If as a child you frequented Chuck E. Cheese's, gambling problems might be in your future. At least, that's what Denise Keller, a San Diego mother of two, has alleged in her recent lawsuit against the family restaurant chain.
According to Keller and her attorney, some of the arcade games provided at the family establishment are too similar to casino games. Keller pointed out that one of the games in question utilizes a roulette wheel, reports The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Plus, according to Keller, the games do not require any skill - instead they rely on flashy colors, sounds, and an addictive game model which encourages kids to feed the machine tokens so that they can get prize tickets.
Sound familiar? Keller's lawsuit makes it seem like a fun night out at Chuck E. Cheese's for your kids is the equivalent of a fun night out in Vegas for you.
Will exposing your children to potentially addicting gambling-like games mean that they will develop gambling problems in the future? Despite Keller's claims, the roots of gambling addiction are still mostly unexplained.
According to the Mayo Clinic, though many people will occasionally play cards or other gambling games, only some will become compulsive gamblers. Risk factors can include behavior or mood disorders like ADHD or alcohol abuse, age, sex, family influence, medications to treat Parkinson's disease, and certain personality characteristics, such as being easily bored or restless.
So, some children may be more prone to develop compulsive gambling problems, but others may be able to play a lifetime of gambling games without becoming addicted. Even if you do not take your child out to Chuck E. Cheese's for addictive games, games that require more luck than skill tend to be everywhere these days - like on the internet or even on your smartphone.
Each child is different. Parents should supervise their children when they play games if they are concerned, even at family-friendly venues like Chuck E. Cheese's. Gambling-related problems, if they arise, can then be promptly dealt with.