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

Sippers By Design

Design and manufacture of specialty custom-shaped drink containers.

Tube Pro

Waterpark tubes.

Zebec Water Sports

Large variety of waterpark needs

Cost of Wisconson

Creators of simulated environments, duplicate structures, sculpted figures, exhibits, water features, mini-golf and more.

Subway

Fresh food and sandwich options.

Northeast Insurance (NIC)

Insurance programs.

Water Wars (T&D Enterprises of Brainerd)

Water Wars water balloon game, portable or startionary.

A\’maze Ventures, Inc.

Mazes for every location, new and used.

Family Fun Corp.

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

Bulbtronics

A premier source for lamps, LEDs, batteries and lighting-related and electrical products.

Empex Water Toys

Aquatons Water Toys

Tokens Direct

A wide variety of tokens.

Gould Manufacturing, Ltd.

Concession trailers and Antique, Jeep and Grand Prix auto rides.

Birthday University

Concept development, training and birthday party touring seminars.

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.

Tarobots

Boxerjocks robotic boxing amusement ride game attraction.

Wells Fargo

Commercial insurance for inflatables and event planners.

Xtreme Inflatables

Repair and service for all inflatable products.

See Coast Manufacturing Co., Inc.

Coin-operated binoculars and telescopes.

Splashtacular

Manufacturer of waterslides

American Changer

Bill and coin dispensers and counters, ticket machines and more.

Poly Products

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

Rides-4-U, INC.

New and used rides, kiddie, family, major and thrill.

Tear Repair

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

Ride Development Corp.

Electric floor, gas and battery-powered bumper cars.

Friedman Group Ins.

Insurance for amusement devices.

Coast to Coast

Coin-operated entertainment, crane machines.

Penny Press

Penny souvenir machine, great for parks, FECs, bowling and skating centers, museums and tourist attractions.

Amusement Entertainment Management (AEM)

Premier entertainment consultants.

Klopp International, Inc. (Playmeter)

Quality coin counters and sorters.

Qubica

Sells capital equipment to bowling centers.

Martin Professionals

A lighting supplier of choice for the entertainment industry.

R&R Creative Amusement Design

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

Aquaventronics

Research and development of interactive water games for use in the commercial amusement industry.

Gold Medal Products Co.

Concession equipment, foods and beverages, popcorn, pretzels and snack foods.

Muncie Novelty Co., Inc.

Admissions, financial equipment, printing and tickets.

Weldon, Williams & Lick

Admission systems and wristband ticketing.

CFX Composite & Effects

Special effects make-up and prosthetics

Harris Miniature Golf Course

Design and construction of miniature golf courses and water rides.

Max Flight

Manufactures interactive virtual reality motion-platform game systems including networkable flight and roller coaster simulators.

Jane Farrell Turf and Carpets, Inc.

Commercial carpet, printed and decorative patterns, loop and cut-pile construction. Wall coverings in fluorescents, Class A fire rated. Colored turf, both traditional and neon colors.

Rio Syrup

Over 250 flavors, syrups and concentrates for shaved ice, sno cones, shushes, food colors. Now featuring Hawaiian Flower Cups.

S&S Worldwide

Large Park amusement rides.

Embed

Provides innovative IT products and services with a primary focus on card-based solutions and database applications for the leisure and retail industries.

Spectrum Sports

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

Comstock – Castle Stove

Commercial cooking equipment.

Master Pitching Machine

Batting cages and pitching machines.

Enchanted Castle Studios

Fiberglass statuary and figures for restaurants, mini-golf, theme parks and other attractions.

Spectrum
LMap Powered by Silvercrest
Extreme Engineering
Funovation
Rebound Unlimted, Inc.
Embed
LAIGames