The Missouri Gaming Commission has deemed the gaming terminals illegal to slow the rapid-fire spread of untaxed and unregulated slot machines in Missouri.
The lead attorney for the Missouri Gaming Commission ruled that the terminals contain functions that make them “gambling devices,” which are prohibited outside of licensed casinos.
The ruling came in response to a question by the St. James Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5608, which asked if having one of the terminals in their facility would jeopardise the organisation’s state-issued bingo license.
After testing the machine, the gaming commission said it would.
Although the gaming commission’s findings only apply to establishments that have bingo licenses, the decision comes as state and county officials are investigating what to do about the machines.
The terminals work like slot machines. A player inserts money, selects a game and decides how much to wager. Players who win money can cash out and get paid by the store cashier.
May Scheve Reardon, executive director of the Missouri Lottery told that she fears the terminals could divert money from the lottery’s games, which generate money for public schools.
Senate President Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, also has pushed for legislation that would prohibit the machines and strip businesses of their liquor licenses if the terminals are present.
Dave Grothaus, executive director of the Gaming Commission said there have been discussions about whether state officials, like the commission, could use their licensing powers to strip businesses of their ability to sell lottery tickets or alcohol if they have the slot machines on their premises.
“Certainly that would be an administrative tool that the state could use to address the problem,” Grothaus said.