Four bills face state legislature to regulate illegal gaming machines

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MARYLAND HEIGHTS, MO - Gambling at Ballpark Village is under consideration by lawmakers in Jefferson City. Years of complaining by citizens and the Missouri Lottery forced lawmakers to do something about questionable gambling machines that have flooded the state. You can find the devices at bars and convenience stores across Missouri.

Legislators say it’s time to regulate the devices and to keep anyone or the state from getting ripped off. An amendment included in one bill calls for Ballpark Village and a major entertainment gathering place in Kansas City to have gambling.

These machines have been at the center of a controversy for years. They are not regulated by the state. And. citizens have been telling lawmakers when they win they don’t always get paid. State Representative Nick Schroer said, “Technically they’re rigged and if we’re going to allow these in the state of Missouri. I think that it shouldn’t be a rigged system where Missourians are relying on the chance of winning money and they’re getting taken.”

State lottery officials say the unregulated machines are operating and no money is going to education, millions of dollars are being lost. Schroer said, “This is money being diverted from school from our kids and this is something the legislature needs to attack.”

There are four bills being considered, 2 in the house and 2 in the senate. Some even include Sports betting. What the legislation will look like at the end of all the debating is anyone’s guess.

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