Virginia, US arcade manages reopening surge with Intercard

Gary Ellis, owner of Fun-n-Games Arcade in Moneta, Virginia, switched to an Intercard cashless technology system in October 2019 and found that the immediate benefit of changing from coins to cashless was a big boost in revenue. “The first couple of months we saw as much as an 80% increase,” says Ellis, who reports a sustained increase of 60% during the first year of use. He also says customers spend more money per transaction with cards than with quarters because he can offer bonuses and specials.

Going cashless also helped Ellis handle a surge of pent-up customer demand when he reopened Fun-in-Games in March 2021 after a shutdown due to COVID-19. Even with state-mandated occupancy restrictions, Ellis was swamped with customers who were anxious to get out and have fun in the arcade again. Prior to the switch to cashless, Ellis’ staff might have been overwhelmed clearing coin jams and keeping machines stocked with redemption tickets.

“We were not expecting this strong of a surge this early,” says Ellis, who recently had one of his best weekends ever. “There’s no way we could have done that much business on quarters,” he says, “It would have made a very tough day to try and pull that off on quarters and tickets.”

Ellis says he decided to switch to cashless because “it seemed to be the trend of the future.” He chose Intercard on the recommendation of other arcade owners and because of its reputation for excellent customer support. “Anytime we call we always get a technician on the line,” Ellis says of his experience with Intercard customer service. “That’s better than ‘leave a message and I’ll call you back, your call is very important.’”

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