Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Black Squirrel, Mar 6, 2020.
Segapolis - Gamest Mook #45
Some new JP manual scans are being uploaded here - not sure how many aren't on Retro yet but worth linking nonetheless.
Currently we have 288 Japanese Mega Drive Manuals... but we don't have this one ... and there's probably more in that website, so ... I will take a look...
US committee hearings!
I think Asagoth's uploaded some of this to Retro CDN, but maybe not all? It's a bit awkward to sift through - this is claiming to be part 7.
You know how Sega doesn't know its own history? Well part of the reason for this is because in the 1950s and 60s, the business was sketchy as hell. Basically the company and its many wacky subsidiaries moved slot machines across the Pacific and attempted to flout the law. Unfortunately because there were 32049324 countries and occupied territories involved, and in some juristictions, the very thought of gambling was a crime, it is tricky to get a handle on this.
I guess the obvious clue is that the main headquarters was moved to Panama because tax lol.
Anyway this report came through in 1971 and is very big and very complicated and I suspect needs to be tackled by someone with more patience.
EDIT: scratch that we do have this - Google just seems to have digitised it twice
They have a complete version which is the one that we have... but they also have it split in parts... so don't worry... it's the same document...
Bromley v. Commissioner
Asagoth is doing Gods work exposing Sega's dodgy past! Incidentally, Ozisoft founder Kevin Bermeister created the file sharing ap Kazaa and had to settle with the music industry for $150m . He's been described as a "reformed pirate" due to that. He also founded Sega's South African distributor "Consumer Electronics". South African pirate SMS multicarts use Ozisoft moulds ... coincidence?
It's no big deal ... anyone could have found this stuff ... I think that Scarred Sun and Black Squirrel (and probably others... I can't remember) talked about this before here ... but I did not know about that story with Kevin Bermeister ... I guess that's why Sega is called the "Big Evil Corporation" ...
I did think about making a dedicated topic for the 1945-1965 iterations of Sega/Service Games, because there's just so little information out there.
There are allegations against Martin Bromley but I'm not sure exactly how much of it was true. I can imagine there were some... curious tax arrangements going on, but this was literally at the opposite side of the world from where I live, so I can't claim to understand any of it.
I suspect there was always a legitimate side of Sega's business, which involved distributing amusement devices of all shapes and sizes, but it's the slot machine business that's tricky to pinpoint. And to be honest, a lot of it sounds like the US being awkward - you set up a business to sell amusement machines to military bases across the Pacific, and then some decide gambling is bad. Set up your factory in Japan, and then laws get passed that forces your (publicly funded) customers to prioritise US products (unless the foreign product is 20% cheaper and god it's confusing). Then throw in different legal juristictions into the mix and you've got a receipe for all sorts of fun.
Those hearings seem to be about a certain issue in South Vietnam specifically, but I'm not sure what the specific problem was, or if anything came from it. At this point the business was headquartered in Panama and there's questions about whether Bromley was paying the right tax, but the story may be falling out of the scope of Sega Retro - there wasn't really a "Service Games" entity at this point, there was Club Specialty Overseas, Inc. which distributed Sega (Japan)'s products, alongside other things - the actual core Sega business (being run by David Rosen) was giving up on the military market and more interested in jukeboxes and arcade games (gambling being banned in Japan, so no slot machines there).
So it's Martin Bromley's Tax Adventure™, which is interesting, but if what he says is true, he wasn't invested in Sega by the late 1960s. In 1969 Gulf+Western came in and the connection to the Bromleys is pretty much severed (or at least it would be in 1973 when Sega stopped dealing with CSOI).
We can't deny that tax evasion was the favorite sport of "Bromley and the Posse"... but the "Sega" that we know today, has nothing to do with Bromley's Service Games... in fact.... Sega became that wonderful Japanese company that we all know and love only when they left the company for good...
Sorry for the the doulbe post (I know it's extremely illegal here ...) ... but look, man ... we don't need to tell all the stuff about Bromley's life... just the important bit related to Service Games (that they manufactured copies of mills machines... and that's enough... just to show that we are not a bunch of "turds").... it's the "Rosen's Sega" that we have to care about... because that's the "true Sega" in my opinion...
He may have had little to do with them directly after the late 60s, but his influence in the coin-op industry was such that Sega did end up involved with several of the businesses he had set up in Europe in the wake of the sale to G+W.
Obviously there's Segasa, as well as their association with Family Leisure (which he set up with Richard Stewart) - lots of personnel that Bromley oversaw at FL including Peter Ruffle and Alan Rawlinson moved to Sega Amusements Europe during the mid 90s, and of course the former SegaWorld space was then sold to them in 1999.
With Family Leisure in particular, I can say that I have heard numerous first hand accounts of money laundering being prevalent from its higher ups to lower downs for a long time - and that certainly seems to have been the case with how Bromley ran things - so you do wonder the extent to which that may have implicated Sega.
"I had the privilege to have known Marty for nearly 50 years, Marty Bromley was without a doubt the most powerful man in the coin machine industry World Wide, he financed his old friend Sam Stern to buy Chicago Dynamic Industries, who then changed it to Stern, Marty after being involved in the largest tax evasion case in British history in 1980, he sold his stock in Stern for $14,000.000 so that Stern could go public, Sam and Gary Stern borrowed the money from Al Simon in New York, but before they could go public, the video game market collapsed, and Al Simon lost most of the money in the deal." -- Freddy Bailey
He was a powerful man in the business... I would like to know where this picture came from (it's apparently from 1978) ... it features Bert Siegel (father of Lawrence Siegel who founded Black Pearl Software ) the man that Bromley put in charge of Segasa in the early years... to my knowledge that's the only photo of him out there...
It also features Michael Kogan (i.e. Ukrainian-born founder of Taito) - his company's early history is nowhere near as convoluted as Sega's, but Kogan himself was also loaded, and is another alleged to have been involved in a lot of tax dodging. Albeit less with unlicensed slot machine copies, and more with vodka distilleries + peanut dispensers at first.
One thing that's curious... Lawrence Siegel uses to claim that he worked for Sega Europe Limited from 1972 to 1976 (his first job... he also has this information on his LinkedIn profile) ... the company was in fact Segasa of Spain... we know that Segasa was a Sega official distributor until 1994... but he seems to make no distinction between the two companies ...
It's probably just that Segasa was treated as a defacto European arm on the quiet, whilst still remaining outside of the company - I'm sure its convenience in getting machines into that territory was appreciated.
Separate names with a comma.