Woman Suing Chuck E. Cheese's for Promoting Childhood Gambling

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Woman Suing Chuck E. Cheese's for Promoting Childhood Gambling

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What happens at Cheese's, stays at Cheese's.

Denise Keller, San Diego real estate agent and mother of 2, has filed a lawsuit against Chuck E. Cheese's and its parent company CEC Entertainment over the ticket-dispensing arcade games featured in the Chuck E. Cheese's restaurant, asserting that they are, in fact, illegal gambling machines.

While Keller is asking for $5 million, her attorney, Eric Benink, claims that the money isn't the key issue here. "We don't think that children should be exposed to casino-style gambling devices at an arcade," he said, and the real goal here is to get these "gambling devices" out of the restaurant chain and away from the children.

California law, which prohibits gambling except in specific situations, makes exceptions for games that are based mostly on the skill of the player, rather than sheer dumb luck. Keller and Benink claim that this is not the case with these games, and that Keller had taken her children to Chuck E. Cheese's and saw that some of the games featured a device similar to a roulette wheel. The suit states that the games are based mostly on chance, and promote addictive behaviors in children, who will shovel tokens into the games in pursuit of tickets, which can be used to win prizes, which can "create the same highs and lows experienced by adults who gamble their paychecks or the mortgage payment."

CEC Entertainment has filed papers stating that the intent of the California law was never to outlaw children's arcade games, and points out that even if the games were deemed illegal gambling devices, Keller and her kids participated in the illegal gambling, and should not be able to seek damages.

It's easy to see both sides of this particular suit. While claiming that games like skee-ball aren't skill based is clearly absurd, I seem to recall spending a lot of time at the flashy-light roulette wheel, pumping in tokens and muttering, "C'mon ... daddy needs a new alien pencil topper ..."

The pizza sucked, too.

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune via Kotaku

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The only reason it not considered gambling is that no matter what it lands on, you win. It is claw machines and those ones that you line up the lights and win something like Nintendo DS, those should be outlawed. I spent $20 trying to win a notebook computer before I realized I was spending some serious cash on a rigged machine.

I thought about this myself, regarding sideshows at regional shows and festivals.
The flaw in her suit I believe is that to qualify as illegal gambling, you have to be able to win money or something that can be redeemed for money.

I assume its the same reason raffle tickets aren't considered illegal.

God people are so sue happy these days. This woman probably just saw a chance at some easy cash and jumped at it.

This lady is special. Someone smart enough to see that loophole is far beyond the level of stupid needed to believe it.

This seems absolutely absurd.
Even if it's one of those "throw a token down the slot, win however many tickets as the panel it lands on" things, it's all down to timing. I remember getting the timing down and averaging 50 tickets per token.

That's not gambling. There mostly rigged reaction games and games of skill.

I must admit it is pretty stupid that most of the games in arcades are based on "luck" rather than skill. What's worse, is the games that appear to be skill but are random as well (like the flashy light roulette wheel that only stops after you push the button, but still stops whereever it feels.)

Even the skill based games now at the places I take my son, always give a flat amount of tickets per play, regardless of score.

However I don't think it's worth a lawsuit. Just teach your kids that the games are a rip off and let them flat out waste their money on real arcade games that at least provide a decent amount of entertainment...... Real arcade games still exist right?

Let me guess: Chuck E Cheese will respond with some PR nonsense, and the woman will counter. This will go on for a week or two, and before it can actually get to court, they'll settle for a bunch of cash.

I understand where she's coming from, but I dare you to find an amusement park that doesn't also have a similar style game. People need to get a life.

Looks like someone didn't get the toy they wanted at CC.

Perahps if she saved up her tickets...

Really though, this is absurdly stupid

Baldr:
The only reason it not considered gambling is that no matter what it lands on, you win. It is claw machines and those ones that you line up the lights and win something like Nintendo DS, those should be outlawed. I spent $20 trying to win a notebook computer before I realized I was spending some serious cash on a rigged machine.

Oh god that one where you line up the lights is terrible. I've wasted far too much money on that game, and the very last row is impossible. I kept pressing it earlier and earlier but it always bumped it over one so I lost, its rigged for sure.

And this is a stupid lawsuit, it makes no sense whatsoever. Even if what they are doing is wrong, then they should stop doing it, not give her money. Her getting money should not come into the equation regardless of the ruling, she has done nothing to earn it or deserve it as compensation. If they have to give out money it should go to the local government or something.

