Smell A Rat? $5M Lawsuit Claims Kids Gambling At Chuck E. Cheese

SAN DIEGO (CBS) —  It’s the place “where a kid be can a kid” — even if, for one mom, that means preparing your kid for Las Vegas.

A Southland mother is suing the parent company of the Chuck E. Cheese family restaurant chain for what she says are gambling machines posing as kids’ games.

Debbie Keller, a mother of two from San Diego, is taking CEC Entertainment Inc. to court over gaming devices that are operated by inserting tokens, which can be purchased for 25 cents each. When the games are finished, they dispense tickets that can be redeemed for prizes.

In the class action suit filed in U.S. District Court in late March, Keller cited the chain’s kiddie slot machines and games with a roulette-style wheel as incompatible with California gaming laws.

Legal analyst Royal Oakes told KFWB 980’s Maggie McKay that despite the seemingly outrageous claims, the lawsuit may actually move forward in today’s overly-protective political climate.

“We’re kind of in a nanny state, fast food restaurant bans in some towns, and generally we’re more willing to be strict about kids and protecting them than we are about adults,” Oakes said. “So I can see some people getting behind this.”

The lawsuit, which seeks $5 million in damages, is still awaiting a ruling on a motion by CEC Entertainment attorneys to dismiss the case.


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