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Ask TexCrimLawyer, J.D. Your Own Question

TexCrimLawyer, J.D.
TexCrimLawyer, J.D., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 3625
Experience:  Experienced in state and federal criminal litigation.
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is it legal to have a coin pusher machine in my liquor store

Customer Question

is it legal to have a coin pusher machine in my liquor store in California?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  TexCrimLawyer, J.D. replied 3 years ago.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

Under California law, a coin pusher would be considered "gambling" since it involves a game of chance.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

This is defined under PC 350. However, it is only punishable as a misdemeanor.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

I have searched the California Attorney General's opinions, and there is nothing on point, but what there is seems to support the notion that coin pushers would be considered a gambling device.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

Also, one thing to consider is whether this is likely to be enforced in your area. If you are aware of others using coin pushers, it may simply be a case of law enforcement not making enforcement in this area a priority.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

I hope this answers your question. If so, please click "Accept." Good luck.

Customer :

i have liquor license its ok with the abc to have it

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

That may be so, but the statute is unclear on that specific issue, and there doesn't appear to be any Attorney General Opinions addressing it. A court may agree that it is, in fact, legal, but they also may find it to be illegal. Of course, to find out for sure, you would have to be arrested and charged, then challenge it in court. It is my legal opinion that it is, at the very least, arguably illegal, but the only person who can say for certain is a California judge or the Attorney General, and neither seem to have addressed the issue.

Customer :

and its ok with ABC law in Ca ??

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

I'm sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. I was out of town for the weekend.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

ABC does not enforce gambling laws, so their view of it does not affect the way a criminal court will view it. Like I've said, I think the statute appears to make coin pushers illegal, since they are a game of chance with a cash payout. In fact, I don't see a strong argument for why they aren't a gambling device. It may be very low stakes, and not traditionally be considered a gambling game, but it appears to meet all the elements.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

Also, I've checked the Texas Attorney General opinions, and the Texas Attorney General has decided that, under Texas law, coin pushers are gambling devices. The Texas law and the California law are not very different. While that doesn't control in California, it gives you some idea how other Attorneys General have interperted the issue.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

If you want to be certain, you can ask your district attorney to request an Attorney General's opinion on the matter.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

I hope that answers your question. If so, please click "Accept."

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