n Tuesday, the Missouri Senate defeated a three-pronged effort to expand gambling in the state by abolishing non-controlled devices which provide cash awards to players.
According to The Fulton Sun, the vote which defeated the bill may have been this legislative session´s last chance to address the proliferation of devices, which some prosecutors have attacked as illegal and that others have refused to file charges over.
State Senador Denny Hoskins, in a statement released Wednesday afternoon, said: "I am disappointed Senate Bill 98 reached an impasse on the Senate floor last night."
Prospects for action before lawmakers adjourn on May 14 are fading, but the bill could be revived. While similar bills in the House have yet to receive a hearing, the biggest push for new gambling regulations has been in the Senate.
The bill debated Tuesday would have:
The number of video machines offering payoffs of hundreds or thousands of dollars in convenience stores and other retail locations is estimated in a range from 14,000-20,000.
The bill is one of the most heavily lobbied of the session and it is also being lobbied by representatives of the companies that own the machines some prosecutors are targeting.
The legislation to remove any ambiguities in state law is a top priority of Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan. The machines arrive with stickers on them declaring they do not violate state gambling laws and convenience store owners are reaping large profits.
The retailers would have ten days to remove the machines once they are notified that they are operating illegal gambling devices in line with Hoskins' bill.