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Slot Machine Phone Chargers Dubbed Illegal in Wisconsin

A Wisconsin company is in hot water after a judge ruled that their cell phone charger machines in gas stations are illegal, as they facilitate gambling.

The company, 'Quick Charge Kiosks', offers terminals for people to charge their phones and mobile devices for $1.00 per minute. Customers also get 100 entries into a "contest", which resembles a slot machine attached to these kiosks. Players then spin the reels with the chance to win real cash prizes. The company offering these devices has brought in more than $5.2 million since 2012, but claims that very little of that amount is profit.

The owner of the kiosks, Jeremy Hahn, lost the lawsuit, in which he claims the machines aren't gambling, as they claim that the sweepstakes is legal under state law. The judge overseeing the case disagreed, saying that the machines violated the law as they're offered in a Class "A" establishment (gas stations).

Despite having the machines dubbed illegal, they're still in operation throughout the state, and Hahn's lawyers are appealing the case.

We've certainly seen some crazy ways that businesses try to sidestep gambling rules before, but we don't know if we've ever seen anything this bizarre. What crazy gambling contraptions have you come across in the past? Let us know in the comments section below.

2 replies • Last post


CL-Ed's picture
Location: Sydney
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12 March 2018 - 3:58am

So in effect they are saying that you are paying by the minute for the electricity to charge the phone and the slot machine - sorry "sweepstakes" - is free. I'm sure the lawyers could argue back and forth on that one forever. I guess a test is how close to an acceptable markup is a charge of $1 per minute for electricity (that sounds like a vastly overinflated rate). I also wonder whether you can play the game without plugging in a phone, or if it stops working when your phone hits 100% charge.

It sounds like the old ebay trick that scalpers used to try when they weren't allowed to sell a ticket over face value - i.e. sell the ticket along with something else like a t-shirt and tell people they are bidding on the t-shirt not the ticket, which is a free extra.

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sharpe's picture
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12 March 2018 - 5:11pm

I personally can't think of any such example but obviously the cost of electricity goes right to the roof these days Smile
I wonder how the hell these "phone chargers' have been in use since 2012 and become a problem in 2018, I mean nobody noticing anything for 6 years?!

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