Bill Would Put More Regulations On Crane and Claw Games

Phil Gregory, WBGO News

New Jersey lawmakers are considering new regulations for crane and claw amusement games that include posting the odds of winning right on the machines.

Edward McGlynn with the New Jersey Amusement Association opposes the legislation.

"These are skill machines so I don't know how you make odds available for skill machines. To me the analogy would be how can you make odds as to whether or not someone is going to bowl 300. It just doesn't work."

Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle says she spent a lot of time and money playing claw machines trying to win a prize for her kids.
"How skillful is it when you're really just moving the crane with the claw and all of the sudden you've got in and you're coming down to pick up the stuffed animal and then it drops."

Huttle says posting the odds of winning would be helpful.

"In all the amusement games that is probably the toughest which means it would probably have the most odds against winning because you can see that very few people win on that."

McGlynn says some young people have the dexterity to operate the controls so they win prizes frequently.

He says businesses with crane and claw machines want some people to win so they keep coming back.

"Prizes will be awarded based upon the skill of the person and based upon the fact that if it's auto-percentaging at some in time the claw will tighten up and the individual will win the prize."

McGlynn says the state already inspects those machines to make sure they're functioning properly and he believes new regulations are not needed.