Are Video Poker and Gaming Machines Really Hurting the Industry?

You don’t necessarily have to be a senior citizen to enjoy an occasional game of bingo or shuffleboard. However, the state of Oregon has been forced to reevaluate its stance on gambling machines as they relate to gambling additions. Scratch off lottery tickets and proceeds from video poker machines are put in the same category by Oregon officials. Nobody goes broke by playing a single hand of video poker, but self proclaimed adult gaming addicts have no qualms with making the distinction from traditional gambling and classic cocktail arcade games. With clever business owners desperately trying to market adult gaming devices as a more sophisticated version of classic gaming, there are many veterans that believe that the industry is taking a direct hit.

Although this particular conversation has been going on for years, recent actions by Florida lawmakers, and now, potential changes in Oregon state gambling laws are forcing parties on both sides of the argument to take another look. Whether gambling takes place at the blackjack table or in front of a video poker machine, the effect is the same. Gambling addicts get an intense adrenaline rush that can’t be duplicated in any other setting. Take a gambling to the local arcade parlor, and watch his or her interest quickly wane.

Putting a couple of quarters in an arcade machine is in no way comparable to gambling. Gambling machines might feature cartoon characters and other visual traits similar to arcade game, but that’s about all they have in common. Adults that want to gamble responsibly on video poker have a right to access their favorite games, but it’s time that their supporters start making the arcade machine comparison. Putting gambling machines in public places is a dangerous practice that has caused some minors to be exposed to gambling at an early age.

Video poker and other ‘fun’ electronic gaming devices may trigger gambling addictions in some, however, there just isn’t a link to arcade games. While cocktail arcade machine sales probably haven’t been hurt by the popularity of video poker, but their mere existence is continuing to take a toll on honest, hardworking arcade hall operators.