Kansas declares coin pusher redemption games as "illegal gambling devices" while state brings casinos in

Shaggy April 25, 2010 6

(thanks for the tip Dasbacon)

And now for a great “WTH?” moment to start our week off. 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. With that in mind I am not aware of other states where pushers are illegal.

So why are they doing this? Kansas is not well known for being an anti-gambling state (that honor actually goes to where I live in Utah and arcades here can have coin-pushers) but when you dig into the story you’ll find that while Kansas is pulling a hard line on pushers, they are opening the door for casinos to move into the state. This means it’s likely that in pandering to what casinos want, which is less of what they perceive as competition from the arcade redemption sector, they targetted these machines specifically as they are the closest to blurring that line. Quite lame really as I am sure that the casinos will be able to make their money hand over fist even if every arcade place there had nothing but pushers on location.

You can read more about it here at kmbc.com


  1. ECM April 25, 2010 at 7:04 pm - Reply

    My guess: the gambling lobby sees some competition from arcades and lobbied to have them put on ‘the list’.

    • Shaggy April 25, 2010 at 7:10 pm - Reply

      That’s exactly my thought as well. I wonder if they will try to push out any other redemption as time goes on, which they certainly would have the power to do. I guess this is one of those things the AAMA needs to be pouncing on to give coin-op some leverage.

  2. Jordan/Jbean April 26, 2010 at 8:19 pm - Reply

    I tipped Bacon off on this one but I manage an arcade in Kansas City (30 minutes from the D&B) and we fortunately have no coin-pushers, HOWEVER we received word from the state letting us know that they ARE seizing and destroying them.

    In addition, the law has been in place for ages but the state has never enforced it, as it was up to local county and city governments to decide on the issue (They give the permits out).

    Our Dave and Busters is COMPLETELY empty now. I talked to their amusements manager and they had around $200,000 invested in the pushers which made up nearly 40% of their redemption selection.

    • Shaggy April 26, 2010 at 8:50 pm - Reply

      Wow, seizing and destroying them is ridiculous. The arcades should be allowed to sell them off to everywhere else in the country where they are not illegal. I guess this is a reason why operators need to follow politics to some degree so they know what to watch out for.

      I wonder when we’ll see pictures published of the state destroying the machines, reliving the days of when pinball machines were treated in the same manner.

  3. DG April 28, 2010 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    Kudos for Kansas, along with Nebraska, Missouri, Texas, Mississippi, I’m sure I have missed some states that treat illegal gambling for what it is, illegal. Check the laws before you act.

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