“The Plaza Mall has improved since the slot machine raids”

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) says its perspective has remained unchanged on pre-revealed gaming devices since.

In June 2021, Troop D coordinated several raids through Springfield, seizing these slot machines from gas stations and internet cafes.

On June 14 last year, 35 slot machines were seized from Lucky Lynns in the Plaza shopping center on the corner of Glenstone Avenue and Sunshine Street.

“Nothing has changed from our perspective,” said Capt. John Hotz of the MSHP Information and Education Division. “We get calls for the devices, we do investigations, and then turn them over to the prosecutor.”

Capt. Hotz says it is not the role of the MSHP to determine the legality of such devices. While Plaza Mall business owners think it’s a no-brainer.

“They go there, I don’t know exactly how it works, but they go there hoping to make money,” said Steve Austin of Coopers Clippers. “Make more money than they started with, so it’s game.”

Austin says since last year’s raid there has been a bigger police presence in the mall, and there seems to be an improvement despite Lynns and other businesses on the Strip reinstalling similar slot machines. .

“There was a lot of scum and then we had this raid on Lucky Lynns,” Austin said. “So the police are there every day. They cross the parking lot, hang out in the parking lot, everything is much better now.

With increased law enforcement in the area, the Springfield Police Department (SPD) says the Plaza Mall was part of a targeted enforcement effort to target crime hotspots.

“The location of the Plaza Malls is one of the first trouble spots we identified,” said SPD Captain Fred Beck. “So it’s probably been a bit more enforced over time.”

Beck says the Crime Analysis Unit has identified several other hotspots that have been opened up for opportunists for officers to perform additional duties to patrol those areas.

Platte County Deputy Blake Sherer. The prosecutor told KODE-TV in Joplin in a 2021 interview that he estimated more than 14,000 slot machines across the state. Unlike machines in casinos or the state lottery, these are not regulated in Missouri.

So are they illegal or not? There is no clear legislation against them and court decisions have differed.

In May, one of the state’s largest providers of pre-revealed slot machines, Torch Electronics, donated $240,000 to political action committees in an effort to prevent legislation against the machines.

To report a correction or typo, please email [email protected]

Copyright 2022 KY3. All rights reserved.