The Costs of Opening An Arcade Bar: What You Need to Know


Starting an Arcade Bar can be a challenge due to the combination of factors to oversee and the associated costs of startup and on-going operation. This is especially true if it’s your first foray into this type of business. One of the things that give people the most trouble is the financial planning and forecasting aspect of the business. Indeed, not many people are aware of all the costs attached to opening a bar arcade. To help you out, here’s everything you need to know about the arcade related costs of opening this type of business.


What Do You Need to Purchase For An Arcade?


Get smart about the equipment you’ll need to purchase for your arcade. Learn about the main equipment items as well as typical costs and where you can find sources for purchasing them. Some of these will be a one time cost, and some will be a set up cost with an ongoing subscription. In this we’ll cover the basics relating to the arcade part of the bar. Here’s a brief rundown of everything that you’ll need:


  • Commercial Space Lease ($2,500-$25,000)
  • Arcade games ($20,000 - $100,000)
  • POS System ($500 - $5000)
  • Arcade tickets in bulk ($30 - $64)
  • Arcade tokens ($500 - $2,000)
  • Various prizes for tickets ($500 - $1,000)
  • Ticket count machine ($50 - $100)
  • Change Machine ($500-$5,000)
  • ATM ($1,500-$7,500)
  • Ongoing Service & Repair ($250-$2,500)
  • Insurance ($500-$5,000)


If you want to open an arcade with a bar theme, such as a concept known as a “barcade,” you will need to plan to spend around $50,000 to $100,000 on purchasing arcade games. And, depending on the size of your arcade, you will have to plan for additional costs, such as licensing and alcohol costs.


What Do You Need to Take Into Consideration?


When you are thinking about opening a bar arcade, you will have to make some key decisions when you purchase your game consoles and your space. To help simplify things, we’ve outlined a couple of things that you need to take into consideration to get the most out of your investment.


When deciding which games you want to purchase for your arcade, it’s important to consider your ideal audience. Do you want to attract older patrons who enjoy the nostalgia of playing classic arcade games? Or do you want to attract families who may prefer more multiplayer, family-friendly games? Or do you want to attract younger patrons who simply want a trendy spot to hang out? Regardless of which type of player you want to attract, you should begin by establishing a theme for your bar arcade so that your purchases are more focused and your startup budget is used more efficiently.


When you are planning the layout for your arcade, consider your floor plan for customers to flow through your venue, the lighting, and other entertainment factors such as audio and artwork. There are many sizes of game machines, including standup, upright, and cocktail table models. Each will need a certain amount of square feet to accommodate it. Make sure to leave at least a few feet of space in front of each machine to allow players to have ample space to play comfortably.


Where Are the Best Places to Buy Arcade Games?


If you’re planning to start your own bar arcade, you will typically need to purchase your games through a distributor. If there are no local distributors for arcade games in your area, then you will most likely need to purchase from an online distributor. You might also want to check out the brands of arcade games and look up their online distributors that ship nationwide. It is better to see a game in person before purchasing it to ensure its quality if you have any questions before making the investment




We hope this article proves to be useful when it comes to helping you figure out how to start your own arcade bar. As you can see, starting your own arcade bar is much more than just about purchasing arcade machines. Now, there’s still a lot of work to be done from here but the information that we’ve listed above should be quite helpful in getting you started.


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