'Virtual Beer Pitcher' Pits Casino Against State Liquor Laws

The MGM Grand in Detroit is in a legal scuffle with Michigan and its laws against alcohol vending machines
Staff Writer

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Really, the idea behind the virtual beer pitcher at the MGM Grand Detroit is kind of genius: it's a beer pitcher that ensures a fresh, cold one, thanks to technology that lets you buy a full pitcher of beer but only pours out a pre-determined amount from a tap at a time. That way, you avoid that warm, flat beer at the very bottom of the pitcher. Sounds good, right? Except the state of Michigan is fighting back at the casino. 

The state says that the beer pitchers are problematic because of alcohol vending machine laws, according to a filed complaint, reports the Consumerist. On the other side, MGM Grand argues that because only the casino can switch the pitcher on and off, it shouldn't qualify as a vending machine. (After alll, it's not like the pitcher just dispenses beer whenever.)

MGM Grand says that the definition is vague, and has sent two letters asking for a declaratory judgment saying the pitchers are not a vending machine, plus monetary damages. We'll see how this one plays out for the MGM Grand — after all, we're for anything that fights against warm, flat beer. 

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