Video gambling -- one step closer to online?
By staff
The Tavern League of Wisconsin wants to wash its hands of its illegal video poker machine business and, much like the online casino industry, is asking the state to regulate rather than tolerate.

Taverns across Wisconsin have been offering video gaming machines for quite some time. The games are legally required to carry a label indicating that they are for amusement purposes only. But according to Wisconsin insiders, bars are paying out on the machines and in so doing are in violation of state gaming laws. Video poker and cherry machines are the most popular games and bars, and operate much the same as online casino slot machines and video poker machines.

Tavern owners are not in fear of operating illegal machines as in 1999 the penalty for offering illegal gaming machines and taverns was reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor with a possible fine.

The state stands to earn a proposed 50 percent of the revenue generated from such machines. But the machines are also boon to state business as some of the taverns operating the machines are kept in business by their proceeds.

If the state of Wisconsin legalizes such machines it would only be a logical progression to allow its citizens to gamble online. But politics being the way they are, the state could stand on the other side of the fence in toughen laws restricting online gambling in an attempt to boost revenue on their Tavern based video gambling machines.

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