Law Banning Pinball Shuts Down Retro Arcade

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Law Banning Pinball Shuts Down Retro Arcade

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An ancient pinball ban was actually enforced in the town of Beacon, New York, shutting down a local business.

Fred Bobrow's Retro Arcade Museum in Beacon, New York seems like an awesome place. He's got hundreds of pinball and arcade games that date back to as early as the 1950s, from Pong to Frogger, on display and on free play (assuming you've rented the place). It's so cool in fact, that's it's been completely shut down due to a law in Beacon that bans pinball arcades. What year is it again?

Bobrow told CNN: "It turns out that they were able to prevent me from operating by enforcing an arcane law that bans pinball arcades in the town of Beacon. The fine is $1,000 a day, or jail."

The Retro Arcade Museum was shut down by a bunch of squares after being open for only 18 months. The pings, pongs, and squeals of delight must have really annoyed someone on the Beacon City Council. The law, like other well documented bans on pinball over the years, came about because lawmakers at one point thought pinball was run by the mafia, encouraged gambling, corrupted innocent youth, and attracted a bad element (i.e. people that enjoy fun).

Despite some local officials saying that Bobrow's museum is a "good fit" with Beacon, and that it could even be a tourist attraction, the Beacon City Council is dragging their heels to change the pinball law. It's been under discussion for over two months. Beacon's mayor explains: "The legislative process really does take its time ... It's a process that really can't be done very quickly because we want to do it right rather than right away." Somebody must have forgotten to tell him that they're discussing a law banning pinball, for goodness sake.

If officials take too much longer, Bobrow could be in trouble. "The town is on their own timeline that doesn't coincide with business," he says. "In business, you have the be open everyday."

Let's hope the city council is able to see that the banning of metal balls hit with flippers for fun is completely moronic. Bobrow's outfit isn't even the type that attracts a seedy crowd, it's well maintained and more of a museum on free play. Sorry everyone, this situation combined with the outrage over Marvel Happy Meals has made me decide to find a new planet to live on. I'll miss you all.

Source: CNN via GI

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I'm pretty sure there's another that prevents abuse of stupid laws like that.

But don't quote me on that.

Everyday I keep reading news, I keep losing hope in humanity's rational thought. But CNN recently showed me these sites where the undocumentated happy news is displayed only.

So why did they actually bother to enforce this clearly retarded law?

Wow. No words can truly express my opinion.

Shouldn't the justice system be trying to prevent crime instead of stupid things like these?

"Everybody Cut Footloose", anybody?

I don't think you can blame this on religious figures, even, only on human silliness.

*grabs pitchfork* REVOLUTION!
OT: No wonder our country is so messed up right now. Instead of focusing on the important stuff they're wasting all their time on these ridiculous ancient laws that don't even make any sense.

Arcane and Asinine. What a fucking great combination.

Canid117:
So why did they actually bother to enforce this clearly retarded law?

i would guess some a-hole took umbrage at the shop or owner for some personal reason.

if not reversed the guy should load it all into a container and move.
you could make serious money with that stuff if the location is right.

just looking at the pic makes me wanna wander round with a pocket full of change...

Remind me why I put up with politics again.

I freakin' LOVE pinball! This law is fucking retarded.

now THERE is a group of people who need to be slapped with a fish

Oh, wow. Such an arbitrary and pointless law.

Palm, meet face.

[Old, white bureaucrat]

"What's this? A place of joy and fun, and with machines that have metal ball-bearings and lights and sounds and bumpers? And it's bringing in tourism and business during this economic crisis? BANISH THEM!!!

"Now, where is my cake made of gold?"

Over two months to decide on whether ban a game, and for a completely arbitrary reason. A really sad thing is I think that the law might pass. Oh why is it that the silliest laws are almost always passed?

I hate my State, I hate it so much.

Just a few days ago, a friend of mine mentioned that in our town, there's an unenforced (though still on the books) law in which a man can be fined for not keeping the collar of his shirt neat while in public. Do I have to worry about that now too?

It's only a 20 minute ride from here to Beacon, I feel like I should be driving there right now to protest or something.

Edit:

JRCB:
Shouldn't the justice system be trying to prevent crime instead of stupid things like these?

This is New York we're talking about, these shinananigans plague our legal system like STDs among Eliot Spitzer's ring of hookers.

Basically, the government can get you in trouble for just about anything, anytime they want, it all depends on if someone high-up in the system likes you or not.

Why would they even do that, other than just to be a dick?

Frozen Donkey Wheel2:
I'm pretty sure there's another that prevents abuse of stupid laws like that.

But don't quote me on that.

Quoted. (sorry!)

Really tho, if there isn't there should be. Some massive fine for anyone who twists a current or centuries old law completely out of context just to push their own agenda or screw someone over.

It's like the 'anti terrorism' law banning anyone from photographing a police officer in the UK. Surely the law is broken millions of times a day by the 30 million or so CCTVs in operation around the country. I don't see any owners of CCTV equipment being dragged off however, seems it's more when there's a protest and they need an extra reason to arrest people, because everyone's behaving peacefully but being mildly irritating.

