Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chuck E. Cheese's Sued!?

One of my favorite places to go as a child was Chuck E. Cheese's. It was THE place to have a birthday party, THE place to eat great pizza, and THE place to have fun. Even the slogan says, "Where a kid can be a kid!"

But now, a mother of two claims Chuck E. Cheese's is where a kid can develop a gambling problem. And she's suing the Dallas-based chain for $5 million.


That was my initial reaction. I thought, But it doesn't promote gambling! Everyone I knew in elementary school loved that place! I sure don't have a gambling problem. What the hell?

My memories of Chuck E. Cheese's include eating delicious pizza and chocolate cake. It was a place where I could get lost in my imagination, especially in the ball pit where there were winding tunnels, twisty slides, and hideaway areas where I pretended to be in a futuristic space ship or escaping evil villains in an alien cave.

But after scanning through the news story (click here to read it), I'm not sure what I think about the whole thing.

It's true, there are games there that you have to pay for with tokens. And to get the tokens, you put quarters or dollar bills into a machine, which gives you tokens in exchange. And then with the tokens, you play these games (basketball, crane, ski-ball, etc.) that will give you tickets if you win. And with the tickets, you can get cool prizes like pencils and bouncy balls or, if you have a ton of tickets, things like radios and lava lamps.

I'm not sure what I think about all this, actually. I can kind of see the mother's point that some of the game machines are similar to adult gambling machines in casinos. But then I can also see how she's blown this claim out of proportion, when she says that Chuck E. Cheese's leads people to develop an actual gambling addiction later in life.

So I guess I'm on the fence on this issue.

What do you think? Do you think Chuck E. Cheese's deserves to be sued? Or do you think it's an unfair accusation?


  1. Um...WHO took their kid to Chuck E Cheese? I don't think the Mouse Man can take all the blame there, Mom.

  2. It's actually a good way for parents to teach their kids that they only have a certain amount of tokens to use, a set allowed amount, and after that, no more. If people would just stick to $20 or $50 or $100 when they go gambling and not continue to put in every last dollar bill they own into the machines, it would be simply entertainment and not a problem. It's all about using self-control, but that could be applied to absolutely anything in life!

  3. I agree completely with C.J. Sully on the self-control issue, however, I have a few additional thoughts to add. First of all, tell me how a mother of a 3 and 5 year old can lay claims on their "future" addictions? She might as well go ahead sue everyone (alcohol producers, tobacco producers, porn producers ... etc.) for her children now. Maybe she should take them to a deserted island somewhere and teach them herself and never let them interact with the world. Another thing is, exactly how long was she in Chuck E. Cheese's to know that her childern are becoming addicts!!! Sounds to me like she needs to get back to work and stop torchering poor Chuck E. Lastly, I want to meet the stupida$$ lawyer that actually took this case! I mean really??? Come on people ... is all this suing really necessary? Can't we all just get along!

  4. Hey Jen! Thanks for your thoughts! So many people are sue-happy these days; it never ceases to amaze me what someone's going to sue for next. Amen on the getting along! I second that!

  5. The wheel in the sky that keeps on turning? It's made of cheese! The baloney at Chuck E's that's churning is nothin more than a squeese.

    Signed, hobo

  6. "Wheel in the sky keeps on turrrniiiin" --now that song's going to be stuck in my head! X-D