Destroying things is often seen as a great way to relieve stress – unless you’re the owner of the things being destroyed. People in and around Platte City, MO, will be able to witness some destruction tomorrow when a handful of gaming machines will meet a very public end. The machines were determined to be illegal gambling machines operating in Missouri’s controversial and belonged to the owners of a company that were prosecuted in the only felony case linked to gaming machines in the state.
Missouri’s Confusing Gaming Machine Laws
Missouri has an interesting history when it comes to gaming and gambling. There’s a gray area that has yet to be defined, despite multiple attempts. Gaming machines that offer a chance to gamble are illegal; however, lawmakers recently squashed an attempt to legalize video gaming terminals (VGT) as the machines continue to openly be installed across the state.
As the controversy over the machines was in full swing, Integrity Vending LLC found itself on the wrong side of law enforcement in October 2018. The Parkville Police Department confiscated five machines that were installed at two convenience stores, leading to the arrest of the company’s owners. They were ultimately charged with promoting gambling, which is a felony in the state. According to state records, it is the only case out of more than two dozen in Missouri that has resulted in felony charges being entered.
Missouri Gaming Machines Set for Destruction
The Integrity Vending owners paid a fine of $7,500 and removed the rest of their games from public view following the felony charges. Supporters of similar gaming machines argue that, because players of the machines were given a chance to see if their next bet would result in a win or a loss, the machines don’t constitute gambling. The subject is still controversial, years after first appearing, and some state prosecutors won’t look to file charges against the owners or operators of the devices. Some of them even believe the machines are legal, further exacerbating an already confusing situation.
There’s no clear and absolute conclusion for the fate of the VGT industry in Missouri, but there is one for at least five of the machines that used to be part of the market. In accordance with state laws, devices that are found to be linked to illegal gambling must be publicly destroyed. So, tomorrow afternoon at 1 PM at the Platte County Public Works Department, the public can come out and witness the destruction of five gaming terminals that may, or may not, be a form of illegal gambling.