Latest News
MISSOURI
4/22/07 TO 4/28/07

Filibuster holds up vote on gaming bill

MO - An effort to eliminate $500 casino loss limits as a way to help fund state scholarships hit another wall Monday. Sen. Matt Bartle, R-Lee's Summit, led the filibuster for nearly five hours late Monday night. Mr. Shields said he was unsure whether to call it quits and give up on the bill late Monday, as he'd attempted to move it two times prior to no avail. Mr. Bartle - a staunch gaming opponent, who happens to be Mr. Shields' roommate in Jefferson City - launched his filibuster and dominated the discussion about 90 minutes into floor debate. Sen. John Loudon, R-St. Louis County, voiced his concerns on the repeal earlier in the evening, however. "I'm worried about how much more money your constituents and mine are going to lose," said Mr. Loudon. Sen. Tim Green, D-St. Louis County, offered an amendment Monday night that would increase that tax to 3 percent. Sen. John Loudon, R-St. Louis County, proposed by instead establishing a $5,000 slot-machine fee.

/ www.stjoenews-press.com / / Alyson Raletz 4/24/2007

Repeal of casino loss limits advances in Missouri

MO - Missouri's casinos on the western side of the state would be at a competitive disadvantage and could lose patrons, jobs and tax revenue, said the bill's sponsor, Senate Majority Leader Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph. "We need to preserve the industry in Missouri and preserve state revenue," he said. Sen. John Loudon, R-Chesterfield, said the rule provides a cooling-off period for gamblers. "People don't lose their house in one day in Missouri," he said. He said repealing the rule would "dishonor our compact with voters." "We're very disappointed," said association President Troy Stremming, vice president of government affairs for Ameristar Casinos. "If that bill passes, we'll do whatever we can to get it adjusted in the House."

/ www.stltoday.com / / By Virginia Young 4/25/2007

Gambling bill wins a vote

MO - The bill also would boost the number of casino licenses in the state from 13 to 16. Yesterday was the fourth time the bill has been brought before the body this legislative session. Opponents of the bill - including Sens. Matt Bartle, R-Lees Summit, and John Loudon, R-Chesterfield - filibustered the legislation, arguing that expansion of gambling would have negative social consequences. Loudon disputed the idea that the loss limit didnt "work" when he said it is curtailing gamblers from completely going bankrupt. "It does work to keep the Missouri loser - the sucker factor - down," Loudon said. "When we go on" the casino floor, "we dont get suckered out of as much money as somebody who gets suckered out of money in Illinois. So our sucker factor is lower, due to the loss limits."

/ www.columbiatribune.com / / By JASON ROSENBAUM April 25, 2007

Senate bill looks to lose limits on gambling losses

MO - The head of the Missouri Gaming Commission said Wednesday this might be the year the state gets rid of gambling loss limits. The Missouri Gaming Association has said the industry opposes any additional tax higher than 2 percent.

/ columbiamissourian.com / Associated Press / By KELLY WIESE April 26, 2007

Trial set for a local man accused of plotting to kill a woman he raped

MO - Terrible`s Casino worker, Was raped by Sharp... After he followed her home from work.

/ www.kq2.com / / 4/26/2007

KC casino changes could mean boom or bust

MO - Everyone with a stake in the game has something to complain about in a proposed compromise struck in the Missouri Senate late Tuesday to repeal the states $500 casino loss limit. Casino supporters complain that a trade-off tax increase of 4.25 percent is too high a price to pay for eliminating the loss limit. Gambling foes dont like a provision that eventually would allow 16 casinos statewide. And the Missouri Highway Patrol says eliminating mandatory player identification cards at the turnstile would tie its hands in law enforcement. The bill exempts each casinos first $40 million of gross from the tax increase. Missouri is the only gambling jurisdiction in the world with such a loss limit. The industry here has sought repeal almost from the day the first riverboats opened in 1994. The industry agreed to the 1 percent tax increase originally proposed in Senate Bill 430, and said it could live with 2 percent on top of the current state gaming tax of 20 percent. Repeal foes say the rule protects compulsive gamblers from themselves. They say it is one of the few surviving restrictions in the riverboat gambling act approved by voters in 1992. Peter Herschend of Missouri-based Herschend Family Entertainment, Sought a compromise with the industry if lawmakers agreed to a casino cap. Earlier this year he declared himself on board for the 13-casino cap. Wednesday, he said he could live with 16.

