TE 4 player). All pins are $.50 except Prospector is $.25.

    I don't view it so much as a business as trying to share my hobby. The bar is owned by a close friend, and it is under a mile from my house. I don't know that I would honestly even bother trying to route things much further than that just because of gas prices, and the fact that I work two other jobs so having to go there to fix things could be very troublesome.

    I had one coil wire come off and short out a 10-opto board badly which led to about $100 repair total, but otherwise have others have said they have held up better than I expected. I go every Sunday to do the collection, wipe down all games with novus, and play test all of them to make sure switches and lights are still working. It takes me about two hours at least. I wax them at least once a month, sometimes twice.

    We split 60% to me 40% to location. The games have earned consistently, but haven't seen a huge increase by adding more games, instead, the earnings are about the same but now divided amongst the different games. We started up a novice league that ran for 6 weeks and we just had a finals tournament. Through that time I had 11 people play in league that had never played pinball before so I considered it a big success. The owners of the bar have fallen in love with it and actually just sold their home gym equipment to convert that room into a pinball room.

    I definitely can't see making a living this way, but as far as getting a little cash back from the hobby, and helping to spread the joy of pinball I think that is totally possible.

    So far They have brought in about $2400 over the 5 months. I've spent $2400 on two games that I bought specifically to add to the location. If I'm lucky after a year those games would maybe be paid for (Prospector and WWFRR). Also NBA Jam barely gets played, but that is a game I would keep at home anyway so the fact that it brings in $5 a week doesn't bother me much.

    #15 2 years ago

    Thank you for all the response. I enjoy making the machines pop. Would anyone suggest adding led lighting, speaker lights or under box lights to attract more customers? Ultimately, I think my machine choices would be ST Pro, SW and MET. I do like machines that are easy to clean and maintain. That's why I wish I had kept my IM. I just spent 12 hours replacing all the optos on my ST. Also, I do like the idea of purchasing a Rob Zombie, but I'm worried about maintenance. I'm more familiar with Stern. Are the electronics much different?

    #16 2 years ago

    I would like to hear if Star Wars is making money on location, yet. I haven't seen many in my area Los Angeles, yet.

    #17 2 years ago
    Quoted from Tsskinne:

    I have had games on location since mid-March, basically 5 full months at this point. Started with just Fish Tales as a two-week experiment. It went very well so we kept adding more games. At this point, I have 6 pins (Metallica Pro, Congo, Baywatch, WWFRR, Fish Tales, and Prospector) and 1 arcade (NBA Jam TE 4 player). All pins are $.50 except Prospector is $.25.
    I don't view it so much as a business as trying to share my hobby. The bar is owned by a close friend, and it is under a mile from my house. I don't know that I would honestly even bother trying to route things much further than that just because of gas prices, and the fact that I work two other jobs so having to go there to fix things could be very troublesome.
    I had one coil wire come off and short out a 10-opto board badly which led to about $100 repair total, but otherwise have others have said they have held up better than I expected. I go every Sunday to do the collection, wipe down all games with novus, and play test all of them to make sure switches and lights are still working. It takes me about two hours at least. I wax them at least once a month, sometimes twice.
    We split 60% to me 40% to location. The games have earned consistently, but haven't seen a huge increase by adding more games, instead, the earnings are about the same but now divided amongst the different games. We started up a novice league that ran for 6 weeks and we just had a finals tournament. Through that time I had 11 people play in league that had never played pinball before so I considered it a big success. The owners of the bar have fallen in love with it and actually just sold their home gym equipment to convert that room into a pinball room.
    I definitely can't see making a living this way, but as far as getting a little cash back from the hobby, and helping to spread the joy of pinball I think that is totally possible.
    So far They have brought in about $2400 over the 5 months. I've spent $2400 on two games that I bought specifically to add to the location. If I'm lucky after a year those games would maybe be paid for (Prospector and WWFRR). Also NBA Jam barely gets played, but that is a game I would keep at home anyway so the fact that it brings in $5 a week doesn't bother me much.

    I would switch out the video for a gauntlet 2. I can't stop pumping quarters in that still.

    #18 2 years ago

    The four player version. Or maybe a smash tv or total carnage.

    #19 2 years ago
    Quoted from Azmodeus:

    The four player version. Or maybe a smash tv or total carnage.

    Xmen, Simpsons, and TMNT 4 player still earn

    #20 2 years ago
    Quoted from Azmodeus:

    I would like to hear if Star Wars is making money on location, yet. I haven't seen many in my area Los Angeles, yet.

