Florida officials say electronic games like Gator Coin, often found in bars, are illegal slot machines. But the game operators argue they can’t be—because the people playing know whether they’ll win right from the start. Now that question is before Talahassee’s First District Court of Appeal.
To play a pre-reveal game, the player has to press a preview button letting them know whether they’ll win. If they don’t like the outcome they can walk away without losing any money. The game operators say that’s not gambling. But Daniel McGinn representing the state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation says the games fall squarely within the definition of slot machines because they are games of chance.
“The question is does the machine or device, can it be operated and we can see this one is operated through the insertion of a currency, McGinn says. "Does it award a prize—again not in dispute. And then the question is how does this machine or device award the prize? How does it make the determination?"
McGinn says that determination is made through a random number generator—or through chance. The state also argues even if a preview says the player will lose, players are enticed to play through because of the chance the next preview will show a win.