Quote: However, as far as I know, most Ops rarely do get to test a game before purchase
There are amusement game expos where distributors, check out all the latest games, usually in Taiwan, Japan and the USA.
I remember going to the same amusement expos in LA and in the UK. Most were casino games, but the big players were showcasing their products. I can remember when the 360 Afterburner Arcade machine was being demoed at one of these trade shows, and it was hard to get admission.