Missouri Senate Ways and Means Committee holds hearing over loss limit removal

Sen. Scott Rupp has introduced legislation (Senate Bill 1052) which would remove the $500 Loss Limit. Yesterday, the Senate Ways and Means Committee heard testimony regarding the merits of SB 1052 and will be voting on whether this bill will be sent out of committee to the floor for debate.

From Jason Noble at the Kansas City Star:

Missouri lawmakers on Monday renewed the debate over casino loss limits, a subject that generated lots of action but no payoff in the legislature last year…

…Opponents on Monday said loss limits were an important check for problem gamblers and were preferred by most casino patrons.

Evelio Silvera, executive director of the anti-gambling organization Casino Watch, pointed to a market study conducted by the University of Missouri-St. Louis for the Missouri Gaming Commission that showed more than 60 percent of gamblers favored loss limits. The study also said loss limits did not factor strongly into a gambler’s decision to attend one casino over another…

…Casino operators have a backup plan should the legislation fail again.

In December, a coalition of gambling companies filed paperwork for an initiative petition that would seek to put many of the changes found in the bill on the ballot. If lawmakers cannot get it done, then the casinos will put the issue to voters directly.

From Bob Priddy at Missourinet:

The gambling industry has launched its annual assault on the loss limits at Missouri’s casinos…

…Opponents say Rupp’s logic is faulty—that western Missouri boats won’t lose 40 percent of their business just because that many customers come from Kansas. Further, they say, public surveys show that the loss limit is not a factor in gamblers’ decisions to visit this casino or that one. They also note that gambling’s contribution to the state budget for education is only a small part of the overall state education spending package.

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