It must partially be a culture thing. For the longest time, the only arcade (and I mean true arcade, not D&B or Chuck E Cheese) doing solid business in the Chicago area was/is in the heart of Pilsen, A.K.A "Little Mexico". Tekken 5 and the Soccer games were never left alone. Place was always filled even though it was for the most part, a dive. It was a great place for the kids (that weren't enrolled in school for one reason or another) to go during the day ....
The only time I ever saw that place empty was in the week or two after an ICE raid.
The other part of this equation is probably licensing and insurance. To put an arcade game in an establishments in the US, most towns have license requirements. Most states do on top of that. $60-$145 USD a year for Local, $25-$75 a year for state, PER GAME. Tack on ~$5-10 a year per game in insurance costs, and it all adds up really quick. On a 50 game setup you are ~$8000 in the hole before you even turn the machines on. Every year.
> > I dont believe there are any arcade rentals being done in arcade, and if there > were, > > it would be outrageously priced to the point of not even wanting to bother with it. > > There's a company three blocks away from where I live called Video Juegos Maxi. > They've been around since the early 1990s, first as a movie rental place (I used to > rent the Rambo cartoon series there!), but they closed that up and started renting > arcade games to various locations in the city - arcades, stores, malls, and so on. > > Twenty years later, they're still running, and still making a profit. And their > customers? All happy with what they do. > > And this is in a country where people can just get a PC and farm it out as a MAME > machine. Mexico.