Young entrepreneur opens arcade game venture at Wharf Mooloolaba

While most Year 12 students are currently preparing for exams, schoolies and a future career, eighteen year old Matthew Flinders student Sam Pilgrim is set to open his first business at The Wharf Mooloolaba.

Universal Games is tucked inside The Alley next door to the hugely popular Local Social and opposite the Kenilworth Bakery within the Wharf precinct and features eleven amusement machines and video games suitable for young children right through to adults.

Sam said the business was born from the huge popularity of two claw machines he installed at the Wharf four years ago and saw the need to create a dedicated entertainment space within the precinct.

“The initial two machines were really popular and profits enabled us to donate $29,000 for Rural Aid. I’ll now be looking to donate profits from these arcade games to other charities and important causes as the business builds.

“We would often see young children playing our games and even late at night adults would enjoy some fun on the machines after dinner or a few drinks. That’s why we’ve installed 11 amusement machines which vary from the claw where people can try and collect a prize right through to Daytona USA video games.

“There’s something for everyone at Universal Games and we’ll be open seven days a week from 8am until 10pm to capture different range of visitors to the Wharf,” Sam said.

Sam said his interest in video games and entertainment machines commenced at an early age where he was naturally drawn to understand how they operate as well as repair machines.

“I’ve purchased all eleven machines, some needed a bit of repair work but they are all in great working order now. I’ve also set up a cashless ticketing system where people purchase tokens to play each game and all of the machines are linked to my phone so everything can be done remotely including opening and closing the front roller door and I can monitor each individual machine from my phone wherever I am located,” Sam added.

Karen Hugg, general manager of The Wharf Mooloolaba, said she was thrilled Sam has opened the arcade game venture which would fill an important need within the precinct.

“We have had a gaming arcade within the Wharf a number of years ago but unfortunately it closed down so it’s great to fill this void and provide a fun experience for people of all ages.

“At just 18 years of age, Sam is definitely our youngest tenant at The Wharf but we love his enthusiasm and he has spent many years working in the industry while completing his high school education so he has great knowledge about how to make this business a great success,” Karen said.

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