OFFICIAL STATEMENT OF THE MISSOURI GAMING ASSOCIATION ON BEHALF OF THE MISSOURI CASINO INDUSTRY
“VIEW COUNCILMAN TRAKAS’ LETTER: LINK”
We commend Ernie Trakas, St. Louis County District 6 Councilman, for taking action to address illegal slot machines that are “taking over St. Louis County.” In his recent letter to the St. Louis County Board of Police Commissioners, Trakas calls for the County Police Department to be authorized to “aggressively enforce the applicable statutes and ordinances” that prohibit illegal slot machines and allow the machines to be removed from establishments such as gas stations and restaurants.
Until Missouri can pass legislation to address illegal slot machines in Missouri, law enforcement is left to deal with the issue on their own. With an estimated 14,000 of these machines across the state, we agree that widespread seizures are needed to deter operators from continuing to skim funds from Missourians.
Missouri has one of the most rampant spreading of illegal slot machines in the United States, despite them being prohibited under Missouri and St. Louis statutes, including 527.120 RSMo. These gambling devices bypass our state’s strict gaming laws and divert tax revenue away from Missouri’s students and veterans. This is not what Missouri voters envisioned when they voted in 1994 to approve casino wagering in Missouri.
“Illegal gambling harms St. Louis County residents and visitors, and takes away from casinos which go through a rigorous regulatory process, reinvest millions of dollars back into the community and have developed a strong partnership with St. Louis County over the course of 30 years,” said Trakas.
We urge that Councilman Trakas’ appeal be taken seriously, and encourage other municipal leaders to follow his leadership. Missourians who are concerned about the impact and spreading of illegal slot machines in their communities can report suspected machines on the Missouri Gaming Commission website: https://www.mgc.dps.mo.gov/
We also encourage Missourians to ask their legislators to crack down on illegal slot machines and vote no on legislation to legalize them in the next legislative session.
ABOUT MISSOURI GAMING ASSOCIATION (MGA)
The Missouri Gaming Association (MGA) is the statewide trade association of the Missouri casino entertainment industry. Founded in 1993, the Missouri Gaming Association works to promote responsible gaming and increase awareness of the economic benefits of casinos in Missouri. The MGA and its casino company members sponsor year-round responsible gaming programs including the 1-888-BETSOFF crisis line and referral service, Project 21 scholarship competition, and Responsible Gaming Education Month. For more information, visit www.missouricasinos.org.
# # #