According to new data from the American Game Association, a crucial majority of Americans familiar with unregulated “skill” machines recognize that these devices are games of chance, not technology. Two-thirds (65%) of people familiar with “skill” games say they are no different to slot machines that win by random opportunities, and even experienced players can’t reliably influence results.
“Unregulated machinery manufacturers have built their businesses by deceiving consumers and small businesses while avoiding taxes, oversight and consumer protection,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. “These results are further proof that Americans see these machines as a threat to eliminate, not as a regulation.”
“Skill” machines are often found in convenience stores, bars, strip malls and other community facilities operating outside the regulated gaming market. Previous AGA studies estimate that 580,651 unregulated gambling machines exist in the United States, which make up 40% of all gambling machines nationwide.
The survey also shows that people familiar with “skill” games overwhelmingly view machines as having a negative impact on their communities:
71% say “skill” machines don’t have player protection available to people in casinos.
Sixty-four percent agreed that the “skill” machine was too easy to access children.
Fifty-six percent said “skill” games increase crime risk and put employees and customers in companies with devices at risk.
Two-thirds (64%) of Americans who find that “skill” machines are taxed at a much lower rate and do not have the same regulatory oversight as casino slot machines express concern about whether such devices exist in their communities.
Miller continued, “Keeping the U.S. gaming industry strong, safe, and responsible is only possible through a strong infrastructure in a well-established legal market, and we are not rewarding bad actors with half-hearted measures that do not address the risk of unregulated gambling.”
The new AGA data comes as AGA and other industry stakeholders testify today at a hearing on whether the “skill” game exists in Pennsylvania, hosted by Senator Katie Moose of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee. The hearing will be held at 11 a.m. ET at the Radnore Township Municipal Building (301 Even Ave., Wayne, PA 19087), located in Wayne, Pennsylvania, where it can be streamed online.