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Bell jars are games of chance in which a player draws a card from a jar, machine, or some other container, and prizes may be received on the basis of the number on it. These games are regulated by the states, and a license has to be obtained to conduct the game. The tickets or cards for playing bell jar have to be purchased from a licensed games of chance supplier.
The following is an example of state statute (New York) defining the term.
Pursuant to NY CLS Gen Mun § 186 (3-a)] “Bell jars” shall mean and include those games in which a participant shall draw a card from a jar, vending machine, or other suitable device or container which contains numbers, colors or symbols that are covered and which, when uncovered, may reveal that a prize shall be awarded on the basis of a designated winning number, color or symbol or combination of numbers, colors or symbols. Bell jars shall also include seal cards, coin boards, and merchandise boards.