ORLANDO, FL -- In the wake of recent legislative threats in their state, 14 amusement machine operators from Florida met last weekend and agreed to reactivate the Florida Amusement Machine Association. The assembly took place at Brady Distributing Co.'s office here on Aug. 31.
FAMA has been inactive for more than a decade. To reestablish the association as working entity, the group decided to acquire FAMA's legal and tax records, and to open a new bank account.
At the same time, plans are underway to relaunch legislative advocacy efforts in Tallahassee and elsewhere around the state, and to explore joining other coalitions or organizations with common interests.
FAMA's restoration is hastened by the need to address the changes in the state's gambling statutes that have adversely affected certain redemption amusement games.
"So far, we are getting a lot of support from various individuals, companies and organizations," said Phil Juckem, All Brands Vending (Tampa), one of the participants at the initial meeting. "The coin-only rule, 50-machine requirement, prize-limit language and no gift card mandate are problematic for many in the state's amusement, FEC, parks, bowling centers and related industries. FAMA is poised to join the front lines with these groups on this and other issues."
SEE: Florida Governor Signs Anti-Sweeps Café Law, Possibly Outlawing Standard Features Of Legitimate Amusements
The new FAMA will host an official startup and membership recruitment meeting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, again at Brady's Orlando office. The address is 4601 34th St., Ste. 110; tel. (407) 872-1661. All amusement operators, distributors, suppliers and manufacturers are invited.
Juckem can be reached at (813) 259-9495 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He can provide more information about FAMA and the upcoming meeting.
PHOTO: Participants at FAMA's reformation meeting: (standing, from left) Joe Duarte, Rick Dee, Dale Williams, Tim Paukner, Joe Kirby, Robert Noell Jr., Phil McBride, Tom George, Louis Riposta, Kathey Rosenquist, Greg Trent and Phil Juckem; (seated, from left) Bill Kurtz, Manley Lawson, Kenny Mahoney, Cora Mahoney and Bano Poma.