State to test if touch screen gaming devices are considered gambling

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Touch screen games have been popping up in bars, gas stations and over businesses across Nebraska. The machines have now caught the attention of the Hall County Board of Supervisors.

The board called in David Geier from the Gambles Assistance Program to answer some of their questions at Tuesday's meeting. Geier says the state is starting to look into these machines also to see if they fall under the umbrella of gambling.

"In order to be allowed, they're going to have to pass the test," Geier told Local4 News. "I think the prediction is that many of the machines will not pass the test."

The test would have to prove that winning the games are based on more of the skill of the player, than the chance of the machine.

"There will always be some element of chance, they're not going to rule it out completely," Geier explained. "But what they're going to have to say is it's predominately or mainly the skill of the person playing the game."

Geier says whether or not the state officially considers them gambling, the games are dangerous because they are still addicting. He says it's also an issue because there's no way to know if players are claiming the money they win on their annual tax returns.

The state will continue to look into the games and whatever they decide from there will go into affect in January.