It seems all over the net people are bashing redemption games and are happy that Disney is getting rid of them... Let me try and set the record straight.
FYI Seaworld is in the process of closing their arcade.
First off the moving the Contemporary arcade from the first floor was a really poor decision, however the GM at the time did not like anything to do with any kind of recreation especially the arcade. I still hear from guests almost daily how great it was when it was down stairs. Their were 15 pins in that arcade. Now that it's upstairs there are only four.
I work in one of the redemption arcades...(I can't say which one) however all the games from the Tomorrowland arcade will be dispersed among the redemption arcades. Including the pins where they will receive much needed TLC. The reason for the removal of the redemption games is due to a lawsuit against the senior "arcades" which are just online gambling rooms brought on by the Seminole Indian tribe which has a charter with the state gov't that states they are the only ones to own/run any type of gambling establishment in Florida. They want them shut down. The legislation passed a statue that defined the difference between gambling/gaming machines (slot machines video gambling etc..)and amusement machines. However the definitions were vaguely written causing a conflict. It was basically written to make senior arcades inoperable. All games had to be operated only by coins. So tokens, swipe cards are illegal under this. Also you can only win tickets up to the value of 75 cents and the largest prize could not cost more than 75 cents.
Another bill was passed to better define the difference between gambling/gaming machines from amusement/ticket redemption games/claw games/prize games in FECs or other arcades. Again it didn't do the job and the lobbyists and lawyers that represent the gaming "arcade" and bingo association claimed that these games found in FECs/D & B/CEC and other arcades are kiddie gambling machines. They claim that the lobbyists and lawyers that represent us (redemption arcades) have not proven that these games are not gambling devices. I'm not sure how they can be when no matter what the outcome is you still get a ticket or two. Gambling machines are all or nothing they are designed to take your money maybe tease you with a small win and make you play more to lose even more money. The reason they did this was to get the heat off of them.
Four new bills were introduced last year that would finally correct the language and properly define the difference between gambling machines and amusement machines along with raising the number of tickets that could be won from a game and the value of the prizes that they could be redeemed for. Unfortunately they were killed in the gaming subcommittee. Surprise surprise. The sentors/representatives that sponsored these bills have resubmitted them with some changes in language that should finally solve this mess. However the legislative session doesn't start until after we have pulled all the games out. If it passes I don't know if they will bring these games back, I highly doubt it.
Because of this Disney is pulling out the redemption games because they want to follow the law even though it was shown in an investigation that we did not violate any gaming laws with the games that we have. Lots of guests have said they are upset that the redemption games are going away. Hundreds if not more will become upset as news spreads and/or when they come back to Disney. I've been here quite a few years and I know lots of famlies that have been saving for years to get the high end prizes that we offer. They are going to be devastated. They do not consider this gambling, if they did our arcades wouldn't be so popular as they are now. Yes there are people who don't allow their kids into arcades that fine and I can understand why. There are also people who tell their kids to not play the claw games (which the state considers gambling even though skill is involved) or the prize games because they consider them to be a waste of money because of their reputation of being "rigged". I totally understand that also.
Now the big picture is that all these other arcades in Florida are now worrying since Disney didn't continue the fight. They could end up being shut down completely. This will definitely hurt the coin-op industry in the state. Will the law be enforced and regulators actually go and shut them down? More than likely they won't do it. In an older article a police officer said he wouldn't arrest chuck e. cheese in front of kids.
As far as CEC and D&B are concerned the lawyers for the association wants to file a lawsuit against them to force them to shut down until they remove the so-called "gambling" machines. However they have to wait in line until a Federal lawsuit against them is settled.
I'm sorry for the long rant, it's just so frustrating to only see 99% of posts from people cheering for the removal of the redemption games.