Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing struggles to properly regulate illegal slot machines outside of casinos in Missouri. These slot machines, often referred to as pre-reveal machines, have been popping up all over the state claiming to be legal games and not slot machines. The regulatory problems have mostly stemmed from disorganization regarding who needed to be regulating these machines. Local prosecutors had to take the lead and bring charges in their individual jurisdictions while the Missouri Legislature debated how to handle the situation. The results of the first prosecution attempt are in and as expected, the machines were deemed illegal. The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports:
A Platte County Circuit Court judge on Tuesday found a Kansas-based company guilty of promoting illegal gambling in the first degree, a class E felony that carries a fine of up to $10,000.
The ruling against Shawnee, Kansas-based Integrity Vending LLC likely will have wide-ranging consequences: gaming companies have long argued that their machines are legal under Missouri law; the Missouri Highway Patrol and some county prosecutors have disagreed, saying the machines are illegal gambling devices. Observers had long awaited Judge Thomas Fincham’s ruling for clarity on what kind of games Missouri law actually allows.
The unregulated machines — state officials estimated last year there were about 14,000 of them in gas stations, bars and clubs across the state — have come under fire because of the stealth nature by which they were deployed.
Unlike regulated gaming, no proceeds are diverted to education. There are also no government-sanctioned resources for addicted gamblers or rules to protect consumers from low payouts.
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