The gambling industry has launched its annual assault on the loss limits at Missouri’s casinos.
The loss limit is the only remaining one of all the conditions put on casinos when casino gambling was legalized 15 years ago. The gaming industry has insisted the loss limits put Missouri casinos at a completive disadvantage with other states. Supporters of the limit say they have not kept the gambling industry from making bigger profits every year.
But Senator Scott Rupp argues the limit will cripple Missouri’s casino industry in the Kansas City-area, soon.
Kansas has legalized casino gambling in our locations, one of which is just across the state line in the Kansas City area. Rupp says forty percent of the customers using the casinos in western Missouri come from Kansas, which will not have any loss limits. He says the precipitous loss of business at the Kansas City casinos will take a large bite out of the state budget for education.
Opponents say Rupp’s logic is faulty—that western Missouri boats won’t lose 40 percent of their business just because that many customers come from Kansas. Further, they say, public surveys show that the loss limit is not a factor in gamblers’ decisions to visit this casino or that one. They also note that gambling’s contribution to the state budget for education is only a small part of the overall state education spending package.
A senate committee is considering Rupp’s bill. It is similar to one that generated a filibuster last year.