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Letting of steam: Peruvian officials destroy 400 illegal slot machines

Peruvian female government officials were letting of some steam on Thursday morning. Mercedes Cabanillas, president of Congress, and Mercedes Aráoz, minister for tourism and foreign trade, destroyed nearly 400 illegal gambling machines confiscated by the police between December and January in several Peruvian cities, including the port of Callao.

The destruction of these gaming devices dubbed “Chinese machines” or “de bolita” (small ball) is part of a government campaign to fight against an increasing gambling habit among Peruvian minors. Today’s “demolition derby” marked already the second time this year. Officials said they are trying to eliminate or at least reduce the proliferation of these machines in warehouses and small businesses because it has become a serious addictive problem among children and adolescents.

The campaign against these gambling machines is nationwide. They were confiscated in cities all over Peru, like Ica and Chimbote, as well as in Lima’s districts of San Juan de Lurigancho, Chorrillos, the center, and of course Peru’s biggest port of Callao.

Aráoz stressed that the operation of these “Chinese machines” is prohibited in Peru because they specifically target minors and cause addictive behavior and the police will continue to monitor and search small warehouses (bodegas in Spanish) and other businesses.

The minister called on the population to report sightings and known installations by calling the telephone number 513-6100-9008. Your call will help keeping Peru’s children safe.

Casinos and other gambling halls are allowed to run these machines if they officially register them by a deadline hat will expire this Saturday, March 24th. Legal gambling businesses who miss these deadline will lose their license and will be closed, if the police finds one these machine on their premises.

Cabanillas also welcomed the campaign against these machines and asked all families, teachers and members of civil society to join the government’s efforts to eradicate these machines and to slim down gambling habits among children.