Bon_Clay:

Baldr:
The only reason it not considered gambling is that no matter what it lands on, you win. It is claw machines and those ones that you line up the lights and win something like Nintendo DS, those should be outlawed. I spent $20 trying to win a notebook computer before I realized I was spending some serious cash on a rigged machine.

Oh god that one where you line up the lights is terrible. I've wasted far too much money on that game, and the very last row is impossible. I kept pressing it earlier and earlier but it always bumped it over one so I lost, its rigged for sure.

And this is a stupid lawsuit, it makes no sense whatsoever. Even if what they are doing is wrong, then they should stop doing it, not give her money. Her getting money should not come into the equation regardless of the ruling, she has done nothing to earn it or deserve it as compensation. If they have to give out money it should go to the local government or something.

Really? Once I won a Camera from on of those machines.

cocoro67:

Bon_Clay:

Baldr:
The only reason it not considered gambling is that no matter what it lands on, you win. It is claw machines and those ones that you line up the lights and win something like Nintendo DS, those should be outlawed. I spent $20 trying to win a notebook computer before I realized I was spending some serious cash on a rigged machine.

Oh god that one where you line up the lights is terrible. I've wasted far too much money on that game, and the very last row is impossible. I kept pressing it earlier and earlier but it always bumped it over one so I lost, its rigged for sure.

And this is a stupid lawsuit, it makes no sense whatsoever. Even if what they are doing is wrong, then they should stop doing it, not give her money. Her getting money should not come into the equation regardless of the ruling, she has done nothing to earn it or deserve it as compensation. If they have to give out money it should go to the local government or something.

Really? Once I won a Camera from on of those machines.

I once saw a kid win 3 Gameboy SPs (this was a few years back) in a row at the mall, and then handed them out to random strangers. I think he had just honned his skills and was just saying a big "eff you" to all those who crush dreams to win one of those things.

I'm sure all gambling addicts will tell you it all started at the cheese.

In all seriousness, people need to stop suing everyone the second they get the chance, besides chuck e cheese teaches kids valuable life lessons. Not making foolish gambles with what little you have is one of them. As a kid at chuck e cheese did you spend all your tokens in the coin drop machine hoping to knock some loose for pitiful tickets? No, because you knew you never were going to win and you went back to the arcade, or something you were good at.

I personally played that firetruck game that you roll the coin down the swivel ramp to try and hit small sign posts for major tickets. Which I got seriously proficient at and reeled in massive amounts of tickets like a boss.

Let kids experiment now while they are young and in an safe environment, instead of hitting up a casino and finding out the hard way. Kids need the scraped knees and broken bones, and heart ache and life. Who knows what life will be like if we don't let a little social darwinism run amok.

Thing is, kids need income in order to spend cash on these "illegal gambling machines" and the parents have to provide this cash at that age.

Chuck E. Cheese is as responsible for promoting childhood gambling as video games are responsible for violence, making people rapists, and whatever other bullshit that has come from the media.

I thought this was silly when I read the title, but she actually makes a good point; but the amount of money she is asking for is ridiculous. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing Chuck E. Cheese get rid of their games that are based on chance.(they're just frustrating anyway)

CM156:

Perahps if she saved up her tickets...

don't even need to save up tickets anymore probably would be cheaper to just buy it since 1 ticket=1 cent

I can see where both sides are coming from. On the one hand, the risks/rewards are so low that it is almost laughable. On the other hand, these are machines built specifically to cheat children out of their parents' money.

Chuck E Cheeses: Truly a hive of scum and villainy.

Scott Bullock:

While Keller is asking for $5 million, her attorney, Eric Benink, claims that the money isn't the key issue here. "We don't think that children should be exposed to casino-style gambling devices at an arcade," he said, and the real goal here is to get these "gambling devices" out of the restaurant chain and away from the children.

Anyone else not really buying this? It's like arresting a prostitute after having sex with her. You broke the law, too! Assuming she actually let her kids play there.

Oh, and, how the hell can she sue them over this? It seems to me that if anyone was going to raise an issue here it should have been the California government. Shouldn't she have called the District Attorney's office? Shouldn't they be pursuing this, if there's anything to pursue at all? This reeks of a money grab.

Also, not sure how this is "gambling". Don't you get at least one ticket for putting a token in the game? That seems like a pretty bad deal for the company.

