Washington County Gaming Office Rebuts Report

Washington County Gaming Office Rebuts Report

On March 4, 2008, a member of the local media did a story regarding the effects of Senate Bill 959, and House Bill 1576, Statewide Phase-Out of Electronic Gaming Devices. This story reported information, which was false and misleading. The information provided should be considered gaming industry propaganda intended to gather public opposition to Senate Bill 959 and House Bill 1576. Neither the Washington County Gaming Office, nor the sponsors of these Bills were interviewed regarding this news story.
For clarification purposes: The Washington County Gaming Office supports Senate Bill 959, and House Bill 1576, with amendments. The Gaming Office has been working closely with the authors of these bills to draft an amendment that will allow Washington County to continue using tip jar dispensing machines. The intent of these bills was to make illegal, slot machines that have been altered to meet the definition of electronic tip jar device. It was not the intent of the authors of this bill to prohibit the dispensing machines we have in operation in Washington County. This inadvertent consequence has been identified and is being corrected with the help and support of members of our local Delegation.
The Washington County Gaming Office is convinced that these two pieces of legislation once amended, will not have an adverse effect on Washington County Gaming, or the approximately $3,000,000 distributed annually to charitable organizations within Washington County.
This legislation will prevent the introduction of illegal gaming devices into Washington County that could eventually lead to a statewide takeover of Washington County Gaming. These devices are often owned and operated by large gaming corporations that retain the "lions share" of the proceeds for personal gain. These corporations would make it very hard for the small businessman to compete. These bills are in the best interest of Washington County, and the citizens who benefit from charitable gaming.