What’s difference between skill vs sweepstakes?
Canton officials and the public may not see much of a difference between skill games and sweepstakes games. But according to the attorney general’s office, the two are not the same.
The games are used at arcades and Internet cafes to attract customers who hope to win prizes or money.
Difference between skill vs sweepstakes.
Under state law, a skill-based amusement machine means a mechanical, video, digital or electronic device.
Skill games can only pay out merchandise prizes worth $10 or less, and they can pay out $10 gas cards due to a recent amendment by the General Assembly, said Mark Moretti, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office.
Skill games are regulated by a chapter of state law that regulates gaming, Moretti said.
“The Casino Control commission was given ‘authority’ over skill games, but no teeth, no guidance,” he wrote in an email.
The state currently does not regulate sweepstakes and Internet cafe games, he said. “Sweepstakes, Internet or otherwise, can pay out cash prizes,” Moretti wrote.
Don’t be confused Sweepstakes.
“A true sweepstakes is not determined by skill so (it) is not a skill game,” he said. “Therefore the merchandise prize limit does not apply to them.”
“If the sweepstakes games are not a true sweepstakes, and are instead slot machines, these are illegal under (state law) and locals can enforce (it),” Moretti said.
There is no limit on what a sweepstakes can pay in cash prizes, Moretti said.
Lisa Peterson Hackley, a spokeswoman with the attorney general’s office, compared a true sweepstakes game to when someone buys a hamburger at McDonald’s and can play a scratch-off game such as Monopoly with a chance at prizes.
“These sweepstakes use slot machine looking games to reveal the winnings,” Moretti wrote. “If operated lawfully people are not really playing a slot machine (and) it is an entertaining way to reveal your sweepstakes entry.”
State law supports it.
Under state law, a machine shall not be considered a skill-based amusement machine if certain conditions apply, including:
- The ability of any consumer to succeed at the game is impacted by the number or ratio of prior wins to prior losses of consumers playing that machine.
- The outcome of the game can be controlled by a source other than any consumer playing the game.
- The success of any player is or may be determined by a chance event, which cannot be altered by player actions.