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  • Peter Shelly

New Report Highlights Dangers Of Unregulated, Illegal Gaming Machines

Proliferation of these gambling machines tied to criminal activity, including money laundering, drug trafficking and violent crime

HARRISBURG — The American Gaming Association today released a white paper detailing the dire consequences if illegal gambling machines are allowed to spread throughout communities. From ties to drugs trafficking and gang activity to increases in violence and overall crime, the report details how these illegal gambling machines are a high risk, low reward proposition for any community.

“This report should end any doubt whatsoever: it is time to unplug these machines and get them out of our state,” said Danielle Gross, a spokesperson for Pennsylvanians Against Gambling Expansion. “Illegal so-called skills games entice children to gamble. They are draining hundreds of millions from our state lottery – the only lottery in the nation that dedicate all funding to seniors. These machines are magnets for crime, and we are seeing more and more media reports about crimes driven by illegal slot machines.”

The report, Skilled at Deception: How Unregulated Gaming Machines Endanger Consumers and Dilute Investments in Local Economies, makes clear that:

· Illegal gambling machines do not undergo the same stringent regulatory requirements the legal gaming industry meets, including a licensing process, game testing and reporting and responsible gaming – nor are they monitored to ensure fair play for customers.

· Unregulated machine operators also lack training in responsible gaming, potentially luring children and those with problem gambling behaviors to use these machines.

And to combat the spread of illegal machines, the report recommends:

· Law enforcement and policymakers prioritize robust enforcement of laws to root out illegal and unregulated gaming machines.

· States and communities must not authorize these machines and continue to erode regulations and permit unnecessary consumer risk.

· Businesses should actively remove illegal and unregulated games on their properties.

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