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Silvia Pavlof December 16, 2022 3 min read
New Legislation Proposal Targets Illegal Slot Machines in Missouri
New legislation cracking down on illegal electronic gaming machines (EGMs) at gas stations and corner stores in Missouri may be introduced at the Missouri House in January 2023.
Missouri Lawmakers to Crack Down on Illegal Gambling Machines
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that St. Louis riverside district representative Rasheen Aldridge is pushing forward a plan, which aims to eradicate illegal gambling machines offered at gas stations, bars, and corner stores in the state of Missouri.
Any establishment that offers such electronic gaming machines will risk losing its liquor and tobacco sales license under the new legislation proposed by Aldridge. Aldridge has noted the need for all businesses providing such machines to be held accountable.
Additionally, the stores and bars will be banned from getting a license for offering gaming machines in case the state of Missouri introduces such a program in the future.
According to the proposal from Aldridge, the Missouri attorney general has to collaborate with prosecutors in order to charge the offending store owners.
Aldridge also highlighted that the lack of regulation on these machines leads to anyone being able to play on them, even minors who frequent convenience stores in particular.
According to estimations, there could be about 14,000 such machines in the state of Missouri.
Missouri Does Not Have Any Regulations Regarding EGMs
In contrast to other states such as Illinois, Missouri does not have any legislation in place regulating and taxing EGMs.
As a result, such gaming machines have flooded practically every gas station across the state and can be found at convenience stores and bars as well. Missouri authorities have been struggling for quite a while to control and thwart the spread of illegitimate machines.
In August, the Missouri Gaming Commission even set up a dedicated phone line and website where anyone could submit a complaint related to illegal EGMs. The Commission received almost 100 complaints.
The owners of the establishments offering the machines are arguing that they are not illegal as they offer information to players about whether or not they will win the next round.
However, gambling industry stakeholders such as the Missouri Lottery and land-based casinos in the state disagree. They think that the gaming machines divert people away from regulated and taxed gambling options such as lottery tickets and local casinos effectively depriving the state budget of revenue.
Lack of Legislation Attributed to Political Lobbying
Any attempts by the Missouri authorities to introduce legislation regulating the electronic machines have so far been stopped by political lobbying from Torch Electronics, the main distributor of the EGMs.
Former speaker of the Missouri House Steve Tilley is the lobbyist acting on behalf of the Wildwood-based company. Tilley has financed a variety of political campaigns with $500,000 in addition to sponsoring Missouri’s new attorney general Andrew Bailey.
Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.
Legal December 16, 2022
Legal December 16, 2022