Toppers at the American Amusement Machine Association (AAMA) were excited to announce a landmark change in the way the association views prize games operating in the U.S. After years of bad apples turning the cart sour, all members of the AAMA will now be asked to comply with the rules of the newly formed Fair Play Pledge. Those who wish to remain in AAMA now must ensure that the prize games they operate, manufacture or distribute, “provide an opportunity for a player to win on every single play with the correct application of skill.”
“We’re extremely happy to tell you we’ve come to a conclusion on the Fair Play Pledge,” said Chris Felix, president of AAMA.
The FPP encompasses the entirety of AAMA’s membership, which includes massive industry chains like Dave & Buster’s, Main Event and Chuck E. Cheese’s, and a majority of game manufacturers.The pledge has three key points:
1. An opportunity exists that allows for players to win by the application of skill such that the player will have sufficient time to identify, recognize and react with every game play.
2. A player can improve with practice and experience.
3. The player’s input controls the outcome of the game
The FPP has been developing internally at AAMA for approximately three years, and AAMA leaders say it has been received with near-unanimous support from the association’s membership.
“There has been some bad publicity in the news about some equipment that’s being run in locations and causing challenges with communities and players,” said David Cohen, co-chair of AAMA’s Government Relations Committee. “If players have no ability to win a game, that doesn’t resonate well for anyone in the industry. The leaders of the AAMA made the commitment to focus on this issue then because if we didn’t do this, and do it right, there would be bigger ramifications for the industry.”
The FPP is a self-monitored set of rules that all members must sign and attest to by the end of the 2018 AAMA Annual Meeting. The association hopes to provide its members with an ample amount of time to understand and comply with the new rules. After compliance is confirmed by the newly formed FPP Committee (which will officially be established in October), a member must also conduct annual reviews to ensure that the machines they manufacture, distribute or operate still fall under the FPP’s regulations.
“It’s not meant to be a hammer that comes down on anyone,” Felix said. “We want to work with our members, not against them.”
AAMA will look to its members to police the new pledge, with the FPP Committee comprised of AAMA Board of Directors members overseeing complaints of non-compliance. Claims of non-compliance must be made in writing to the committee, which will then review any evidence presented. Based on that review, the committee may require a game be tested by an independent laboratory. If such testing finds a member non-compliant, that member must reimburse the AAMA for the full cost of the testing.
At this point, the AAMA has no plans to implement a sticker system or any official designations that a game is compliant, but believes that many operators will create their own way of advertising the new regulations. The FPP is in effect as of now, and can be signed by AAMA members.
“Being a member of AAMA stands for something. We want this to be a core document that allows us to defend ourselves if legislators or concerned members of the public approach and say we are defrauding our customers,” said Cohen. “That is not the goal of the association nor its members. When you say you are a member of AAMA, starting today, that means something even more.”
For more information on the FPP, look to RePlay’s June issue for full coverage.