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Taiwan: Amendment Closes Loophole on the Underage Patronizing Video Arcades During Prohibited Hours

(June 19, 2009) On June 10, 2009, an amendment to Taiwan's Statute for Management of Video Arcade Operations was published in THE GAZETTE OF THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT. It comes only six months after a major amendment was made to the 2000 Statute that affected 18 of its 39 provisions.

Article 17, item 1, now contains an added phrase, underlined as follows: “those under 15 years of age are prohibited from entering and lingering in general-level video game arcades during school hours and after 10 p.m.” Without the added phrase, legislators opined, it was unclear whether the provision applied to young people who had entered during legal hours but stayed on in the arcades during the prohibited time period; as originally written, the article could have given rise to disputes between the arcade operators and the police. General-level video game arcade operations refer to those equipped only with educational game machines for the entertainment of children, youth, and the general public; restricted-level operations are those equipped with steel-ball, entertainment, or supplemental educational game machines that are solely for the entertainment of persons over 18 years of age (art. 5).

Persons who violate article 17, item 1, may be subject to a fine of between NT200,000 and NT1 million (roughly US$6,100-$30,600) (art. 29). (Amendment to Statute for Management of Video Arcades Operations, 6867 THE GAZETTE OF THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT 28-29 (June 10, 2009), available at; Statute for Management of Video Arcade Operations [in Chinese] [amended text of Jan. 21, 2009], LAWBANK database, (last visited June 15, 2009); Electronic Game Arcade Business Regulation Act [text issued on Feb. 3, 2000] [in English], LAWBANK database,
(last visited June 15, 2009); Prohibit Those Under 15 Years of Age from “Lingering” at Night in Game Arcades, Legislative Yuan First Reading [in Chinese], LAWBANK database, May 4, 2009, available at