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Gambling, § 945.03(5) — Sufficiency of Evidence — Expert Testimony Unnecessary

State v. Lester E. Hahn, 221 Wis. 2d 670, 586 N.W.2d 5 (Ct. App. 1998)
For Hahn: Bruce Elbert


We reject Hahn’s argument that expert testimony was necessary to establish that these video poker machines were gambling machines. Although Hahn refers to cases from other jurisdictions in which technical aspects of the machines’ functions were at issue, he does not relate those cases to any disputed issue here. The two specific aspects of the definition that Hahn claims were not proved were that there was a reward and that chance predominated over skill. Expert testimony is necessary only when there are unusually complex or esoteric matters beyond the knowledge of the average juror. Weiss v. United Fire & Cas. Co., 197 Wis.2d 365, 382, 541 N.W.2d 753, 758-59 (1995). We are not persuaded that either of these contested issues as they present themselves in this case involve facts and circumstances beyond the common knowledge or ordinary experience of the average juror.

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