Game Over: It’s Illegal for Kids to Play Arcade Games in Inkster
An obscure 1983 law fines arcade owners $500 for letting kids under 12 play pinball or arcade games unsupervised in the Detroit suburb of Inkster.
Remember the movie Footloose? Ren McCormack is floored when he finds out rock music and dancing are illegal in the small town his family has just moved him to. Everybody cut, everybody cut to present day Detroit, where the nearby city of Inkster has a law on the books that Reverend Moore and the sheriff in Footloose would be happy to enforce.
Passed in 1983, §113.045 of the city code applies to mechanical amusement arcades. An arcade is defined as "any place of business or establishment containing four or more mechanical or electrical devices which provide amusement or entertainment, which may be operated or set in motion upon the insertion of a coin or token." Like many other businesses, the proprietor must pay a licensing fee. In this case, the cost is $200 plus $15 for each mechanical amusement device on said premises, or as set by resolution of the City Council.
Here's where a business owner could really get into trouble: it is illegal to let kids under 12 play games without parental supervision.
No person shall operate or cause to be operated in the city any mechanical amusement device by any person under the age of 12 years at any time unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
-§113.078 City Code, Inkster, MI
Furthermore, minors under the age of 17 are not allowed to use the controllers, fire buttons or flippers to vie for the high score between 11 pm and 6 am unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The offense is a criminal misdemeanor and the penalty is " a fine of not more than $500 and be punished by imprisonment in, the county jail for a period of not to exceed 180 days for each offense."