Legal Tussle Continues Over Coin Pusher Machines In Convenience Stores
The person who paid chair rental and played poker for the chance to win a prize committed the crime of gambling, and the poker room owner committed the crime of commercial gambling. The amusement devices seized by the Mississippi Gaming Commission here include the “Cherry Master Video” and “Quarter Pusher” games. The “Cherry Master Video” is an electronic machine that displays a series of nine symbols (e.g., cherries, bananas, other fruits, etc.) in a three-by-three matrix format of rows and columns.
Oh, that’s where the lottery said the coin pushers are illegal. And, since the state has a vested interest in the “legal” slots (VLT’s), they are pretty quick to shut down the coin pushers, if anyone has them. All slot machines capable of being used for gambling and places where they are kept or operated together with all property of any kind kept or used in connection with operation of the same, are hereby declared to be public nuisances. I think card collection coin pushers are so popular today in arcades for this reason.
There’s a lot of legal loopholes around those laws that D&Bs takes advantage of. It’s really close to the essence of gambling, and even pushes that line a little, but per established law, it’s on the edge. The way to beat these card collecting coin pushers is to know which one of the cards in the set is the rare one. The trick with these coin pusher card sets is the same psychological trick that McDonald’s Monopoly had when that was a thing.
If a winning combination occurs, the machine records on a meter the number of credits won and offers an option of either adding these credits to the credit balance or using them to bet “double or nothing” on a card game which is a secondary feature on the machine. The credits won can be accumulated on the machine, with each credit having an equivalent value of five cents. Once accumulated, the credits can be used in the same manner as the credits obtained from inserting money.
Arcades such as Dave & Busters and others who operate coin-pushing machines in the US state of Kansas have been forced to remove those machines from their locations as the state recently passed a law declaring such popular games as illegal gambling devices. We don’t follow redemption very often here but when it comes to games that can make tons of money for any arcade location, coin pushers are usually at the top of the list. This is also why such machines generally cost quite a bit to purchase in the first place, as they are guaranteed to make a lot of money. I personally don’t see the appeal behind them but having worked for an arcade in the past where we had several pushers, the earnings were always solid. Of course there are certain redemption games that blur the line between a gambling device and a gaming device, especially in the case of pusher that are more about luck than skill to win tickets.
The player cannot control the sweepers, and really has no control over when and how quarters fall into the payoff chute. The payoff depends exclusively on how the coins are piled up at the time the player inserts quarters. It is clear that these machines are intended to deliver quarters a result of an element of chance. Therefore, they are gambling devices under 15 U.S.C. § 1171. Quarter pushers are illegal gambling devices under the Kansas criminal statutes. In fact, every state that has considered the legality of quarter pushers has concluded that quarter pushers are illegal gambling devices.