Springfield, MO

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Letter to the Editor: Thanks to Sen. Hough for staunch opposition to video slot machines

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Dear editor,

Citizens owe a debt of gratitude to state Sen. Lincoln Hough for steering the debate over legalized sports betting in Missouri in the right direction when he and other legislators spoke in a bipartisan voice against the continued proliferation of illegal video slot machines in communities across our state.

Hough, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, led the vote to oppose proposed legislation that would legalize these gambling machines to operate in convenience stores, gas stations, bars and other retail locations in our area as part of a package to approve sports betting.

Hough knows the majority of Missouri Republican voters oppose these machines, as evidenced by the results of a statewide survey conducted in January by Public Opinion Strategies. Missouri lawmakers have rejected several attempts in recent years to legalize these video slot machines outside of casinos, and we appreciate their continued support.

The proposed regulatory framework for gaming expansion is extraordinarily weak. It would allow the Missouri Lottery, which is essentially a marketing entity, to become the regulator and enforcer of these machines. On the other hand, casinos are tightly regulated by the Missouri Gaming Commission and the Highway Patrol. It’s unreasonable to suggest a new type of gaming entity be regulated by a different enforcement agency and a weaker regulatory structure than existing gaming businesses.

These rogue gambling operators who are placing machines in businesses shouldn’t be rewarded with sweetheart deals. We need more legislators like Hough to stand up to aggressive lobbying in support of our children, families and communities.

—Mike Moeller, Missouri Home Dock Cities Association


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