Arcade games such as skee-ball, that issue tickets or tokens and games that snag prizes such as the claw machine, are now regulated by the Ohio Casino Control Commission. There are 3 categories of such skill games.
- Category A games award no prizes other than free replays. Pinball, Pac-Man, and many of your standard arcade games fall into this category;
- Category B games award prizes from within the machine. The crane and claw machines are examples;
- Category C games are anything not in category A or B, typically where players redeem tickets, tokens, or vouchers to claim a prize. Chuck E Cheese and Dave & Busters would fall into this category.
Category B and C operators must now register with the OCCC. Failure to do so by August may result in penalties. Licenses and fees are based upon the type of game and who owns and operates them. The OCCC will maintain a database of approved games.
Prizes can’t exceed $10 (wholesale value) in any single play. However, you are permitted to combine tickets, tokens, or vouchers to collect a prize greater than $10. Prizes also cannot be cash, gift cards, lottery tickets, bingo or instant bingo, tobacco, firearms, alcohol, or plays on games of chance (like slot machines).
A lawsuit has been filed in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas challenging whether or not the OCCC exceeded its authority by issuing these new rules.