"Illegal" gambling devices subject of hearing
January 13, 2022 - The Senate Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight Committee, chaired by Sen. Lincoln Hough, heard SB 632, sponsored by Sen. Dan Hegeman, seeking to clarify the types of gaming machines that are allowed under Missouri law.
The question is whether machines that tell the player they have not won before any money is deposited are gambling devices. Although the player of such a game knows the first play is not a winner, there is a chance the next play could make them a winner and monetary or other prizes could be won. Games of skill are allowed, but games of chance are gambling devices subject to state regulation and use only in certain areas.
Prosecutors in much of Missouri have been hesitant to prosecute the owners of such machines under current law. Sen. Hegeman's bill would clarify such devices are gambling devices.
Associated Industries of Missouri president/CEO Ray McCarty testified in favor of the bill at the hearing, along with the Missouri Gaming Association. McCarty testified the current situation is unfair to law-abiding citizens that operate legal devices and have to compete with these gambling devices which can be very popular.
Only a lobbyist for Torch Electronics testified in opposition to the bill.
The bill was not advanced by the committee during the hearing but could see movement as early as next week.