An access control system for coin operated games and the like in its preferred embodiment includes cards with magnetic strips carrying identifications of the cards. The cards are obtained from a card dispenser in response to deposit of money. A keyboard is used to enter data into a computer to create a data control for determining which cards are valid for uses of the electronic games. Alternatively, the card dispenser can communicate the identification of cards being dispensed to the computer. The user takes the card and inserts it into a card reader which is located at the game selected for play. The card reader reads the card and determines whether the card contains proper corporate and site identifications. If so, the card reader communicates the card identification to the computer which determines, by examining data record for that card, whether any further game plays are alloted to that card. If there are further game plays, the computer adjusts its data record to decrease the number of remaining plays which will be permitted, and activates the selected game. After a predetermined number of game activations for any particular card, the computer will disallow further activations so that the card is no longer valid. At that point, the card can be returned to a card dispenser which can read the card identification of the returned card and communicate that information to the computer which can revalidate the card for use when it is again dispensed in response to deposit of money. This system provides secure control over electronic equipment because the computer record and the means for creating it are located at a secure location.