Posted tagged ‘laws’

NYC eases up on arcades (a little)

January 2, 2010

One major hurdle for people looking to get into the arcade business are the local laws which often restrict the use of coin-operated video games in certain venues. Because of that, it is always my advice to check up on these laws well before you start organizing everything for your business, otherwise you can end up wasting a lot of time and effort into creating a business in an area where arcades are either completely prohibited or they are restricted to the point where it is nearly pointless to start on in the first place. If this is the case then I also advocate getting involved to change the laws – many times these are holdovers from the 70’s or 80’s where a cities created restrictive arcade laws out of either greed, fear or both. This can be an extremely difficult task to do alone and in some cases even as a group, as we see in this story at the Vending Times about the efforts of the AMOA-NY to change the laws in New York City to be a little more friendly towards the purchase and use of arcade machines on a location.

The new law allows venues to purchase and operate a certain number of arcade machines on location without requiring them to get a license, unless they have more than 10 machines. As anyone who deals with business in New York knows, obtaining a license is an extra headache that results in higher costs and time wasted. Now licenses haven’t been eliminated by any means here but at least this will open the doors for more businesses in purchasing a couple of games and that is a good thing overall.

For more details hit up Vending Times.

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Anti-violent video game laws brewing in state legislatures – what effect on coin-op?

March 4, 2008

In the world of video games, we’ve always had to battle negative and usually erroneous opinions regarding our hobby, especially when it comes to violent video games. There was a time when arcades were central to the “controversy” as games such as Mortal Kombat  came along and gained popularity.  There have been a few other violent games in arcades, including what was probably the first violent game ever, Death Race which was released way back in 1976. But as time has passed the number of violent arcade games has decreased and governments put their attention on home and PC games – which they have already regulated with a detailed rating system and at least in the US, fines can be imposed on stores that sell these games towards minors. It doesn’t seem to matter that in the end it’s in the hands of the parents as for many governments it’s never enough as they seek to satisfy their appetite for regulation and power. This is of course a sensitive subject but it comes to mind as I read a post by the AAMA on CoinOpToday.com. They state:

STATE VIDEO VIOLENCE UPDATE
With many state legislatures returning to session in January, there are again a series of bills that have been introduced that seek to restrict access by minors to games that contain violent content.  To date, all of these legislative efforts have been focused on the home- and PC-based side of the industry, with most attempting to restrict access to
games on the basis of ESRB ratings of “M” or “AO” which are not relevant for the coin-op industry.

The coin-op industry uses a different rating system (click on the thumbnail to enlarge)gamerate.jpg than home games where a series of color-coded stickers with a brief description of the game content are printed on them. Green stickers are the equivalent of “E”, Red stickers are the equivalent of “M”. The AAMA also writes about pending legislation for coin-op gaming in a few states which I’m putting this after the post break as I have some more to say on the subject.

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