Casino Watch Focus first reported that HB566 was introduced by Rep. Ray Salva. This bill allows fraternal organizations to allow class II type “bingo” slot machines. The Missouri Constitution limits gambling to just the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, so how could slot machines be allowed anywhere else? This bill looks to exploit a technical distinction that has worked in some states but may be a challenge in Missouri.
Bingo is allowed at sites throughout the state and a simple permit is required to hold bingo games. What bingo slot machines attempt to do is play bingo in an electronic form. In the states where they have been legalized, the machines attempt to fit the definition of bingo in those states. The machines are on a network to play against each other, like a typical game of bingo, and they have an electronic dealer or number caller. Besides looking virtually identical to normal slot machines, the speed of these slot machines is the same as normal slot machines so the amount of money that can be lost and the level of addition is the same as normal slot machines.
Its clear that this bill looks to disregard the Missouri Constitution and the will of the people who voted to restrict this kind of gambling to Missouri’s two major rivers. Politicians and slot machine makers are attempting to expand gambling beyond the will of the people and we must take a stand. Can you imagine our state expanding gambling to every single neighborhood without a vote of the people? If no action is taken then this could literally happen overnight. Please contact your local Senators and Representative and urge them to vote against HB566.