Missouri Treasurer says he will not remove state decals from unregulated slot machines

February 26, 2024
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Machines throughout bars and gas stations currently have ads with the state seal on them.

Missouri State Treasurer Vivek Malek recently said he does not plan to remove decals with the official state seal and his name from unregulated slot machines, according to a local news report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

He said keeping the decals is part of an agreement he made with “a politically connected company” that has supplied gas stations and bars with these machines.

Malek noted in a three-page letter to Representative Scott Cupps that “no taxpayer dollars were used to create the stickers” and went on to add that the decals are for spreading the word for his office’s unclaimed property program.

Malek said in his letter, “I met with officials of the video gaming company and they expressed a desire to help spread the word, which I appreciate.

“Missourians from all walks of life have unclaimed money and I just want to return it to them.”

The letter was in response to Cupps’ expressed concern that these stickers could send Missouri residents and gamblers the wrong message.

Cupps pointed out to local news that the decals “could fool slot machine players into believing the state endorses and potentially regulates the controversial gambling machines,” even though the state does not.

However, Malek explained in his letter that a decision to remove the stickers would be up to the courts.

He wrote, “The courts at some point may finally decide any such questions, so I will not usurp the role of the judicial branch in this regard. If the courts rule the machines must go, I presume they will go and with them the decals that were not printed at taxpayer expense.

“As you know, the last day for filing bills is one week from today, March 1, and session adjournment is May 17. You and your colleagues still have time to offer and pass legislation settling the matter without waiting for a final judicial decision.”

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