Token operated arcades have two methods of activating a game. 1. A customer can activate a game by placing the appropriate amount of tokens into the coin slot, or 2. The facility can configure the all of the machines in the arcade for “free play”. However, these two methods cannot exist in the same facility at the same time. If you want to sell access to your arcade for a time period, you have to close your arcade to all of your other customers.

One of the biggest advantages in pricing with a cashless device is the ability to sell time. You are no longer limited to the typical 50 cent play or the corporate event where all games are in free play mode. An arcade owner can have active participants paying to play each game individually, while allowing others to participate for a prepaid amount of time simultaneously.

In my experiences I have seen facilities use time play as a group package item (group members are provided an hour time play as part of their group participation), as an incentive to bring in customers during a slow period (customers purchase a slice of pizza, soft drink, and an hour of time play for $20 at lunch), and as another means to purchase play time at their local entertainment facility ($18.99 provides you unlimited rides on go-karts for an hour). Since cashless devices are not limited to arcade games, time play works excellently with go-kart rides or other attractions as well as arcade games.

You might be asking yourself, ‘what about redemption games?’ Excellent question. Most facilities would not want someone to have the ability to play their redemption games for an hour with no limitations. You’d probably be out more in redemption prizes than the money you took in for the purchase of the time play. This problem is easily addressed because cashless readers have the ability to be identified as a redemption game, and set to disallow the use of time play cards.

The next question that gets asked is ‘if they have a time play, how do they play my redemption games that don’t allow time play?’ That’s actually the simplest part. The same card that has the time play can also have regular value as well. So if they swipe the card in a game that accepts time play, the game is activated for free. But if they use a game that doesn’t accept time play, value is removed from their card instead. To reduce customer confusion, you can even easily change the color of the display screen so your customers can identify which games can be played using their time play card.

Time play is another aggressive way to increase revenue through a cashless system.

See the rest of this series on making your facility cashless:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 4

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