Florida: No more claw machines, redemption arcades at Disney hotels Big Mouse is apparently afraid of getting sued on charges of operating a gambling establishment. [Orlando Sentinel] Filed under: Disney, gambling, recreation By Walter Olson January 17, 2015 20 Comments
FYI – story is paywalled.
Sorry, I forget that I’m registered at the Orlando Sentinel site but most people aren’t. Two other links on the story:
The intent was to combat “internet cafe” gambling parlors (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/07/us/07gambling.html?pagewanted=all), which had spread wildly in Florida while skirting all gambling regulation. The problem is defining how and why such businesses should be illegal while a Chuck E. Cheese’s should be permitted to stay open. It seems the Florida Legislature did a particularly bad job addressing that distinction.
From the linked articles, it seems like the only one objecting to Disney’s arcades, Chuck E. Cheese’s, Dave & Buster’s, etc… is the Florida Arcade and Bingo Association. It seems particularly egregious for them to be suing these operators out of spite for the closure of other businesses. I don’t see why there should be any private right of action in such a case.
Those claw machines are so impossible to win anything, I would be glad to see them go. All they do is rip off people’s money.
Any parent will tell you: these toy redemption centers are nothing but gambling for kids. Perhaps for older teenagers and adults, some of the games require skill. But, for younger children, there is little or no skill involved.
I am all for the “free-range” kid concept and against laws that are there to “protect the children.” But, if there is one law I would be for, it would be to make these type of redemption centers illegal. That would include Chuck-E-Cheese and Dave and Busters…
Aren’t the claw machines games of skill, not chance, and therefore not subject to gambling laws?
If it looks like a game of skill and has a huge payout it almost certainly has a chip that only allows a win a certain % of the time. In slow motion you can see the game tricking people. Without that though, people that are good at the game can easily win much more than the machine takes in.
Or, the responsible parents who brought the children into the world could simply tell their spawn, “No” and not take them into the arcade in the first place.
Yes Disney is removing the redemption games because of this statute and the failure of the bills in the Senate and House that defined the difference between gambling machines and redemption/amusement machines.
As for the claw games, if people did their homework, NJ has a law on the books that states claw games are to be play till you win games. There are cranes that are set for play till you win. There is this law called gravity that interferes with things being picked up. So you have to keep trying until the crane has a good grip on the right part of the toy in question. Which requires skill. I’ve seen lots of guests win 2 or 3 toys in row which definitely skill in my book. The only setting on these machines is the difficulty setting, not a set payout of 1 in 12.
If all these redemption games are so “evil” as people say then why do so many guests play in our arcades? If they were a blight to Disney, the guests wouldn’t play in the arcades and Disney wouldn’t have them in the first place. No matter how the guest does on the game they still win a ticket or tickets. Over the years I’ve seen kids grow up that play in the arcades and they have not turned into gamblers… They play to have fun, if they win tickets in the process that great, if they don’t that’s great too.
Gaming machines like video poker, blackjack, slots etc…they are designed to give the house the advantage. They don’t want you be big winners they just want you to lose lots of your money in these machines…and maybe give a small win depending on the programming of the computers which includes a random number generator.
The other big picture that no one seems to see is the loss of thousands of jobs from the coin-op industry because of all this. This not only includes the employees and owners, but also the technicians that repair the games among others. Why should we be punished because of ignorant politicians and lawyers?
For young children (say, under 16) and amateurs, these games are gambling. Parents let the kids play because they do not mind paying for the gambling.
Saying that “everyone wins” does not make it not gambling.
And you must be crazy to think that arcade gambling games are not rigged in the house’s favor. If it were not the case, the arcades will not make money. You can do this in many ways, such as making the games harder to win, requiring more tickets for prizes, or paying less for the prizes.
As for jobs lost… they will be picked up somewhere else. The kids and their parents have money and they will spend it.
Stop trying to legislate your morals on my family. We are perfectly capable of deciding where we spend our entertainment dollars.
