Issue Date: Vol. 46, No. 5, May 2006, Posted On: 4/14/2006
APRIL, 14 2006: NJ Statewide Smoking Ban Begins At Midnight; Compromise Mulled As More Operators Sue Iowa; Coinstar Offers iTunes Music Gift Cards; First-Ever RFID-Based Arcade Games Set For Preview
CONFUSION REIGNS IN NEW JERSEY SMOKE BAN
TRENTON, NJ — New Jersey public health authorities admit they don’t know what will happen when the new Smoke-Free Air Act takes effect at tonight, making this the 10th state to ban all indoor smoking in public places – including bars and restaurants. Officials said they have no plans to enforce the ban this weekend. Businesses and smokers are also confused over reports that outdoor smokers will be prohibited from lighting up within 25 feet of building entrances and exists. According to the Trenton Star-Ledger, state health officials announced this stringent policy on Wednesday, then backed away Thursday with explanations that it was “just a proposal.” Some bar, restaurant and bowling alley owners filed a lawsuit on April 12, seeking to block implementation of the smoking ban; however a federal judge here ruled against them yesterday. Gov. Jon Corzine said he expects the smoking ban will eventually extend to casinos, which are currently exempt.
IOWA LEGISLATORS TALK SETTLEMENT AS TOUCHPLAY LAWSUITS MOUNT
DES MOINES, IA — Now that five operators have sued the state of Iowa to block an upcoming ban on TouchPlay gambling equipment, Democratic state senators and the state attorney general’s office are suddenly talking about a deal. The ban begins May 4. Fresh lawsuits were filed this week by operators Jeffrey and Bettie Siggins of J&B Amusement (Atlantic), Bob Lentz of Bob's Amusement (Altoona) and Mark Jacobs of B&B Games (Ankeny). Earlier suits were filed by Hawkeye Commodity Promotions and Camden Inc., two operations based in Cedar Falls. More lawsuits filed by operating companies are expected. Plaintiffs say they collectively borrowed tens of millions to buy and install the machines; they seek both temporary and permanent injunctions. Judge Donna Paulsen will rule on Hawkeye’s case by April 21.
COINSTAR OFFERS iTUNES MUSIC STORE GIFT CARDS
BELLEVUE, WA — Coinstar change-conversion vending machines now offer a new option: instead of a ticket redeemable for cash, customers may convert their loose change into iTunes Music Store gift cards. Also offered are Virgin Digital “eCertificates.” The gift card options allow customers to avoid the typical coin-to-bill conversion fee of 8.9%. Coinstar also redeems goods from Amazon, Borders and Pier 1.
PREVIEW SET FOR RADIO FREQUENCY ID-BASED ARCADE GAMES
LAS VEGAS — RFID Journal LIVE! 2006, the fourth annual such exposition and conference, will feature arcade novelty games that use RFID sensors to track results of the player’s golf putting skills or football passing skills. The prototypes were created by the publication and Rush Tracking Systems, which say these are the world’s first RFID-enabled arcade games. The show takes place May 1-3 in the conference center at the MGM Grand here.
The material here is from “Ahead of the Times, VT MUSIC & GAMES,” an electronic supplement that instantly delivers the latest news in the coin-op music and games industry. If you would like to receive Ahead of the Times by e-mail, or know someone who would, send a request along with the recipient’s e-mail address and company name to email@example.com ; Subject: “SUBSCRIBE: AHEAD OF THE TIMES MUSIC & GAMES.” Subscriptions to the newsletter may only be requested by e-mail. Your request may not be fulfilled if the subject line field is incorrect or incomplete.