As the thermometer tops 100 degrees, veterans often file into American Legion Post 105 and pass time by playing low-stakes electronic games that keep the air-conditioned building open and the assistance flowing to needy vets.
These days, the machines are gone and the money they once brought is, too. It’s part of the reason the Phoenix group is moving after 17 years, officials say.
For months, Arizona gaming officials have been letting groups like the legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Elks know that such activity is not legal under state law. The crackdown grows out of a 2013 legal ruling that is being appealed and freshly challenged.
At question is whether the video terminals operated with tokens and debit cards backed by cash are “pretend gambling,” as the non-profits assert, or illegal gambling, as the state sees it.
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