Do not repeal the $500 loss limit
HB 1877 - Co-Sponsors: James Foley (D), Chuck Graham (D), James O'Toole (D). This bill changes various tax laws to create additional funding for schools through a multi-layered 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from 23.8% to 34.3% - and that they would see 5% more patrons and collect 40% more in revenue - if the loss limit were repealed.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 Comm. 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) now goes to the House floor for debate. At this time it could be on the floor as soon as March 10th! 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 (See HB 1525)! 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.
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! 573-751-2000
SB 1220 - Betty Sims (R). This bill states that both the Gaming and Lottery Commissions are to do criminal history checks; on persons seeking issuance or renewal of a lottery retailer license, issuance or renewal of a bingo equipment and supplies manufacturer or supplier license, persons seeking the issuance or renewal of an excursion gambling boat license, or any person seeking a contract or renewal of a contract with one of the Commissions. The Commissions must also do criminal history checks on anyone seeking any employment with either Commission. (The bill specifies that neither commission is required to take finger prints or comply with criminal background checks if it does not "feel it is warranted"!)
ACTION NEEDED: This Bill, introduced late (2/26/02), has not received any committee assignment as of this time. The Gaming and Lottery Commissions already perform the criminal background checks directed in this bill. SB 1220 would write this procedure into statutory law but it would also include a large loophole allowing the Commissions to use their discretion and to forego the process! Why? Senator Sims has never advocated this issue before. But, she has worked consistently to pass Simulcasting for electronic horse track betting in Missouri. Sudden interest in a fake bill to supposedly tighten down on criminal elements raises agenda questions?
After pushing a bill like SB 1220 through committee, it would become the perfect vehicle to add legislation allowing for any one of several gambling expansions. (Including Senator Sims' other proposals to usher in horse betting.)
Please make time to contact your State Senator and ask that they beware of any attempts to roll "Trojan Horse" 'gaming' bills into the Senate Chambers.
To reach your Representative or Senator on any of these gambling bills call direct or dial a capitol operator at 573-751-2000 and ask for them by name.
Find your legislator
Thanks to Kerry Messer for bill information
Missouri Family Network
P.O. Box 1288 * Festus, MO 63028
Voice 573/483-2007 * Fax 573/483-2056
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