The risk-reward videogame market, in which players can win cash prizes from various types of machines, remains a focus of regulatory and law enforcement activity across the South and in certain states of the Midwest.
In West Virginia, the Lottery Commission has decreed that video lottery locations that serve drinks must offer food to consumers in order to retain VLT licenses. Locations have until March to comply.
In South Carolina, where payoff video poker was outlawed in 2000, the chief of the state's Law Enforcement Division said he plans to crack down on illegal video poker machines statewide in response to widespread complaints from consumers and local law enforcement.
In Georgia, where video poker machines are legal but payoffs are not, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported that cash prizes are threatening to reach epidemic proportions and may be hurting state lottery sales.
In Arkansas, a new market for sweepstakes videogames in Internet cafés is said to be expanding rapidly. A spokesman for the state governor said the issue was not on the administration’s radar. But if sweepstakes videogames were to become controversial, lawmakers might push for a ban.
In Alabama, the Greenetrack dog racing facility resumed operation of electronic bingo games on Aug. 31 despite warnings by the governor and the state's attorney general that electronic bingo machines are illegal gambling devices ... and notwithstanding two earlier raids on the location.
In Indiana, the Gambling Control Division -- an antigambling police force created in 2007 -- said it has effectively eliminated Cherry Master machines, which reportedly once numbered 5,000 in the state.