/ www.kansascity.com / / By RICK ALM Apr. 26, 2007

Loss limit repeal advances

MO - Opponents were ready--including Senator John Loudon of St. Louis who said the bill started out as a scholarship program and became a "Save Kansas City" issue. The Senate has advanced the bill 17-16. It needs 18 votes to go to the House.

/ www.missourinet.com / / By Bob Priddy April 24, 2007

Repeal of casino loss limit advances

MO - The Missouri Senate narrowly gave initial approval late Tuesday to the casino industry's long-sought goal: eliminating the $500 loss limit. Missouri's casinos on the western side of the state would be at a competitive disadvantage and could lose patrons, jobs and tax revenue, said the bill's sponsor, Senate Majority Leader Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph. The bill won preliminary approval on a bipartisan vote of 17-16; nine Republicans and eight Democrats supported the bill. For final approval, a constitutional majority of the 34-member body is required, so supporters must round up at least one more vote. Matt Bartle, R-Lee's Summit and a gambling opponent, led a filibuster that stalled a vote and resulted in a total of 13 hours of debate on the bill Monday and Tuesday. The loss limit is the last remnant of rules approved by state voters when casino gambling was legalized in 1992. Under the rule, a gambler can buy no more than $500 in game chips or slot machine tokens in each two-hour gambling session. Missouri is the only state with such a limit. The Missouri Gaming Association, which had agreed to increase the tax by 2 percentage points, said 4.25 percent is too steep.

/ www.stltoday.com / / By Virginia Young 4/25/2007

Sector Snap: Gaming

MO - Shares of some casino operators fell Tuesday as legislation geared toward lifting a $500 gambling loss limit stalled in Missouri. Shares of Ameristar fell $1.05, or 3.3 percent, to $30.40 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Penn National Gaming's shares dropped 57 cents to $47.64, while Isle of Capri Casinos shed 13 cents to $26.54 on the Nasdaq.% Shares of ... on the New York Stock Exchange. ...

/ www.ibtimes.com / International Business Times / 24 April 2007

Bike racks are coming, and you can design them

MO - Q. Why are the express lanes on Interstate 70 open for eastbound drivers only through the end of July? It (Transportation Department) agreed to do this so Pinnacle Casino could build a pedestrian tunnel from Laclede's Landing to an area near the Edward Jones Dome. Closing the ramp helps cut Pinnacle's costs and expedite construction...

/ www.stltoday.com / / By Elisa Crouch 4/23/2007

Party spawns penalty for casino

MO - After one fight too many last fall, a local casino is in hot water with the Missouri Gaming Commission. Herbst Gaming Inc. owners are considering an appeal after the commission slapped Terrible's St. Jo Frontier Casino with a $5,000 fine for a party that got out of hand in October, A fight broke out at the after-party between two female patrons, one of whom authorities believed was engaging in underage drinking, according to the disciplinary order.

/ www.stjoenews-press.com / / Alyson Raletz 4/26/2007

High Stakes with Loss Limits Law

MO - Everyday, she (Alleta Pinkett) says, she hears heartbreaking stories of what people have lost next door. Her customers have confided in her that they've taken out loans on homes, land and cars because of their gambling. She thinks repealing loss limits is a bad idea.

/ www.komu.com / / April 25, 2007

Gambling bill stalls in Mo. Senate

MO - Senate Majority Leader Charlie Shields proposed repealing a state law that limits patron losses to $500 in a two-hour period, Gambling supporters have had concerns about limiting the number of casinos, while opponents don't want to undo loss limits and raise fears of social costs from expanded gambling. Monday marked the third time the measure, in some form, has been in the Senate this year. The bill limits casino licenses to 16, allowing for three new boats beyond those already in place or being developed.

/ www.stltoday.com / ASSOCIATED PRESS / By Kelly Wiese 4/24/2007

9:27 a.m. Expanded gambling bill stalls

MO - A Senate leader acknowledged late Monday that his effort to repeal the limits is likely over for the year. Senate Majority Leader Charlie Shields proposed repealing a state law that limits patron losses to $500 in a two-hour period...

