Casino Watch Focus reported on a bill filed that was introduced in the Missouri legislature to allow casinos to extend lines of credit to gamblers. In a letter to Missouri Senators, Mark Andrews, Casino Watch Chairman, urged a “no” vote on HB 747. Shortly thereafter, a Senate committee took up the bill. The St. Louis Post Dispatch reported that the bill didn’t make it to the Senate floor:
In a vote this afternoon that surprised supporters, the Senate Commerce, Energy and Environment Committee deadlocked 4-4 on the measure, with two members absent. Tie votes kill bills. Sen. Joe Keaveny, who supported the bill, said he doubts there is time to resurrect it. The legislative session ends May 17.
Opponents said the legislation was not tailored solely to high rollers. Average Missourians would get in trouble if they had access to credit while gambling, the critics said.
Mark Andrews of Casino Watch, an anti-gambling group, sent a letter to the committee to urge a “no” vote. Andrews cited a 2006 Florida study that said access to credit accelerates the problems of addicted gamblers. “The very nature of compulsive gambling makes this transition from gambling with cash to gambling on credit a significant step, with repercussions for the gambler and his or her family and friends, employers, creditors and other contacts,” the study found, according to Andrews.
The bill could be brought back up next year, but for now, Missouri Families have been saved by these efforts.
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