Missouri Legislative Report
Evelio Silvera, Executive Director
April 28-May 2, 2008

The legislature got off to a quick start on Monday evening as the House of Representatives once again debated HB 1929, which would remove the power to fine casinos away from the Gaming Commissioners and place it solely in the hands of the Executive Director of the Gaming Commission. Much to the ire of the bill sponsor and pro-gambling legislator Rep. Shannon Cooper, there are still not enough votes to pass HB 1929 and it was laid back on the calendar.

As we were meeting and educating several State Representatives on the problems with HB 1929, we noticed a new decoration on the door of Rep. Cooper’s office…a poster for Ameristar casino! It seems that Rep. Cooper who along with sponsoring HB 1929 is also sponsoring HB 2043 which would remove the $500 loss limit, has been taking in a great deal of casino lobbyist gifts. To read the full story and see the pictures visit our news blog at:
http://casinowatch.wordpress.com/2008/04/29/shamelessrep-shannon-cooper-never-met-a-casino-lobbying-gift-he-didnt-take/

The battle to protect Missouri families from gambling expansion and removal of the $500 loss limit may be waged in the Missouri Senate. HB 1864 which was amended by the Senate Ways and Means Committee to include removal of the loss limit was voted do pass by the committee and may be placed on the calendar for debate and consideration on the floor of the Senate. Many of our State Senators are facing immense pressure from the gambling industry, which is desperate to remove the loss limit and make losers of more Missourians to line their pockets and pad their bottom line. It is critical that Senators continue to hear from concerned citizens encouraging them to do what is right and vote NO on any legislation that would remove the loss limit. To learn more and contact your State Senator, visit our loss limit page at:
http://www.casinowatch.org/loss_limit/emerg_alert_3_5_07/emerg_alert_index.html

NEXT WEEK: We will continue working to defeat HB 1929, HB 1864 and SB 1052.

Bills currently being worked on:

SB988 Exempts Veterans, service, and fraternal organizations from bingo and pull tab taxes
SB1052 Loss Limit Removal
SB1171 Places a 2 year moratorium on casino licenses
HB1929 Empowers Gaming Commission Executive Director to levy fines
HB2420 Places a 3 year moratorium on casino licenses
HB2232 Limits the number of excursion gambling boat operator licenses
HB1813 Tax Exemption For Bingo
HB2416 Changes the laws regarding dog fighting
HB1864 Loss Limit Removal
HB1929 Excursion Gambling Boat Licensees
HB1357 Criminal Nonsupport
HB2043 Loss Limit Removal
HB1402 Compulsive Gamblers
HB1403 Excursion Gambling Boats
HB1682 Loss Limit Removal