Coin operated amusement machines, known as COAMs, are legal to operate in Georgia, specifically excepted from the gambling statutes, and heavily regulated by the Georgia Lottery Corporation (GLC). Authorities and law enforcement, however, typically wrongly treat COAMs as illegal gambling devices. If you are facing legal proceedings related to COAMs – criminal charges for commercial gambling, RICO, or cash payout under O.C.G.A. § 16-12-35, forfeiture or RICO forfeiture proceedings, a GLC citation, or a COAM arbitration – contact Wallack Law in Atlanta today for representation from an attorney intimately knowledgeable in the COAM industry to effectively pursue the best possible outcome for you.
We have vast experience and knowledge of COAM law, rules, and regulations and of the COAM industry. We have successfully represented location owners, master licensees, and convenience store owners, managers, and employees all over the State of Georgia in criminal, civil, administrative, and arbitration proceedings related to COAMs.
Additionally, we provide personalized attention to each of our clients and take an innovative approach to every case we handle.
Violations of the law or rules and regulations regarding COAMs can result in a multitude of legal proceedings. Payment of cash as a reward for the successful play of a COAM is exclusively a criminal misdemeanor violation (of a high and aggravated nature) under O.C.G.A. § 16-12-35(g). See Bartlett v. State, 351 Ga. App. 476 (2019). Law enforcement officers and prosecutors, however, regularly overcharge a cash payout (a high and aggravated misdemeanor) as felony criminal violations, such as commercial gambling and/or a RICO violation. The State of Georgia may also attempt to seize your property and assets including cash, your store and inventory, and/or personal and business bank accounts in civil forfeiture or RICO forfeiture proceedings. The GLC may issue citations against your business and seek to revoke your COAM license. The GLC may also refer your business to COAM arbitration if requested by either the location or master licensee associated with the location.
If your business, your employees, or yourself are facing criminal charges, a civil forfeiture or RICO forfeiture proceeding, a GLC citation, or an arbitration related to COAMs, call Wallack Law in Atlanta right away. We can provide knowledgeable counsel to defend your business, your employees, your assets, your COAM license, and you.