The supposed coalition that once called themselves “Yes for Schools First” and now “Yes on A”, is looking to expand their efforts to secure the half a billion dollar gambling expansion they are selling as an effort to support Missouri schools. Casino Watch reported that two casinos, Ameristar and Pinnacle, are responsible for virtually ever dollar of support for the ballot initiative as the two had already invested millions of dollars into the campaign and the few remaining support dollars came from the Missouri Gaming Associating, the lobbying group for the casino industry. If this issue is all about the schools then why, up to that point, was it entirely driven, from start to finish, by the casinos industry, not the school industry? But with new ethics reports available, there would surely be a large amount of financial backing and support from the schools systems right? Wrong. Once again, this great coalition of those looking out for schools is solely the casino industry. The Turner Report explains:
Forget Kenny Hulshof and Jay Nixon.
The big money in the 2008 November general election is coming from two casinos attempting to push a measure going before Missouri voters that would remove loss limits and eliminate competition.
Both casinos gave $1,787,500 to the Yes on A Coalition, for a total of $3,575,000, according to 48-hour reports filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission. Pinnacle Entertainment made its contribution Sept. 2 while the Ameristar Casino money came on Sept. 8.
Though the committee made early claims about widespread support from educators, all of the money to support the measure comes from Ameristar Casinos and Pinnacle Entertainment.
In a time when the economy is slowing, when discretionary income is shrinking because of high gas and fuel prices and when other states and 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 last year. This amazing feat was accomplished with a $500 loss limit. The casinos believe if the loss limit is removed they will take in an additional HALF A BILLION dollars, which represents a 33% expansion of gambling in Missouri. With the proposed cap, they are attempting to monopolize the market so only they have access to Missouri families hard earned dollars. So I ask you: Is this all about the schools, or is it a massive, monopolistic expansion of gambling?