I gave Arcadecraft a try. I played it for a few hours until it crashed, but I wasn't having any trouble. In my first game I never had a money problem, and had paid off the loan and had more money than I knew what to do with by the time the game crashed. I think I was in 1982.
My strategy was to judge which game to buy based upon which real life game they were representing. Like Phantom was clearly a fake Pac Man. There was also a fake Defender and Missile Command, both games that were extremely popular in real life. I put in a jukebox early on when I only had like 3 machines and jacked up the prices for it, because it seemed to hold its popularity for some reason. I never duplicated machines until I had a lot of machines and then it was only the games that I knew represented huge sellers in real life. The soda machine also was a good moneymaker and I jacked it up to 50 cents pretty quickly.
By the time my game crashed I had maxed out the building power and machines I could have, and was burning money on the useless stuff like changing the color of the walls. I was begging the game to give me a 2nd employee since machines were filling up faster than he could collect the money and spent 100% of my time zipping around doing nothing but repairing stuff and collecting change. Btw, at first I didn't notice you had to hold the button down to collect all the change. If you just quickly hit the button you won't get much cash out of the machine. That could also be your problem.