gamerfreak
gamerfreak
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March 18th, 2017 at 10:09:38 AM permalink
https://www.mielemfg.com

I saw one of these in a bar last night for the first time but didn't play. Anyone know anything about them? Are they fairly new? Did a law change to allow this type of machine in bars?
Mission146
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Mission146
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March 18th, 2017 at 10:20:48 AM permalink
Everything is legal until it's not, this would hardly be the first manufacturer in the first state to try to get away with machines such as this or similar to these.
Vultures can't be choosers.
rsactuary
rsactuary
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March 18th, 2017 at 10:31:12 AM permalink
What exactly is the skill component? Just looked like a slot machine to me.
Mission146
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Mission146
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March 18th, 2017 at 10:59:22 AM permalink
Get ready for the stupidest (but true) thing you will ever read:

I know this because they tried to get away with it in Ohio, and if you watch the videos on the site linked in the OP, you will see what I mean.

If you hit two of something, (you need three for a line) or two of multiple things, the game will either occasionally or always give you thirty seconds to make a spot Wild. Do not make a losing combination Wild, that is the, 'Skill Element.' If you make a losing combination Wild, then you will lose. You could also make a non-Optimal (but winning) combination Wild by not making the highest paying combination Wild.

In other words, the skill factor is to understand the implications (pays) of one number being bigger than another and to choose your Wild spot in such a way that you get paid the biggest number.

It's a slot machine that can essentially be only played non-optimally if you're an idiot, at least, most of the time. Occasionally, you might have the choice between Free Games or a high-paying combination that might be a head-scratcher since you don't know what the average value of Free Games are.

Anyway, what should define a, 'Skill-Game,' and in most states does, is that the, 'Skill Component,' be such that a player would have a reasonable and long-term expectation of winning if the game is played Optimally. That is not going to be the case on these machines.

Another one that Ohio had (that I don't know if these guys have) is one where you can look at the, 'Next Puzzle," ahead of time. Basically, you look at the, 'Next Puzzle,' and you only bet if you know you'll win and that was the, 'Skill Component.' What you were really doing is effectively betting on the puzzle after that, which you knew nothing about, and most players just played it like a regular slot machine without looking at the, 'Next Puzzle,' ahead of time anyway.
Vultures can't be choosers.
Boz
Boz
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March 18th, 2017 at 11:59:05 AM permalink
"Legal" in PA because the PLCB is short staffed and way behind on enforcement. My advice to bar owners is be cautious. Vending operators are pushing these now because they haven't been busted yet, but by no means has the state ruled that they are "legal" in PA. For most bar owners the fines and risk of license suspensions are not worth it but there are always a few small out of way bars willing to try it.
AxelWolf
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March 18th, 2017 at 1:07:32 PM permalink
Quote: Boz

"Legal" in PA because the PLCB is short staffed and way behind on enforcement. My advice to bar owners is be cautious. Vending operators are pushing these now because they haven't been busted yet, but by no means has the state ruled that they are "legal" in PA. For most bar owners the fines and risk of license suspensions are not worth it but there are always a few small out of way bars willing to try it.

Lets test some out in your bar. We can negotiate a fair deal.
♪♪Now you swear and kick and beg us That you're not a gamblin' man Then you find you're back in Vegas With a handle in your hand♪♪ Your black cards can make you money So you hide them when you're able In the land of casinos and money You must put them on the table♪♪ You go back Jack do it again roulette wheels turinin' 'round and 'round♪♪ You go back Jack do it again♪♪
Mission146
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Mission146
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March 18th, 2017 at 1:23:06 PM permalink
Quote: Boz

"Legal" in PA because the PLCB is short staffed and way behind on enforcement. My advice to bar owners is be cautious. Vending operators are pushing these now because they haven't been busted yet, but by no means has the state ruled that they are "legal" in PA. For most bar owners the fines and risk of license suspensions are not worth it but there are always a few small out of way bars willing to try it.



That's kind of the point that I was making, and the states are always behind the 8-Ball on these kinds of things. Like I said, these sorts of things are legal until they are not, which basically is when they are decided not to be skill games.

As far as any product placement is concerned, I wouldn't be willing to pay a lot for them, but I think a lot comes down to how friendly you are with your jurisdictional guys and how much heat your area draws in general. In Pennsylvania, for instance, you always see the Cherry Master units which, almost unfailingly, are labeled, "For Amusement Only," but actual cash gets paid out at several locations. In some cases, it's a matter of whether or not you are a known person there, and in others, they just let everyone play them and print tickets. You've got restaurants where cops eat, bars where cops drink, and they all just let it go. Kickbacks? Sometimes, but most places with the Cherry Master only have one or two units, anyway.

I would not say it is limited to out of the way bars, the Cherry Masters are absolutely NOT legal and are not even arguably a game of skill, but I could give you several locations in Pittsburgh (mostly the 'burbs, but hardly, 'Out of the way,') and I'll even venture forth on Monday and take pictures if you don't believe me.
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gamerfreak
gamerfreak
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March 18th, 2017 at 4:17:50 PM permalink
FWIW I see pull tab machines all the time in PA, but always at private club bars which have a different set of rules. The liquor laws in PA are stupid.

This place wasn't a club bar though.
Mission146
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Mission146
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March 18th, 2017 at 5:25:59 PM permalink
Quote: gamerfreak

FWIW I see pull tab machines all the time in PA, but always at private club bars which have a different set of rules. The liquor laws in PA are stupid.

This place wasn't a club bar though.



The Cherry Masters I have seen are not, 'Pull tab machines," I don't think, and have certainly not always been at private clubs. Hell, not even all the places I have seen them have some form of alcohol or another.
Vultures can't be choosers.
Boz
Boz
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March 18th, 2017 at 5:42:18 PM permalink
Pull tabs can be sold in PA at Private Clubs such as Fire Companies and Moose type lodges. Bars can also purchase a license to sell them as well though less than 50 bars in PA paid for that license addendum. The pull tags then are purchased through a state approved supplier and the state gets its tax at the time if purchase. The return on these is always less than 50%.

As for the Cherry Master machines, they are absolutely illegal when they have a "knockdown" device on them to clear and pay credits. But that does not stop some bars, and also many ethic grocery stores from having them. It's all about risk to reward and also a willingness to gamble on not getting busted. The larger more profitable bars will not risk having them for multiple reasons including potential tax issues if busted, suspension of license and just the hassle of the clientele they bring. In PA in most cases you will find them in a smoker corner neighborhood bar when the owner knows most of the customers and doesn't have food or higher margin craft beers to help pay the bills.

As for the potential of state run VP in bars, several bills have been introduced in the State House. Most face immediate objections from the casino lobby due to fear of competition. But with the state continuing to try and find new revenue sources I believe it will happen in the future. Some bar owners are already are working on plans based on the outline of options in the bills. It would be 100% state run with approved vendors placing the machines (between 5 & 10) in bars and restaurants with liquor licenses. This seems similar to a route in Vegas placing machines in bars. All machines would be linked to a state computer and the bar would never touch cash. A TITO machine would be placed in each location. The proposed split naturally favors the state but there is potential for the vendors and bar owners.

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