Missouri AG Criticized for Withdrawing From Highway Patrol Gambling Lawsuit

  • AG Andrew Bailey accepted political donations from PACs that have links to the plaintiffs
  • Bailey did not specify the conflict of interest when withdrawing from the case
  • Rivals want the AG to disclose the conflict and explain why he didn’t refuse the donations
Suited mand handing over wad of cash with American flag in background
Missouri’s AG is in the line of fire after controversially withdrawing from a high-profile gambling lawsuit. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey is in hot water after withdrawing from a gambling lawsuit against the highway patrol. Political rivals from both parties called on Bailey to refund campaign donations to the companies that are suing the state. He received contributions from political action committees (PACs) in recent months with connections to the head lobbyist of the plaintiffs.

Bailey said he withdrew from the lawsuit due to an unspecified conflict of interest. Warrenton Oil and Torch Electronics are suing the Missouri State Highway Patrol over accusations of operating illegal gambling machines.

calling on Bailey to disclose the conflict of interest

Private counsel will now defend the state, which taxpayers will have to fund. Rivals are calling on Bailey to disclose the conflict of interest and to explain why he did not refuse the donations.

Torch Electronics installed its video games in truck stops and convenience stores across Missouri. Warrenton Oil runs over 50 convenience stores and Torch machines were in many of these locations.

The Missouri Gaming Commission categorized these machines as gambling devices, which means they are illegal. This led the highway patrol to take enforcement action against establishments with these machines. The plaintiffs want the judge to determine that they aren’t gambling devices and that their removal was unjust.   

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