    It's destroying in cincinnati

    #21 2 years ago
    Quoted from Azmodeus:

    The four player version. Or maybe a smash tv or total carnage.

    I had TMNT 4 player and Mortal Kombat II, neither really earned anything after the first week or two, but pinball kept steady so I sold those and added more pins.

    #22 2 years ago
    Quoted from trk12fire:

    I'm guessing each machine will get an average of 2000 plays a year.

    Guessing isn't good in business. Starting out you'll have to learn as you go.

    Quoted from trk12fire:

    What pinball machine would you recommend?

    You'll need to learn that too. What players at different locations like.

    Quoted from trk12fire:

    Would anyone suggest adding led lighting, speaker lights or under box lights to attract more customers?

    Might attract. Won't make any difference in the cashbox.

    Learn all you can to have the best chance at success.

    And don't forget the little things like licenses, zoning issues, get your own insurance so you don't get sued into oblivion. Is there already an operator in the location ? If that op has great games there, he'll have a contract and won't allow competition from his income. And think of the hours needed for cleaning, service, emergency calls to get to location. Is that time you want to spend away from your family ? As opposed to what you might actually make ?

    Best wishes as you move forward.

    LTG : )

    #23 2 years ago

    I have a business license. Where do I go to find out zoning issues. There is no machines at my first location, only machines in the area. The other locations have machines that they aren't happy with, but I'm not sure if there's a contract involved. Also, could the locations insurance cover the machines or possibly someone injuring themselves on it?

    13
    #24 2 years ago

    I currently operate 23 pins across 3 locations in my town. On the low end, a game brings in a buck or two per day. But a brand new game at my best location (a barcade) might be $20-30 a day in the first few weeks. That location is pretty good...Top 10? in the area.

    Do not do 50/50. The location, who makes tens of thousands per month on their regular business, is going to end up with a few hundred more dollars at 50/50. Meanwhile, since you're not getting a cut of any of their other revenue (including the extra revenue generated by your machines, that are going to keep people hanging out longer in their establishment), 75/25 makes you 50% more money.

    At two of my locations, I've taken over for a previous operator who was getting 50/50, and I ended up getting a better split. They wanted to keep doing 50/50 and I suggested 75/25. Here was the email I sent:

    "50/50 and 60/40 are common in the industry, but you're getting a totally difference service at that split. One of the main reasons that 50/50 works for other companies is that they are providing a variety of different types of machines (video games, pinball, pool tables, jukeboxes, etc). Many of those are relatively low effort. Pinball requires the most maintenance by *far* and the machines are some of the most expensive as well.

    Here is what you're getting from me at a 75/25 split on pinball machines:

    - Great playing, well maintained games. Go play at Press Play to see for yourself. I'm a top level player, and I play all my games routinely to make sure I'm happy with how they play.

    - Quick turnaround on repairs and maintenance. I live less than a mile away, and it's rare that I can't have something fixed within 48 hours.

    - An in with the local pinball community. I go to shows, leagues, tournaments, and parties all over Colorado. It's easy for me to get the word out. I run an active Facebook group, and have 70-80 people that I email regularly about pinball.
    Events.

    - At Press Play, I run monthly tournaments and ongoing weekly league nights. I'd love to build this into a destination where tournaments and league nights are possible.

    - Regular collection and earnings reports (broken down by game).

    If we end up expanding to other types of machines, it would be fair to do a different split for those."

    The other thing, of course, is that they are unhappy with their current service. They're not happy with what they're getting at 50/50...and you will be offering a higher level of service at 75/25.

    Even though I consider my operating (which I fell into accidentally) to be on the successful end of the spectrum compared to others I've talked to, it wouldn't be worth it if I didn't love pinball. That should be the first thing. Love pinball? Don't mind putting your machines out into the world to make a little extra money? Like the idea of building up a community that feels like your own and giving people the opportunity to have better playing games than they otherwise would have?

    If you're answering yes to all those, then you should go for it. Otherwise, routing pinball machines is probably the hardest way to earn quarters.

    #25 2 years ago

    I can think of many ways to actually supplement my income compared to routing pins. I route them because it's putting the hobby out there with machines that we try to keep in top condition. I route them because I can run tournaments (something a bar/restaurant owner should have pointed out) and see my friends from the hobby a few times a month. I route them because I can increase my game count without pulling from my paycheck, and when a "new" machine comes home my wife doesn't even ask about it.