/ www.joplinglobe.com / / April 24, 2007

Man flees from casino, drowns

MO - The death was the second of its kind at the casino in recent years. In July 2005, authorities said, a woman apparently jumped into the Isle of Capri moat and later died. Police said the woman had spent about $115,000 at the casino, including $300 on the night she died. She had been convicted of stealing more than $1,800 from a previous job...

/ www.news-leader.com / The Associated Press / Heather Hollingsworth April 22, 2007

Senate bill looks to lose limits on gambling losses

MO - State law currently limits patrons to buying $500 worth of chips or tokens, or losing that much in slot machines, in a two-hour period. Missouri is the only state with such limits. Gov. Matt Blunt declined Wednesday to endorse or reject the bill, saying he would wait to see how the final bill shakes out. He has in the past opposed removing loss limits.

/ columbiamissourian.com / The Associated Press / By KELLY WIESE April 26, 2007

Man dies after jumping over railing at casino

MO - A 21-year-old Kansas City man died early today after he fled security at the Isle of Capri casino and jumped into a moat that surrounds the facility.

/ www.kansascity.com / / Apr. 21, 2007

KC man dies after jumping into water at Isle of Capri

MO - He ran from security staff at the casino after outstanding warrant was discovered. About 12:15 a.m. Saturday, security staff at the casino entrance asked two highway patrol officers stationed on site to check Swopes identification because they thought it looked false. Swopes ran out an exit, hopped over a railing and into 15 feet of water in the moat.

/ www.kansascity.com / The Kansas City Star / MICHAEL MANSUR Apr. 22, 2007

Gambling rules up in the air

MO - Will Sugar Creek at long last get a shot at a casino? City officials have wanted it, but the state's cap on the number of casinos has stood in the way. As it has been since the beginning of casino gambling in Missouri, the discussion mainly centers on the industry's desire to get rid of the state's $500 loss limit.

/ www.examiner.net / / April 26, 2007

Missouri lawmakers vote to end loss limits

MO - A wide-ranging bill that would fund college scholarships by boosting casino taxes and legalizing high-stakes gambling received initial Missouri Senate approval Tuesday night by the slimmest of margins. The 17-16 vote came after wild maneuvering by opponents of gambling, who had delayed consideration of the measure for days. Sen. Matt Bartle, a Lees Summit Republican who opposes any expansion of gambling, led the filibuster for nine hours over two days. But a compromise to get Bartle to drop his filibuster would raise the tax rate to 24.25 percent.

/ www.kansascity.com / / By KIT WAGAR Apr. 25, 2007

Senators advance casino measure

MO - A gamble on a gaming bill paid off Tuesday night for a St. Joseph senator. An anti-gaming opponent stalled debate on the issue over two days, but he backed off after an agreement to increase taxes on gaming boats by 4.25 percent, up from the 2 percent already proposed.

/ www.stjoenews-press.com / / 4/25/2007

Expanded gambling bill stalls

MO - Gambling supporters have had concerns about limiting the number of casinos, while opponents dont want to undo loss limits and raise fears of social costs from expanded gambling. Im more worried about how much more money your constituents and mine are going to lose and the degree to which that money is going to help or do some societal good, said Sen. John Loudon, R-Chesterfield. Monday marked the third time the measure, in some form, has been in the Senate this year. Sen. Matt Bartle, R-Lees Summit, a gambling opponent, delayed action on an amendment to the bill...

/ www.therolladailynews.com / AP / April 24, 2007

Senate approves expanding gambling

MO - After prolonged debate, the Senate gave initial approval by a narrow margin Tuesday night to legislation that would repeal Missouris gambling loss limits, with supporters citing new casino competition from Kansas. Sen. Matt Bartle, R-Lees Summit, a gambling opponent, was at the forefront of delaying a vote on the bill. Tuesday night he agreed to let the bill reach a vote with the higher tax increase, in hopes that the tax is too high to pass. The measure needs a second vote to clear the Senate, and even then, other obstacles remain. The Missouri Gaming Association said earlier Tuesday that the industry opposes any additional tax higher than 2 percent. Also, in 2005, the House passed a bill capping casino licenses at 13, but it never became law. At the time, House Speaker Rod Jetton, R-Marble Hill, said he supported the cap but opposed removing the $500 loss limit and raising taxes on casinos.

/ www.therolladailynews.com / / April 25, 2007