San Francisco Wants to Legalize Pinball, Arcade Games

Reform of arcade restrictions on tap in San Francisco.

By Chris Roberts
|  Thursday, Jul 10, 2014  |  Updated 3:29 PM PDT
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A de-facto ban on arcades in San Francisco could be lifted... just about 20 years too late.

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You can't have it near schools and you can't have it near playgrounds.

What is this menace? Why, it's pinball and other arcade games.

The days when "Frogger" was seen as corrupting the youth are long gone, so city leaders in San Francisco want to change the way pinball and free-standing video game machines are regulated, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Legislation passed in the 1980s may be overturned to ease restrictions on "mechanical amusement devices," the newspaper reported.

For instance, if Supervisor London Breed has her way, a ban on arcades -- a limit on games of no more than 10 in a given business -- and a forbidden zone of within 300 feet of a school or playground could be lifted.

In the future, bars could have one game with no permit and could more easily apply for permits for more, the newspaper reported.

In other words, it sounds like game on.

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