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Minister Leads Convenience Store Boycott

WHITEFIELD, Okla. -- An eastern Oklahoma pastor is leading a boycott of local convenience stores, criticizing the stores' telephone-card devices that operate similar to slot machines, reports the Associated Press.

Rev. Kevin Duncan, pastor of the Whitefield Baptist Church, said the machines too closely resemble slot machines, which are illegal in the state of Oklahoma. He initiated the informal boycott two months ago and has since persuaded several parishioners to join in.

To operate the now controversial machines, players insert between $1 and $100, push a button, and are awarded a phone card of nominal value and a chance at winning cash.

The manager of a Stigler, Okla., store, six miles from Whitefield, said he paid out the maximum $1,600 prize three times one weekend.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Neal Leader said the devices fit under what he called Oklahoma's “very broad definition,” of illegal slot machines.

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