Operators of mechanical amusement devices will face an additional tax under a bill passed by the Legislature May 21.
Mechanical amusement device, as defined in state statute, includes any machine in which a person plays a game by inserting some form of currency, a prize is paid and the results are determined by chance.
The bill applies to mechanical amusement devices that:
• accept currency, coins, tokens or other value in exchange for play;
• award a monetary prize or anything redeemable for a monetary prize;
• are played by a player using a touch screen, computer mouse, touch pad, light pen, laser or device of similar function by which the player competes against software running the device; and
• have not been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction within the state of Nebraska to not constitute a gambling device.
Included are game and draw lotteries and coin-operated automatic musical devices. The bill does not apply to vending machines or pickle card dispensing machines.
Any operator of a mechanical amusement device can apply for an exemption from the tax. To receive the exemption, an operator will be required to apply to the tax commissioner for a determination that the device does not constitute illegal gaming.
Senators passed the bill on a 35-11 vote.