And you must be crazy to think that arcade gambling games are not rigged in the house’s favor. If it were not the case, the arcades will not make money.
Just out of curiosity, are you saying that the games should be a “break even” for the venues? That they should supply the floor space, the electricity, the games, the prizes, the employees, etc, only to break even and have a profit of zero dollars and zero cents?
Isn’t there some value in the entertainment that the games provide people?
It is almost as if you believe the venues should do things not to make a profit. If that is the case, does the company you work for try to make a profit by maximizing income and minimizing costs, or do you just look to break even – never growing, expanding, hiring new people, increasing payroll, etc?
I suspect Allan considers gambling addiction, like cigarette addiction, to be a social evil. We discourage or ban cigarette sales to minors, hoping they will not take on a dangerous and often incurable addiction until they are old enough to understand the consequences fully.
I do not know, however, whether any reputable scholarship shows a correlation between childhood claw-machine gambling and dysfunctional adult gambling addiction.
i am not trying to legislate anything. Let’s just call these redemption centers gambling halls and get on with it. Were these places made illegal, it would not give me heartburn, other than the fact that the government should probably not be legislating morality. Said another way, if government is going to legislate morality, the redemption centers should be the first to go.
I do not begrudge the house having an advantage, in gambling halls or “redemption centers”. I do begrudge those places claiming there is no house advantage or not being honest about the advantage they have (they do not need to tell me what the advantage is, but they should not be able to lie about it either).
“Any parent will tell you: these toy redemption centers are nothing but gambling for kids. Perhaps for older teenagers and adults, some of the games require skill. But, for younger children, there is little or no skill involved.”
You mean the arcades in which you play skee ball and the machine spits out tickets proportional to your score, which are then redeemed for small trinkets? You might call that gambling. You might also call it harmless fun for kids.
Sometimes I think progressives might as well adopt “no more fun of any kind” as motto or campaign slogan. Because that’s exactly where their meddling efforts to “protect” us always seem to end up.
Nah. I just don’t like my kids gambling with my money. If they had their own way to make money and wanted to spend it on gambling, I would probably not forbid them from doing so.
My point is not that the government should stop this form of gambling. Rather, that this is gambling and, if the government is going to be paternalistic, this is one area where I would have less heartburn than others.
i am not trying to legislate anything. Let’s just call these redemption centers gambling halls and get on with it.
But you want arcades and other places to fall under the legislation banning gambling. How is that not “trying to legislate?”
I do begrudge those places claiming there is no house advantage or not being honest about the advantage they have (they do not need to tell me what the advantage is, but they should not be able to lie about it either).
What you call “house advantage” is the cost of business.
Huh? When did I ever say that I wanted arcades and other places to fall under legislation banning gambling? I think gambling bans are counter-productive, much like the war on drugs. I will reiterate my position:
1. Arcades with redemption centers are gambling establishments.
2. Arcades with redemption centers target children.
3. I am opposed to governmental paternalism, including making arcades with redemption centers illegal.
4. If there is no choice but that the government be paternalistic, a good place to start would be redemption centers.
And, yes, “house advantage” is the cost of doing business. I do not begrudge the redemption centers (or gambling establishments) making a profit. However, if they deign to reveal what the house advantage is, they should tell the truth.
On 01.20.15 at 3:08 pm you wrote: I am opposed to governmental paternalism, including making arcades with redemption centers illegal.
Yet on 01.18.15 at 12:05 pm, you wrote, But, if there is one law I would be for, it would be to make these type of redemption centers illegal.
So your initial position was that you want to ban them. The original article, which you supported, was that people wanted to call these types of places “gambling centers.”
While you are free to back away from prior statements and flip flop more than a mackerel in a boat, your position lacks consistency. Furthermore, just because you label something as one thing doesn’t make it so. These places provide entertainment and games of skill. By definition, that is not gambling and your repeating they are gambling establishments doesn’t make it so.
What he’s saying is that he thinks they’re gambling establishments BUT that the government shouldn’t ban gambling.