Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing efforts to shut down illegal gambling machines that have popped up all over the state. One of the biggest problems is the fact that they are completely unregulated. Up to this point, the impact has been loss of revenue for Missouri school systems and absolutely no checks and balances to safeguard those who play the machines from being cheated out of their money. However, these rogue machines are now creating a new issue that stems from being unregulated – they are still operating and tempting the public to gather at a time when the rest of the casinos are shut down due to the covid-19 pandemic. The St Louis Post Dispatch reports:
Post-Dispatch visits to Columbia-area gas stations, where slot machine-style games have operated for months, showed many games were still plugged in on Tuesday, despite casinos receiving the order a week ago to shut down until March 30.
The inconsistency highlights the unregulated nature of roughly 14,000 gaming devices in Missouri, located in gas stations, clubs and bars.
Mike Leara, chairman of the Missouri Gaming Commission, which regulates licensed casinos, said the commission wanted to prevent large crowds from gathering at casinos during the outbreak — something that wouldn’t necessarily happen at a gas station.
A study released March 17 by the National Institutes of Health said the new coronavirus was detectable for “up to two to three days” on plastic and stainless steel surfaces.
Wildwood-based Torch Electronics is one of the biggest players in unregulated slot machine-style devices in Missouri. Torch faces felony illegal gambling charges by the Linn County prosecutor. A hearing in that case is scheduled for April 23.
For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION