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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 7:45 p.m., Thursday, July 20, 2006

Commission hears testimony on vending machines

By Jim Dooley
Advertiser Staff Writer

Without making a decision, the Honolulu Liquor Commission heard pro and con arguments this evening on whether vending machines that dispense "telephone calling cards" are actually gambling devices.

Former FBI agent William Holmes, a national expert hired by the commission to examine the devices, said they have been outlawed around the country because their real purpose is gambling.

Brad Wong, a distributor of the machines through a company called Reliable Vendors Co., Ltd., told the commission that his company and others in the business only began operations after the commission approved installation of them.

"There has been considerable money invested after we did our homework and we would stand to lose that" if the commission now outlaws the machines, Wong said.