DOVER, Del.- Delaware veterans came out in huge numbers Thursday to ask lawmakers to change the state's laws on video lottery machines.
Back in November, the state cracked down on the devices in places like VFWs and Moose lodges - citing issues over regulation and payout systems. That crack down was unexpected. These organizations had been operating these machines for years. But the state was letting it slide. Now the vets want something done.
They marched around the capital carrying signs and a message to lawmakers: "make our gaming machines legal." There were hundreds of veterans from across the state. Rick Norman came up from Seaford.
"This is something that's been allowed to happen for years," he said. "We're all non-profits. We're all here to support our communities, our youths. Without this we're in trouble. I think they need to step up and give us the support."
"These organizations put a lot of money back into their respective communities," said Mike Havel, from Smyrna.
A handful of lawmakers, including speaker of the house Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth., talked to the vets. The group explained they're committed to finding a solution.
"The governor has directed the secretary of finance to look into the matter and have a report for us," said Rep. Bill Carson, D-Smyrna. "We hope to have that very soon."
Lawyers for the general assembly are also taking a look. It could be a while before an official proposal is on the table. Norman already knows what he'd like it to be.
"They need to grandfather this back to where we were and allow us to continue to operate."
And he says if that means more state oversight - so be it.
A number of vets went into leg hall to watch the House in session. The speaker acknowledged them and pledged to work on the issue.
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