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Summary: Currently, license holders for "music or skill or pleasure coin-operated machines" must report certain information to the comptroller's office. This information includes the type of machine, serial number, date placed in operation and most recent registration. HB 137 would also require the license holders to report the name and address of the owner of the machine and anyone who has more than a 10% stake in the proceeds from the machine. Additionally, HB 137 would elevate any failure to report this information from a Class B to a Class A misdemeanor. HB 137 also elevates a gambling promotion crime from a Class A misdemeanor to a state jail felony.
Analysis: This legislation increases the general trend of overcriminialization by increasing the level of penalty associated with behavior that is already against the law. HB 137 adjusts the penalties for gambling and gambling promotion so that the punishments do not fit the crimes. This represents an unnecessary escalation of the scope of government that will lead to increased incarceration costs and worsen prison overcrowding. We oppose HB 137.