Eight Spee-D-Foods gas stations in Akron and Canton, Ohio are a new type of slot machine, where customers win based on skill, the Associated Press reported.
The machines are marketed by Flanders, N.J. -based Reel Vegas Slots, which devised the game by converting real slot machines from Atlantic City. While traditional slots use computer chips to randomly determine winners, on the new machines, players must manually stop three spinning reels to win, which the company says makes them legal.
“The machine doesn’t determine the outcome,” said Mark Anton, one of the owners of Reel Vegas Slots.
Winners don’t get cash but can redeem earnings for gas, phone cards, food and other items, including iPods and big-screen televisions. Customers bet 25 cents, 50 cents or 75 cents a spin, with a chance to win up to $500.
Reel Vegas Slots hopes to expand into Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati.
Spee-D-Foods installed the machines to attract potential customers, said company vice president Mark Grovemiller. “Our business is down right now and the gas margins have been mediocre at best,” he said. “Credit card fees are up. We are looking at anything to keep the stores open.”
Spee-D-Foods installed the machines about six weeks ago and has already handed out four $125 prizes.
Police reportedly said they do not know if the machines are legal but will investigate.