Torch Electronics, a company offering video slot machines across Missouri, has gotten itself into trouble as one of its competitors will be taking it to court. TNT Amusements, a local firm operating gaming machines, claims that Torch’s offerings are illegal and undermine its business.
TNT said that its profits have plummeted since its competitor started to illegally offer its products at amusement locations. As a result of Torch Electronics allegedly harming TNT’s profits, the latter company will seek damages equal to three times the money it lost.
Torch Electronics’ machines are available in many convenience stores and truck stops across Missouri, making them very accessible to customers. As a result, TNT has been losing customers to Torch, which allows players to gamble without going to casinos.
Under Missouri law, companies can only offer gambling at designated gambling locations. In addition, operators are required to have a license before providing games to local customers.
As a result, the legality of Torch’s offerings is very questionable, considering it doesn’t even have a license. This is not the first time it has been sued either as in 2019, TNT once again took action against its competitor. Back then, the former company requested the shutdown of Torch’s slots in a truck shop in Cuba city. However, not much was achieved.
Torch Believes Its Offerings Are Legal
Torch, on the other hand, claims that its offerings are completely legal since they (allegedly) do not constitute gambling. While Torch’s games are money games for sure, one aspect makes them somewhat different from traditional gambling machines. This aspect, the company highlights, is that its machines outright tell the player whether their next go will be a win or not.
Torch’s machines exploit the state’s definition of gambling to avoid trouble with the law. This clever tactic has allowed the company to further distribute machines across the state, much to the dismay of its traditional competitors.
Despite this exploitation of the rules, the Missouri Gaming Commission and many counties across the state still consider the machines to be illegal. Yet, cracking down on these machines on a state level has proved to be difficult, which is why Governor Mike Parson said that local county prosecutors should decide how to proceed.
TNT’s lawsuit against Torch Electronics comes several days after a class action lawsuit was filed against the latter company in Missouri’s Western District Court. According to the prosecution, Torch is guilty of federal racketeering and state consumer protection law violations.