DOJ: News Release

Gambling Control Division Warns of Retail Sale of Illegal Slot Machines

HELENA – The Investigations Bureau of the Gambling Control Division of the Montana Department of Justice said Tuesday that illegal slot machines have recently been offered for sale at discount and department stores across the state.

The Japanese “Pachislo” machines may be advertised as a legal amusement since they operate on tokens, not coins. Under Montana law, however, all slot machines are illegal.

Many Pachislo machines originate in Japanese casinos and are then purchased, refurbished and sold in this country. They are about the same size as a standard slot machine, said Tom Oberweiser, the Eastern District Supervisor of the Investigations Bureau. The machines retail for about $150 to $500, and some private citizens have also tried to sell the machines via newspaper classified ads, Oberweiser said.

Oberweiser said Montana stores selling the machines were unaware they were illegal and have cooperated with Department of Justice in the investigation of the source of the machines.

Montanans who may have purchased Pachislo machines are asked to contact the Gambling Control Division’s Billings office at 896-4300.

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