It has been well documented how the casino industry has been chipping away at the original law approved by the voters in Missouri. We went from real historical riverboat casinos to buildings like Lumiere Place, that not only fail to resemble anything like a boat, they are hundreds of feat away from the river. One look at some of Missouri’s casinos, and you would have no idea that we only legalized riverboat gambling. The last remnant of the original law is the $500 loss limit. The casinos have seen double digit increases in revenue almost every year, yet they are still campaigning for its removal.
When deciding if the loss limit should be removed its important to focus on just how much money is being lost by Missouri families. The slowed economy has surely had a measurable impact on local casinos, as their profits have been down over the last half of the year. But as Bob Priddy of Missourinet explains:
Missouri’s casinos had some struggles in the fiscal year just ended although the industry did generate a little more revenue than the previous fiscal year. Nine of Missouri’s 12 casinos had less income last year than the year before.
The nine casinos did not LOSE money—their income was just down… Regardless of all the industries ups and downs in the recent fiscal year, Missouri’s casinos took in more than 1.6-billion dollars.
So even in a time when the economy is slowing, when discretionary income is shrinking because of high gas and fuel prices and when other major gambling centers like Vegas and Atlantic City are seeing huge drops in revenue, Missouri casinos managed to take away a record $1.6 billion from Missouri families and other businesses. This amazing feat is with a $500 loss limit and now the industry wants you to remove that limit and cost families, by their own figures, another half a billion dollars.
I can think of no worse public policy than one that expands a system that is in place to make you believe you can find prosperity and fortune by gambling away the few critical and important dollars that are left to your family, during a time when we are all feeling such economic pressure. Its completely irresponsible to expand gambling, increase false hope, and prey on those who feel the pinch during a weak economy and I urge you to stand against such action.