The Missouri Lottery’s executive director testified Thursday in Jefferson City that illegal slot machines are hurting public education in the Show-Me State.
Former State Rep. May Scheve Reardon testified before a House interim committee, telling lawmakers there’s a major issue with illegal slot machines along the I-44 corridor. She talks about one Lottery sales representative whose territory goes from St. James to Lebanon.
“Down that I-44 corridor alone in six months, her route alone was down $800,000,” Scheve Reardon testifies. “That’s an estimated $3.2 million sales lost for six months.”
She says the average monthly Lottery sales lost, per retailer with the alleged illegal machines, is $90,000.
Illegal slot machines can be found in bars, restaurants, gas stations and convenience stores.
Scheve Reardon testified during a 90-minute hearing before the House Special Interim Committee on Gaming, which is chaired by State Rep. Dan Shaul, R-Imperial.
Shaul tells the audience that illegal slot machines cost Missouri education at least $50 million last year. He says the alleged illegal slot machines are hurting the Lottery, thereby impacting classrooms.
“The (Missouri) Lottery is losing revenue here, because of these alleged illegal machines. So are the (Missouri’s 13) casinos, so is everybody across that’s funding the state. The state is losing money because of these,” says Shaul.
Chairman Shaul tells Missourinet the public will have the opportunity to testify at the next hearing, which is October 10 in Jefferson City.
Thursday’s hearing was the committee’s second in two weeks. The Missouri Gaming Commission testified before the committee on August 22, saying the state needs a coordinated effort to stop the illegal machines.
“We’re trying to coordinate efforts among law enforcement and prosecutors, trying to educate prosecutors on how to prosecute those cases,” Gaming Commission Executive Director David Grothaus testified in August.
Grothaus notes there’s one pending criminal case in western Missouri’s Platte County, in the Kansas City area.
Scheve Reardon says the Missouri Lottery generated more than $306 million for education in fiscal year 2018.
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