Illinois lawmaker intros bill targeting Dave & Buster’s skill games

Claw machine
Image: Shutterstock

Just days after Dave & Buster’s announced its new partnership with Lucra to offer real-money skill games at its locations, a local lawmaker in Illinois is taking action.

HB5832 targets family amusement centers

Rep. Daniel Didich introduced HB5832, a bill that would make it illegal for “family amusement establishments” to promote, advertise or offer real-money wagering on its amusement games.

The bill defines these games as “a game or machine which a person activates by inserting or using currency or a coin, card, coupon, slug, token or similar device, and the person playing or operating the game or machine operating the game or machine impacts the outcome of the game.”

Bill does not include VGTs or online-only skill games

The bill further clarified that these games “include games of skill, games of chance and games of a combination of skill and chance” but also explicitly states that this does not include video gaming terminals, which are legally in the state.

“Gambling establishments are among the most strictly regulated businesses in Illinois. Everyone involved in the gambling industry in Illinois undergoes thorough background checks, is required to implement security protocols, can only offer games that are fair and safe for players, and must create a responsible environment to protect minors and problem gamblers. It is inappropriate for family-friendly arcades to facilitate unregulated gambling on their premises. These businesses simply do not have the ability to oversee gambling activity in a safe and responsible manner,” Didech said in a release.

Online skill games such as FanDuel FaceOff and Skillz currently operate in the state, offering a similar concept to what Dave & Buster’s is proposing but not in a brick and mortar setting.

The bill already has 30 co-sponsors. The legislative calendar in Illlinois concludes on May 31.