Connecting the Dots on State Prize Per Play Limit Laws

November 2, 2013 No Comments

There are now more than 20 states that have laws that limit the maximum value of a prize that can be won per play from a redemption or merchandise dispensing game. The limits vary from 75 cents/play in Florida to $5 in Georgia to $10 in Ohio and so on to $35. The domino effect appears to be continuing as at least three states are currently considering adopting maximum prize per play limits, such as California with a proposed $10 maximum prize limit.

These laws have been brought about as an “easy fix” for those states desiring to shut down video gaming (adult arcades) and sweepstakes games, but the legislative web has unintentionally entangled much of the legitimate amusement game industry. These laws adversely affect amusement parks, family entertainment centers, carnivals, bowling and skating centers and also those companies that manufacture amusement games and supply prizes, tickets, tokens, debit card systems, bill changers, ticket centers and many other products and services.

Our industry obviously has a huge public relations problem. Why is it that most state legislators don’t understand that the amusement game industry is different from the gambling industry? The legal gambling industry has done an excellent job of erasing any line in the sand and adding to the confusion by calling itself the gaming industry. Could it be that the amusement industry has not drawn a clear and deeper line in the sand between the two industries? Perhaps the reason is that some in the amusement industry feel that the proper response is to continue to keep our heads in the sand and do nothing because many of the new laws are not being strictly enforced?  This is not a solution, as these state laws still hang over the industry and any local sheriff or police chief can choose to grab the headlines and go after a violation.

The good news is that the amusement industry is now starting to take a proactive approach.  Several AMOA state associations have hired lobbyists to educate the legislators on this issue and propose law changes to existing laws and amendments to proposed laws. California now has a new AMOA state association that was formed to address a proposed $10 prize limit law. AAMA has initiated a legal defense fund. Manufacturers of merchandise dispensing games are making sure their games are certified as skill based and comply with the laws of each state, offering special adaptations for a specific state when required.

All of these actions are good and necessary but do not take on the big picture that this is a public relations issue. It is a simple fact that individuals and families enjoy playing amusement games. They love winning tickets and redeeming prizes and winning prizes. It is a tradition. Our industry is well positioned to get this word out to the local and national media. Disney owns ABC. Comcast owns Universal Studios (Wet n Wild, Orlando), NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC business network.  Time Warner got out of the amusement park business several years ago but still licenses characters (i.e. Warner Brothers) to several amusement parks and owns CNN and Time Magazine. CBS Viacom also previously owned amusement parks. These are the entities who are in the best positions to help our industry.

On the local level, FECs and amusement parks should be discussing the subject in newspapers and on television and radio. AMOA, AAMA and IAAPA can write articles and even white papers on the subject. Disney could assist in the key states of Florida and California to lobby legislators to raise prize limits to at least a few hundred dollars so the public has the chance to win the electronic gadgets that they so desire. Florida is a key state. If the law is amended, it would have a positive effect on other states.

The public relations battle is never ending, but one that is worth fighting. Be assured that the sweepstakes and video poker/slot machine groups will continue to fight for legalization of their market on a state by state basis. Our job is to make sure that the amusement game industry is associated with skill based games and not gambling machines. It is this distinction that is necessary for our industry to survive. -

(Scott C. Borowsky is president and executive editor of Tourist Attractions & Parks magazine and Frank Seninsky is president and CEO of Amusement Entertainment Management.)

Back

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Sponsors

Formula K Raceways

Go-karts, kiddie cars and bumper boats, go-kart parts and tires.

Store on Wheels

Importer and distributor of quality toys, lighting and novelties. Cater to the amusement, retail and entertainment industries.

Nieco Corp

Nieco automatic broilers.

European Body Arts

Airbrushed temporary tattoo products and systems.

Berk Paper & Supply

Concession supplies.

GloCones

Flashing cotton candy cones.

Tarobots

Boxerjocks robotic boxing amusement ride game attraction.

Lil Orbits Inc.

Food equipment, donut machines and vendor carts.

Adventure Glass

Unique paddleboats.

Price Chopper, Inc. Wristbands

Admission, financial equipment and wristbands.

Wells Fargo

Commercial insurance for inflatables and event planners.

Barron Games

Redemption air hockey games.

Mahoning Valley Mfg.

A complete line of Imperial strollers, wagons and safari utility vehicles.

Safari Ltd.

Leading manufacturer of innovative educational toys.

Family Fun Corp.

Waterpark walls for rivers, bumper boat and splash down pools.

Gerber Manufacturing, Ltd.

Outdoor furniture, benches, picnic tables and grills.

Spectrum Sports

Climbing walls, ropes courses, go-karts and more.

West Coast Netting, Inc.

Experienced netting manufacturer on the leading edge of innovation.

Friedman Group Ins.

Insurance for amusement devices.

Lazer Runner

Laser Tag Systems

Martin Professionals

A lighting supplier of choice for the entertainment industry.

Sureshot Redemption

One-stop source for prize redemption counters at entertainment centers.

R&R Creative Amusement Design

Designers of unique themed parks, attractions and environments for the entertainment business.

Kay Park Recreations Corp.

Picnic tables, grills, park benches, planters, trash containers and more.

Hamilton Manufacturing Corp.

Manufacturer of unattended entry systems and change machines.

CFX Composite & Effects

Special effects make-up and prosthetics

Poly Products

Tables, benches and related products. Green products for a green world.

Broaster Co., The

Food programs and food service equipment.

Laser Star

Laser shooting galleries, laser tag, dark ride target systems, overhead target ranges.

Amusement Entertainment Management (AEM)

Premier entertainment consultants.

Belson Manufacturing Co.

Park and recreation outdoor furniture and equipment.

Harris Miniature Golf Course

Design and construction of miniature golf courses and water rides.

Brunswick Bowling

Entertainment bowling center developer and manufacturer of bowling equipment and entertainment products.

Namco

Namco America is a premier manufacturer of coin-op arcade attractions, ranging from the hottest titles like Crazy Typhoon and Jumpin’ Jackpot to classic game-room experiences such as the Pac-Man 25th Anniversary upright that features Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga. Specialized pieces such as Wonka Sweetland and Flamin Finger are favorites too! For arcade gaming fun, Namco America is your answer.

Tube Pro

Waterpark tubes.

Qubica

Sells capital equipment to bowling centers.

Center Edge Software

Facility Management Software Solutions

Deltronic Labs Inc.

Ticket dispensers.

Davis & Davis, Inc.

Planning consultants for wet/dry attractions, mini-golf, go-kart tracks and laser arenas.

Soft Play

Leader in designing, manufacturing and installing soft contained playground equipment.

Art Attack

Theming, miniature golf, parade floats, 3D props, air-brushed murals, signage and art panels.

Tear Repair

Tear-Aid industrial strength patches to repair holes and tears.

National Rock & Sculpture

Dedicated to the conceptual design and development of themed environments.

Sacoa

Designed and manufactures PlayCard, the rechargeable debit card system.

Quik N' Crispy (QNC)

Quik n’ Crispy greaseless fryer.

Muncie Novelty Co., Inc.

Admissions, financial equipment, printing and tickets.

Master Pitching Machine

Batting cages and pitching machines.

Stoelting
LMap Powered by Silvercrest
Premier Polysteel
Spectrum Sports
Cannonball Blaster
Funovation
Empex Water Toys