One-third of Governor Bob Holden’s proposal for changes in casino laws has been introduced in the State Senate by a Senator some might think is unlikely to back such a proposal. St. Louis Senator Patrick Doughtery wants to get rid of the $500 loss limit. Dougherty is often seen as an advocate of programs for the poor, elderly, and the sick. Critics of casino gambling sometimes claim that gambling takes advantage of the poor and people on fixed incomes. But Dougherty argues that eliminating the loss limit will increase losses and thus, increase state gambling tax revenue, which, in turn, will provide money to avoid cuts in social services programs. Dougherty has asked the Senate staff to look into whether removal of the loss limit will hurt people who should not gamble or those who cannot afford to gamble. He doesn’t think it will change anything – because people can lose $500 every two hours under the present law anyway.
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