There's something stirring in Wisconsin gas stations, or should we say something spinning, as the cell phone charging machines by the name of Pow´r Up are causing a little confusion and have led to the term ´Gasino´being used to describe what's occurring. You may very well have been in a situation in which you desperately need your phone charging but have no options at hand, and it's especially important for truckers to have a constant charge, and while many Wisconsin gas stations have a solution to your problem, via the Pow´r Up machines, it's what else they provide that has brought them to the attention of the law.
The Pow´r Up chargers aren't cheap to use, and it'll cost you $1 per minute to place a charge on your phone, and you don't need a maths degree to tell you that it equates to a massive $60 an hour, however with each hours charge that you take you'll be getting 100 entries into a Pow´r Up promotional game, and it's this that's causing the commotion.
In reality, those 100 entries are 100 spins on a slot machine that's linked to the charger, and while the makers of Pow´r Up call it a promotional exercise, the Wisconsin Department of Justice thinks otherwise and labels it as illegal gambling. Gambling laws in the state are pretty complex and while on the face of it, ´gambling is illegal´it's not quite that simple as there are many exceptions to the rule...the state lottery being the prime example, and you can throw in tribal casinos, promotional sweepstakes and charity bingo and raffles into the mix too, and that creates the confusion over the new charging slots machines.
The machines actually look a lot more like slot machines rather than phone charging kiosks and at present the situation is in the hands on the Justice Department, while other anti-gambling groups are also putting on the pressure. For many it's being seen as gambling expansion in the state and tribal casino owners who have exclusive rights over video gaming in the state also want the charging kiosks outlawed. While prohibiting them would put an instant end to them, at $1 an hour to charge a phone, you'd have to think that their end wouldn't be far off anyways, without the courts getting involved.