Reporter's Notebook

Chuck E. Cheese's "gambling" suit dropped

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San Diego mother withdraws "tot slots" claim

A San Diego mother of two has withdrawn her lawsuit against the Chuck E. Cheese’s chain that had claimed the outlets’ arcade games were “casino-style gambling devices.”

Denise Keller earlier this week filed a dismissal “without prejudice” of her civil suit, which had sought damages and restitution.

Brenda Holloway, a spokeswoman for Irving, Texas-based CEC Entertainment Inc., said in an emailed statement Friday: “Chuck E. Cheese’s has found out through a court filing that Ms. Keller voluntarily dismissed her legal action against us yesterday.

“We steadfastly believe that her claims had no merit and we were willing to vigorously defend ourselves against those claims,” Holloway continued. “We are proud to be a family friendly environment and the place where a kid can be a kid.”

Lawsuits against restaurants have been in the news widely this year. In April, a woman in Alabama dropped a widely publicized lawsuit against Taco Bell that questioned ingredients in the chain’s beef.

Related: Taco Bell beef lawsuit dropped

In the Chuck E. Cheese’s case, Keller had claimed the games in units, where children deposit tokens to win tickets that are redeemed for prizes, were actually gambling devices prohibited under California law.

Her suit also alleged the games promoted “addictive behavior in children.”

Keller’s lawyer had sought to force CEC to remove all “games of chance” from its California stores and to pay back the money customers put into those machines.

As of January, CEC Entertainment had 507 corporate stores and 47 franchised units in 48 states and seven other nations and territories.

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