One challenge of operating an honest business is when dishonest ones come around, break the law and reinforce negative stereotypes about a certain industry. You might recall the arcade scene from Robocop 2…too often the perception that all arcades are like that lingers around the imaginations of city halls around the world. Unfortunately today’s news out of California is a potential case in this regard, with local opinion on arcades taking a nosedive thanks to two operations in Fullerton.
I should mention that at the moment the investigation is still developing and everyone accused is innocent until proven guilty.
The story comes along from CBS Los Angeles, where police pulled off a sting of the “Video Game Lounge” and later what police called “another illegal gambling operation” a short distance away while the reporting shows an image of window paint showing “Ocean King Games”. The footage shows multiplayer fishing redemption games being hauled out of the first business along with some sit down cabinets.
I have seen Ocean King Games setup at amusement trade shows before, both Amusement Expo and IAAPA. They only display those top down fishing games that work for 5-10 players. Their website can be found here where you’ll notice similar machines being pulled out of the businesses. While such games are generally sold as ticket redemption games, I did notice at trade shows that they had coin payout cups in them (deactivated for the show) as that is how they were setup for sale in various Eastern regions like China.
While there are no details about the machines themselves from the CBS Story, it is certainly possible that the machines were setup for coin payout which is illegal in California. Many states have a labyrinth of laws in this regard, with California having plenty to pour over of what is and isn’t legal. This is why on many machines like cranes/claw products they have to have “California legal” settings to avoid causing such entanglements.
Any thoughts from the readers out there?