This is a sad bit of news out of Minehead UK, where a local government has taken it upon themselves to increase licensing fees for arcade operators and not just a little bit but by 1000% . If that is not what you call greedy, then I don’t know what is. Of course government cronies always come up with some excuse as to why such hikes are necessary but it never seems to matter that these are the types of tactics that drive people out of business and that it does not create more jobs. In fact is is quite reminiscent of the 1980’s in the US – governments across the world slapped on huge fines (they also called them fees) on arcades to cash in on the arcade craze that was going on at the time. This did not help spawn more arcades but was one factor in harming them.
One arcade operator affected by this hike, Warren Matthews, is lashing out against the fees. While he previously only had to pay £250 for three years he now has to pay £1500 per year, and it is expected to be an upfront payment. We hope that some sort of reversal can be done on these foolish fees and that more governments don’t follow suit. As Warren points out in the article, this money has to come from somewhere so they to raise their own prices to cover it – usually beyond what customers are willing to pay. This will lead to one of two things – the arcade tries to live with it and hope that customers will accept higher prices or they close entirely. We want to see more arcades starting up, not closing down!