    We started (we being my business partner and I at Tucson Pinball LLC) with a single location, 2 machines each. It went well enough that we upped to the 8 machines we had as a short term goal. Now we have 9 in that location, 6 in another that reached out to us, soon to be 4/6/8 in a brewery that is opening in a few months, and I just found out this weekend that a barcade opening downtown wants us to put pins in so they only have to do arcades on their end. This is almost 2 years into this little experiment. It started very slow and has picked up as we have been working at it.

    I have taken exactly $0 in compensation the whole time. The goal of this hobby business is to 1: Not lose machines or money. 2: Increase the awareness and machines on location. 3: Enjoy the hobby and grow the local player count. We are winning, but if money was the only metric, it would be seen as a massive failure. Just depends on what you want to get out of it.

    #26 2 years ago
    Quoted from trk12fire:

    I have a business license.

    May need more. On your business, on you, on each game.

    Quoted from trk12fire:

    Where do I go to find out zoning issues.

    And license requirements. The city you plan to do this in has a city hall. There will be a license division there. You go there, and they can help you find out what is all required and what you can and can't do.

    LTG : )

    #27 2 years ago

    There are lots of operators who do not carry insurance. Do not take that as a recommendation one way or the other, but it's a fact.

    Some cities require licenses (in the $25-$50 range, per year, per game). Check with the city you're going to be doing this in.

    There is maintenance. Sometimes I can go a week or two without any issues. Sometimes I get several on back to back to back days. (If your location is a few minutes away, no big deal. If it takes you 30 minutes to get there, it could get old). Despite what you will see other people posting here *nothing* is an emergency. You can take care of it tomorrow, or the next day. This depends on your location of course, but I wouldn't work with anyone who demanded I be there immediately anytime there was an issue. That's unrealistic. Also, you know the other machines in your area are crap...those ops don't give a damn. Even if it takes you three days to get to something, that's far better service than anyone else is getting.

    Also to add to what desertt1 said, if you keep expanding (as he and I have), your bank account will never grow because you'll keep buying new games. At the end of it, you might have a ton of games paid for, but you'll only see the actual money if you stop growing, or sell off games regularly.

    #28 2 years ago
    Quoted from trk12fire:

    Also, could the locations insurance cover the machines or possibly someone injuring themselves on it?

    No matter what they have, say, or do. DON'T RISK IT. Get your own. Or be prepared to kiss everything you own goodbye.

    LTG : )

    #29 2 years ago

    I recommend two podcasts that recently covered operating, both featuring ryanwanger giving some great advice to anyone who is thinking of putting pins on location. Ryan does a podcast called the Little Kings Pinball podcast, where they did an episode talking about operating (Episode 10). The Buffalo Pinball guys recently did a "Bro, Do You Even Talk Pinball" podcast episode also talking about operating (Episode 17). Check them out if you get a chance!

    #30 2 years ago

    Thanks speederice! I'll also add that you can PM me anytime if you have questions. I'm thankful that the doom and gloom advice given on many of these threads didn't deter me from operating.

    #31 2 years ago

    IN short, yes you can make money.

    Longer answer, it will depend greatly on your location/town/games/etc...

    As others have said, do it for the love of pinball and it is all good. If you are legitimately doing it to make money, then you could make more cash doing almost anything else with your time. I kept track for a short while and time/$$$ invested vs payout was so small I quickly stopped paying attention to the time spent.

    The rewards are in meeting new people, sharing pinball with them, and seeing that spark when they figure out 'it"

    #32 2 years ago
    Quoted from ryanwanger:

    Thanks speederice! I'll also add that you can PM me anytime if you have questions. I'm thankful that the doom and gloom advice given on many of these threads didn't deter me from operating.

    Agreed. The reward is not in money, but in many other aspects surrounding this great hobby.

    #33 2 years ago

    I whole heartedly encourage anyone to give it a try that is going in with the right attitude up front.

    There are some people showing an 18 month payoff on games (That SWpro thread) and that would be a dream come true for most.

    Others I have spoken to the payoff is MUCH longer.

    #34 2 years ago

    Lloyd should know. And if a location has appropriate insurance, your own piggyback insurance won't cost much.

    Quoted from LTG:

    No matter what they have, say, or do. DON'T RISK IT. Get your own. Or be prepared to kiss everything you own goodbye.
    LTG : )

    This discussion even has me thinking about routing some games. The big question I have is when one outfit has a pretty exclusive lock on an area, how can you get in? Even if they aren't supplying pins, they'll say you're taking away from darts, pool, vids...

    And around here anyway, from video slot gambling. Not sure if the legit distributors are responsible for those, though.

