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Florida SB 268 Could Change Restrictive Amusement Prize Law

Florida SB 268 Could Change Restrictive Amusement Prize Law
Florida SB 268 Could Change Restrictive Amusement Prize Law
SB 268 could help to change the restrictive law that inadvertently illegalised many redemption and amusement prize games in 2013 when Florida banned Internet cafes to shut down illegal gambling.

In 2013, Florida passed legislation banning Internet cafes, however, the vague wording of the legislation has had unintended consequences for redemption machines and amusement operators. Since the legislation passed and the industry began to see the fallout, the Amusement Machine Owners Association of Florida (AMOAF) has been working with legislators to help change the situation, with focus on Senate Bill 268.

The bill was a response to a political scandal resulting from investigations of Allied Veterans of the World, a charitable organization that operated video sweepstakes games. The controversy resulted in the resignation of the state's then Lieutenant Governor, Jennifer Carroll (the first African American woman to serve in that position). Her resignation followed the release of information that she had once acted as a consultant for the sweepstakes business.

Existing law: The cost value of prizes is not to exceed 75 cents on any game played, games must be activated by coins only, and games are to be located at either an arcade amusement center with at least 50 coin-operated amusement games or machines or at a truck stop.

SB 268: (In part) Provides that in addition to the use of a coin, an amusement game may be activated by currency, card (not a credit or debit card), coupon, point, slug, token, or similar device, and is played by application of skill; increases the maximum redemption value of coupons or points a player may receive for a single play of a skill-based game from 75 cents to $5.25, with a maximum value of 100 times that amount for an item of merchandise that may be obtained onsite using accumulated coupons or points; increases the maximum wholesale cost of merchandise that may be dispensed directly to a player (e.g. "claw" machine) to 10 times that amount; and provides that amusement machines may be placed not only in arcades or truck stops but also in certain timeshare facilities, bowling centers, hotels, restaurants, on the premises of certain retailers, and on the premises of certain veterans service organizations. ‚Äč

The Florida Senate Appropriations Committee approved the measure, which would address many of the problems created two years ago, and the bill has been referred to the full Senate.


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