Pinball Means Big Business

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“Pinball is a way of life for many who are big fans,� explains David Young, president and CEO of BMI Gaming (www.bmigaming.com), located in Boca Raton, Fla. “Pinball players are very loyal to the game. They may enjoy the newer types of games that have come along over the years, but there’s nothing like playing a game of pinball.�

In today’s digital age, most people would think that the era of the pinball machine was long gone. For many people, it’s a pastime that still brings them pleasure, and they go to great lengths to find just the right pinball machines to play and collect. It’s estimated that over 135,000 residences in America have at least one arcade game, and roughly $112 million was spent on playing pinball in arcades during 2004.  

“Pinball is a way of life for many who are big fans,� explains David Young, president and CEO of BMI Gaming (
www.bmigaming.com), located in Boca Raton, Fla. “Pinball players are very loyal to the game. They may enjoy the newer types of games that have come along over the years, but there’s nothing like playing a game of pinball.�
Young is one of those fans who knows first-hand what it’s like to enjoy pinball and yet have a hard time finding quality machines. In fact, he has taken his passion for pinball and turned it into a wildly successful nationwide business.
In 2001, when he realized just how hard it was to find pinball machines, along with the fact that many others were also interested in buying pinball machines for the home, he capitalized on this new “home-gaming� trend by starting his own company.

Today, BMI Gaming is the world’s largest gaming superstore, offering over 1100 authentic commercial-grade pinball machines, arcade games and gameroom products, and has been featured in top magazines around the world. BMI was also named one of the Top 100 fastest growing privately-held firms in the nation, and also one of the Top 500 Internet retailers in America this year.

“I had a feeling that a lot of people were interested in buying arcade games for their personal use,â€? says Young, “BMI Gaming has experienced rapid success by taking the idea of offering pinball a step further, by adding video games, jukeboxes, air hockey, foosball, shuffleboards, dart machines, pool tables, casino games, and even vending machines - People love the idea of being able to get commercial-quality machines for the home. It’s very retro, and a great way to entertain family and friends without going out.â€? 

What most people don’t know is that, at one time, these machines were actually illegal in a few areas of the country. From the 1940s until the mid-1970s, the machines were banned in New York City; they were seen as a form of gambling because you could win free games. Today, there may be one or two places that still have such old laws on the books, but they aren’t enforced - and that’s good news for pinball fans. 

“We cater to the arcade-game lover and do everything we can to help them find just the right game,� adds Young. “Pinball has a long, storied history that goes way back to the early 1800s, and there are still big fans of the silverball all over the world today and in the foreseeable future.�

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