IBJNews

State to crack down on new online gambling machines

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Indiana officials have decided to clamp down on new electronic gambling machines that let users connect to online games and are giving the state excise police authority to remove them and cite businesses that have them.

The so-called "sweepstakes machines" allow players to buy Internet time for video poker and slots and bet digital credit or time, with winners receiving a receipt that they can cash out at the businesses.

The machines recently began appearing in Indiana bars, restaurants, convenience stores and other businesses, The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne reported. Unlike slot machines, prizes are paid to winners based on predetermined sweepstakes systems, not by chance.

The Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission said Monday that it notified retail alcohol permit holders that the machines are illegal and must be removed. Violation notices, which can lead to fines or suspension of alcohol permits, can be issued starting Oct. 15.

The agency's notice said the only form of gambling allowed in these businesses includes pull tabs, punch boards or tip board games.

"Any other type of gaming, especially electronic gaming devices, are strictly and specifically prohibited," the notice said.

The website for Promo Games Sweepstakes, the company that distributed the machines in northeastern Indiana, includes a discussion of why it doesn't consider the machines illegal gambling, comparing them with the sweepstakes Monopoly game that McDonald's offers.

"When you play the McDonald's Monopoly game, which is a sweepstakes, you don't buy game pieces," the site says "You buy a Big Mac with fries or an order of chicken McNuggets. When you buy the food, you get a free entry. This is exactly how sweepstakes gaming works," the website says. "... The customers don't actually purchase entries into the sweepstakes. They purchase time on the computer."

Federal law, however, requires McDonald's and other retailers conducting similar promotional games to provide some way for players to receive game pieces at no charge.

Steve Carnes, a Promo Games official, said he expects the company will review the state agency's decision.

"I guess they did what they felt was necessary and we go from there," Carnes said. "I presume there is a possibility of challenging it."

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

  5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.

ADVERTISEMENT