Games of Chance Law and Legal Definition

Games of chance are those games whose outcome depends upon an element of chance, even though skill of the contestants may also be a factor influencing the outcome. A game that involve anything of monetary value, or upon which contestants may wager money is considered as gambling. Every game of chance involving money is a gamble. There are laws restricting or regulating the conduct of games of chance. Some games of chance may also involve a certain degree of skill. In some countries, chance games are illegal, or at least regulated, where skill games are not.

The following is an example of state statute (New York) defining the term.

Pursuant to NY CLS Gen Mun § 186(3), “Games of chance shall mean and include only the games known as "merchandise wheels", "coin boards", "merchandise boards", "seal cards", "raffles", and "bell jars" and such other specific games as may be authorized by the board, in which prizes are awarded on the basis of a designated winning number or numbers, color or colors, symbol or symbols determined by chance, but not including games commonly known as "bingo or lotto" which are controlled under article fourteen-H of this chapter and also not including [fig 1] "bookmaking", "policy or numbers games" and "lottery" as defined in section 225.00 of the penal law. No game of chance shall involve wagering of money by one player against another player”.