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UNITED STATES v. THREE GAMBLING DEVICES

September 17, 1957

UNITED STATES of America
v.
THREE (3) GAMBLING DEVICES, KNOWN AS JOKERS: Sub-Assembly and Essential Part of a Gambling Device



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARSH

On or about February 6, 1956, the United States filed 28 libels *fn1" in accordance with Public Law 906, 81st Congress, R.S. 161, Sec. 2, 15 U.S.C.A. ┬ž 1171 et seq., seeking forfeiture and condemnation of some 49 alleged gambling devices and sub-assemblies thereto, which alleged gambling devices are known variously as 'Jokers', 'Electronic Point Markers', and 'Bug A Boos'. It was agreed to by counsel that Civil Action No. 14285 would be tried first. *fn2" From the evidence and the stipulations of counsel, the court makes the following

Findings of Fact.

 1. The machines seized under libel at Civil No. 14285 are 'Joker' numbers X550023, X550129, X509187, which together with the remote control recorder boxes accompanying each, are the property of one Robert Lamont. *fn3"

 2. These machines and accompanying remote control recorder boxes were transported in interstate commerce from Chicago, Illinois, to Altoona, Pennsylvania, on or about January 21, 1955.

 3. These articles were seized by the government from the B.P.O.E. Lodge at 1211-1213 Twelfth Street, Altoona, Pennsylvania, which is within the Western District of Pennsylvania and within the territorial jurisdictional limits of this court.

 4. These machines were neither designed nor manufactured, nor in any way altered to operate by means of the insertion of a coin, token, or similar object; neither were the machines designed, manufactured, or in any way altered so that when operated they might deliver, as the result of the application of an element of chance, any money or property.

 5. The design of these machines is such that a person operating them might become entitled to receive money as the result of the application of an element of chance.

 6. These machines do not have as an essential part thereof a drum or reel with insignia thereon.

 7. The remote control recorder boxes are subassemblies and essential parts of these machines and were designed and intended to be used solely in connection therewith.

 Discussion.

 Since the libeled machines are not slot machines (See Finding 4), it is clear that if they are to be condemned as gambling devices under the act they must be found to be such under Sec. 1171(a)(1)(B), and the remote control recorder boxes under Sec. 1171(a)(3).

 We feel that the machines do not come within the meaning of Sec. 1171(a)(1)(B) for the sole reason that they do not meet one of the requirements thereof, viz.: they do not have as 'an essential part * * * a drum or reel with insignia thereon. * * *'

 Behind each of these insignia is a small electric light bulb. On the front face at the upper left corner of the glass panel is a small plastic button; alongside of the button, where the coin slot is on the common slot machine, is a larger plastic insert with an electric light bulb behind it. Located on the lower part of the front of the machine is another glass panel behind which are three plastic discs or reels, upon the circumference of each of which appears the figures '0' through '9'. These discs or reels, one of which was introduced into evidence by the government as Exhibit 2, are placed side by side on a common axle so that they act as a counting device similar to those appearing on electric cash registers. On the right side of the ...


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