Florida Court Rules Pre-Reveal Games Are Slots
In Florida, a three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal upheld a circuit judge’s decision that so-called pre-reveal games are illegal slot machines, since they include an element of chance. The ruling was a victory for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco. Earlier it had ordered two businesses to remove the machines. As a result, Blue Sky Games, developers of the games, and Gator Coin, of Jacksonville, which leased the games to businesses, filed a lawsuit.
Supporters of the games, which also are known as Version 67, said the machines are legal since they include a preview feature that indicates the outcome of the games. However, regulators and other opponents said the preview feature is irrelevant because the games’ random number generator make them games of chance, or slot machines.
The appeals court ruling upholds last year’s decision by Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper. He originally sided with Blue Sky Games and Gator Coin but later reversed himself when the Seminole Tribe of Florida demonstrated the games to him.
The appellate panel wrote, “We hold that the trial court was correct in determining that Version 67 is a slot machine because the element of chance is inherent in it given that it has a preset win/loss ratio and that the game outcomes are determined by the machine by chance, via a random number generator and there is nothing the user can do to affect the outcomes.” Judge Joseph Lewis and joined by judges James Wolf and Stephanie Ray, concluded, “Furthermore, Version 67 is a slot machine for the additional and independent reason that also inherent in it is an outcome unpredictable by the user.”