Companies appeal slot machines ruling

By News Service of Florida

A court battle will continue about whether certain electronic games played in bars and other establishments are illegal slot machines.

Two firms, Gator Coin II, Inc. and Blue Sky Games, LLC, filed notices last week saying they will appeal a Leon County circuit judge's ruling that the disputed games, known as “pre-reveal” games, are effectively slot machines.

Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper issued the ruling July 10, reversing a ruling he made in March that upheld the legality of the games.

The notices, as is common, do not detail arguments that the businesses will make at the 1st District Court of Appeal. The games known as "Version 67," are produced by Blue Sky Games and leased by Jacksonville-based Gator Coin.

The businesses sued the state after investigators with the Division of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms alleged the machines were illegal.

In originally siding with the businesses in March, Cooper found that the machines didn't violate prohibitions against slots because the games include a "preview" feature advising players of the outcome "before the player commits any money to the game by activating the 'play' button."

But in reversing himself this month, Cooper agreed with testimony that people pay to play losing games with the hopes of winning in subsequent games.

“Because each game unlocks the opportunity to play subsequent games, the outcomes of which are unknowable at the time the first game is played, and because subsequent games offer the user an opportunity to receive something of value, the machines are slot machines within the meaning (of state law),” Cooper wrote.


News Service of Florida