Amusement park and carnival games. Are they rigged?

Monday, August 2, 2010 11:40 AM

The "Lighthouse" games are 100%, rigged.

I know, I have worked on them. We can set the odds in the menu for how often it will give out prizes.

Same goes for those "cyclone" games in the arcades to win tickets, the little light that spins around and you try to stop it on "jackpot". Pre-set odd's for the "jackpot" as well.

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Monday, August 2, 2010 12:01 PM
ridemcoaster's avatar

I mentioned it a while ago, but I do enjoy/miss the bowling ball in the valley game. I used to win those all the time.. After the first roll over the hill I would get a "feel" of the ball weight and the successive rolls were always winners.

This was the only game I ever played where the concession guy said "I think you played enough today".. Not sure if he was serious or not but I was bored at that point anyways.


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Monday, August 2, 2010 1:47 PM
obxKevin's avatar

My favorite too, Ken. I've said it before...at Kennywood's Bowler Roller, I always get the "and you're done for the day."


The poster formerly known as 'Zcorpius.' Joined 2004
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Friday, August 6, 2010 1:46 PM

Regulus said:
(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!)

Just a thought, was the Carny in question run in conjunction with a charity. I know here in Cincinnati, OH certain churches are famous for their summer festivals. These events have rides, skill games, fair food,but almost always also have casino style gambling somewhere on the grounds. I should know, I just spent a weekend in July dealing blackjack for one of them. In some jursidications I think even for-profit events can have some forms of gambling so long as a stated percentage of the proceeds goes to a legitimate charity.

Speaking of 'rigged' games, Charity blackjack is another prime case, the big difference between charity blackjack and casino blackjack is all ties lose, in a casino ties tie.

Regarding the water gun games - you realize that even the ones where you supposedly fill a tube with colored water, it isn't the same water you are shooting with the water gun, right? You are merely using water to press a button that causes your avatar to advance.

Re: the million dollar duck pond game - I think some jurisdictions have thought of that, and have built in provisions to stop it. It runs in my mind that there is usually a cap on the wholesale value of the prize not being more than 10X (or some other multiplier) the price to play the game. Obviously in the cases where a Xbox is being offered as a prize for a $1 game, that type rule isn't in place.

I think that gets into the whole letter of the law/spirit of the law thing. Classic case was early slot machines, they were designed to obstensibly be a candy vending machine. Pull lever, reels spin, and you got your winnings AND a roll of mints, stick of gum, whatever. That ruse didn't hold up in court. Of course the fact people could and did "use the candy machine after it had exhausted its supply of candy" didn't help. (Yeah, I have some knowledge on gambling as well :) ) I'm suspecting your million dollar duck pond would meet the same fate. Conversly I've been in redemption arcades where every ticket spitting machine is programmed to issue at least one ticket per coin inserted. I'm guessing that also stems from the same principle. There was once a game room in downtown Cincinnati that had a row of skeeball machines - You got the first ticket at 10 points, the second at 150, and then every 30 thereafter.

Speaking of high stakes duck ponds, you may have noticed Kings Island has a big one in Royal Fountain right now, and you don't have to look far to learn the money is going to charity, which makes the game of chance legal.

Parting thought - Remember the people who won the game are running a business, with profit motivations and such. Obviously they need to give out a certain amount of prizes so that people are enticed to play the game. But with the exception of winner every time style games, would games really be as popular if you could win most of the time. I mean if the thrill is to win that date, child, loved one a prize, how meaningful would it be if you could win the game just about every time? The level of difficulty has to be set high enough so that when you win, it actually means something.

Last edited by Coasterville Dave, Friday, August 6, 2010 1:48 PM

David Bowers
Mayor, Coasterville
My Blog -> http://coasterville.blogspot.com

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