Last Tuesday, Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan certified a casino industry-backed initiative petition that would eliminate the $500 loss limit and raise casino taxes by one percent. In addition, this casino initiative which has been titled the “Yes for Schools First” initiative eliminates the mandatory checking of identification.
Casino Watch Executive Director, Evelio Silvera was quoted in the Kansas City Star about the ballot intiative:
“We’re looking forward to educating people on exactly what the consequences of passing this are,” said Evelio Silvera, executive director of the St. Louis-based Casino Watch citizens group, citing problem gamblers as one group that could be victimized by looser rules.
Silvera said some law enforcement agencies also could line up against the measure, because it would make it more difficult to identify gamblers, especially those who have been banned from the casino for criminal activity or have self-banned themselves to control their gambling habit.
The Gaming Commission last year sought unsuccessfully to toughen identification rules through the use of biometrics or fingerprinting.
Silvera on Tuesday said his group is encouraged by a Missouri Gaming Commission survey earlier this year that found more than 60 percent of those surveyed favored the loss limit versus about 25 percent who were opposed to its use in the state’s casino.
“I feel very confident that the gaming commission’s survey showed some attitude advantages for us,” he said.