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Your Guide to Skill Gaming in Your GA Establishment_CTA_Web Banner

What Does Georgia Skill Gaming Look Like?

Signed into law on April 10, 2013, by former Governor Nathan Deal, the Georgia Lottery Class B Coin Operated Amusement Machine (COAM) Law currently allows for the operation of skill gaming machines in licensed Georgia establishments. A skill gaming machine (sometimes referred to as a Class B COAM) is defined by the state of Georgia as a bona fide coin operated amusement machine that allows a successful player to accrue points on the machine, carry over points won on one play to subsequent play or plays, and reward a successful player in compliance with Georgia law.

With this law in place, the Georgia Lottery Corporation (GLC) is now responsible for the regulation of all Georgia skill gaming machines. This law is intended to dissipate the gray area around skill gaming in Georgia and ensure that all gaming is operating within the boundaries of the law.

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Understanding How Class B COAMs Work in Georgia

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It’s important to remember when preparing your establishment for COAMs that these machines are intended for skill gaming and amusement. The outcome of success is not based on chance (as it is in a typical slot machine), but on the skill of the patron playing. Patrons who are successful on Class B COAMs have the ability to redeem their winnings at the establishment in which they won for items like retail merchandise and/or lottery tickets. They are unable to receive cash and cannot use their winnings to purchase alcohol, cigarettes or firearms.

After all prizes are paid out, profits made on a Class B COAM are split between the Master License Holder (MLH), Location License Holder (LLH), and the GLC. These percentages were last updated by the GLC on July 1, 2019:

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Are You Eligible to Operate Skill Gaming Machines in Your Establishment?

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Interested in operating Class B COAMs in your establishment and want to know if you are eligible? First, you will need to apply for a Class B Location License. Click here to download a checklist to ensure you are ready to apply for a Class B Location License. Before the GLC can approve your submitted application, you will be subject to a criminal background check, a credit check, Secretary of State verification and review, and proof of tax compliance verification. You may also be subject to a GLC site inspection of your establishment to ensure compliance.

One thing to keep in mind while filling out your Location License application is to include the Master License of the MLH you plan to partner with – like Tom’s Amusement. You will need to officially sign a contract with your MLH before you can begin to operate skill gaming machines in your establishment.

Tom’s Amusement Master License Holder Number: 000015225

What to Do Once You Are Licensed

Congratulations! You are now approved to run and operate Class B COAMs at your establishment. Once approved, the GLC will mail you a copy of your Location License to the mailing address specified in your Location License application. Once you’ve received this license, you will need to send a photo of it to your Tom’s Amusement representative so they can reach out to Intralot to setup a connection appointment. It’s also important that you post the original license at your establishment. Once your machines have gone live, the GLC requires you, as a location license holder to deposit your COAM funds into your dedicated COAM bank account each week. Each week, the GLC will electronically sweep the designated percentage of COAM net proceeds due from the previous week’s accounting period from this account. After the GLC sweeps your account, you will have the ability to withdraw your share of the proceeds.

Once all of the above is complete, the next step is to schedule an Install and Connection Appointment. Before your location goes live, Tom’s will work with Intralot to schedule an Install and Connection Appointment. On the date of your appointment, your MLH and an Intralot Technician will meet at your establishment and connect the Class B COAMs to the Central Accounting System. Once connected, your MLH will show you how to operate your new COAMs and how to correctly remove the money from these machines.

Before your machines go live, the GLC-required signage and decals must be added to each machine, as well as within the gaming area. The required signage includes:

  • Fraud and Abuse sign: You should have at least one of these signs within the vicinity of your gaming area.
  • Play Responsibly decals: You should have one decal on each machine.
  • Class B decals: You should have one decal for each machine, and each decal must have a valid/nonexpired date on it.
  • Your Original License
  • A copy of your Master Holder's License
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Patrons are now able to start playing at your establishment! It’s very important to stay on top of your weekly COAM deposits to your designated COAM bank account. We also recommend that you set a reminder to fill out and submit your monthly gross retail receipts by the 20th of each month.

