Lawsuit Alleges Chuck E. Cheese Promotes Kiddie Gambling, Gaming Addiction

Illustration for article titled Lawsuit Alleges Chuck E. Cheese Promotes Kiddie Gambling, Gaming Addiction

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.

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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.

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Illustration for article titled Lawsuit Alleges Chuck E. Cheese Promotes Kiddie Gambling, Gaming Addiction

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

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DISCUSSION

I got 2,480 skeeball tickets in a single summer. Skeeball is a game of skill. The key is not to deliberately shoot for those 100 point side pockets; they're a fool's game. Aim for the 40, every time, and you'll average out to plenty of points.

That said, it's definitely Kiddie Casino Time at Chuck E. Cheese's. Let's call a spade a spade, skill or not, it's all about indirectly buying prizes and relying on a kid's inability to hit a very narrow margin of error to ramp up the prices on already overpriced novelty junk.