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UPDATE: Gov. Markell Responds to Electronic Gaming Letter Targeting Service Organizations by Sending His Own Letter to Legislators

UPDATED STORY 11.21.12: In a letter to state lawmakers Tuesday, Gov. Jack Markell promised to work with them toward a solution to illegal gaming machines at state fraternal organizations when the General Assembly reconvenes in January.

Last week, we told you that Delaware is cracking down on electronic gambling machines in American Legion and AMVET’s posts, as well as other service organizations.

The service organizations were sent a letter from the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security; it stated that gambling machines in the Posts are in violation of two Delaware laws and should be removed immediately.

13 state representatives sent the Governor a letter asking that he suspend the threatened crackdown; Gov. Markell denied their request.

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UPDATED STORY 11.15.12:  We told you earlier this week that Delaware is cracking down on electronic gambling machines in American Legion and AMVET’s posts, as well as other service organizations.

The service organizations were sent a letter from the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security; it stated that gambling machines in the Posts are in violation of two Delaware laws and should be removed immediately.

DSHS Secretary Lewis Schiliro tells WGMD that the letter was essentially an outgrowth of several citizen complaints received regarding the proliferation of slot machines in various venues throughout the state.

Sec. Schiliro’s statement:

“This letter, which was sent to several organizations, was essentially an outgrowth of several citizen complaints we had received regarding the proliferation of slot machines in various venues throughout the State. In response to those complaints and subsequent on-site visits by law enforcement, the Attorney General’s Office was consulted and advised that under the current law most of the machines were clearly illegal under Delaware law. Rather than take immediate enforcement action, we decided to send a letter to known venues advising recipients of the potential issue regarding the use of these gambling devices.  While we fully recognize that some of the locations have very important charitable purposes, the nature, payout and regulation of these gambling devices creates an enforcement issue. Moreover, this matter may also involve out of state venues bringing gambling devices into Delaware with very little regulatory oversight which helps to protect the users. In order to provide appropriate controls and safe guards to regulate gaming devices coming into the State of Delaware, this may very well be an appropriate topic for legislative debate,” said Lewis D. Schiliro, Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security.

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ORIGINAL STORY:  Delaware is cracking down on electronic gambling machines in American Legion and AMVET’s posts.

The Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security this week sent a letter to all Delaware Posts stating that gambling machines in the establishments are in violation of two Delaware laws and should be removed immediately.

The letter says a gambling device that includes any machine into which a coin or token is inserted and, depending on the elements of chance, something of value may be dispensed. The letter states that these types of machines are illegal.

Post commanders are not happy with the letter and are currently pondering their next move.

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