A class action lawsuit alleges that Sega’s entertainment equipment “rigged” for one of its arcade games, Key Master, so that it can only be won after a certain number of players have lost.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in California, said the game was “systematically marketed and sold … with images and advertisements indicating that the machines are games of pure skill when in fact the machines are rigged and designed to prevent themselves from being highly skilled.” users from being able to win until a certain number of failed games are completed.
Plaintiff, Marcelo Muto, is suing the company for $ 5 million.
Plaintiff and other consumers would not otherwise have paid money to play Key Master Machine, or paid others to play, or would not have paid that much, had they known that machines were not just skill-based, and instead programmed to allow the operator of the machine to undermine the player̵
In the game, which is found in arcades and malls across the United States, players use a joystick and button system to maneuver a key into a specific hole. Winners will be rewarded with prizes, such as earplugs and video games.
If a player should get the key in the right position to win – but it is not at the predetermined time, the machine will shoot over and cause losses, the suit claims.
Each machine, according to the lawsuit, can be programmed to allow victory only after a certain number of losses, but the machines are set to allow a victory after 700 losses by default.
The machine has hit legal hooks in the past, noted this week’s lawsuit. In 2019, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich found that the Key Master machines were played and settled with a company that had distributed them in Arizona for $ 1 million.
“Under Arizona law, outside of casinos, it is illegal for slot machines to have settings that allow an operator to change the odds of participants winning the game,” Brnovich said at the time.