The real money casino gambling industry is a huge source of tax revenue for many US states. Real money payouts on illegal slots machines remains a huge issue in many of those same states. One such case exists in the state of Missouri. A recent post on www.stltoday.com detailed lawmakers’ plan to finally combat this issue.
How Is The State Of Missouri Handling Illegal Slots?
Missouri appeared to accept the status quo when it came to the issue of illegal slot machines across the state. It is estimated that there are tens of thousands of slots still making illegal payouts in various retail establishments. This list includes:
- Bars and Restaurants
- Gas Stations
- Convenience Stores
The problem of illegal slots appears to be expanding due to inactivity on the state and local government level. However, that could be changing with the initial meeting of a special House committee. It was formed to address gambling laws in the state . The chairman of the panel believes that state residents themselves want the issue of illegal slots finally addressed. If you like this article, you may also want to read how the Eldorado is looking to sell their resorts in Missouri and Mississippi.
Rep. Dan Shaul is a Republican from Imperial, MO. He was quoted as saying:
“The people are very clear: They want regulated gambling in Missouri. They want to be sure they are getting their money’s worth. It is the elephant in the room. What do we do with it?”
Do Illegal Games Of Chance Resemble Standard Slot Machines?
The illegal games of chance closely resemble a standard real money slot machine. A player inserts their money and selects one of the machine’s games. Wagers are placed and winners are paid by a store employee. Losers go home empty-handed.
These types of gaming terminals have been classified as “gambling devices” by the Missouri Gaming Commission. They are prohibited by law outside the context of the state’s 13 licensed land-based casino properties.
The issue at hand leans more towards how to control their spread. However, there is little agreement across the state on how to actually address the issue. The state’s gaming commission is only authorized to police licensed gambling establishments.
Missouri’s Department of Public Safety oversees liquor licenses. It claims its hands are tied because of an existing state law. Back in 2000, a court ruling stated this department has no authority to seize illegal gambling devices.
Currently, the main group combatting illegal gambling are the 115 county prosecutors scattered throughout the state. State legislators such as Rep. Dirk Deaton R-Noel has called this approach “cumbersome” to say the least.
David Grothaus is the executive director of the state’s gaming commission. He has gone on record urging lawmakers to address this issue on a statewide level. He recently told the House committee:
“What the state needs is a very focused effort on these illegal machines.” Rep. LaKeySha Bosley is a Democrat representing St. Louis. She personally knows of five different locations in her district operating illegal gambling terminals. Rep. Wes Rodgers is a Democrat in Kansas City. He weighed in with the comment:
“It blows my mind that they (illegal gambling retail outlets) are that blatant.” The battle is heating up between the current casino operators and the retail outlets looking to legalize their machines.