Irony seems to fail the person who has alleged Chuck E. Cheese's ticket-dispensing games sow gambling addiction in little children, and filed a lawsuit in California seeking a $5 million jackpot.

Denise Keller, a mom of two girls ages 5 and 3, says in her potential class-action complaint that Chuck E. Cheese's arcade games are akin to slot machines. By offering tickets as a payout that can be redeemed for prizes, the machines "create the same highs and lows experienced by adults who gamble their paychecks or the mortgage payment."

Keller's lawyer, naturally, says it's not about the money but the kids. California law forbids gambling, except for in whatever cases it doesn't (like an Indian casino) but it makes an exception for payouts if the contest is a predominantly a game of skill. Whether skee-ball is more akin to poker or blackjack or neither will be a judge's call.

Chuck E. Cheese Sued for 'Tot Slots'[San Diego Union-Tribune]