Those Arcade Claw Machines Aren’t the Game of Skill You Think They Are
Arcade games can be fun, especially those that give you a decent chance of winning. Claw machines have some of the lowest winner ratios and it's not because the people who play them lack the skill.
Unlike many arcade games which reward skillful play, claw machines are programmed to require both skill and a lot of luck. The video breaks down how the machines are programmed to ensure there are only a certain number of winners, regardless of how skilled the players are.
Based on the way the machine is programmed, the claw machine has a lot in common with a slot machine. So, the machine is more of a gambling device than an actual game of skill.
In Colorado, most vending machines are taxed on money put into the machine, (gross receipts). Claw or crane machines are taxed on the value of the merchandise in the machine which can mean a lot of profit for the owner based on the machine's programmed odds of winning.
This isn't saying you shouldn't play. Rather, it's a warning your disappointment should be tempered by the knowledge you're not the problem, the machine is. If you beat the odds, then skill and chance are both on your side. If not, at least it was entertaining for a few moments and it only cost you some loose change.