Amusement park and carnival games. Are they rigged?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 12:24 PM
Jeff's avatar

You can say they are, but they're not. Variability in what you win is different from whether or not you can. As soon as it's chance, it's gambling, and therefore regulated (and kids can't play it).


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Tuesday, July 27, 2010 12:35 PM
obxKevin's avatar

Exactly. In PA, with crane machines for example, if the variable is whether or not you win a prize, it is considered a game of chance and the machine must have a current license.

If, however, the variable of that same crane machine is how many pieces of candy you grab and the machine plays until at least one piece of candy is delivered to the player, that machine no longer falls under regulatory statutes and does not need a license.


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Tuesday, July 27, 2010 12:36 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

like the game is just a front so it doesn't feel like you're buying stupid overpriced toys.

I would imagine, and have always thought, that you're correct. For a park buying in bulk, getting those gigantic cheap stuffed animals that fall apart, or BBalls that they have to blow up, they're charging you to play a game to get one when they're very likely spending very little on the prizes.


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Tuesday, July 27, 2010 12:38 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Yeah, exactly. With a game you're paying for a little pageantry to go along with the overpriced crap.

At the souvenir shops, you just pay for the overpriced crap directly.


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Tuesday, July 27, 2010 12:46 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

I don't know about the masses, but I don't often play games for the prizes. I play for the experience and the thrill of winning. They're just another upcharge attraction as far as I'm concerned.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010 1:17 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Here's an interesting video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnK1oQh0r1E&feature=related


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010 1:22 PM

That's highly educational. Nice link.


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Tuesday, July 27, 2010 4:31 PM
janfrederick's avatar

Gonch:

The abundance of stupid plush animals that have resided in my kids' rooms over the years leads me to believe that no, the games aren't rigged.

Exactly! Besides, and hinted at above, people walking around with plush advertises the games.

Anyway, not that I think of it as a bribe, but winning something for a 4-year old towards the end of the day works wonders for distracting him on the way home and it is kind of fun winning. I usually decide on a money limit, but it seems we keep winning before we reach it!


"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010 10:01 PM

I once played the shoot the water in the clown's mouth game and instead of shooting at my own target, I was shooting all of my water at my son's target who was right next to me. Even with double the water, it didn't make the slightest difference.

Most winners seem to be from repeat players from large groups.

The other game that is clearly a fake is the one where you have to throw the baseball and knock over 3 targets. The targets are supported by a tiny piece of wood that barely fills the inside of the target. Most of the balls go through the targets like they aren't even there.


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Tuesday, July 27, 2010 10:44 PM

Richie Reflux said:
I once played the shoot the water in the clown's mouth game and instead of shooting at my own target, I was shooting all of my water at my son's target who was right next to me. Even with double the water, it didn't make the slightest difference.

Not sure why it would? It's just an on/off switch. It's all about hitting the target right off the opening bell. -- Why would that game need to be rigged?

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010 8:11 AM

During the 1990 ACE Summer Conference at the ORIGIONAL Elitch Gardens. (I Miss their Coasters :( ) there was a Member who you could call a "Super Expert" at their Skee Ball Booth (He could toss all nine balls into the 50 Point Hole) who would play games for other members, who's then walk away with their largest plush Prizes. Unfortunately, by the time I wanted to play, he had actually succeeded in EXHAUSTING the Parks Supply of "Choice" Prizes, so I didn't get to obtain one myself.

I've heard stories about the Carny Games. According to News Documantaries I watched over the years, I heard how some of them are so badly "Rigged" you would actually have to break some Scientific Laws in order to win them! Yet people manage to get duped by them and end up losing as much money playing them as they would at any Casino Game. (I've even seen Tents set up at Carnys where they actually had Blackjack, Craps and Roulette Games set up, yet I never heard of them getting "Raided" by the Local Constabulataries!)


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Wednesday, July 28, 2010 8:50 AM
Jason Hammond's avatar

I never knew Elitch Gardens was a Hong Kong knock-off.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=origional


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Wednesday, July 28, 2010 8:54 AM
Raven-Phile's avatar

^ It's a stretch, but I'll take it.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010 12:03 PM

I agree with Carrie. I'll only play a game if it looks entertaining or if I have a chance to compete with a friend. Often I could care less about the prize, and end up giving it away to a child anyway.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010 12:38 PM
RPM's avatar

obxKevin said:
Exactly. In PA, with crane machines for example, if the variable is whether or not you win a prize, it is considered a game of chance and the machine must have a current license.

If, however, the variable of that same crane machine is how many pieces of candy you grab and the machine plays until at least one piece of candy is delivered to the player, that machine no longer falls under regulatory statutes and does not need a license.

Hmmmm, so in theory I could make a fishing type game with a million fish and charge $1. One fish would have a diamond, the rest a stick of gum. You always win something, so its not gambling. I wonder how fast I can setup a carnival in my back yard and create some of these non-gambling games? Bet I could make a lot of money.

I know, the gambling laws are more complicated then that, or someone would have exploited this loop-hole a long time ago. I assume their must be some sort of maximum on how much you can win compared to how much it costs to play the game.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010 12:46 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Why do you think they point out "A WINNER Every Time!" at those games? There is always a winner, it's just not always the prize you want.


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Thursday, July 29, 2010 8:04 AM
ridemcoaster's avatar

Richie Reflux said:
I once played the shoot the water in the clown's mouth game and instead of shooting at my own target

Wow. No Moosh on this? Man.. Hes all grown up now .. .sniff... Course I wasnt in this case :)


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Thursday, July 29, 2010 10:20 PM

I don't know...I always thought that the more stuff that you send in the hole, the higher the prize.


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Friday, July 30, 2010 10:45 AM
crazy horse's avatar

Richie Reflux said:
I don't know...I always thought that the more stuff that you send in the hole, the higher the prize.

I am glad this is a family site, and we will leave it at that.;)


what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard.
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Monday, August 2, 2010 11:24 AM
TheMillenniumRider's avatar

I have always played the game with the bottles you have to stand up on the little square of wood. Extremely simple, built a rig to practice on, now i can do it almost every time.

That and the corkscrew that spins with the metal ring that if you touch the buzzer goes off. Also very simple.

If it involves a ball you won't find me there.. ;)

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