No fun and games: COVID-19 pulls plug on entertainment machines

One machine still running and making money are jukeboxes because they can be used and operated on a cellphone.

News 12 Staff

Nov 12, 2020, 10:38 PM

Updated 1,319 days ago

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As businesses prepare for new restrictions taking effect Friday, one industry has remained under tight restrictions since the pandemic began.
It's been basically game over for popular entertainment machines - pushed aside, powered down or in some cases, completely pulled out because of the pandemic
Joe Bossolina is vice president of the Amusement and Music Operators Association and also president of McGee Amusements, his third-generation family-owned company that provides everything from ATMs and pool tables to jukeboxes inside restaurants and bars across New Jersey and New York.
One machine still running and making money are jukeboxes because they can be used and operated on a cellphone.
Tunes aren't enough though. Since the pandemic pulled the plug on entertainment, his business has taken a 60% hit and furloughed half of his 10 employees.
"And cruelly it ended the day before our biggest day of the year. The bar and restaurant industry makes 30% of their yearly gross St. Paddy's Day and we were closed the day before St Paddy's Day," he says.
The next biggest is Thanksgiving evening, but with bars in New York now ordered to close by 10 p.m. starting Friday, that day is looking bleak.
"We won't be able to survive and it's not just me... it's all the people who work for bars and restaurants and work for people like me... we employ people who are collectors, repair techs, people who move machines, things like that," he says.


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