Great Falls' American Music Co. sells to Billings gaming firm – Great Falls Tribune


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The American Music Co.(Photo: TRIBUNE PHOTO/KRISTEN INBODY)Buy Photo

Century Gaming Technologies, Montana’s largest gaming route operator, recently acquired American Music Co. of Great Falls, founded in the 1940s by Zollie Kelman.

The firm was Montana’s oldest family-owned gaming machine vendor and based at 206 2nd Street S.

AMC had more than 700 games in 61 establishments, the Montana Tavern Times reported. Century Gaming, led by Steve Arntzen of Billings, now has nearly 5,000 gaming machines in more than 400 locations.

More: McKenney elected president of Gaming Industry Association of Montana

Attorney Steve Potts spoke on behalf of Kelman’s daughter Abby Portney and praised Century and its capabilities.

Kelman proudly turned the company over to his daughter in 1997 but continued to watch over it until his 2008 death.

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The American Music Co. (Photo: TRIBUNE PHOTO/KRISTEN INBODY)

Potts said Kelman and Portney were good to their employees and customers. Potts remembers from his childhood American Music Co. machines where one would push a button and red balls would pop up, for promotional or gaming purposes. 

“He was the only guy in the country who could keep those things up and running,” Potts said. 

Gaming technology has changed significantly since Kelman headed West during the winter of 1946 with a few machines in a his pickup and a broken window that led to a frozen ear.

Kelman was the first of his Russian immigrant family to be born in the United States, growing up in Minnesota during the Great Depression. 

“When he

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