Casino Arcades: Where Las Vegas Gets a Little Creepy

We get that, for many, Las Vegas is a family destination. So, what’s one to do with kids, then?

Shows like Mac King at Harrah’s or Jeff Civillico at The Quad are among the many family-friendly things to do in Las Vegas.

Casinos have long understood the demand for diversions for kids, and accordingly, many have video arcades. This is where Las Vegas starts to get a little creepy. Why? Have you visited a casino video arcade lately?

Wheel of Fortune arcade game

Thought you were in a casino for a second, didn’t you? Nope, casino arcade.

Whether intentional or not, casino arcades are filled with games strikingly similar to casino games, both in appearance and in the way the games are played.

Put money in, spin a wheel, get a prize based upon luck. Arcade games may pay in tickets rather than cash (the tickets are then traded for merchandise), but the difference is a subtle one.

Casino arcade game

Arcade game or casino Big Six wheel?

These same casinos espousing a public commitment to responsible gaming are at the same time providing games indistinguishable from their casino counterparts.

Casino arcade game

Starting to see a pattern here? The word “jackpot” seems vaguely familiar.

Conspiracy theorists might assert these games are training kids to be future gamblers. Even if they’re not, a fine line is being walked here.

Kids playing slots

These kids aren’t in an arcade. They’re in a casino. Security does a good job of ensuring this doesn’t happen very often, but it does happen.

So, what do you think?

Are casino arcades good clean fun, like the kind you can find at any Chuck E. Cheese? (It should be noted Chuck E. Cheese has been accused of providing “casino-style gambling devices” to children from time to time.) Or is something more insidious afoot? Are kids being groomed to be future casino customers?

 

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