Skill Games Battle Settled in Missouri

16 February 2004

The Missouri Gaming Commission is no longer trying to revoke the temporary supplier's license of Sierra Design Group now that the company's subsidiary, Arcade Planet, has completely shut down its skill games platform at prizegames.com.

Sierra maintained that the games offered on the prizegames.com Web site were skill based, while the commission argued that they were games of chance. The commission claimed that Arcade Planet was offering illegal gambling to residents of Missouri and noted that the company had 500 registered users from the state.

The commission was prepared to revoke the license at a public meeting last month, but Sierra Design's lawyers filed for a temporary restraining order and injunctive relief in a Cole County Court the day before the meeting was to take place. The judge honored Sierra's petition and scheduled a hearing to determine whether the Gaming Commission could justifiably cancel the license.

In addition to filing a petition, Sierra shut down the Web site that caused the dispute. Users with open accounts will have their balances returned to them.

Shawn Yujuico, Sierra's director of marketing, said the site was taken down to accord with the commission's wishes.

"Even though we still contend that the site featured skill-based games, we shut down the Web site as a matter of good faith and in an effort to move things along on the application," Yujuico explained.

The shutting down of prizegames.com was enough to please the Gaming Commission, which is no longer pursuing a cancellation of Sierra Design's license. A formal hearing was never held before the court.

Sierra Design has an application pending for a permanent supplier's license to distribute its slot machine products. The conflict should not have an impact on the company's application for the permanent license.