The Alaskan Slot Machine

1990: Customers of a laundromat in Anchorage, Alaska frequently complained that the slot machine in the establishment never paid out any money, even if a winning combination came up, and one of them eventually called the police about it.

The police initially agreed that it seemed like theft to never pay out winnings, so they confiscated the slot machine. But then the owner of the laundromat explained that the machine was deliberately fixed to not pay off, because gambling was illegal in Alaska. Furthermore, a small sign next to the machine said that it was "For Amusement Only". Perhaps, he conceded, the sign was not prominent enough, but it was there nevertheless.

Upon hearing this, the police decided the slot machine was legal and let the owner take it back.

Daily Sitka Sentinel - Jan 4, 1990

Tampa Bay Times - Mar 17, 1996

     Posted By: Alex - Sat Sep 18, 2021
     Category: 1990s | Gambling, Casinos, Lotteries and Other Games of Chance

Mox pecunia diviserunt stulto. (A fool and his money...)

That laundromat in Ft.Lauderdale which included a topless bar probably didn't need the "For Amusement Only" sign.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 09/18/21 at 09:22 AM
That's splitting the hair mighty fine. It's also one major reason why I didn't go to Tahoe in my youth.
Posted by KDP on 09/18/21 at 10:10 AM
State laws obviously vary a lot. When I worked at a custom manufacturing facility, state inspectors came to see if we were making anything which could be used to build gambling machines. Small gear trains (for slot machines) and pivot bearings (for roulette wheels) were their primary concern, but they had a large book of drawings for things prohibited by law.

An actual slot machine, whether it paid out or not, would have given them conniptions, and we all would have been led away in cuffs while they boarded up the plant.
Posted by Phideaux on 09/18/21 at 01:23 PM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.