Illegal gambling machines smashed in Platte County following court battle

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PLATTE CITY, Mo. — A legal battle over gambling machines ends in pieces in a parking lot north of Kansas City.

Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd, Sheriff Mark Owen and Parkville Police Chief Kevin Chrisman watched as county employees used heavy equipment to smash the five gambling machines Thursday. Piles of smashed parts were the only things that remained.

“The judge ordered the Platte County Public Works department to carry out the destruction we figured they were the experts on that so we allowed them to choose the machine I think they chose well,” Zahnd said.

“I’m very very impressed with the Platte County Public Works in the manner with which they destroyed them it was effortlessly done and I think it made a statement,” Chrisman said.

It comes more than two years after Parkville police seized the machines from two Parkville convenience stores. The machines were part of an investigation into illegal gambling.

At trial, prosecutors argued that the video gaming machines, often seen at gas stations across the state, are nothing more than slot machines.

“We have casinos in Missouri we have a lottery in Missouri but those are highly regulated endeavors these new black market gambling machines, so-called no chance or pre-reveal machines are illegal under Missouri law and we need to stop their proliferation,” Zahnd said.

A judge agreed and found Integrity Vending LLC guilty of promoting gambling in the first degree.

Because the games of chance can be easily accessed outside the confines of a casino, some gambling addiction advocates argue that makes them especially dangerous.

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