Defending traditional families

Gambling, 2005 Summary

2005 Legislative Summary (Regular Session)

Lottery Advertising – SLASHED!

Luckytown: Missouri’s most deceitful & fraudulent town (you can’t get there from here) is in a budget crunch! State Lawmakers have tried for years to cut back on state sponsored gambling advertising, only to be thwarted by twelve years of lottery support activism from the Governor’s office. Legislative leaders this year have slashed the budget for lottery advertising, and have done so without an ounce of opposition from Governor Blunt. Your calls to Jefferson City have been heard – “Luckytown is a con – you can’t get there from here!” – lawmakers agree, the state should not spend taxpayer dollars
to induce people to gamble on lotteries.

Gambling Expansions – DEFEATED!

HB 203 tried to expand commercialized bingo and authorize the game of multihall bingo. Under this proposal electronic bingo machines would be networked across cities with huge jackpots.

HB 691 and SB 430 would have allowed ‘kiddy casinos’ otherwise known as ‘slots-for-tots’ by revising the definition of “gambling device”. These bills offered to legalize awards valued up to five dollars per play on “amusement devices” by no longer defining them as “gambling”, but ‘non’ gambling devices. These are commonly marketed to youth and children with no age restrictions. Legalizing them would create an active kiddy casino industry in Missouri!

HR 298 would have the state officially recognize the Native American, Western Cherokee Indian Tribe. Any such official recognition would result in triggering federal laws to supercede state statutes. Such recognition from a Legislature or Governor will bring about Tribal Casinos with NO regulations – and egregious land grabs for all kinds of uses!

SJR 12 attempted to lower operator qualifications for conducting Bingo. The bill lowered requirement for membership from two years down to six months in any organization running bingo halls, and was soundly rejected in a previous statewide vote!

$500 Loss Limit – PRESERVED!

Direct bills like HB 71 by Craig Bland (D-43), HB 123 by Kate Meiners (D-46) and Terry Young (D-49), or SB 195 by Senator Chuck Graham (D-19) offered to eliminate the $500 Loss Limit at Missouri casinos. These bill were prevented from advancing before any of them could come out of committee. The bigger threats to eliminate loss limits came as amendments and plots to ‘extort’ the state budget. Efforts to manipulate the Foundation Formula for education funding, and various House and Senate strategies to amend repeal of loss limits to other bills all failed for this year!

Gambling Restrictions? – FAILED!

As members of the House and Senate struggled to address the casino industry in Missouri they were faced with placing limits on the number of casinos to allow (HB 560 by Rep. Mark Wright (R-137)), limits on the numbers of slot machines (SB 387 by Senator John Loudon (R-7)), restrictions on licenses to those connected to casino prostitution (SB 477 by Senator Delbert Scott (R-28)), efforts to prevent the Gaming Commission from considering redefining “main channel” of the river and allowing casinos to crawl further out of the water (HB 726 by Rep. Jack Jackson (R-89)), having a legitimate comprehensive study of pathological gambling and social cost in Missouri (SB 386 by Senator John Loudon (R-7)).

SPECIAL NOTE

In the end, no new gambling expansions were authorized, yet no restrictions or other moves were made to cut back on Missouri’s casino or other gambling industries. As frustrating as it is to see restrictions fail – projections demonstrate that a repeal of the $500 loss limit would result in the largest gambling expansion in fifteen years! Pro-family folks need to thank the Legislature (your House/Senate members and the leadership teams in the Speaker of the House and Senate pro-tem offices) as well as the Attorney General and Governor who openly advocated NOT repealing Missouri’s $500 loss limit!