WOBURN, MA -- City leaders here passed new regulations this month that limit the deployment of coin-operated amusement machines. The new rules, one of which will require operators to appear before a licensing commission to obtain permission to install equipment on location, follows Dave & Buster's petition a few months earlier for special permits to build a new restaurant and entertainment center in this Boston suburb.
The Woburn ordinance, according to sources, also bans "exclusive" gamerooms within public locations, and only permits equipment to be placed as adjuncts to establishment layouts. Additionally, kids under 16 will not be allowed to use coin-op machines after 10 p.m. or during normal school hours, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian over 21.
Dave Buster's, headquartered in Dallas, wants to build a 47,000-sq.ft. facility featuring about 200 games in Woburn. The big box entertainment and dining chain operates only one store in Massachusetts (in Braintree). The second-closest site is in Providence, RI. The operator is also planning its first location for Connecticut; the 26,400-sq.ft. complex will be built in the city of Manchester (east of Hartford).
Dave Buster's, which caters to an adult clientele, now operates 61 locations in 26 states and Canada. The company hopes to open six new locations this year. Children-oriented Chuck E. Cheese's, which operates 567 locations, mostly in the U.S., is expected open more than a dozen new pizza-arcades this year.