32-Year Arcade Ban Overturned in Massachusetts Town
The Massachusetts town of Marshfield has finally legalized arcade machines after a 32 year ban.
The ban, which was put in place by a 1982 bylaw, made it illegal to install coin-operated video game machines in local businesses. The repeal occurred in a recent town meeting where a petition presented by resident Craig Rondeau brought the issue to a vote which ended in the law’s repeal. Voters had previously upheld the bylaw in earlier votes taking place in 1994 and 2011.
Despite this win for gaming, opinions among the residents of Marshfield, were notably mixed. While Rondeau’s petition clearly found enough support to overturn the ban, there were more than a few people who wanted it to remain. Advisory member Thomas Scollins expressed that his board voted, in its entirety, against ending the bylaw. Other residents had also hoped to see it kept in place.
“There is gaming all over the place, and there’s nothing fun about it,” said local Sue Walker.
While many apparently agreed with her, supporters of Rondeua’s petition wound up having just enough of an edge to push the repeal through. Of the 378 voters in attendance, 203 of them voted to end ban while 173 voted to maintain it.
The end of the ban brings to close a minor legal saga dating back to the 1980s when the the efforts of local businesses stung by the loss of their lucrative arcade machine nearly led to a Supreme Court case. The appeal was unfortunately tossed out by the court.