Missouri County Judge 'torches' electronics case

October 3, 2023
By

The maker of 'No Chance Games' seeks to avoid further police investigation and seizure of its property while the state considers machines' legality.

Torch Electronics has recently had a case against the Missouri State Highway Patrol dropped by Cole County Judge Daniel Green. The suit aimed to protect the company from police investigations and prosecution of its unregulated gaming operations.

Torch Electronics creates devices similar to slot machines, that it refers to as ‘No Chance Games’ and promotes on its website as games ‘in which there is no element of chance.’ Whether or not the gaming machines are legal in the state of Missouri may be determined via criminal case in future, rather than a lawsuit.

The company sued the state of Missouri in 2021 on the grounds that the Missouri State Highway Patrol was harassing and intimidating Torch Electronics over the placement of its machines in locations such as gas stations, bars and truckstops.

Torch Electronics hoped for the declaration of the machines’ legality by Green and claimed that the seizure of its property led to ‘irreparable injury’ to business.

The two-year old litigation was advised against by attorney Scott Pool, who was hired to represent Missouri taxpayers in the issue. Judge Green said, “I think Mr. Pool is right on the law.”

Executive Director of the Missouri Gaming Association (MGA), Mike Winter, has said that dismissal of the lawsuit “allows for the continued use of the machines” and that the MGA “disagrees with that.”

Former Missouri House Speaker, Steve Tilley, has lobbied for Torch Electronics, complicating things further. No law has been able to pass concerning either the regulation or taxation of these devices for years.

Other states embroiled in legal and regulatory action surrounding ‘skill games’, or ‘No Chance Games’ in this instance, include: Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina. A recent American Gaming Association Survey also found that most Americans who are familiar with skill machines would say they are games of chance.

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