Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that cellphone-charging kiosks that allow users to win or lose money by playing a video game are illegal gambling machines

A unanimous Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that cellphone-charging kiosks that allow users to win or lose money by playing a video game are illegal gambling machines.

Quick Charge asserts that its kiosks are not gambling machines because they do not satisfy the consideration No. 2018AP947 2 requirement under the gambling machine definition in Wis. Stat. § 945.01(3) (2017-18).1 Quick Charge points to the definition of consideration for lotteries under § 945.01(5) and an exception from that definition for "in-pack chance promotions" under Wis. Stat. § 100.16(2). This same definition and exception should apply to gambling machines, Quick Charge contends, suggesting its kiosks are legally compliant in-pack chance promotions. Further, Quick Charge argues there is no consideration even if the ordinary legal definition of consideration applies because a free play option is available. We disagree with these arguments. ¶3 While the lottery statute expressly excludes in-pack chance promotions from its definition of consideration, the gambling machine statute does not. The logical implication of this textual distinction is that meeting the requirements of an in-pack chance promotion does not exempt a mechanical device from the consequences of being an illegal gambling machine. Moreover, consideration is present here because the kiosks can be used exactly like a standard gambling machine notwithstanding a free play option also being available. That is, customers can pay for an opportunity to obtain something of value by chance. We therefore hold that Quick Charge's kiosks meet the definition of a gambling machine under Wis. Stat. § 945.01(3).     https://wicourts.gov/sc/opinion/DisplayDocument.pdf?content=pdf&seqNo=264265

The court on Friday upheld rulings from Milwaukee County Circuit Court and the state appeals court that also determined the kiosks, known as "Pow'r Up" machines, to be illegal.

Quick Charge Kiosk operates the kiosks in convenience stores and gas stations throughout the state. The kiosk gives the customer credits to play a video game while their phone is charging. The court says even though users can play for free, the kiosks are still illegal.