Sen. Charlie Shields' bill to repeal the loss limits at Missouri casinos sailed through the Senate, but it appears to be in for some rough sledding in the House.
Speaker of the House Rod Jetton has problems with the repeal, which would encourage problem gamblers to lose far more money than they can afford:
Jetton said he likes the idea of more college scholarships for younger Missourians. But he said he was still put off by ending the loss limits — a move gambling critics say curbs the so-called “sucker factor."
“Yes, I love the scholarship part of that bill. I think that would be wonderful for the kids of Missouri. I would love to try and get that accomplished,” Jetton said. “Even with this MOHELA talk, this is where I wanted to go. Now the governor was very cooperative in putting $50 million extra in scholar-ships this year, which I thought was a great investment. I’m not as big on tax increases, but you know, I guess I could suffer through a tax increase if it would go through that scholarship program. But you know, loss limits again — I think more harm comes from removing them.”
The post on Jason Rosenbaum's Columbia Tribune political blog notes that the bill's proponents say that leaving the loss limits in place encourages gamblers to go to other states.
It's bad enough that the state of Missouri is in the gambling business at all. Let's at least leave the loss limits in place and maintain a semblance of decency.