    #35 2 years ago
    Quoted from DanQverymuch:

    This discussion even has me thinking about routing some games. The big question I have is when one outfit has a pretty exclusive lock on an area, how can you get in? Even if they aren't supplying pins, they'll say you're taking away from darts, pool, vids...

    often, other operators are happy to have someone come in that is ONLY doing pins. Dan, we can talk more about this if you want some pointers in person.

    in short, most operators know that pinball is the least return. However, many bars request pins so it can be a win/win.

    #36 2 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    I whole heartedly encourage anyone to give it a try that is going in with the right attitude up front.
    There are some people showing an 18 month payoff on games (That SWpro thread) and that would be a dream come true for most.
    Others I have spoken to the payoff is MUCH longer.

    That would be really nice. I have an early enough GB that my only issue is the misspelling. My PF is beautifully dimpled. Either way, I'm on the verge of getting to 50% paid off GROSS since I got it APR 2016. Granted this is a low traffic location, but is the hub of tournaments I run.

    #37 2 years ago
    Quoted from DanQverymuch:

    Lloyd should know. And if a location has appropriate insurance, your own piggyback insurance won't cost much.

    This discussion even has me thinking about routing some games. The big question I have is when one outfit has a pretty exclusive lock on an area, how can you get in? Even if they aren't supplying pins, they'll say you're taking away from darts, pool, vids...
    And around here anyway, from video slot gambling. Not sure if the legit distributors are responsible for those, though.

    My Location has a claw machine guy, a vending machine guy, and redemption arcade guy, and now me doing pins. None of us have had any issues with each other as we all have our own little specialty, but I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to discuss that with location owner as well as other operators. I've been offered the chance to take over the redemption arcade and convert it into more pin space and classic arcade games, but not sure I want to take that risk of investing that much time and money yet as several of us have stated not a ton of money to be had, but growing the hobby is really cool.

    #38 2 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    There are some people showing an 18 month payoff on games (That SWpro thread) and that would be a dream come true for most.

    Right. As Lloyd said, you'll need to learn what games your customers like. I operate pins in a nerd/gaming themed bar and co-working space here, and the spread between the popular themes and the less popular ones is pretty huge. GoT Premium was paid off after around 12 months (after split). Hobbit is on track to reach that milestone after about 18-20 months. World Poker Tour, on the other hand, is not the right kind of gaming for this crowd, so that one seems to land more in the neighborhood of 50-60 months...

    Considering our clientele's preferences, we have skipped e.g. Aerosmith even though I personally would have loved to play it. On order currently are Alien, Tron, Dialed In and Star Wars (LE, to get the full package as quickly as possible, and because we're geeks after all). Dialed In is a bit of a wildcard, but we have enough hard-core regular players these days that I think that game will be popular. For the same reason we're probably going to go for a Total Nuclear Annihilation.

    #39 2 years ago
    Quoted from DanQverymuch:

    The big question I have is when one outfit has a pretty exclusive lock on an area, how can you get in?

    If someone has a monopoly, then it's likely they are getting lazy with their pins. Who operates the equipment is up to the *locations*, not an operator with a stronghold. Find a new place that just opened, or find someone who is unhappy with the quality of their pins. I got started putting games at the office of some friends.

    Quoted from Whysnow:

    There are some people showing an 18 month payoff on games (That SWpro thread) and that would be a dream come true for most.

    All of my stuff has been between roughly 12-36 months...not including time/maintenance. Back in the 80s, the payoff time really mattered, since when you were done with a machine, it got chucked in the trash or given away for next to nothing. These days, your machine will only likely lose a few hundred dollars in value...at most. It may even go up.

    Quoted from Tsskinne:

    My Location has a claw machine guy, a vending machine guy, and redemption arcade guy, and now me doing pins. None of us have had any issues with each other as we all have our own little specialty, but I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to discuss that with location owner as well as other operators.

    Two of my three locations have multiple operators. No issues for me either.

    #40 2 years ago
    Quoted from ryanwanger:

    Back in the 80s, the payoff time really mattered, since when you were done with a machine, it got chucked in the trash or given away for next to nothing. These days, your machine will only likely lose a few hundred dollars in value...at most. It may even go up.

    I have 2 friends that operated in the 90s. The number 1 issue they had to deal with....

    Coin jams because the coin box was too full!!!!!!!!!! EVERY WEEK!!!!!

    1 place had 4 TAF all lined up in a 20 pin row and they were emptying the $400 in quarters form each one once a WEEK!!!!

    4 month payoff must have been amazing!

