Quoted from LTG:
It's a crazy world out there for operating. And I for one wish it was better, at least to keep maintenance up.
That's the thing. Everyone on here with games in your basement is in a different world. If your game starts getting a little dirty, it maybe takes you a minute to find the keys, 30 seconds to open the door and another four to wipe down the game and get it visually clean again. Cost in time and actually cost, almost nothing.
For an operator, you need to send a guy out to the machine, let's say it is 20 minutes away. Takes them a couple minutes to gather stuff, walk in, set up around the machines, clean, do a coin collection, note what the machine is currently earning if you're a decent operator, and close it back up. Then it takes you 20 minutes to drive back. You're talking minimum of an hour there, and if you have someone who probably knows how to do this, you're talking a minimum of probably $15 to make it happen.
God forbid something is broken on the machine. The tech needs to come back, locate the part somewhere, order the part, and then either go back to the field to replace it, or go into the field to drag the game back - replacing it with another - and then fix it in the shop.
If you are finding something broken, even something easy, you're talking about probably a minimum of three more hours, perhaps driving a truck back and forth, and whatever parts costs are.
If these games are out there making $50 a week, which is pretty generous, either of these situations are going to cut into your profits enough that it might not be worth it to operate pins. If it is a dirty, cope. I personally like playing route games with little issues to try to overcome them. If it's clean, know exactly how much extra work that operator is putting into keeping those games in tip top operating condition, and reward them with your play. Again, I know that I do.