XT inc:

I personally played that firetruck game that you roll the coin down the swivel ramp to try and hit small sign posts for major tickets. Which I got seriously proficient at and reeled in massive amounts of tickets like a boss.

Personally I got really good at the light one scored like 4 jackpots in a row and got like 3k+tickets. It was across like 4 machines but still major bank for me at the time.

Interesting. Excuse me, I'm going to file a lawsuit against Bethesda for putting gambling in New Vegas since the legal gambling age in most states is 18 or over and the game is available to 17 year olds.

Seriously though, you'd think instead the woman would try being a responsible parent and explaining to her kids that gambling can be an addictive thing when the kid actually grows up and learns what it is, while for now just let the kid play some games so he can save up his tickets for a little squirt gun or spider ring.

Q: How do I make money in America?

Ans: Sue someone.

Suing for $5,000,000, but not for money... right.

She has a point. We shouldn't be teaching our children to gamble, we should be teaching them to exploit legal loopholes and sue our way into financial independence.

I always spent all my tokens playing X-Men Arcade. Maybe the gambling was whether or not there were too many other kids and you had to be Cyclops or Dazzler.

"While Keller is asking for $5 million,"

For what?

What the fuck did she do to deserve that money? Correct me if I'm wrong but all she did was point out that the machines might be illegal. How the hell does that entitle someone to money?

I have just one thing to say,

BITCH EARN YOUR MONEY YOURSELF.

stupid fucking people sueing for any reason they can just to fill their pockets

"and points out that even if the games were deemed illegal gambling devices, Keller and her kids participated in the illegal gambling, and should not be able to seek damages."

lolpwned

...That's all I wanted to post but in fear of moderator wrath, I guess I should put something else...hmm...How about something that this is why kids should play with lego like I did...or that they should play laser tag instead cause you can usually get pizza there too, and besides, its laser tag!

You know this is one time where a lawsuit story doesn't seem totally unreasonable to me. I mean, "seeking damages" and suing for it is pretty stupid, but I used to go to CeC a lot when I was a little kid, and I TOTALLY felt like I was in My First Casino the whole time. It totally felt like gambling to me. So I can't disagree that it is promoting gambling to kids.

Although I don't know if gambling should be illegal anyway... so whatever.

I love the bit where CEC points out that the woman and her kids were particapating in the illegal gambling.

Besides, all the prizes cost SO many tickets that there's no point in playing for anything but the fun and getting some little plastic ninjas, afterwards, to play with until the dog eats them.

Call me a fucking asshole, but i think the only reason this lawsuit popped up is because the mother or the child LOST THE GAME!

As far as the gambling thing goes, i'm actually in favor of letting kids gamble in a fixed game. How? Generating a conditioned hatred against it. I've seen some of the nightmarish effects of gambling, and to GTAIV players believe it or not what happens to Roman Bellic in regards to getting in deep with loan sharks due to a gambling problem ISN'T TOTALLY UNHEARD OF.

So why authorize it for kids? I always supported a "Scar children for life" style of raising them to prepare them for the cruel and unforgiving real world. Let them play a gambling game rigged against them, punish them for losing, and condition them against it as they see just how painful playing the odds can be when you never get that taste of victory that first gets you hooked.

Mind you few people agree with me thinking that we need to protect those poor tragic fuckwits we release from our loins... makes me feel a conditioned hatred for my own reproductive system as i realize i too am capable of getting with a woman and aiding in, as George Carlin put it, the pumping out of a unit. Are these lawsuits anything more than sophisticated child abuse as parents try to use their children to get shitloads of cash? No one should ask for several million in damage and then make the obviously disingenuous claim that they're trying to protect children.

Pathetic... That's all I have to say. Another whiny mother with a chip on her shoulder, waggling her finger at something ultimately harmless and not worth pursuing. GET A HOBBY, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

Screw the games of chance. I always went straight for the room with the Skee Ball machines. Damn, those things are fun!

America, the greatest most fair and serious legal system in the world. What would we do if this case was thrown out because of how sheerly rediculous it is?!

That's nothing. I know this really sleazy guy in a place called Angel Grove who introduced Pachinko to a group of suspiciously twentysomething teenagers.

And then it turned into a giant monster and tried to destroy the city.

Yeah, and pixie sticks promote the use of powdered cocaine. It makes about as much sense.

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