The Strange Reason This Maine Town Has No Pinball Or Video Games
If you asked the average Mainer in 2022 their thoughts on pinball machines, they probably would not have anything negative to say about them. They might even say that pinball was kind of boring, especially when compared to other entertainment options.
This was not always the case, though. Back in the 1960s, 1970s, and even the early 1980s, many people thought playing pinball was a gateway to other vices.
Because of this, many cities and towns put limits and restrictions on pinball machines and other coin operated amusement machines.
One of these cities was Freeport, Maine.
According to the KJ, Freeport currently has a law on the books that requires businesses that want to have a pinball machine on their premises apply for a license and pay a $100 annual fee. Keep in mind, that fee is for EACH coin operated game. It must have been really expensive to run an arcade in Freeport!
On top of that, because of the concerns about the "morality" of such games, the town could deny a business owner the license if they felt the person lacked “proof of good moral character”. In other words, if the person had been convicted of a crime.
Because of this law, there are no licensed pinball or coin operated video games in the town.
It looks like that may be about the change.
According to the KJ article, today (July 5th), the town council will consider changes to that restrictive law.
The discussion about rolling back the restrictive law got kicked off when an entrepreneaur wanted to open a retro arcade in the town. The problem? It would have cost the business $10,000 a year just in licensing fees. In the end, unrelated concerns put a stop to the project, but it did get people in the town talking about the seemingly outdated ordinance.
What are your thoughts?