Note I'm very much in favour of the police, they have to do a crappy job, dealing with idiots and lunatics daily, very well. I'm just not in favour of stupid laws and them being forced to uphold them.

Someone needs to get a contact email/website/address where we can mail the town council; this is absolutely ridiculous and these political fools have basically ruined a man's life because of an arcane and idiotic law.

I feel really sorry for this guy. This is his career and financial security at stake. Also, old school arcades are extremely hard to come by. Normal arcades are extremely hard to come by (where I live).

This is a sad day indeed. :(

And all because of the high correlation between people playing pinball and then getting their kneecaps busted because they forgot to pay the bookie at the tracks last weekend.

I hope at the trial someone lets the question slip "And what exactly is local level of drug related crime?" Go bust somebody who's actually infringing on somebody's rights.

Why must people be so stupid?

Wait, wait.

Can some one tell me why this law existed in the first place? Because at the time the ban must have been made I think the law was more concerned about hippies than nerds.

Lord Krunk:
Wait, wait.

Can some one tell me why this law existed in the first place? Because at the time the ban must have been made I think the law was more concerned about hippies than nerds.

He mentioned in the article that they connected pinball to the Mafia and considered it to be dangerous to youth.

Yeah, exactly.

mikozero:

Canid117:
So why did they actually bother to enforce this clearly retarded law?

i would guess some a-hole took umbrage at the shop or owner for some personal reason.

if not reversed the guy should load it all into a container and move.
you could make serious money with that stuff if the location is right.

just looking at the pic makes me wanna wander round with a pocket full of change...

Me too, I could hear the sweet sound of quarters dropping into the metal collection bucket.

I was actually reading about the New York pinball ban in the latest issue of Kill Screen (http://www.killscreenmagazine.com/). But wasn't that law rectified in 1976 with the help of Roger Sharpe, making pinball legal again? Maybe Beacon never rectified their municipal law concerning this.

As for context for you guys, the law banning pinball in New York City was passed in 1948 but the battle against pinball had been going on for more then a decade by then mayor LaGuardia. Since a lot of those pinball machines (they were very different back then) were more about chance than skill and the fact that a lot of them were also controlled by the mafia, pinball was seen as some kind of shady business.When the war came around, it was easy to demonize pinball and say it was a waste of resource. Why make pinball machines when you could make ammos for our boys on the frontline? The war on pinball by LaGuardia was finally won in mid-1948, a few months after his death, when the city council passed the law banning pinball in New York City.

In 1976, the Music and Amusement Association, and like I said earlier Roger Sharpe, went in front of the city council and pushed for the lift of the ban (read the magazine for the pretty funny details of the hearing). On August 1, 1976 -- on Sharpe's birthday -- a new law was passed lifting the 30 years ban on pinball.

If I were him and went out of business, I know it would be tough, but find a good lawyer and sue the city, the law has got to be unconstitutional(as are most laws apparently).

wow, that's just...backwards. We're talking where's-your-helmet backwards.
That or the city council is corrupt and is trying to drive the poor bastard out of town/business.
Silly people, don't they know they live in the states? where a jury loves a massive, overly punitive damage award?

I'm sorry interent, I failed as a person to comprehend how this law is suppose to help are fellow man.

This is why they could never pass a law banning stupidity; there'd be nobody left to govern and we'd collapse into anarchy.

Ahh the blue laws. When America pretended to have seperation of church and state 30 years ago they were lying to themselves.

Why is it outlawed? Mafia racket...any proof? Umm no it ahhh makes kids waste time. Who cares that's what kids do...

Ummm God says it's bad? Oh well then, let's shit it all down...

Idiots. Then again I live in a state if you have a motorcycle and saddle bags... and so happen to be a computer tech ect and have wire cutters....

You can be fined 1000 dollars for cattle rustling. Since that is how the law is worded. If you have wire cutters in a saddle bag, which motorcycle bags on the side are call...guess what.

And modern civ crumbles again to some jackass 50 years ago....

WOW! That is ridiculous! It's an archaic law that's been ignored for years and now they bring it up? What's next the rebirth of prohibition on alcohol? I bet there's a hidden agenda against the guy personally and I hope that they change the law there or else such an awesome sounding place is going to be like Pluto and the Triceratops.

This is the single worst thing I've ever seen, Offensive Page on Encyclopedia Dramatica be damned.

We can help speed up things:
Go to http://cityofbeacon.org/contact
Tell them constructively how stupid they are. Nothing works faster miracles more than when bad press goes viral.

Wow, this sounds like something my crappy country's Government would do. I'll hold out in hopes that they don't know how to use the internet, thus that they don't see this story and think about closing down the Mana Bar cause it INCITES ALCOHOL AND VIDYA GAMEZ! THE TWO GREATEST EVILZ OF TEH WORLD!!!!!

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