Code of the District of Columbia

§ 36–641.09. Minimum requirements of game of skill machines.

(a)(1) No model or version of a game of skill machine shall be offered for distribution or play in the District unless the model or version of the game of skill machine has first been tested and approved as a game of skill machine pursuant to this subchapter and the rules issued pursuant to this subchapter; except, that:

(A) A model or version of a game of skill machine for which an endorsement was approved by the ABC Board under § 25-401 before October 1, 2020, shall not be subject to testing or approval under this section unless required by the Office by rule; provided, that each such game of skill machine shall be required to comply with subsection (b)(12) of this section.

(B) A model or version of a game of skill machine may be approved by the Office before January 1, 2021, if it meets the requirements of subsection (b)(1) through (12) of this section, regardless of whether the Office has issued minimum standard rules pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, and the game of skill machine shall not be required to come into compliance with the minimum standard rules issued by the Office pursuant to subsection (b) of this section until such date as shall be set forth by the Office in such rules.

(2) The Office, or the applicant at the direction of the Office, shall utilize the services of an Office-approved independent outside testing laboratory to test and assess the model or version of the game of skill machine.

(3) The applicant shall be responsible for paying the costs associated with testing the model or version of the game of skill machines.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (a)(1)(A) and (B) of this section, every game of skill machine offered in the District shall meet the minimum standards established by the Office by rule. The minimum standards shall include the following:

(1) The game of skill machine shall conform to all requirements of federal law and regulations, including the Federal Communications Commission's Class A emissions standards.

(2) The game of skill machine shall display an accurate representation of the game outcome.

(3) The game of skill machine shall not automatically alter pay tables or any function of the game of skill machine based on an internal computation of a hold percentage or have a means of manipulation that affects the random selection process or probabilities of winning a game.

(4) The game of skill machine shall not be negatively affected by static discharge or other electromagnetic interference.

(5) The game of skill machine shall be capable of displaying the following during idle status: "power reset"; "door open"; or "door closed".

(6) The game of skill machine shall be able to detect and display the game's complete play history and winnings for the previous 10 games.

(7) The theoretical payback percentage of a game of skill machine shall not be capable of being changed without making a hardware or software change in the machine itself.

(8) The game of skill machine shall be designed so that the replacement of parts or modules required for normal maintenance does not necessitate replacement of the electromechanical meters.

(9) The game of skill machine shall contain a non-resettable meter, which shall be located in a locked area of the machine that is accessible only by a key.

(10) The game of skill machine shall be capable of storing the meter information required by paragraph (9) of this subsection for a minimum of 180 days after a power loss to the machine.

(11) The game of skill machine shall have accounting software that keeps an electronic record that includes:

(A) Total cash or other value inserted into the game of skill machine;

(B) The value of winning tickets awarded to players by the game of skill machine;

(C) The total credits played on the game of skill machine;

(D) The total credits awarded by the game of skill machine; and

(E) The payback percentage credited to players of the game of skill machine.

(12) The game of skill machine shall be connected to a centralized accounting system in accordance with § 36-641.13 for the purposes set forth in § 36-641.13; except, that a game of skill machine that has been approved for operation or distribution in the District by ABRA or the Office before the date designated by the Office pursuant to § 36-641.13(a)(2)(B) shall be allowed until the date designated by the Office pursuant to § 36-641.13(a)(2)(B) to come into compliance with this paragraph.

(c) The Office may issue rules to establish additional licensing and registration requirements for the purposes of preserving the integrity and security of game of skill machines in the District, including by prohibiting game of skill machines that approximate the look or feel of a gambling device.


(Mar. 10, 1981, D.C. Law 3-172, § 409; as added Apr. 27, 2021, D.C. Law 23-280, § 7(b), 68 DCR 001156.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) creation of this section, see § 2(b) of Revised Game of Skill Machines Consumer Protections Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2021 (D.C. Act 24-16, Feb. 26, 2021, 68 DCR 002559).

For temporary (90 days) creation of this section, see § 2(b) of Revised Game of Skill Machines Consumer Protections Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Act 23-479, Oct. 1, 2020, 67 DCR 13284).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) creation of this section, see § 2(b) of Revised Game of Skill Machines Consumer Protections Temporary Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Law 23-257, Mar. 16, 2021, 67 DCR 13932).