(WICHITA, Kan.) —
You see them in restaurants, bars, and gas stations. Are the video gaming machines you see legal?
It’s one of most commonly asked questions our FactFinder 12 Investigators hear. What we learned is a clear answer is hard to find.
“What we say is the machine still is a gambling device,” says Richard Peterson-Klien, Executive Director of the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.
The state is planning to step up enforcement on the machines and will begin warning more businesses that have them.
But business owners are fighting to keep them.
“Our machine is a gift kiosk,” says Mark Griggs who is a vendor.
“People look at these machines and see what they think resembles a machine at a casino. Just because it looks like a duck doesn't mean it's a duck,” says Griggs.
Griggs says his machines provide a product. He says for every dollar you put in a machine, you get a gift certificate for a dollar worth of goods on his website.
In addition, he runs his as sweepstakes.
“We have an “x” amount of winners and “x” amount of losers. We have a starting date for each sweepstakes and an ending date for each sweepstakes. Our rules our published on the machine,” says Griggs.
The state isn’t convinced.
“Some of these people will convince you, me and everybody. But, when you look at the machine you'll find it's gambling,” says Peterson-Klein.
Griggs isn’t the only one who argues his machines are legal.