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The Big Debate: Do you trust games stalls at theme parks?

Thorpe Park games stall

In this week's poll, we ask whether you trust that games stalls at theme parks offer a fair chance of winning a prize.

Historically, fairground games stalls have had a fairly dodgy reputation. The idea that operators lure players in with the prospect of a big prize, only to "rig" the game in such a way that is impossible to win, is well established. But surely modern-day funfairs and theme parks have moved on from such underhand tactics?

Not according to the BBC, which aired a documentary this week claiming that Thorpe Park's games supplier HB Leisure was using "tricks" to deliberately reduce the chance of players winning a prize (or in some cases, to increase them as a form of advertising). The tactics covered by the programme include waxing surfaces to increase friction, moving baskets to make it difficult to get a ball to drop into them and distracting people as they took aim.

HB Leisure, of course, denies the allegations and claims that the BBC's documentary was unfair. The company also runs the games stalls at Thorpe Park's sister parks Chessington World of Adventures, LEGOLAND Windsor and Alton Towers, as well as Paultons Park and Drayton Manor. It has just expanded into the US with a contract to run the games at LEGOLAND Florida.

For its part, Thorpe Park says: "We’re investigating and will take action if we find any evidence of malpractice. We absolutely do not condone this."

Do you believe that you have a fair chance of winning a prize when you take on a game of skill at a theme park? Has the BBC documentary undermined your trust in the games' operators? Or did you always believe that the games weren't fair?

Vote now!

Do you trust games stalls at theme parks?

Share your thoughts

Thanks for voting in Theme Park Tourist's Big Debate. Why not let us know why you voted as you did using the comments section below?

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There are 2 comments.

I never play these games purely because of the fact I feel they are rigged.

Theme parks would get more out of me on these if the odds of winning were a bit fairer

I think once you have paid a fortune to get into these places that you shouldn't have to spend more when you get inside.
The kids of today want more and more. The rides and shows included in the admission price should be enough.