Attorney General’s Office Asks Court To Stop Distribution of New Video Game

LINCOLN - Skill or chance?

That's the crucial difference. Click here to find out more!

The state attorney general's office is asking a judge to rule that a popular video game is illegal.

The state Attorney General's office said the game BankShot?, breaks the state law on gambling devices.

The debate over whether the game is legal or not has been swirling since 2007 -- before the devices were ever placed in Nebraska businesses.

There are about 450 games in Nebraska and 27 of those are in Lincoln, according to the BankShot? website.

The games have jackpots of up to $12,000.

Last month two Omaha-area companies that developed and distribute the game filed a restraining order to keep the state from confiscating the games.

"You're going to really want to look for your red colors cause the score is higher up here."

Stephanie Maser's only had the game BankShot? in her bar since mid August but she's already learned how to get the most bang out of a buck.

"It isn't something that you just luckily hit a number - you have to learn how to watch for your patterns and I've seen people go from winning a quarter to winning more and more if they consistently play it and learn the game," said Maser.

But is the game one players can really learn?

Richard Osorio thinks it could be.

"I think it's a little bit of both..after a while it takes skill, right now it's chance," said Osorio

The question is key to the game's future in Nebraska, where games of chance are illegal.

In recently filed court documents, the Nebraska Attorney General's office says BankStop? winnings are based on chance and it's asking a judge to put a permanent hold on any further development and distribution of the game.

Maser says there wouldn't be any discussion on whether the game is chance or skill if not for the games sleek, Vegas like design.

"I would say the biggest controversy is the design of the machine as opposed to the skill of the machine because it looks like something you'd see in Vegas or up in the boats at Omaha," said Maser.

American Amusements, the company which developed the video game, said the game has been tested numerous times by companies contracted by the Nebraska Department of Revenue, and each time deemed to be skill based.

"Our contention is that it's a game of skill and we expect that the court will ultimately decide the matter in our favor," said John Fox, President of American Amusements.

Until a judge weighs in, you can bet bar owners like Maser will keep BankShot? lit up.

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