In some gas stations throughout the state of Wisconsin, there are Quick Charge Kiosks terminals available for anyone to charge their smartphones or tablets. This makes it easy for anyone who does not have access to mobile charging such as a family on vacation or truck drivers. However, these terminals also provide an opportunity to convert the money spent on phone charging into a promotional game where the player can win hundreds. Players cannot expect to win millions playing these games as they are waiting for their phones to charge.
The price to charge a phone on these terminals are $1 per minute. This equates to $60 per hour just to charge your battery. For every $1 dollar spent, the person will have 100 entries into a game to win real money. It is possible to charge and only carry out free play. However, this involves using a free entry form which must be mailed in to receive a certificate for a free entry to later come back and be used at the kiosk.
Even though the “Pow’r Up” machines provide a chance to charge your phone for a price, the State of Wisconsin has a problem with how this money is being used to play a game and win a a cash prize. The state is interpreting this as a gas station casino, and is currently involved in a lawsuit with the owner of the machines in gas stations. The state of Wisconsin is possibly arguing that these machines might be gambling machines in disguise. The gas station owner would like the courts to declare these power charging kiosks legal legal under Wisconsin’s gambling laws, and has a filed lawsuit to this effect. The complainant says he is to set a price for people to charge up their phones and offer them a promotion or incentive to use the kiosk when they do so.
The lawsuit came as a result of federal agents seizing these machines last year in a few locations. The complainant’s father was previously convicted of commercial gambling in 1997, and this was a landmark case which determined how gambling laws have bee interpreted in the state of Wisconsin. However, the complainant believes he is within the right legal framework to operate the Quick Charge Kiosks. Some of the Quick Charge Kiosks still remain operational in other gas station locations in Wisconsin while this lawsuit remains pending in court.