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Important Licensing Dates to Remember

As an LLH there are many dates we recommend keeping in mind when it comes to maintaining your license. Lucky for you, these dates can be found right on the GLC’s COAM website here. Dates to keep in mind include:

  • Online licensing application opening
  • Last day to apply for a new Location License
  • COAM licensing year
  • First and last date to apply or renew license ($1,000 late fee applied after deadline)

Note: All dates are subject to change.

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Georgia Gaming Terms to Know

The more research you do on preparing for Class B COAMs in your establishment, the more likely you are to come across terms and acronyms that you may not be familiar with. Check out our full list of Georgia Coin Operated Amusement Machine Industry Terms here or check out the most common terms to know below:

Class A machine: A bona fide coin operated amusement machine that is not a Class B machine and does not allow a successful player to carry over points won on one play to a subsequent play or plays. It provides no reward to a successful player, and it rewards a successful player only with free replays or additional time to play. It rewards a successful play with noncash merchandise, prizes, toys, gift certificates or novelties. Some examples of Class A COAMS are kiddie rides, skeeball, claw machines, pinball games, pool tables, jukeboxes and similar machines. They do not allow points to carry over to subsequent play.

Class B machine: An electronic machine that is used by the public to provide amusement or entertainment. It requires payment by the use of a coin, bill, token, ticket, card or similar object, and the results depend on the skill of a player, including video lineup/matchup or similar machines. They allow points to accrue or carry over to subsequent plays. Players must utilize their own skill level (e.g., hitting the raise button) to win.

Coin operated amusement machine (COAM): A machine that is used by the public to provide amusement or entertainment. It requires payment by the use of a coin, bill, token, ticket, card or similar object, and the results depend on the skill of a player, whether or not it affords an award to a successful player. There are two classifications of COAMs — Class A machines and Class B machines — which are defined by Georgia statute. Customers who play Class B machines may only redeem credits for in-store merchandise, fuel or lottery tickets.

Georgia Lottery Corporation: Effective as of April 10, 2013, the Georgia Lottery Corporation statutorily assumed the regulatory duties of compliance and enforcement of Class A and Class B COAMs in Georgia.

Gross retail receipts: The total revenue derived by a business at any one business location from the sale of goods and services and the commission earned at any one business location on the sale. This does not include the revenue from the sale of goods and services for which the business will receive only commission. Revenue from the sale of goods and services at wholesale shall not be included. 

Location License Holder: The owner or operator of a business where one or more COAMs are available to play by the public. Any location that allows COAMs to be placed in the location and made available to the public for play must hold a valid COAM Location License issued by the Georgia Lottery Corporation.

Master License Holder: A Master License Holder is the owner of COAMs placed in a business and made available to the public for play. Any owner of a COAM that places machines in an owner or operator’s place of business and made available to the public for play must hold a valid COAM Master License issued by the Georgia Lottery Corporation.

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Important References to Have on Hand

Georgia Lottery Corporation

  • GLC COAM website: gacoam.com
  • GLC COAM Operations Department: COAMReporting@galottery.org
    • Class A Licenses and Decals: 1 (800) 746-8546 x5073
    • Class B Operations – Installation Coordinator: 1 (800) 746-8546 x5088
    • Class B Operations – Sr. Operations Specialist: 1 (800) 746-8546 x5193
  • GLC COAM Retailer Contracts Administration Department: 1 (800) 746-8546 Option 4 and 1
  • GLC COAM Retailer Contracts Administration Fax Line: (404) 215-8897
  • GLC COAM Retailer Services Department Helpline: 1 (800) 746-8546 Option 6 and 2
  • GLC COAM Retailer Accounting Department: (404) 215-5000 ext. 8700 Option 2
  • GLC COAM Division Email Address: COAMReporting@galottery.org

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