AUDIO: Gewach interview 11:16A proposal to let those who commit the most common law violation in Missouri’s casinos get only a slap on the wrist has been slapped down by Governor Nixon. 

 The bill that started out increasing maximum salaries of the Kansas City police force wound up with several other issues tacked on.  One provision would have weakened the deterrent for people younger than 21 who want to gamble and drink.

The chief lawyer for the state gaming commission, Ed Gewach,says the most recurring problem with violations of casino laws is that hundreds of  people too young to be on a casino floor legally make it through security, usually with false ID.  Present law says those young people are risking as much as six months in jail and a $500 fine.

Enough of them have gotten in during the last fifteen years or so that casinos have been fined about $1.7-million.  

The bill would have eliminated any jail time and just left young violators open to a $500 fine  and no crime on their records if they use false ID to gamble.  Governor Nixon hasn’t bought the casino argument that lessening  the penalty would further deter underage gambling.   The bill is one of 17 he has vetoed so far.