H. Betti Industries was founded by Humbert Betti in 1934 when the Greenwich Village restaurateur and tavern owner started operating jukeboxes in his own business and other nearby taverns. Humbert was already something of an international success; the South American native was raised in Italy and emigrated as a young man to England, where he launched a successful chain of ice cream parlors and raised a family (including two daughters and four sons who worked in the business, Bert, Hugh, Eddie, and Louis) with his wife, Catherine.
Once launched, the jukebox operation also thrived. The family moved away from running the restaurant and bar to running jukeboxes and amusement equipment in other locations, mainly in New York City and New Jersey. At its height, the Betti route had over 7,000 pieces of equipment on the street.
When Humbert Betti retired in the 1950s, he returned to Italy, leaving his son Bert in charge of the route. During that same period, H. Betti & Sons, as the company was known then, also began supplying components, including slate, for bumper and six-pocket pool tables. The new division was known as Eastern Novelty, and Humbert’s relationship with several Italian slate quarries aided its efforts in no small part. Eastern Novelty is known today as Imperial, which supplies various billiard and game room goods, including NFL, MLB, and NHL branded items, for consumers.
By the late 1950s, the family had begun equipment distribution, handling the Fisher pool table line first and later games from Midway, Chicago Coin, and others. The newly christened Betson also took on Rock-Ola jukeboxes as a sub-distributor for another dealer.
For the next 60 years, Betson Distributing grew across the country, becoming the dominant distributor in the amusement industry. Betson has enjoyed steady growth mainly through the acquisition of other dealers, including Runyon Sales (New Jersey), Portale Automatic (California), Eastern Music (Pennsylvania), and Spirit Distributing (Texas). Betson has also grown by establishing new offices in various locales around the U.S., including New England, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, and Utah. Today, Betson covers most of the U.S. in one way or another.
Along the way, Betson has also forged partnerships to offer products from arcade game developers like Elaut, Chicago Gaming, Jennison Entertainment, and Raw Thrills/PlayMechanix. As a leading North American arcade and vending equipment distributor, Betson has exclusive distribution partnerships with Goldfinger Monitors and Cafection office coffee parts. H. Betti Industries’ family of companies also includes HB Home, a pool and billiards retailer.