COPY-SLED chief wants to know if machines are legal

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - State police in South Carolina are moving cautiously as they investigate whether new machines showing up in stores and bars are illegal gambling devices.

The State newspaper reported Wednesday ( that SLED Chief Mark Keel is trying to determine if the machines violate the state's 2000 ban on video poker machines.

Keel says agents want to make sure if they seize the machines, the cases will hold up in court.

Columbia attorney Jim Griffin represents gaming machine interests and says the new devices may look like the old video poker machines, but they actually are very different.

Griffin says the new machines are similar to cash sweepstakes offered by restaurants, grocers and Publishers Clearing House.

Keel says he's getting complaints from sheriffs and police chiefs about the new machines.

Information from: The State,

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