Are claw machines and arcade games safe for kids?

At first glance simple arcade games for kids can seem pretty safe but if you think about them some more some of those arcades can really begin to seem like a smaller version of gambling for adults. Arcades are very widespread and popular with kids, there are virtually no laws that regulate them.On the other hand, gambling is very strictly regulated.

Are arcades considered gambling?

In the US and most other countries in the world arcades are not considered gambling games, making them safe for kids to play with no official regulations. There are several reasons for this. First of all, arcades don’t pay out money of anything else of value as a prize for winning. Secondly, they are not games of chance, but of skill, which is different from most casino games.

However, some arcade games actually do pay out tickets, tokens or toys as prizes, and there have been many legal debates when it comes to these types of games. As of now, generally, the law is that the price of the prize is below a certain number, the prize can be considered as a part of the entertainment provided by the game, so the game is not considered gambling.

How do claw machine games for kids work?

Claw machines are the favorite arcade game for many kids. You can find them at virtually any arcade, they are usually filled with stuffed toys, but some claw machines can have iPhones and headphones in them. It is widely known that those claw machines are rigged, but how does it work?

In reality, winning at a claw machine almost never has anything to do with skill or claw machine tricks. The owner of the claw machine can set it to give out a prize once out of a certain number of games. This number is actually regulated by the government, in all states it is one out of 15 games, in California your odds are a little better – one out of 12. The machine changes the strength of its grip depending on whether the game is supposed to result in a win or not.

Loot box gambling for children

While the question of arcade games and their potential to addict kids to gambling doesn’t arise often, another new invention has sparked the gambling debate recently. The invention in question are the so-called loot boxes in various video games. Players can buy these boxed for real money or money used in the game. The player doesn’t know what the box is going to contain: sometimes it’s something boring, other times it may contain a rare item craved by many players in the game. The player can then find people online who want to buy the item for actual money. The rise of loot boxes has seen widespread concern that they are addicting children to gambling and some countries even banned the sale of loot boxes for real money altogether.

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