Last Night residents of Jefferson City attended a public hearing at City Hall to voice their opinions to members of the City Council concerning the issue of allowing a vote to change the city charter to allow a casino.
Over 60 people attended the public hearing with 24 choosing to speak to the City Council. The overwhelming opinion was against allowing a casino in Jefferson City with only three of the 24 speakers being in favor of a casino. According to KRCG13, “If it’s any indication, don’t bet on riverboat gaming coming to Jefferson City – at least, not anytime soon.”
This is not the only public hearing that will be held for Jefferson City residents to speak to the City Council, another hearing has been scheduled for January 3, 2008 at City Hall.
In the meantime you are still encouraged to contact the members of the City Council and share your thoughts on a casino. Contact information for each of the members of the city Council can be found on the Jefferson City webpage, here.
As reported in the Kansas City Star:
A Clay County jury has awarded a woman $1 million in actual and punitive damages after she claimed Harrah’s North Kansas City Casino and Hotel wrongfully terminated her. Former security employee Michele Chambers of Kansas City said she was fired after she alerted the Missouri Gaming Commission that she was instructed by supervisors not to investigate, intervene or report to the commission gamblers who use multiple player cards in violation of state law. Violation of Missouri’s player-card rules could aid high rollers or compulsive gamblers seeking to exceed the state’s $500 buy-in limit every two hours and wager more than the law allows.”
The story goes on to quote Casino Watch Executive Director, Evelio Silvera:
Bevelio (sic) Silvera, executive director at Casino Watch, a St. Louis-based anti-gambling citizens group in Missouri, was dismayed by the jury’s findings. This is an example becoming public of what we had suspected and hadn’t hoped was common practice — skirting the laws of Missouri, he said. I applaud this woman for what she’s gone through, the loss of her job…intimidation,’ Silvera said. He said he hoped her victory in court would encourage other casino workers to more readily report wrongdoing by casinos.”
It is important to note that this case which involves a casino employee being fired for reporting the violation of Missouri law by Harrah’s to Gaming Official representatives at the casino HAS NOT been investigated by the Missouri Gaming Commission. One can only wonder why the Executive Director of the Gaming Commission has yet to call for an investigation…maybe these headlines will spur on some action. UPDATE 12/20: Well now it seems there will be an investigation into this matter by the Missouri Gaming Commission.
In 2006 Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. UIGEA made it illegal for online gambling companies to accept money for unlawful Internet gambling transactions and it called for regulations on the banking and payment processing industry.
In a joint letter, a coalition of family and faith-based organizations including Focus on the Family Action, American Family Association, Eagle Forum, National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling, American Values, Family Research Council, Christian Coalition of America and American Association of Christian Schools, explained that:
Internet gambling represents the most invasive and addictive form of gambling in history. Speed, accessibility, availability and anonymity make Internet gambling the perfect storm for gambling addiction. Internet gambling also creates fertile ground for criminal activity and threatens homeland security by potentially funding terrorist activity.
More than 230 million Americans access the Internet, many of whom are children and adolescents. Internet gambling extends beyond state borders, beyond democratically enacted laws and is piped directly into millions of homes. Before Congress passed UIGEA, nearly 3,000 online casinos could be accessed instantly with the click of a mouse. (more…)
For the full Casino Watch Review along with UIGEA Updates click here.
Recently Casino Watch issued a statement to each member of the City Council for Jefferson City, Missouri concerning the proposal to allow a vote to change the city charter to allow casino gambling in the Missouri Capital City. Since many questions have been raised concerning the economic consequences of allowing a casino in Jefferson City our statement provides several documented sources aimed at providing some of the economic costs of a casino.
Dear City Council Member,
As a member of the city council you face an extremely important decision regarding the placement of an initiative on the ballot to remove the current gambling ban in Jefferson City. The initial decision may seem easy; simply place the initiative on the ballot and let the people decide. Unfortunately, history of other cities and municipalities show the situation as not that simple. If this issue is brought back up for a vote, your city and your people will be subjected to a well-funded campaign of nonacademic disinformation by the gambling industry. As explained in the Stanford Journal of Law 2003, they routinely use their influence to create studies that don’t have backed university support, that don’t properly provide the numbers behind their research necessary for proper peer review and are produced by biased pro gambling interests. As a consumer watchdog organization, Casino Watch is concerned that proper academically peer reviewed non-biased information will be lost. We want to supply you with as much reputable information as possible so you can make the best decision for not only the citizens of Jefferson City, but also for the entire state of Missouri.
Read the entire statement here.
Links to News Stories:
– KOMU.com: Jefferson City Considers Gambling
– News Tribune: Revisiting Riverboat Gambling
– KRCG.com: Gambling in Jefferson City?
Links to Other Organizations:
– Missouri Clergy Against Gambling Expansion