As a boy, Boca Raton entrepreneur David Young watched his father play the pinball machines on the boardwalk at Seaside Heights in New Jersey. But growing up, moving away from home and starting his own semiconductor business left him little time for play. Now in his early 40s, Young has rediscovered his boyhood passion and turned it into a lucrative business, BMI Gaming, aimed at customers who want something other than the traditional billiard or ping-pong table to fill home game rooms.
His Beginnings: Young started collecting by coincidence about three years ago. He was waiting at a stoplight in Broward County. Across the street was a store with a pinball machine in the window. Young thought, ?That would be cool to have in my house.? He bought it on the spot. Within a year he had acquired 14 more pinball machines and a warehouse to store them.
Young's first customer was someone who happened to walk by the warehouse when Young was unloading a pinball machine and offered to buy it. That's when Young realized there might be an untapped market. A little Google advertising and
a self-styled web page later and Young's business was born. His entire collection
of 15 pinball machines sold in a month.
Leading the Way: Today, BMI Gaming is one of the leading national gaming companies. It has one of the largest gaming websites in the world (bmigaming.com) with more than 450 gaming products and a showroom in Boca Raton with 175 games on display. BMI sells new and restored games and is one of the few
dealers to sell the legendary Stern Pinball machines.
Prices: The pinball machines go for $1,800 for a fully restored older model ? $10,000 to $12,000 if it's a rare model ? and $4,000 for a new Stern Pinball machine. The Florida market makes up 30% of Young's sales.