Kachlon: Now Illegal Slot Machines Will Be Buried or Sent Abroad

Finance Minister Moshe Kachlon. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

As of Sunday, the Lottery Authority’s (Mifal Hapayis) “one-armed bandits” – slot machines stationed in kiosks and candy stores in some neighborhoods of Tel Aviv, Haifa and development towns in the north and south – are illegal, and Finance Minister Moshe Kachlon declared before the Knesset that they would never return. “We will junk these machines or send them abroad,” Kachlon said. “I am proud that we were able to shut down these evil machines.”

The banning of the machines was part of an overall war Kachlon has declared against gambling of all types. Besides removing the slot machines, the government approved a law, which also came into effect on January 1st, to tax lottery winnings of prizes as little as NIS 5,000. According to Kachlon, “involvement in gambling is an unacceptable addiction for many people seeking a better life. It is a fantasy that ends up working against them, as it turns them into addicts. As a result, I will seek ways to implement this report’s findings into law.”

Speaking before the Knesset, Kachlon said that gambling in general, and the slot machines in particular, had caused the breakups of many families. “The machines were placed in neighborhoods where there are many poor people. They were a way to cheat people. I declared months ago that we would put an end to this, and these machines will no longer remain in Israel. For those who fear that the underworld will now take over this function, I say that I rely on police and enforcement authorities to prevent this from happening.”