Friday, May 25, 2012

Illegal gaming machines are illegal...

No shit?  Sounds like a pretty stupid title for today's post right?  Of course illegal gaming machines are illegal!  


In case you forgot, the expert witness who examined over a hundred of these illegal gaming machines (AKA maquinitas) concluded that not only were the machines indeed nothing more than slot machines whose outcome had nothing to do with the players skills and because of the way they were configured, they were designed to cheat the poor folks that were playing them.  From the report...
This morphing permits the machine's computer to defeat any attempt at skill, and to deliver an outcome that was chosen in advance by the computer. Not only is this machine designed and manufactured specifically for the purpose of gambling; it is also designed to cheat the customer.
OK, I'm sure by now you all get it and are sick of hearing about how the machines are illegal, etc, etc, etc...


Let's forget about the machines being illegal for a moment, forget about the fact that they're designed to screw the players and the fact that they circumvent any revenue generating taxing scheme for the city or state.  Back during the summer of 2010, City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado championed an ordinance to regulate coin operated amusement machines which in essence was a ploy to legalize the maquinitas that we've become so fond of talking about.  If you bought into Regalado's theory, since the maquinitas are nothing more than coin operated "amusement machines" rather than have them scattered about the city, his plan was to create a law that required each and everyone of these machines to be licensed and by doing so creating an additional revenue stream for the city.  Check out how he pitched it to the city commission back in June 24, 2010...

Mayor Tom├ís Regalado:  Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, members of the Commission.  FR.2 is an ordinance on first reading.  I would tell you that this ordinance, the final product, is the result of several month [sic] working with the Law Department, with the Finance Department, and the Administration to have this ordinance in place.  The reason that we did a new approved moratorium on the sale of stickers or license for coin-operated machines -- and this moratorium will be in place until September -- is precisely because we went -- we were working on this ordinance and it needed a lot of research.  We met with the chief of Police.  We met with the Finance Department; of course, the Law Department was there.  We also met with the representative of Magic City Casino that will be opposing this ordinance.  However, I think that we need to hear from the Finance Department because what this ordinance does is rectify a process that has been wrong for the last years.  We -- if we pass this ordinance, we will know exactly where each machine is; now, we don't.  In the past, there were some machines that were seized, but at the end, the courts ruled one way or another.  And there's still hundreds of machines in the City of Miami.  


OK, so now the Mayor wants to lump together these maquinitas with all other types of coin operated machines and license them, therefore in his eyes, the maquinitas are no different than say a pinball machine or a coin operated PacMan machine.  He goes on...

Mayor Regalado: But if I may, Commissioner, 90 percent of the ordinance is to regulate the machines because now we don't know where the machines are.  Actually, I think the Manager went and look at a number of the machine and called the Finance Department, and he can -- they couldn't say where that machine was because it was one of the hundreds of the stickers that are running around.  If we do this ordinance, then we will know where each machine, each stickers belongs to, what address, and who pulled that permit.  If an inspector or a police officer goes and see that the machine has been altered, because it has to be altered to use that machine for gambling purposes, then there will be a civil fine of $500 to the person that operate the business.  And there's also a caveat that could be included that if a business is operating a gambling machine, then the City has the right to pull the occupational license, which is an extreme measure, but it's part of the regulation.  So the other thing is that now we do not have the manpower to monitor those machines.  They're everywhere.  But if we do this ordinance, then Finance will have the possibility of having their inspector checking each of the places and also checking occupational license, which many in the City don't have.  We have -- I mean, we have a list officially of 13 -- 14,311 occupational license for business [sic] in the City of Miami.  I imagine that there are more that don't have occupational license.  I've seen one, at least.  I've seen one business operator with no license at all.  And we do not have the manpower to go door-by-door.  But I just think that we have several options.  We have the options of keeping the moratorium, not selling any license; keeping the process as it is, selling $480 and you get all the stickers; or changing the Code so we can regulate more, and we could use the revenue to check on the machines.  Actually, we're not condoning or inciting this kind of practice because it's already there.  I mean, in the past, there were a group of police officers that every night went to cafeterias and they took down some of the machines.  Some of the people went to court.  City, I believe, won two cases.  City lost, as you know, several cases.  Many cases were dismissed.  So many, many cases were dismissed because of the arrests that were made that were not good arrests and all that.  So this is the intent to regulate.  
Whatever the fuck ever.  According to this new plan, the machines are all going to get licensed and not only will the city enjoy the revenues from these licenses but according the mayor, the city will also know where each and everyone of the machines are for whatever that's worth.   He concludes with this...
 And I do understand what you are going to hear from Magic City Casino.  You know, they have a casino, but it's different.  You get money and you get -- and the machines are not supposed to give you back.  It's illegal.  It's in the ordinance.  It's in the affidavit.  And anybody who does that will be fined and the machine will be confiscated.  So I just wanted to state that.  
Huh?  Does that make any sense to you?  Try it again...
And I do understand what you are going to hear from Magic City Casino.  You know, they have a casino, but it's different.  You get money and you get -- and the machines are not supposed to give you back.  It's illegal.




I'm not even going to try to make sense of that.  So let's disregard the fact that the machines the mayor is talking about in this ordinance are illegal and for the sake of argument lets say that they're nothing more than coin operated machines that are for amusement purposes only.  By licensing these machines and making their owners pay some sort of tax, in the eyes of our mayor and the City of Miami, these machines are now magically legal.  That's all well and good if you can overlook the fact that the mayor has essentially given a free pass to all the maquinita owners.  So what's this ordinance from nearly two years ago have to do with our story?  Old news you say?  Correct, it is old news, in fact the owners of these "maquinitas" have had two years to get licenses for their machines and therefore theoretically, the City of Miami by now has been collecting at least two years worth of license revenues from the machines that are littered all over the city.  


All good right?  All would be good if that was really the case, let's go back for a moment and take a look at those machines located in the first floor of the building that houses the Spanish radio station, 670 AM "La Poderosa" that we talked about a few days ago, if you remember, we found three "maquinitas" in the cafeteria that's located on the buildings first floor.  Take a closer look at the machines again and see if you can spot any of those coin operated amusement license decals that the mayor was championing back in the summer of 2010...






Would you look at that?  Not a single decal, sticker or any sort of license for these machines from the City of Miami!  In fact, the only sticker of any sort on these machines is this one...


Of course the machines are for amusement purposes only!

So there you have it, unless the City of Miami licenses are affixed beneath these machines, they appear to be operating illegally.  Even under the mayor's goofy licensing scheme where the machines would be legal, without the licenses whether they're games of skill or games of chance, they're 100% illegal because they're not properly permitted!  LOL!  So much for the mayor's ordinance and all the additional revenue it was supposed to bring the city...




2 comments:

  1. Lol i remember these machines from every single "cafeteria" i went to when i was younger... I actually feel bad for the drunks dumping there money into what's been proven to be a rigged a game...

    And my god... Regalado's words make my brain hurt...

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  2. Strawbuyer, what is the problem? city hall is one big "Maquinita" the same concept in the machines is the same at city hall Regalado just wants to be consistant.

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