Lottery official says gaming machines eating away profits

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia lottery official is warning that unregulated gaming machines popping up in bars and convenience stores could hurt sales and cost the state millions in money used for public education.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall told lawmakers Monday that the machines could cut lottery profits by $140 million a year. That would cut lottery funding of public education by $40 million.

Unregulated gaming machines have become increasingly popular in Virginia. They resemble electronic slot machines but also require some elements of skill in order to claim prizes.

Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Joe Platania has said the games violate anti-gambling laws. Gaming machine operator Queen of Virginia has sued Platania and said its machines are legal.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.richmond.com

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