The state gaming commission is considering whether to let people ban themselves from casinos only temporarily—instead of for life. But the commission is not ready to take that step, yet. People who ban themselves from casinos in Missouri must ban themselves for life. The gaming commission has taken its first look at a series of rules changes that would let them ban themselves for two years. It has decided the proposed changes need more polishing and more thought and has told staff members to come back with revisions. The administrator of the problem gambling program, Melissa Stephens, says the new program offers troubled gamblers opportunities for counseling and corrective action. The individual would have to go through several steps during two years of a temporary personally-imposed ban before deciding on a temporary or permanent ban. She says the intent of the program is not to keep people out of casinos, but to provide them with a program that lets them help themselves and be responsible for their own behavior. Stephens says it’s a major program and the changes being recommended are comprehensive. But she says the commission has decided to move cautiously. She’s not sure when a new proposal will be ready for commissioners.
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