Detectives test York Fair games for fairness

WEST MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- Many people have a favorite thing to do at the York Fair, whether it's to eat good food, ride rides, or play many games on the midway.

Winning some games may be a challenge for even the most skilled player, but the York County District Attorney's office makes sure the games are fair.

It may seem as though detectives from the D.A.'s office are having fun, but inspecting the games at the York Fair is serious business.

Sgt. Scott James said "for the people who coming to the fair, the fair's already expensive enough, so if they're plopping money down to play a game, I think they should have a fair chance of winning."

It's the reason why the detectives get first crack at the activities, to make sure what people play is fair game.

"It's not clear, if it's five dollars for three balls, what can you win, stuff like that," Sgt. James said.

Detectives also check that signage is clear and visible.

Inspected games that meet standards, don't earn prize but a number.

"If they get a number, they're good for the rest of the fair, for the length of the fair, if they don't get a number, we have to go back and re-inspect them, and they can't open until we give them that number," Sgt. James said.

Deggeller Attractions concessions manager Dale Negus is responsible for keeping the midway fun going.

"We have games that are suitable for children, we have games that are suitable for adults, and in between, it just enhances people's experience at the fair," Negus said.

"When they had the old company in here, it used to take us about four hours to inspect the games, now it takes us generally about two," Sgt. James said.

Sgt. James has 15 years experience keeping the games honest, which takes skill.

"Some of the games we saw were strictly luck, there's nothing you can do about luck, I still can't shoot a basketball, so that's why we had one of the guys crawl up and make sure the ball could go through the hoop," Sgt. James said.