Monthly Archives: November 2008

More sources casting doubt on the casino’s ability to provide money to schools

In a recent article by the Columbia Tribune, the Missouri Gaming Commission and the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education explained why Prop A money should not be counted on:

[Gene McNary, executive director of the Missouri Gaming Commission (MGC)] visited casinos in St. Louis and Kansas City last week and said managers are “feeling that people are cutting back on the amounts they will lose and the number of times they’ll play.”

The casino initiative went into effect immediately after the election, which means casinos already have begun paying higher taxes. But school districts don’t expect to see any new revenue until summer.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) “told us not to expect a penny until July 1 at the earliest,” Quinley said.

“We’re telling” districts “not to appropriate any of the money yet,” [DESE Associate Commissioner Gerri Ogle] said. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”

So the earliest schools could see money is after July 2009, but that assumes the casinos even provide enough money to schools to make a difference.  With the casinos’ chief lobbyist, Mike Winter, backpedaling on the casinos’ ability to meet their promise of money to schools, and now with MGC’s Executive Director making the same statement, combined with DESE’s “wait and see” statement, the outlook for Missouri schools doesn’t seem too promising.

The Casinos are already backpedaling on their promises from Proposition A

In a recent article in the Springfield News-Leader Mike Winter, the executive director for the Missouri Gaming Association, said they may not be able to deliver on their promise of new money to schools:

While pushing Proposition A, which removed the $500 loss limit per two-hour “excursion,” proponents pointed to an estimate by the state auditor’s office that eliminating the cap would bring in an additional $105 million to $130 million in new money for schools.

That was before the economy went into a nosedive.  “We’re not different than other industries,” said Michael Winter, executive director of the Missouri Gaming Association. “There is the potential for individuals to re-evaluate whether they want to come to our properties.”

He said it’s also too early to know whether projections for increased ridership with the passage of Proposition A will be realized because they were made earlier in the year when the economy wasn’t so bleak.

It’s funny how quickly the casinos changed their tune.  Their argument is that the projections were made in early January and that they cant be trusted now in this current economic climate.  That argument was not being made just a few weeks ago during the campaign during the same economic conditions.  This is just another example of how the casinos lied to people to get what they wanted, followed by poor excuses for why they lied and why they cant deliver the money to schools.  I don’t know who is more at blame, the casinos for their deceptive methods, or the people who fell for their schemes not once, but now twice.

Man Shot in the Face at Ameristar Casino

KMBC reported this tragic story:

Police are investigating after a 54-year-old man was shot leaving Ameristar Casino early Friday morning.

KMBC’s Jana Corrie reported that the victim was a passenger in a car that was leaving the casino. Police told Corrie that an older-model blue car with peeling paint cut off the car the victim was in near the casino’s exit. A man in the blue car got out and shot the man in the face.

The victim has serious injuries, but is expected to recover.

Police said they are looking for two men who were in the blue car. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

Statement on Proposition A

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Nov 4, 2008) ST LOUIS – In today’s election, Proposition A has been passed.

Evelio Silvera, spokesperson for Casino Watch Committee issued the following statement:

“We are grateful for all those who joined us in this grassroots effort to protect Missouri families. We stood strong in a bipartisan effort along side both gubernatorial candidates, elected officials, superintendents, educators, virtually every major state newspaper, and Missouri citizens. It is unfortunate however, that the $16 million, carefully constructed campaign of distraction, has succeeded, especially in light of all three Missouri teachers unions refusing to endorse Proposition A. We wish we were able to deliver this message to more families.”

“We are truly a grassroots campaign made up of volunteers around the state. We want to thank them for their effort as well as other key organizations such as Eagle Forum, Concerned Woman of America, Family Research Council and Focus on the Family, Missouri Family Network, The Missouri Catholic Conference, the Missouri Baptist Convention, and especially Bott Radio Network.”

The Casinos Spent over $12 million Out of State for ‘Yes on A’ campaign instead of investing the money in Missouri Companies

The casinos have long claimed that they invest in our communities and help stimulate our economy.  But reports from the ethics commission reveal that 82% of the Yes on A spending went out of state.  Very little was spent in the state as $12,380,082 were sent out of state.  The biggest recipient was the Hollywood CA company they hired to run the strategy and commercials for their deceptive campaign –  Winner & Mandabach received $9,162,281.   A Seattle WA printing company received $2,056,922, National Petition Management in Michigan received almost a million dollars and they spend almost $200,000 in other miscellaneous charges out of the state.

The only real spending in the state was to a few PR firms, their spokespersons, and the law enforcement
and teachers they paid to endorse Prop A.  The casinos could even buy there promotional t-shirts here in Missouri; they paid the Las Vegas company Eagle Promotions over $30,000 for their shirts.

These spending habits are simply a microcosm of how the casinos do business.  Casinos don’t help our economy.  They take money away from small business and restaurants all around the state and instead of that money being reinvested in our community, its get shipped out to Las Vegas.  This information and more can be found in our Policy Brief entitled “Expanded Gambling & the Loss Limit: How its removal will impact Missouri”

Please vote NO on Proposition A, and tell everyone you know to visit

Clean Sweep: The SouthEast Missourian Rounds Out the State Papers for “NO” on Prop A Endorsements

On Sunday the SouthEast Missourian endorsed a “NO” vote on Prop A:

This proposition has been touted as a way to raise more than $100 million for public education in Missouri, but the estimates are questionable, particularly at a time when the economy is down, as reflected by casino revenue in recent months. The real aim of the proposition is to remove the state’s loss limit and limit the number of casinos, thereby reducing both competition and future casino development around the state. This is not a good plan.

Now every major paper from around the state that has taken an editorial position has endorsed a “NO” vote on Proposition A.  Endorsements include, The Kansas City Star and KC Tribune, The Joplin Globe, The Jefferson City News Tribune, The Columbia Tribune, The SouthEast Missourian and the St Louis Post Dispatch.  Pick your reason or pick your paper, they all lead to a “NO” Vote on Proposition A. Campaign Hits the Airwaves with TV Ad “Rotten Proposition”

ST.LOUIS – Nov. 1 – Casino Watch Committee, the Campaign today released its latest television ad, entitled “Rotten Proposition.” The ad highlights the main endorsements and arguments against Proposition A.

The ad will air Saturday, November 1st through Election Day throughout Missouri on various cable networks.