Operators how are your earnings?


We operate in several venues, from restaurants to bars, cinemas etc. we do have the benefit of rotation. WOZ is kinda of the exception. A proven classic license on an obviously modern machine. If they make willy wonka that would be a license we would consider. At the end of the day its hard to justify spending 7k on equipment that earns 150-250 a month when we have alternatives that generate far more for less. Basically instead of buying new pins every 2-3 years we need buy stuff that can last 4-6. Hope this makes sense.


If you own a Barcade and are profiting off of the beverage sales buying your own new pins to drive sales that is really the best bet. If you are operating in someone else’s bar helping them make out like bandits on beers sales and barely scraping buy, you may want to readjust your split if you haven’t already :slight_smile:


Agreed. I would start negotiations at 75/25 and explain that they will be making lots of additional money on alcohol, and the operator doesn’t get any of that.

JJPs are expensive. If they don’t crush it, then they need to go.

Pinball is the most expensive and time consuming way to earn quarters. Probably any other coin op device in public is going to be easier money.

But, if you’re only doing pinball, you want good licenses on your machines…in my experience.


Only doing Pinball is crazy lol, even if your doing this as a “hobby” you should consider doing the other stuff too so you can buy even more pins :slight_smile:


For two of my locations, I got the opportunity to do only pinball because the existing op wasn’t doing a good enough job maintaining their pinball machines. I’ve heard lots of other stories of larger, more established ops pulling out of pinball over the years.

That’s how people end up in the position of doing only pinball.

For non-pinball, it either works, or it doesn’t work. For pinball there is a huge range of how well a game plays. That requires extra skills and knowledge that someone who operates lots of pool tables, jukeboxes, and video games might not have…or at least, their repair people don’t.


I really dont buy into this notion that old operators are just too stupid to operate pinball, if anything they’re experience has taught them its a lossing venture. Thats why they dont care about newcomers infringing on their territory.


I wasn’t implying that that anyone was too stupid.

Regardless of whether or not pinball machines fall into disrepair because of a lack of ROI or a lack of attention to detail, it’s an absolute fact that someone who doesn’t play pinball quite regularly and have the requisite rules knowledge to know when something isn’t working properly will not be able to maintain games to the standards demanded by regular players these days.

And for pinball, that’s a group that needs to be kept happy. No one stands around drinking beer and playing Pac-man tournaments/leagues for three hours every week.


Back in 2004 we had loads of people in weekly Soul Calibur 2 and Initial D tournaments :slight_smile:
On a brighter side pinball is doing far better than most games with joysticks


Don’t forget about Bro Fest at Funspot :slight_smile:


@eggman put a cannon lagoon in a family location and see what happens.


That is something I have considered. I have been burned by start ups in the past.

Are there any unboxing vids of this anywhere?


Not an unboxing, but a hilarious video of a little boy playing Cannon Lagoon:

An owner’s son playing Cannon Lagoon:

I think Cannon Lagoon, at a family location with PayRange would do well. I believe you can also set it to award tickets as a redemption machine.

Here’s a recent Pinball News article about the P3:


I know they aren’t cheap but I have loved locations with PayRange- I think that will be the future of where operating lies.

EDIT: Cheap to buy the devices for PayRange.


This was something that really surprised me.

The physical device should have a BOM of less than $20. Maybe a bit more if they’re using some crazily over-powered SoC (say an ARMv6/7/8 SoC vs an M0/AVR/Xtensa based MCU.)

As I understand it, PayRange holds onto the funds from the time they’re added to a user’s account, and until they’re paid out to the operator, allowing up to a month or so of interest to accrue. I’d have expected this, plus transaction/service fees to subsidize the device up front.


Payrange is considerably less expensive than the alternative, we have it in all of our locations but casuals don’t ever use it. So basically no one uses it.


I’d imagine the benefit of minimizing transaction fees to add/move money is probably the bigger driver of that behavior. Same way Touchtunes etc do it… they want to encourage users to load up more money in less transactions… and hold that money. It raises your average transaction value and reduces the impact of fees.


Yup. It sucks paying 30 cents plus 2.9% for a 50 cent transaction.


For payrange???


Payrange hopefully has a slightly better deal with their payment processors, but that’s the standard rate when you want to accept online payments.

Last I checked operators pay a higher percentage fee to payrange (3.95% or 5.95% depending on the plan plus maybe a monthly fee) which makes sense since payrange has to pay their credit card processor before paying operators (and they have to get their own cut). There are plenty of middle men involved when you coin up using payrange :slight_smile:


User using Payrange: load $20 on your account using your credit/debit card. No fees.

Operator with Payrange on their machines: pays $79? (I think) per device. Then I pay 4% of each transaction (ie: $0.04 if someone uses Payrange for a $1 game of mine).

Payrange: is likely charged 30 cents + 2.9% or similar each for each time someone loads money into the app (as described above). This is likely one of the main reasons why they make you load larger amounts of money, rather than billing you per transaction. Obviously they can’t afford 30 cents + 2.9% on a $1 transaction.

(Also processing a card each time someone ways to play a game of pinball is pretty time consuming.)