Phillips 66 Takes Stance on Unresolved Missouri Gambling Machines Issue

Missouri is continuing to be plagued by pre-reveal games with a questionable legal status and big companies aren’t taking enough initiative to tip the scales in favor of tighter regulation.

Missouri Laws Unclear, Cause Problems

Phillips 66 – the Texas-headquartered energy provider, is a major fuel supplier in Missouri and Bernardo Fallas – a Phillips 66 spokesperson – has been reported saying in an e-mail that the company does not “condone illegal gambling or any other illegal activities” at its branded stations. Furthermore, Fallas has said that it’s expected of these locations that they “abide by local and state laws.”

This comes in the face of an ongoing plague of gaming machines with a disputed legal status, spreading throughout Missouri at gas stations, restaurants, bars, and even convenience stores. Phillips 66 has issued this statement, clearing up that it does not authorize the installment of illegal machines at locations that carry its brand.

The machines in question are referred to as “pre-reveal” or “no-chance” machines. The way they operate is that they provide the player with knowledge if a bet is winning or losing before it’s been played out. However, in order to place another bet, regardless of the outcome of the first one, the bet needs to be played out. The games feel a lot like slot machine games, but the “pre-reveal” mechanic gives ground to debate whether or not it’s a gambling game. At least that’s what machine manufacturers are betting on and have started spreading like wildfire throughout Missouri, riding the wave of uncertainty.

Phillips 66’s statement doesn’t condone the machines directly, nor does it take a firm stance regarding them. All it says is that it doesn’t sanction illegal gambling at its locations. However, whether or not these “pre-reveal” games are lawful is still an open legal dispute that de facto makes installing them a “grey” area, allowing manufacturers to install or distribute the gambling machines across the entire state of Missouri.

The lack of regulatory clarity on these machines is by no coincidence at least partly, if not almost entirely, because of lobbying by manufacturers. One of the most prominent examples is Torch Electronics with its dubious donations. The latest instance was a total of $250,000 in donations to local political action committees (PACs), with each PAC receiving $40,000. All the PACs – Conservative Leaders of Missouri, Missouri Senior PAC, Missouri Growth PAC, MO Majority PAC, Missouri C PAC, and Missouri AG PAC – are associated with Steve Tilley, who is currently a Torch lobbyist and is a former Speaker of the House.

Furthermore, companies from neighboring Arkansas are also jumping in the fray, namely Lone Wolfe Entertainment LLC and PB08 Electronic Ventures Inc. further worsening the spread of the pre-reveal machines.

Other, less savory actions by the business trying to oppose changes in the status quo, including filing lawsuits against state regulatory bodies. In the case of Torch, that’s a lawsuit against the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP), which on its end has been conducting multiple raids, confiscating machines from internet and gas stations, for example, as well as raiding the Springfield Shopping Center, which was now more than a year ago. Joining the lawsuit on the side of Torch, regardless of Phillips 66’s statement, is Warrenton Oil, to which Phillips is a supplier.

As long as Missouri laws stay ambivalent and the legal status of these games is unclear, it’s a safe bet that manufacturers will continue their expansion into the Show-Me State. Without including pre-reveal games into the list of regulated games, gaming revenue will not be used for education or addiction treatment, as is usually the case with taxed gambling, where public information campaigns on problem gambling and helping those affected is par for the course.

Casino Provider
Using cutting-edge innovation, data and a never-ending drive to push forward, Ezugi is the partner you need for the best live casino experience.
Play’n GO is an award-winning supplier of high quality gaming content to many of the world’s leading casino brands. Their genuine omni-channel solution can be tailored to suit the needs of individual online and land-based partners, regardless of geographical, regulatory, or market-specific requirements.
Microgaming games are an absolute must for a successful online casino. The provider is the inventor of online slots and progressive jackpots, it has over 20 years of experience on the market, and it has the widest product portfolio. By integrating Microgaming you will attract players with any preferences.
Allbet is an online sportsbook also offering baccarat, blackjack, esports, live dealer games, live/in-play betting, other games, roulette, scratch cards, video poker, and virtual sports using 1X2 Network, BetGames, Betsoft Gaming, Kiron, and Playson software It is owned by Allbet Sports Betting (Pty) Ltd. The site's primary language is English. A download is not required to place a wager.
Gold Deluxe is an Asian-facing developer of live dealer games established in 2011. The company is based in Philippines and currently employs more than 100 individuals. They’ve made their portfolio available at many of the leading gaming sites in Asia, and while still focused on Asian markets, the provider is also starting to deploy their products in other parts of the world.