Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing efforts to shut down the illegal slot machines that have popped up all over Missouri. There have been numerous obstacles reported, but given the Missouri Gaming Commission can only regulate legal slot machines at the 13 Missouri Casinos, the legislature is in a position to pass meaningful regulation. So far, all efforts to stop these illegal gambling machines that have swept the state have been limited to the local jurisdictions that have been willing to prosecute. Many have called for a more uniformed and statewide approach to enforcement, including the Missouri Gaming Association. They have praised the work of local law enforcement, but continue to press for a more comprehensive state-wide approach. An online source reports:
The Missouri Gaming Association is calling for legislative action to stop the spread of illegal slot machines throughout the state. The association estimates there are at least 14,000 illegal machines in use statewide, a number approaching the total of 16,500 legal ones in Missouri’s 13 casinos.
Illegal slot machines aren’t exactly hiding, either, Missouri Gaming Association Executive Director Mike Winter said. Often, he said, they’re in plain sight. “You don’t have to travel very far in the state or on a highway and stop in someplace and see one, two or more of these machines,” Winter said.
The machines are common in gas stations, truck stops and convenience stores, but Winter said those business aren’t necessarily to blame and might not know the machines are illegal.
The association released a statement thanking the patrol for its efforts and faulting lawmakers: “The Missouri Gaming Association supports the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s investigations and recent mass seizures of illegal slot machines at Missouri gas stations, truck stops and restaurants. Because last session’s legislative efforts to address illegal slot machines in Missouri failed, the Missouri State Highway Patrol is now left to deal with the issue on their own.”
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