Owners of a new kind of entertainment will have to register their gaming machines with the state beginning February 11th. They’re not exactly video games, according to David Werning with Iowa’s department of inspections and appeals. They look like a slot machine but they really aren’t, lacking the playing lever of a “one-armed bandit,” though they offer games that patrons of a business can play for fun and prizes. Owners typically buy the machines for around two-thousand dollars each, and make a deal with operators of bar or restaurant to install the machine in a public place where people can play games on its video screen. They’re most often found in bars and restaurants throughout the state, and Werning says they’re a way for people to pass the time. While they bear a strong resemblance to casino-type slot machines, Werning says there’s no big payoff like the gambling halls offer. The most you can win from one of these machines would be a coupon or token for up to five-dollars of the merchandise they sell in that establishment where you’re playing the machine. The state classifies them as “electrical and mechanical amusement devices,” and estimates there may be as many as ten-thousand of them in Iowa. He says they’re basically a computer, with a “fancy display screen,” probably costing a couple-thousand dollars — and he notes pinball machines, cranes and other “amusement devices,” do not have to be registered with the state. Owners of the new amusement machines will pay 25 dollars per machine per year, and distributors and manufacturers will pay an additional 25-hundred dollars a year to register. They can do it online, at a site created for them by the department of inspections and appeals at:www.state.ia.us/government/dia/