(COUNTRY CLUB VILLAGE, Mo.) — Missouri State Highway Patrol along with local law enforcement officers seized more than 10 electronic gaming machines during a raid on a business, authorities said Monday.
Sgt. Jake Angle with Highway Patrol said gambling machines were confiscated from the Junction convenience store in Country Club Village. Andrew County Prosecutor's office said no charges have been filed and Angle described it as an ongoing investigation.
“Working with the Country Club Village Police Department and Andrew County Sheriff’s Department, officers with the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control applied for a search warrant and seized 11 illegal electronic gaming devices at the Junction convenience store,” he said.
Angle said MSHP became involved in the investigation after Country Club Village police received complaints about allegedly illegal gambling machines at the store from customers.
While this was Troop H's first seizure of these slot-like machines, Missouri State Highway Patrol has been involved in similar investigations.
“There have been other machines seized throughout the state, all over the state so certainly this isn’t unique,” Angle said.
The “illegal” gaming terminals have popped up all over Missouri at gas stations and convenience stores. Unlike the state's 13 licensed casinos, these new machines are untaxed and unregulated.
LeAnn McCarthy, the spokesperson of the Missouri Gaming Commission, which represents the casinos in the state, said the Commission is waiting on the state legislature to provide direction about its future responsibility but at this time it has no jurisdiction over illegal gambling machines and only provides technical advice when requested.
In September, a Platte County Circuit Court judge sided with Prosecutor Eric Zahnd, ruling that no chance slot machines found at a Parkville convenience store violated state gambling laws. The video gaming operator, Integrity Vending LLC., argued the machines were legal because players could view the outcome of a bet before they place it therefore removing the element of chance. The judge ruled against the company and found it guilty of promoting gambling, a class E felony, for setting up and operating the slot-like machines. Integrity Vending is set to be sentenced in Platte County on Nov. 23.