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Missouri grey-market slot operators facing class action lawsuit

Missouri gambling news

Seven residents of Missouri have filed a class action lawsuit on Tuesday against grey-market slot operators in the state. The lawsuit claimed the plaintiffs have been hurt by the operators through their corruption and racketeering.

Grey-market slot machines are prevalent in Missouri and are mostly housed by convenient stores. Owners of the convenience stores argue that the slot machines or Video Lottery Terminals help to keep their stores afloat by drawing customers in.

The lawsuit has named Torch Electronics, Warrenton Oil Co., and Mally Inc. as defendants of the case. These entities either operate VLTs or own convenience stores where these machines are situated.

The plaintiffs claim the grey market slot machines have caused a lot of damage to many, even down to toddlers and preteens. In addition, the machine rip off players by rounding down winnings to the nearest whole number, thus earning the operators huge amounts of money.

“Like the legal slot machines operated in licensed casinos in the State of Missouri, Torch’s slot machines are programmed to present a dazzling visual display of bright, flashing colors to capture consumers’ attention and reinforce the false prospect of winning large sums of money,” the suit alleges.

The suit also alleges that the operators have gotten free rein for this long because of their connections with lawmakers in the state.

The case is of particular interest with the Missouri casino industry since the existence of these machines directly affects their bottom line. For years, casino operators in the state have clamoured about the illegality of these machines and how unfair it is that are not regulated like casinos are.

Now, the suit is asking for $15 million in damages, which is three times the amount of money believed to be lost to these machines.

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