North Carolina: Appeals Court rules fish tables are ‘games of chance’

August 4, 2023
By
Leer en Español

The decision marks the end of a lengthy battle between local law enforcement and two electronic sweepstakes companies.

Recent court battles regarding electronic sweepstakes in North Carolina recently ended in a loss for two Catawba County gaming companies, according to a local report in NC Newsline.

However, state lawmakers continue to discuss the possibility of extending casino gambling beyond locations that are owned by the state’s Tribes.

Several laws limiting and eventually banning video poker and electronic sweepstakes have been on the books for more than 20 years. Gaming companies in North Carolina have since adjusted rules and software that would make these machines compliant with state law.

The debate has surrounded the issue of whether these games can be classified as games of skill versus games of chance. In the case of “fish tables,” which are games that give players a chance to shoot images of swimming fish on video screen, some have argued that these are games of skill.

For the last several years, local law enforcement has cracked down on businesses that offer fish tables, which caused Fun Arcade and Barracuda Ventures to file appeals in Catawba County court.

The Appeals Court’s recent decision addressed the continued use of a fish table called Ocean Fish King, a fish shooting game that uses a joystick. Each shot fired equals placing one wager.

The court ruled in favor of two police chiefs in Hickory and Conover, citing that Ocean Fish King “is mostly a game of chance, and that the businesses violated the law against operating sweepstakes machines and similar games.”

The court partially based its decision on a 2022 Supreme Court decision, which also ruled against sweepstakes-related companies, the local report said.

State-by-State

Product Spotlight

Bragg Gaming Group

Bragg Gaming Group is a global content-driven iGaming technology provider, serving online and land-based gaming operators with its proprietary and exclusive content and cutting-edge technology.
GA HUDDLE #087

John Connelly - Interblock preparing to launch online by the end of year

John Connelly, the Global CEO of Interblock, joins the Huddle to talk about:
- The company's conversion to the online space
- The performance of ETGs
- Interblock's new philanthropic efforts
- The trend of companies going private
- And more!
GA HUDDLE #086

Michael Hershman - Dispelling casino 'myths:' New York needs to lose fear of the unknown

Michael Hershman, CEO of the Soloviev Group, joins Tim Poole on the Huddle to put forward his case that the Freedom Plaza is the way to go for one of New York's casino licences. He fields a variety of questions - not shying away from any of them - on why 'myths' about casinos and a fear of the unknown should be dispelled, as well as acknowledging the strength of rival bids and discussing opposition to the project.

As the Tribal gaming sector congregates once more in the Golden State, is it too cliché of me to suggest we are heading for a golden era of Tribal gaming? With the industry set to meet at the Indian Gaming Association t...

10-11-From-the-top
From The Top: Will youth be served by Sports Betting?
Two recent interviews in our Huddle podcast revealed to Las Vegas correspondent Brian Joseph just how young sports betting entrepreneurs are becoming.
12-GA-MAR-10-year-v2
The Global Gaming Awards: Rewarding Excellence
The 10th edition of the Global Gaming Awards took place in Las Vegas last year. Gaming America looks back... and ahead to this year's.
16-18-IGA-Preview
Preview: Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention
Gaming America looks ahead to the 2024 Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention and what attendees can expect when they arrive at the Anaheim Convention Centre.
20-22-GA-Mar-888-Holding-article
888 and the US Market: A cautionary tale
Gaming America explores the risk of resting on your laurels and the challenge of remaining relevant in a rapidly expanding market.