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Bill heard to curb illegal gambling machines

The Senate Government Reform Committee met today to hear legislation filed by Sen. President Pro Tem Dave Shatz and Sen. Mike Cunningham regarding gaming machines.


The Senators presented the bills together and stated the goal was to eliminate illegal gambling machines that are popping up all over Missouri. It was noted there are currently more of such machines in truck stops and establishments across Missouri than slot machines in casinos!


The Missouri Amusement Machine Operators and the Missouri Gaming Association testified in support of the bills. There was no opposition expressed to the Committee in the hearing.


Supporters said owners of the illegal gambling machines were competing unfairly with those that are abiding by Missouri laws against games of chance. Operators of the questionable machines say because a player is notified whether the next "play" will be a winner or not means the machines are not games of chance and not in violation of Missouri law. The bills would classify all machines where cash prizes or monetary credit of any kind are involved as "gambling devices."


The current questionable machine operators are not regulated like licensed gambling establishments, do not pay for that regulation like licensed gambling establishments, nor do a portion of the proceeds support education, say supporters of the bills.


The bills would allow all such games to be regulated by the Missouri Gaming Commission. The bills are SB 557 and SB 530.



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