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1981 Maine Attorney General Reports and Opinions 1 (1981)

handle is hein.sag/sagme9009 and id is 1 raw text is: STE PaEi'N L. DIAMOND
RrnAnn S.OHEN                                      JOTIN S.GLEASON
ATTORNEY GENERAL                               JOHN M. R. PATERSON
Smri, ole MAINE
January 2, 1981
Arthur A. Stilphen, Commissioner
Department of Public Safety
Hospital Street
Augusta, Maine 04333
Re: Legality of Electronic Poker.
Dear Commissioner Stilphen:
You have asked this office about the legality of the
operation of a certain electronic device generally referred
to as electronic poker. You have described this machine
-as set in motion by the insertion of a coin and as designed
to electronically deal two hands of draw poker, blackjack,
etc., and to display the cards on.a screen where the player
learns of his either having won ori'lost his competition with
the machine. In the case of a win, the player may accumulate
either free games or points. The points do not entitle the
player to win anything from the machine. Finally, these
machines frequently feature prominently the words For
Amusement Only.
Your inquiry raises two questions. First, it must be
determined if the machine thus played is a game of cha. ze,
which cannot bconducted without a license issued by the
Maine State Police. Second, if it is such a game of chance,
may it be licensed or is it the type of machine or slot
machine that is ineligible for licensing?
Whether the operation described above constitutes a
game of chance depends on whether it comes within the pur-
view of 17 M.R.S.A. § 330(2). That section states that a
'Game of chance shall mean a game,
contest, scheme or device in which
a person stakes or risks something

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