State VFW says video poker popularity at local posts dulled by time, law
Dana Hussey, state adjutant for Veterans of Foreign Wars, said poker machines used to be prevalent in the 51 VFW posts across the state. But as posts gave them up over the years, Manchester was the only holdout, he said.
Poker machines are located in clubs and bars across the city. They are supposed to be used for amusement only, not for illegal cash payouts.
Assistant Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard said police are always looking to arrest people involved in illegal gambling. Gambling investigations are coordinated out of the Special Investigations Unit, which also handles drug crimes.
"Our concern is if it's as widespread as he indicated, no one contacted the police department," Willard said. "It shows how difficult it is to crack that culture."
A former police officer, Kincaid attributes the drop in poker machines to police crackdowns and a 2000 law that made gambling a felony.
For his part, Hussey said the statewide VFW couldn't say for sure whether posts paid cash prizes to the players who won video poker games, but he said many organizations got rid of machines after the penalty for illegal gambling became a felony.
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