Quarter Gambling Machine

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The game takes quarters, dollars, or tokens, depending on the flavor of the machine. Video arcades sometimes pay out in tickets rather than actual coins. In some flavors of the game the coins simply drop onto the tray. In the ones I used to see in Vegas, the coins were flipped up onto the tray by a spinner. Another way the casino makes money is by having a time limit on how long the game lasts after you drop a quarter. The casino keeps any coins that fall after the game has ended. If you have a stack of quarters teetering on the edge and they finally fall due to a mini-tremor a thousand miles away 45 seconds after you played your quarter, you wouldn't win anything because the game officially ended after, say, 35 seconds. The Wizard of Odds estimates that the house edge on the Flip-It machines.

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In August of 2013, at the request of the Governor and the Georgia Lottery Corporation, the GBI created a Commercial Gambling Unit (CGU). The CGU is tasked with enforcing Georgia’s commercial gambling laws as they relate to the Coin Operated Amusement Machines (COAM) seen in convenience stores and other businesses around the state. The machines can be legally housed in these businesses as long as they are properly licensed through the Georgia Lottery. Based on Georgia law, customers who play the machines may ONLY redeem credits for in-store merchandise, fuel, or lottery tickets. Redeeming credits for cash payouts is NOT LEGAL in Georgia and violators will be prosecuted. Currently, the CGU is staffed with GBI agents, an intelligence analyst and support staff personnel.

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I have been reading stories about state lotteries and departments going after coin-pusher (medalian) games- as being a form if illegal gambling. I want to know what people here think of them.
I personally dont see it as gambling. I dont expect a big payoff from a coin-pusher and its, at most, quarters to play just like any other little arcade game you see in a store.- if this qualifies for gambling then how come prize-grabing games that you pay a buck to try to pickup a toy or something not considered, in theory, gambling? would that not be similar?
There are old-fashioned basic coin-pushers and then there are much newer ones that really get fancy. they seem to be big in Asia- and its almost like playing a video game at the same time on alot of them.
I saw one in a local gas station and enjoyed playing it. I think I used about 5 bucks in quarters and got about 3 bucks back- I didnt mind, it was just kind of a fun thing to kill time with.
Another thing, is that alot of places such as laundromats and gas stations make a modest profit off the simple machines. if they were really gambling machines though, wouldnt you see them inside a reguler casino somewhere.maybe in the lobby where kids could play with it?
'Although men flatter themselves with their great actions, they are not so often the result of a great design as of chance.' - Francois De La Rochefoucauld
Quarter gambling machine

Another thing, is that alot of places such as laundromats and gas stations make a modest profit off the simple machines. if they were really gambling machines though, wouldnt you see them inside a reguler casino somewhere.maybe in the lobby where kids could play with it?

They got big here in MN in the mid to late '90s. Then they were ruled to be gaming machines, and they all had to be removed (Only indian gaming and card clubs here..).
I like playing them in gas stations when I drive across WI to visit friends in Appleton. BUT, I've noticed that those games are unfair. The WI version does not award all pushed coins to the player. At the bottom of the machine is a little cup that does not fill the entire aperature of the coin collection area. The player only receives the coins that slide down into the cup (about 80% of pushed coins based on experience).
Also, if they're gaming machines that award currency, then I think the usual rules would apply in a given jurisdiction: They'd be illegal for kids to play. That said, there was a version with tokens and tickets in the arcade that we took my brother to for part of his bachelor party.
**small edit** I can't help but comment..that arcade had what was basically a big 6 wheel, and several games with progressive jackpots. It's like the kids are gamblers-in-training. Shame on New Mexico for letting it go that far.
'So as the clock ticked and the day passed, opportunity met preparation, and luck happened.' - Maurice Clarett
Eh, I would probably call it gambling. The people who play are giving their coins for the chance at more money, with minimal or no skill involved.

if this qualifies for gambling then howcome prize-grabbing games that you pay a buck to try to pickup a toy or something, would that not be similar?

That's an interesting question.. maybe it's because those games award goods instead of money? That seems like a funny distinction, though, since that plush toy you just won has a monetary value.
I've also seen some 'pseudo-gambling' machines at video arcade places like Dave and Buster's; I actually played a game at D&B's that was very similar to roulette. There was a wheel divided up into colors, and you 'bet' credits on where this big yellow ball would land. Pick the right color and you won tickets.
I kept wondering how that didn't qualify as gambling, and again, the only thing I could think of was that the machine gave out tickets which could be exchanged for items, not direct money. Heck, the D&B's I was at even had the coin-pusher machines, but with Dave and Buster's coins that could be exchanged for prizes or something.
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some difference between actual gambling and all of the stuff we're talking about though.. I don't see people getting addicted to those toy prize arm machine things or hotlines set up for people with coin-pusher problems. I have no idea what that distinction is, though.
I have a page on that game on my Odds site. Here in Vegas we call it Flip It.

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It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.

I have a page on that game on my Odds site. Here in Vegas we call it Flip It.

It is perhaps the only game where the name of the game is very similar to what you say after you give up and stop playing it.
Oh, wait, I forgot about 'craps'.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw

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If it returns coins, even if it's only a portion of the actual coins pushed, it's gambling.
If it returns tokens that are only good to play more games or to purchase something at the prize counter, then it's not gambling.
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ ————————————————————————————————————— Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁

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See a short video blog entry from today's NY Times here. The last scene is the unlucky author playing a coin pushing machine.