By Jessica Tuggle
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY -- After closing temporarily to comply with state laws, two adult arcades in Indian River County have reopened with a slightly different business mindset.
Instead of providing digital slot-machine style arcade games and other games where players can win prizes of gift cards or cash, the two establishments have converted their games to be for entertainment only, with no payouts, local law enforcement said.
"Bobby's Arcade on 27th Avenue near Oslo Road in Vero Beach and Lucky Star Arcade on 66th Avenue and State Road 60 in Vero Beach have both reopened and set up the gaming establishment with a more social environment in mind," said Sgt. Thomas Raulen, public information officer for the Indian River County Sheriff's Office.
The owners of the individual establishments were contacted for comment, but did not return phone calls prior to publication deadlines.
Sgt. Raulen said the proprietors of the businesses have been very communicative with the sheriff's office about opening and what they are offering customers.
"I'm convinced that they are trying to operate within the law," Sgt. Raulen said.
"They have it set up kind of like those old pinball games, where you just play it and walk away. It's more of a social thing now, a place to be with friends, have some coffee or soda and chips."
"The managers have told us it certainly has affected their business, they are not as profitable as they used to be, but they are going to wait it out and they said they have been hearing about changes in the legislation," Sgt. Raulen said.
"The Indian River County Sheriff's Office does not give permission to anyone desiring to open an arcade business, nor do they offer to interpret the law, but officers can listen and see if a situation could be viewed as a violation of the law," Sgt. Raulen said.