Casino Watch Focus has repeatedly reported on a unique protection that used to protect Missouri families from devastating gambling loss known as the Loss Limit. This protection would only allow any one person the ability to purchase $500 in gambling chips every two hours. This law protected families for most of Missouri’s legalized gambling era until it was defeated with a well-orchestrated and funded ballot initiative. The leading argument was to allow for an expanded opportunity to bring in high rollers to Missouri. Once the Loss Limit was removed though, it also opened the door for more money to be lost by the everyday local gambler and in doing so, it put more families at risk. The removal of the Loss Limit has apparently not been enough for the casino industry as they have now pushed and succeeded at passing legislation that will allow loans up to $10,000 to gamblers. An online source provides some key information to how this may hurt those with addiction:
Missouri casinos will be able to loan gamblers at least $10,000 after Governor Nixon allowed a bill to become law.
Community Counseling Center Therapist Rick Strait said, “Some of the clients I work with, I see this putting them at a greater risk for depression and anxiety, and I think it’s going to have a very negative impact on those addicted.”
Those that are true “high-rollers” will have no need for such a credit line. To them, it wont really be enough for them to matter much. However, casinos offering credit lines up to $10K to the average gambler can cause serious problems. The online source explains that the loans must be paid back quickly, so the casinos will use some discretion when it comes to credit worthiness, but if someone needs a line of credit and can qualifying for an on the spot loan instead of them needing to leave the casino to obtain funds and having a cooling off period to rethink their decision, then it opens the door for all kinds of financial burden on families including the potential for suicide:
Representatives from the Missouri Gaming Commission said the loans must be paid back quickly.
“It has to be by statute a zero percent loan and it has to be due within 30 days the loan has been taken out,” said Grewach.
“If they can’t pay it in 30 days , the anxiety and desperation it may cause, it may cause somebody to have suicidal thoughts…’there’s no way I can pay this back now, I borrowed $10,000 and can’t pay it back; I don’t know the consequences of not paying it, is it going to be collections or is this going to put their house or bank account in jeopardy as well,” said Strait.
For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION