San Diego Mother Sues Chuck E. Cheese, Equating Kids' Games With Gambling Machines

A San Diego mother is suing Chuck E. Cheese, the favorite pizza chain of kids across the nation, accusing the restaurant of illegal gambling.

Denise Keller, mother of two daughters, says Chuck E. Cheese has replaced its traditional games of skee-ball and whack-a-mole with machines that resemble slot machines, Capitol Weekly reported.

The lawsuit says that “many games found at Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurants are illegal gambling devices that require little or no skill and are predominantly games of chance, much like a roulette wheel,” according to the paper.

Keller’s attorney, Eric Benink, said the games have flashing lights and bright colors just like slot machines.

"There was no fun involved in the game other than an opportunity to win a prize," he told Capitol Weekly. “It’s just pure random luck in terms of spinning out a result. That, we believe, is a slot machine, as California penal code spells out.”

Keller filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Southern California against CEC Entertainment, Inc., the Kansas-based company that owns Chuck E. Cheese. She wants restitution from CEC as well as an injunction that prevents it from offering the games in question to children in the future.

Brenda Holloway, a spokeswoman for CEC Entertainment, told Capitol Weekly that “our company policy is that we do not comment on pending litigation.” The restaurant chain also declined to comment.

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