The number of illegal slot machines has dramatically increased in Missouri. According to the Missouri Gaming Commission, the gambling regulator has received 84 complaints about illegal slot machines in 2019 alone.
The gambling regulator finds that these complaints identified about 200 illegal slot machines and gambling devices functional in the state.
It should be noted that on 10 October there will be a public hearing at Missouri Capitol about the rise of illegal gambling machines.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, ‘a special state House committee on gambling was initially formed to study whether to allow sports betting and video gambling, but the presence of an estimated 14,000 unregulated gaming terminals has become the focus of the hearings.’
According to the lottery officials, the unregulated video gaming machines could be cutting into the lottery commission’s revenue to the tune of $50 million.
Earlier this year in July, the lead attorney for the Missouri Gaming Commission ruled that the terminals are “gambling devices,” and that these gambling devices are not allowed outside land-based licensed casinos in the state.
Upon receiving the complaints about illegal gambling machines, the gambling regulator forwards the complaints to the Missouri Highway Patrol. However, the Highway Patrol has said that it cannot act on the complaints after a legal case from 2000 found that the patrol has no authority to confiscate the machines.
According to the state’s gambling regulator, legalizing the machines which are operating illegally in the state and regulating them would help the state generate about $170 million additional tax revenue. The revenue collected from the gaming machines would go towards the education program.