MOTHER CLAIMS CHUCK E. CHEESE IS CREATING A NATION OF YOUNG GAMBLERS: SHE FILES LAWSUIT FOR $5 MILLION!
The Chuck E. Cheese's chain of restaurants uses the slogan, "Where a kid can be a kid." But to one San Diego mother , the chain is really where a kid can develop a serious gambling habit.
Debbie Keller, a real estate agent with two kids ages 3 and 5, is suing the Dallas-based restaurant chain for $5 million because she feels that many of the games intended for children at these locations are actually illegal gambling devices -- like slot machines and roulette wheels.
Benink said the lawsuit's real purpose is to prevent Texas-based parent company CEC Entertainment Inc. from keeping the machines in its game rooms.
“We don’t think that children should be exposed to casino-style gambling devices at an arcade,” Benink said, adding that the games take only a few seconds to play and some of them feature a roulette-style wheel.
Many of the games at Chuck E. Cheese rely on 25 cent tokens, and, depending on the score, dispense tickets that can be redeemed for prizes. The higher the score, the greater the number of tickets. The more tickets, the better prize.
Chuck E. Cheese attorneys are moving for a dismissal of the lawsuit on the grounds that the games are legal and the California Legislature never intended to make operating a children’s arcade game a criminal act. They also contend that even if the games were illegal, then Keller would be an admitted participant in illegal gambling and therefore barred from seeking damages and restitution.