Freddy Bailey: US Redemption threat


“CEC Entertainment, the holding company of Chuck-E-Cheese Family Entertainment Centers, backs California’s proposed $10.00 limit on redemption games”

                 It seems that CEC Entertainments the parent company of the FEC chain Chuck-E-Cheese is backing a proposal to bring legislation by  California lawmakers on the prize limits for redemption games to just $10.00 on games that dispense redemption tickets.

               It is thought in the industry that this move comes on the tail of a lawsuit brought about by Debbie Keller against CEC and who claimed that Chuck-E-Cheese was running games that could be construed as gambling devices and corrupting the minds of young children that were having their birthday parties at a Chuck-E-Cheese location, it is feared that if the California legislate adopts to restrict redemption games to a maximum win of $10.00 this could dramatically affect the industry if it were to spread to the other U. S. States and effect the play appeal of the new redemption games that are enjoying strong earnings in many of the new and exciting FEC’s that are opening up around the U.S.

              It is the opinion of the writer that while this could dramatically effect the  manufacturers who are enjoying fantastic game sales in the booming redemption games industry, from the new style FEC’s that are investing much more heavily in the large spectacular games than Chuck-E-Cheese who are well known to have games that are mostly on tokens valued at only 25 cents each  and aiming at the lower class consumer.

              Chuck-E-Cheese who operate in access of 500 locations in 48 States have had their bottom line effected by the opening of these Super FEC’s such as Dave & Busters who cater to a wider audience of consumers and are taking business away from the smaller operations such as Chuck-E-Cheese by offering other facilities such as Glo-Golf, Laser Tag and full menu restaurants.

             So if a new law is brought out by the California legislature restricting redemption games to give a maximum value of only $10.00 on games such as Cranes and Stackers it will hurt the section of the industry those manufacturers are building games that offer the player more excitement and bigger prize values with games such as Big Bass Wheel, Spin N’ Win, Speed of Light, Deal or no Deal and the other great games that are making money because of the stronger price of play and the larger prizes that the consumer receives from these games.

              While this possible new proposed legislation suits the Chuck-E-Cheese style of operation, if it is allowed to spread to the other U. S.  States, it will bring irreparable damage to an industry that is already reeling from so many obstacles that have arose over the past 5-6 years during the present recession.

             These latest moves by government legislators in the U. S. must be fought by our associations who must make these legislators understand that the new breed of amusement game consumers want value for money when playing the redemption  games and not just a few pieces of plastic, today every kid from 7-17 wants a chance to win an  I-Pod, Play Station, Cell Phones or other high value prizes.

Freddy Bailey            


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