BOSTON (WHDH) - Arcades in Massachusetts have been given the green light to reopen Thursday with restrictions in place to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Gov. Charlie Baker announced last week that he had signed an executive order allowing for indoor and outdoor arcades to reopen.
“It’s been a long time coming. I’m glad the state finally came to its senses even if it took a little help from a lawsuit,” Gideon Coltof, president of Salem’s BitBar said.
Coltof said he fought hard for this day and filed a lawsuit against the Baker administration earlier this month after casinos were allowed to reopen but arcades were pushed back.
“Casinos are allowed to open and we are not, and we are a lot alike,” he said. “A video slot machine looks a lot like a video game.”
The case never made it in front of a judge because the state reversed course just a few days after the lawsuit was filed.
“Arcades have been open for a while in some of the states surrounding us. And we felt based on the data from our colleagues in other states that that was enough to move forward,” Baker said.
Arcade games that are permitted at this time include video games, skeeball, basketball shot, and similar ball-throwing games, ping pong, pool and billiards, air hockey, and coin-operated games of skill and chance.
Those visiting arcades must maintain social distancing and wear a face covering.
Even with video games back, Coltof said not all arcades will survive.
“Hopefully we can make it through this and make it through the beginning of next year, and we’ll all come through this stronger than ever,” he said.
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