March 15, 2022
Sacoa is celebrating a double anniversary this year: 65 years as an operator and 30 as a supplier of cashless systems to FECs.
The company’s president, Jorge Mochkovsky, said: “This is a very special year of growth for us. We are celebrating 65 years since I joined my father, Mauricio Mochkovsky, in the entertainment business. At that time, he was a construction contractor and that union was not going through a good time [in Argentina].
"The story began when my father observed a phenomenon when he saw a juke box at the Derby Bar in Mar del Plata in the mid-1950s. He noticed that people paid a coin to listen to a song by Domenico Modugno, a very popular singer at the time. This theme was played once for all. He perceived that it could be a good business, then contacted the owner of that machine and bought the three juke boxes he had. That's where the coin business began.
“In 1957, when I was 10 years old, the routes began. My job was to renew records every week with new titles, and once a month change the selection and wash the records, all while my father collected the heavy bags with one peso coins from the machines. Then we bought about 15 pinball machines in very bad condition. We repaired one and got it working at a bar in a great location that made so much that twice a day you had to collect the coins.
“My father traveled to the US in 1960 to buy better equipment and established excellent relationships with industry legends. We started importing some machines, which were put into operation in bars and clubs across the country. At one point, due to import restrictions, we could only bring some parts and then we ended up building and improving the games here.
“Together with my brothers, we opened the first Sacoa Entertainment, an FEC in Mar del Plata in 1969, when that concept was not yet popular, not even in the US."
Another very important event this year for the company coincides with the 30-year anniversary of the Sacoa PlayCard System, which was developed internally. It arose from a personal need to optimise the operation of our premises.
“Sacoa's PlayCard card system began due to inflation." Jorge explained. "We used to use coins. Soon the coin lost value, so you had to use more coins to play a game. Later, tokens were put in, but - also because of inflation - the price of the token had to be changed too often. In 1992, I thought of a card system and a year later the first Sacoa Entertainment store went online, replacing the use of tokens with a computerised magnetic PlayCard system.
“In 1994, we exported the Sacoa PlayCard system to world-class operators, such as Playcenter in Brazil and Dave & Buster's in the US. Since then, we have expanded the offer of products and solutions developed specifically for the entertainment industry. We already have thousands of installations in more than 70 countries around the world."
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