Game Time - Black Enterprise

Game Time

Q: I want to start an arcade business that caters to children up to 12 years old. I’ll receive a bachelor’s of business administration in approximately two years. Should I wait until I receive my degree before pursuing this endeavor? Where do I look for guidance in the arcade business?
— C. Screen,, Charlotte, NC

A: Starting an arcade business is an entertaining way to provide youngsters with loads of fun. It’s also a great side business because it doesn’t require you to spend much time operating the machines.

Typically, it will cost about $10,000 to $50,000 to start an arcade. But in order to make it profitable, you’ll have to be diligent about getting financing and finding the best location for the business. If you decide to start your arcade business now, be prepared to manage your time efficiently between school and the business.

Check out the e-book, The Arcade Game Money Maker (Eagle Distributing Inc.; $24.95). The e-book’s subjects include how to start up an arcade business, licensing and permits, purchasing games, and finding good locations.

You can also learn about leasing or buying coin-operated game machines and finding distributors by contacting the American Amusement Machine Association. AAMA (; 866-372-5190) is an international nonprofit trade organization that represents the manufacturers, distributors, and parts suppliers of the coin-operated amusement industry.