GAMBLING BILL AT TOP OF LEGISLATURE'S SCHEDULE!
From Kerry Messer of Missouri Family Network   mofamnet@ldd.net

Missouri  House  Primed  To  Pass  HCS HB 1877

~ ACTION NEEDED TODAY! ~

HCS HB 1877 - A Bill To Repeal Casino Loss Limits!
(House Committee Substitute for House Bill 1877)
number one on the House Perfection Calendar

Why the $500 Loss Limit should not be repealed

MFN RECOMMENDS YOU REQUEST A "NO" VOTE FOR HB 1877

It is important that all Missouri Citizens be told about this bill
and that they call their State Representative as soon as possible!


BILL ANALYSIS:

HB 1877 - Co-Sponsored by traditionally pro-gambling lawmakers: James Foley (D), Chuck Graham (D), James O'Toole (D).

This bill changes various tax laws to create additional funding for schools through a multilayered plan. The original version of the bill included removal of the $500 loss limit (per person, per two-hour fake cruise) as well as raising both the per-person boarding fee from two dollars to three, and by increasing the tax casinos pay from 20% adjusted gross receipts to 22%. Other tax schemes are also included which have no bearing on gambling venues. Revenue raised by this legislation is to go into a newly created "Schools for the Future Fund". The bill would raise an estimated $81 million additional funds from Missouri's eleven casinos.

Analysis by the Gaming Commission says the average casino returns on investments would go up from 23.8% to 34.3% - and that they would see 5% more patrons and collect 40% more in revenue - if the loss limit were repealed.

ACTION NEEDED:

HB 1877 was voted "do pass" by the House Committee on Miscellaneous Bills and Resolutions by a vote of 7 to 4. SPECIAL NOTE: The original section to remove the $500 loss limit was cut from the bill before being passed by the committee. The new substitute version of the bill (HCS HB 1877) is now in the number one position for debate on the House floor. This bill could be up for debate and adoption as soon as Monday afternoon! Your immediate response is needed now! It's no question that repeal of the $500 loss limit will be offered again during House debate. Insiders speculate that the bill will be allowed to advance until the last minute and the loss limit repeal will be put into the bill before folks can object. Under this scenario HB 1877 could be on Gov. Holden's desk before citizens can respond. (Holden has openly asked the Legislature to pass this.)

Committee Chairman, James O'Toole, offered the amendment to strike out the $500 repeal, but he also openly supports the repeal (sponsoring and/or co-signing other such bills)! Sighting sympathy with the casino worker's claims that they are underpaid, O'Toole admits he is only trying to get casinos attention because they can afford higher salaries and taxes without making bigger profits. (In other words his only perspective on the issue is a labor/management struggle.)

The original bill is supported by the Governor and various agencies of the government education industry. Those who oppose the bill include dozens of business, trade and labor groups. Casinos say they oppose the additional taxes but support the repeal of loss limits. This bill simply cannot survive the legislative process without sponsors putting the $500 loss limit repeal back in. It is a must that you call your State Representative today and explain how the casino lobby can NOT be trusted and not to allow any last minute maneuvers to remove the $500 loss limit from law!

Additionally - Any efforts to raise more tax revenue from casinos only raises the stakes for the State of Missouri to ignore the true impact of legalized casino gambling. The more money politicians get to spend, the more addicted they become to the revenue, and the more desensitized they become to the plight of destroyed families and businesses. Taxation of social vices only legitimatizes the industry while more and more overall damages accumulate.

Call your State Representative in the Missouri House of Representatives today! Expect to speak to either your elected Representative or their legislative assistant. Let them know how serious this issue is to you!

Send this alert to all the Missouri residents in your address book. Don't delay! Call today!

Missouri Family Network - Kerry Messer, President
P.O.Box 1288 * Festus, MO 63028
573-483-2007  *  Fax 573-483-2056