Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website www.lenoreskomal.net.   Read more about this blog.
Posted: May 15th, 2013
Does Chuck E. Cheese promote gambling?

I attended a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese just once with my then-8 year old son. I vowed: Never again. I left feeling jittery and disturbed. My kid, a laid back, measured child, had transformed into a hyperactive lunatic. Frenzy barely describes the atmosphere of the place. So when I came across and article with Chuck E. Cheese in the headline, I had to read it.

According to a Time Magazine article entitled “Chuck E. Cheese: Where a kid can learn to gamble like an adult,” there is growing concern over Internet gambling cafes/parlors and many states are entertaining legislation to crackdown on them.

What does that have to do with the popular kid’s entertainment arcade?

“Thanks to new legislation in Florida targeting Internet café sweepstake gambling operations, there’s an argument to be made that some Chuck E. Cheese games involve gambling and are therefore illegal. Since kids are the chain’s main clientele, that’s a problem for more reason than one.”

This isn’t the first time the franchise has been linked to gambling. A California woman, after filing a $5 million lawsuit claiming the same thing, dropped her lawsuit  two years ago, because she realized she couldn’t win. The company’s lawyers contended that if some of the games actually constituted gambling, she would have been a participant in that since she allowed her children to play them.

I guess it depends on your definition of gambling.

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