In the state of Indiana, there are apparently gas stations you can go to charge your cell phone for a fee. What? Yes, this is true, and there is one station in West Bend where the owner of the station wants to offer this service. The question is: Is it legal? And what is a Gasino? In essence, it is a cell phone charging kiosk. After investigations from the Wisconsin Department of Justice, there are several of these kiosks in gas stations, but they have determined they are just “video gambling machines.” The state is now in the process of deeming these gasinos illegal. But that’s not all to this story.
Would you pay to charge your phone at a gas station, using a machine that is actually one you can gamble on? Remember, gambling is illegal in Wisconsin. The cost to power up one’s phone ranges from 10 cents to $1 per minute. Some customers even said they would pay $5 to $10 in an emergency.
It seems that the gasinos are offering an incentive to charge your cell phone. For every dollar you spend, you will receive 100 entries in a so-called promotional game with a chance to win prizes. The machine is called the Power Up and pays no more than $100s of dollars. It is what it is: a slot machine cell phone charger? If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck; it’s a duck. Thus, the state of Wisconsin deems it illegal gambling, citing that these machines are in actuality illegal video gambling machines. There are exceptions to the gambling law, but what those are is ambiguous. Therefore, this situation will have to be handled by the courts. Moreover, Native American Tribes have exclusive rights to video gaming in this state. One owner has filed a lawsuit against the state to determine whether this is legal gambling or not. At least for him, a lot of money is at stake because he has several of these kiosks in several locations. Some of these Power Up machines have been taken away while others still remain. We will wait to see what the outcome is in this controversial story. Stay tuned…..