Confusion Over Gaming Machines - Thursday 6th of April 2006

SOUTH CAROLINA – As reported by the Rock Hill Herald: "When authorities seized 464 gaming machines from 13 York County business on March 2, they encouraged local machine owners to get rid of the remaining games they said were illegal.

"But a month later, police say their warning hasn't been heeded, and they're continuing to pick up machines.

"…But owners wouldn't buy the games if they thought they were illegal, said Jim Morton, owner of Morton Amusement in Rock Hill. It seems police one day will say a game is legal, but after owners purchase thousands of dollars worth of such machines, will change their minds, Morton said.

"…Since the March 2 raid, police have picked up 24 machines from seven businesses, Brown said. But unlike the machines seized in the initial raid, most of the ones police are now picking up are not for Internet sweepstakes, but systems called GTs, which are touch-screen, table-top games that allow players to put dollar bills into a machine and play games for payoffs.

"What makes the machines illegal, Brown said, is that they have games of chance on them, which violates state law.

"But Morton said that the state's gaming laws are vague and police are just bullying his industry.

"…What owners like Morton want is just the chance to know what games are legal and will remain legal. They also want the chance for the gaming industry to have it's day in court…"

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