New Jersey lawmaker wants games of chance to clarify the odds

(Ibogdan/Bigstock)

(Ibogdan/Bigstock)

New Jersey lawmakers are considering new regulations for crane and claw amusement games that include posting the odds of winning right on the machines.

Edward McGlynn with the New Jersey Amusement Association has weighed in against the legislation.

“These are skill machines, so I don’t know how you make odds available for skill machines,” he said. “To me, the analogy would be how can you make odds as to whether or not someone is going to bowl 300. It just doesn’t work.”

Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle said she has invested a lot of time and money playing claw machines trying to win a prize for her kids.

“How skillful is it when you’re really just moving the crane with the claw and, all of the sudden, you’ve got it and you’re coming down to pick up the stuffed animal,” she said. “And then it drops.”

Huttle, D-Bergen, said posting the odds of winning would be helpful.

“In all the amusement games, that is probably the toughest, which means it would probably have the most odds against winning, because you can see that very few people win on that,” she said.

Some young people have the dexterity to operate the controls, so they win prizes frequently, McGlynn countered during a hearing on the legislative proposal.

Businesses with crane and claw machines want some people to win, so they keep coming back, he said.

“Prizes will be awarded based upon the skill of the person and based upon the fact that, if it’s auto-percentaging, at some point in time, the claw will tighten up and the individual will win the prize,” McGlynn said.

The state already inspects those machines to make sure they’re functioning properly, said McGlynn, adding that he believes new regulations are not needed.

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