    #41 2 years ago

    The games you put in are all a balancing of factors: the type of people at the location, the amount of money you have to spend (and/or what machines you already have), how many spots you'll get at the location, and how much time you want to spend working on machines.

    For me, a NIB Stern Pro requires almost zero maintenance (aside from gameplay adjustments right out of the box...like all the little things you need to do so that GB doesn't keep screwing the player). A 90s Bally Williams machine is going to have more issues...unless perhaps you went through the entire machine and replaced everything right before routing it.

    Should you put something like WOZ on location? Depends. If you have just one spot and you want to maximize how many quarters are in the cash box without regards to the cost of the machine...then yes.

    But, if I had two slots, then I'd get a MET Pro and and something like a South Park or a World Cup Soccer...depending on the clientele.

    If I had 8 slots, and less money to spend, I'd put out 8 EMs...assuming I knew how to work on them. (I actually have two EMs on location, and they've not needed a single adjustment, despite getting the most plays).

    #42 2 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    1 place had 4 TAF all lined up in a 20 pin row and they were emptying the $400 in quarters form each one once a WEEK!!!!
    4 month payoff must have been amazing!

    That is nuts! I think TAF was $3500 NIB back in 1992, so if there was no split, that would have been under 9 weeks!

    My High Speed is on pace for a 5 month payoff, but that's because it was $650 and is at my best location....and because I see the same guy playing it multiple days of the week.

    #43 2 years ago
    Quoted from oyvindmo:

    On order currently are Alien, Tron

    Tron? o_O

    #44 2 years ago
    Quoted from ryanwanger:

    (I actually have two EMs on location, and they've not needed a single adjustment, despite getting the most plays).

    EM requires less fiddling than solid state/DMD IMO...IF it's played regularly. The issues with EMs seem to come when they don't get played enough, or get too dirty, or humid. Solid state games are bitches. The higher powered flippers and mechs combined with sensitive electronic boards might be fun, but they're terribly ill-suited to putting up with the rigors of frequent play.

    Just my opinion. Last time anyone worked on my Crescendo was 2 years ago @ TPF, and I haven't done squat to it in that time, it made it through TPF this year with no issues, and I hardly EVER play the thing at home!

    #45 2 years ago
    Quoted from Frax:

    EM requires less fiddling than solid state/DMD IMO...IF it's played regularly

    This is probably the key. An EM that has been working correctly at home, should be great on location...but I wouldn't put one out with weird/occasional issues.

    #46 2 years ago
    Quoted from ryanwanger:

    This is probably the key. An EM that has been working correctly at home, should be great on location...but I wouldn't put one out with weird/occasional issues.

    Pretty much. I had a Card Trix, which refused to award specials (You know...the ENTIRE POINT OF THE GAME) because it relied on this stupid armature switch bent at 45 degrees on the last third of the switch blade to touch a little rubber insulator on the back of a relay plate......not even remotely kidding. I must've spent 40 hours trying to get that POS to work, bought a new armature switch from PBL (NOS!) and *still* couldn't ever get it to be adjusted properly. It pissed me off so much I sold the game. Games like that don't belong on route LOL.

    #47 2 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    I have 2 friends that operated in the 90s. The number 1 issue they had to deal with....
    Coin jams because the coin box was too full!!!!!!!!!! EVERY WEEK!!!!!
    1 place had 4 TAF all lined up in a 20 pin row and they were emptying the $400 in quarters form each one once a WEEK!!!!
    4 month payoff must have been amazing!

    My operator friends have an Addams Family locally at Boxcar in Raleigh that averages 500+ plays a week in a line up of 17 pins. They run mostly newer LE games but also have a nice line up of classic B/W DMD games. Location is key to heavy play and great earnings.

    #48 2 years ago
    Quoted from Frax:

    Pretty much. I had a Card Trix, which refused to award specials (You know...the ENTIRE POINT OF THE GAME) because it relied on this stupid armature switch bent at 45 degrees on the last third of the switch blade to touch a little rubber insulator on the back of a relay plate......not even remotely kidding. I must've spent 40 hours trying to get that POS to work, bought a new armature switch from PBL (NOS!) and *still* couldn't ever get it to be adjusted properly. It pissed me off so much I sold the game. Games like that don't belong on route LOL.

    Trying to get "Card Trix" to award specials is like trying to get a rooster to lay eggs!

    #49 2 years ago

    Haha, yeah "On order" is not the right wording in that case, I guess. We're buying a used Tron from a fellow collector, and are just waiting to get shipping sorted out, that's all.

    #50 2 years ago

    You can try for 1/3 biz, 1/3 operator, 1/3 repair jar (operator)

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