Greensboro police issuing warnings to ‘fish game’ operators

Greensboro police car (WGHP file photo)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Local law enforcement agencies are cracking down on businesses that operate “fish games,” large scale table-mounted video games that pay cash rewards to players, according to a news release from Greensboro police.

Per North Carolina law, “any machine which, for the payment of money, is operated in such a way that the operator receives a cash payout of any kind, irrespective of whether the game requires skill or dexterity” is prohibited.

Representatives from the Greensboro Police Department are hand-delivering letters to 37 businesses known to have such machines and providing them 30 days to voluntarily comply with the law by ceasing operation of the machines, the release said. After the grace period, owners must comply with the “cease operation” edict or face criminal action. Devices used for fish games may be seized until the matter is heard by the court and may be forfeited if found guilty of the offense.

“We are offering business owners the opportunity to voluntarily comply with the law because they may not be aware that the games are illegal,” Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott said in the release. “Most owners are not the criminal type. They are business owners who went through proper channels for licensing.”

The High Point Police Department and Guilford County Sheriff’s Office are also cracking down on the games, the release said.