GA Lottery Extortion of Pinball Palace and other Ga free play arcades!!!

By Nickadee912

June 18, 2024

This story got frontpaged on June 19, 2024

32 days ago

The GA Lottery Is An Extortion Racket Preying Upon Small Business Arcades!!! 

      So yesterday, June 17th, my father (Kelley Daniel) and I (Nick Daniel) were visited by a single representative of the Georgia Lottery Office. He carried a clipboard and wore a white polo shirt embroidered with the GA Lottery Logo. For the longer story read on down... but for the  long story short. He informed us that we are now required to pay them $10k per year otherwise they will seize all of our machines.. Not only that, but we have to pay it Immediately! And guess when the "year" expires.... JULY F*@<ING 1st then we gotta pay another $10k for the next year . To Anyone who has enjoyed coming to The Pinball Palace in Brunswick Ga who may be reading this and want to help. You can go to our FB and jump in the comments,

Or even better, express your feelings of disapproval regarding the laws here: Here

 or you always can just subscribe to our YouTube channel PinballPalaceTV.

Thanks to all the wonderful Ballers who have supported us over the years! ... now here is the longer version...

    I myself had been the only one working the last time we were visited by a gentleman wearing a similar outfit and this was 7-8 years ago a couple months after we first opened up. After walking him around and giving him a complete tour of the Palace Game rooms I waited until the very end to press Start on a machine and demonstrate how to play... Lol after a few moments of confusion the Lotto man asks " wait a minute you don't gotta put in any coins to play the machine?" ..You see, we had known they would be coming in sooner or later trying to wet their beaks from the product of our hard work, love & dedication to this hobby. We had also done our homework and knew that by charging a flat fee for entrance into our pinball meuseum, where once inside one could play all the pinball/arcade games they wanted, we would not subject to the bogus Fees and Licensing that is required for a business to deal with if say they wanted to do a traditional "Coin-drop" style arcade business... The fact that anyone wanting to have pinballs or ms Pac-Man style games in their establishment requires them to attain essentially the same Gambling Tax Licenses as a gas station running actual gambling Slot machines is already an OUTRAGEOUS rule. But seeing as how we weren't required to do those things per THE GA STATE LAWS, that first Gentleman bid me a good afternoon and went on his way.. only to return once about 3 months later this time with a young new hire whom he was training in tow. However this was strictly a recreational stop and after a short greeting he explained how he just wanted to show the trainee how cool our place was bc they were in the area doing their job....

And for the next 7 or so years we grew and became more and more of a landmark here locally and in the awareness of pinball communities worldwide. We paid our taxes and did everything by the books... Until apparently the lottery got themselves a new lawyer who took it upon himself to reinterpret the wording of the Laws and by bending over backwards twisted it to where suddenly we free play places also must pay their (already ridiculous) "Gambling" fees....

Not only that, which "THAT" is close to $10,000 per year we suddenly are supposed to pay these people, But we have to do it immediately or they threatened to seize all of our machines ....  and that year we would be paying for ends on July 1st, you know in 2weeks, then we gotta pay again for that next year ... immediately that day .....

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32 days ago

This is bogus, ridiculous, scummy government intervention with the misinterpretation of an already established law attempting to treat pinball machines like gambling devices. This is not the 1950s! Georgia is moving backwards. So farcical

32 days ago

Thanks for the support and i agree, it’s absolutely crazy and to bend such an already archaic and outdated law just to put the screws to ANY local small business

31 days ago

Hey Nick, yeah I saw the story on the FB page. You and Kelley are the best and the palace is amazing. The antiquated laws that consider arcades a form of gambling are crazy. The random interpretation change and sudden enforcement regarding the “indirect payment” to play is arbitrary and capricious. This sudden change cost you guys over $25k. Unfortunately fighting the state on the lottery’s interpretation will cost way more than that. I think lobbying the state to change the definition of arcade could work. Just my .02. Good luck and it’s a real bummer.

31 days ago

1976 ROGER SHOT THE SHOT THAT FREED PINBALL !!! This is BOGUS AF !!! This can not stand!!

31 days ago

We don’t have this particular issue in my similarly backward state of Alabama, but we have plenty of blue laws. One way people get around it here is to incorporate as a private club rather than as an open establishment. So entrants become “members” for a small annual fee (like $5) and then can be normal customers. I don’t know if it would apply in georgia or matter for purposes of avoiding this particular brand of moralistic overreach but I thought I’d mention it. Never had the pleasure of making it to yall’s location but will definitely be going out of the way next time i’m in the neighborhood. Stay strong and please keep us posted. This is terrible!!

30 days ago

I'd choose violence.

30 days ago

Hopefully there is a good lawyer in the pinball community that will take the case. Good luck!

30 days ago

That's completely fuc&ed up, man.

Where's the donate button, y'all need to lawyer up.

30 days ago

I just checked out your FB page - so the latest is that you were somehow able to satisfy the lottery commission? I couldn’t gather from the posts whether you had had to pay out of pocket or if some legislator had stepped in to help out.

I am not a person who is quick to decry all government oversight, far from it, I’m a New Deal guy. But this is a clear case of some jerk in an office someplace getting drunk on the little shred of power their position affords them.

Here in Massachusetts, a friend of mine opened a pin spot years ago, but had to shop around for a location until he found a town which would waive the annual tax on every machine. It was obviously a holdover from the days when coin op games were *raking in money* and operators could afford to pay a tax on their money earning machines. But only one town council was willing to look at the law, recognize that it was outdated and unfair, and waive it. Because they recognized that having an attraction on their Main St. was way better than having a vacancy.

It’s remarkable to me how rigid people can be, and short-sighted. Your spot brings people to town, and while they’re there it’s a cinch that they will also support other businesses. It’s a win all around.

I sincerely hope your state rep or somebody like that can wade in to help (if they haven’t already.)

29 days ago

We’re back open. Had to pay but found precedent that think will let us come out ahead possibly. So keep fingers crossed for us. And thanks everyone!

29 days ago

That’s awesome. Glad you guys got it sorted out.

5 hours ago

Rackets are supposed to be illegal, not backed by the law!! Can't this be challenged/ appealed against? It's legalised robbery!

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