Unregulated gambling machines on rise in Columbia

Gaming machines that simulate slot machines have popped up at a handful of convenience stores in the Columbia area, allowing users to gamble as other patrons fill up on gas or grab drinks or snacks.

The machines aren’t regulated by the state, and law enforcement officials say it’s unclear who has jurisdiction over them.

The machines resemble the Missouri Lottery’s Pull-Tab dispensers, with users entering cash to play and — if they win — receiving a ticket that can be redeemed for cash. But unlike the Pull-Tab machines, which are limited to venues like casinos and veterans halls, these machines available in places like convenience stores.

Sen. Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg, said the number of these unregulated machines has been on the rise in the state since Illinois legalized video lottery terminals.

Read more: Columbia Missourian

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