Missouri Lawmaker Warns Cops Against Moonlighting for Unregulated Slots Operator

  • Lawmaker Sparks said cops moonlighting for unregulated slots operators should stop
  • He believes such arrangements hold a conflict of interest and are possibly illegal
  • Slots operator Torch has a harassment case against state authorities
Police car lights
A lawmaker in Missouri has warned police officers not to moonlight for unregulated slot machine-operating firms like Torch Electronics. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Lawmaker Rep. Justin Sparks from St. Louis County, a police officer himself, has voiced concern about cops moonlighting for firms like Torch Electronics, which runs an unregulated ring of slot machines in Missouri.

Sparks (R-Wildwood) said Thursday:

“If they are doing it, I would say they should stop immediately.”

Sparks considers this a conflict of interest and possibly illegal, as it’s not mandatory for the slot machine companies to pay out winnings “or contribute to state funds supporting education and veterans’ care.”

No stranger to legal troubles, Torch currently has two ongoing federal suits over its gambling machines. Although there are no rules against a firm like Torch hiring police, the Missouri Highway Patrol forbids its troopers to moonlight at “any establishment in which gambling is the principle business.”

From Missouri’s dining hub Maplewood, Police Chief Matt Nighbor said via email that currently: “NO Maplewood police officers are employed or authorized to work off-duty secondary employment with Torch Electronics or any other similar gaming company.”

Torch itself has a harassment case, filed against state authorities after the Missouri Highway Patrol began investigating allegations of illegal gambling, which goes to trial August 1.

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