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Massachusetts town overturns three-decade ban on arcade games

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A Massachusetts town's 32-year-old ban on coin-operated video and arcade games is no more: Residents of Marshfield, Massachusetts, voted to end the prohibition at a town meeting April 28, reports The Patriot Ledger.

The measure, which required a majority vote, passed by a vote of 203-175. The 10 members of the town's advisory board had unanimously voted against ending the ban.

Marshfield's ban on coin-op games, which applied to all local businesses, had been incorporated into the town's bylaws in 1982. Opponents fought it all the way to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, which upheld the law; the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case in June 1983, according to the Christian Science Monitor. Marshfield residents had kept the ban alive all this time, voting against petitions to repeal the prohibition in 1994 and again in 2011.

Back in 1983, one of the leaders who originally proposed the ban told the Christian Science Monitor that it was a "progressive step in that it protects life in a small town from an urban-type hony-tonk environment." Another proponent added, "If we have these things in the town, it draws the wrong type of people."

The new effort to lift the ban was led by resident Craig Rondeau, who found six local business to join his cause after the advisory board told him no business would support overturning the law.

"I was sitting thinking, 'Why is this illegal in my town, to have fun with my friends?'" Rondeau told The Patriot Ledger.