Smiles at Chuck E. Cheese: F’ville expected to OK coin games expansion

One of the few items of business before the Fayetteville City Council Thursday will be the second reading and potential approval of an ordinance that would allow a larger number of coin-operated amusement machines in some restaurants than what the current law allows.

The issue centers around Senate Bill 454 that regulates and limits coin-operated amusement machines. The law became effective July 1.

“Apparently, this legislative decision had unintended consequences on several of our businesses,” said city clerk Anne Barnard in a Sept. 20 memo.

Referencing the legislation, Barnard said Section 6(b) (2) states that “Except as authorized by a local ordinance, no business owner or operator shall offer more than nine class B bona fide coin operated amusement machines to the public for play in the same business location; provided, however, that this limitation shall not apply to an amusement or recreational establishment.”

Barnard said this section impacts establishments such as Chuck E. Cheese that are classified as eating establishments rather than amusement or recreational establishments in the fact they have more than nine class B machines.

To rectify the situation, the council will consider an ordinance to allow dining facilities with seating of 40 or more to be able to have more than nine of these machines in operation, which would protect certain eating establishments/restaurants that might fall into this category, Barnard said.

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