Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing saga of Missouri’s illegal slot machine problem. Gambling, specifically casino style slot machine gambling, is limited to state regulated casinos in Missouri, but that hasn’t stopped companies like Torch Electronics from placing thousands of illegal slot machines all over the state. They have used many methods for keeping their illegal gambling machine operating, including taking advantage of enforcement loopholes where the state gaming commission cant regulate them and local law enforcement jurisdictions are left to clean up the illegal slot machines. Other tactics include attempting to sue those prosecuting them and political contributions in hopes of controlling the legislature or the courts. Many have called for immediate state action to provide the proper enforcement tools for uniform restriction, confiscation and prosecution of those machines and the operators and manufactures. Amid the controversy, some have been called out as possibly being put in a compromised situation due to political contributions, specifically Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt. The St Louis Post Dispatch reports:
Attorney General Eric Schmitt is returning campaign contributions he received more than two months ago from the owner of a controversial video gambling company and his wife.
Schmitt, a Republican running for U.S. Senate in 2022, received two $2,900 checks in June from Steven Miltenberger, owner of Wildwood-based Torch Electronics, and his spouse, Sondra Miltenberger.
Torch has been in court in recent months for allegedly operating thousands of illegal slot machines at gas stations across the state. The company also is suing the state, saying it is being unfairly harassed by the Missouri Highway Patrol.
The announcement that the money was being jettisoned came after the Post-Dispatch asked the attorney general’s office if the contribution could be considered a conflict of interest because of the state’s involvement in litigation against Miltenberger’s company.
“There was no violation of office policy, but out of an abundance of caution, it’s my understanding that the donation is going to be returned,” Schmitt spokesman Chris Nuelle said Friday. “We will remain active in our vigorous defense of the state’s interest in this case.”
A spokesman for Schmitt’s campaign confirmed the contributions have been returned.
Schmitt is among dozens of Missouri politicians who have received money connected to Miltenberger in recent years as unregulated slot machines have flooded the state.
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