Sega Amusements has announced that it has successfully lobbied the state of Minnesota to allow arcade horse racing games such as Sega's own Derby Owners Club
, as well as machines from third parties such as Ultracade's Breeders’ Cup - Tournament Edition
, to be operated in the state, following the 2003 banning of racing arcade machines under gaming laws.
Through Sega's in-house and outside legal counsel including the firms of Lord, Bissel & Brook LLP (Chicago, IL), and Nolan, MacGregor, Thompson & Leighton (St. Paul, MN), Sega initiated a coordinated lobbying effort in the Minnesota House and Senate focused on changing the Minnesota Criminal Code’s definition of a video game of chance, and the bills were incorporated in omnibus bills that passed in the Senate 55 to 2 and in the House 114 to 20 on May 23rd, 2005.
The specific language in the Minnesota Gaming Act was modified to state; a video game that simulates horse racing and does not involve a prize payout is not an illegal video game of chance, and though this decision occurred several weeks ago, arcade operators such as David R. Foley, CEO of UltraCade Technologies, are still lauding the decision, commenting: "Obviously everyone in the industry was concerned about this treatment. Our Breeders’ Cup
game, and the Sega game do not offer any way for a player to win extra credits or place bets on races."
The now-resolved problem illuminates some of the problems with video game laws that are exclusive to a particular U.S. state, most recently in the news due to state-specific video game violence laws
in various stages of development.