Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Looking Down Ballot - Proposition A - No Loss Protection or Competition for Casinos

Vote No on Proposition A.

Kenny Hulshof and Jay Nixon agree that they do not want Proposition A to be law when one of them becomes Governor.

Proposition A is not about shiny apples and schools, no matter what its proponents try to portray. It is about money - huge amounts of money siphoned out of Missouri and into the pockets of out-of-state gambling interests. But jet-setting casino owners are a singularly unattractive lot, so they have dirtied our schools and children by drafting them into the battle as human shields for corporate greed.

Here is the language that will show up on your ballot two weeks from today:
Shall Missouri law be amended to:

repeal the current individual maximum loss limit for gambling;

prohibit any future loss limits;

require identification to enter the gambling area only if necessary to establish that an individual is at least 21 years old;

restrict the number of casinos to those already built or being built;

increase the casino gambling tax from 20% to 21%;

create a new specific education fund from gambling tax proceeds generated as a result of this measure called the “Schools First Elementary and Secondary Education Improvement Fund”; and

require annual audits of this new fund?

State governmental entities will receive an estimated $105.1 to $130.0 million annually for elementary and secondary education, and $5.0 to $7.0 million annually for higher education, early childhood development, veterans, and other programs. Local governmental entities receiving gambling boat tax and fee revenues will receive an
estimated $18.1 to $19.0 million annually.
In a nutshell, this provision would give existing casinos a license to sucker people to go "all in", protect them from competition (is this a great country or what?) and allow problem gamblers onto the floor all for a measly 1% tax increase.

Can Missourians be bought so cheaply? Even if Missourians are willing to whore themselves to the Las Vegas gambling interests, won't we salvage a shred of pride so that we're not cheap whores? At least not the cheapest in the neighborhood?

Does anybody else here remember when casinos were first sold to Missouri? Maybe old folks like me have begun to forget, but the discussion wasn't about casinos - we were all talking about "Riverboat Gambling". Nobody talked about garish neon monstrosities - we were promised old-fashioned steam ships cruising our scenic shores. Like many others, I voted in favor of the measure, with visions of playing a few games of poker while cruising up and down the river front. I'm a sucker for Mark Twain and sarsaparilla.

We were duped. Soon after the election, lo and behold, we learned that the riverboats wouldn't actually be riverboats, and that they would look like Times Square whorehouses instead of the Delta Queen. Suckers.

We were also told back then that our schools would benefit from massive infusions of money. Suckers.

We were told that the industry would not damage our communities. Suckers. Last year there were over 1600 crimes that were directly casino-related, not counting the sad crimes of desperation done by pathetic addicts hidden throughout out communities.

Finally, we were told that we would be protected by loss limits. Yes, that was a part of the campaign, and an earnest promise made by the same out-of-state gambling interests when they were trying to talk themselves into our state. Now, they want to free themselves of their obligations. They want to be free to encourage compulsive gamblers to go "all in' with their life savings, and their children's futures, and they want to be able to turn a blind eye when criminals invade the casino floors.

But they want to talk about shiny apples and schools.

How stupid do they think we are?

Vote No on Proposition A.

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9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you look into the money changing hands at the municipal court.

You might be suprised at some big names floating around.

But maybe thats too hot to handles, so just pretend like the BAR is all eithical and everything if you feel better.

10/21/2008 7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are a funny, funny person, anonymous. It's easy to make vague, unsupported allegations. But boring.

10/21/2008 8:14 AM  
Anonymous Whistleblowme said...

Ghandi: "We must be the change we wish to see in the world."

Anonymous 7:52: "We can just post off-topic anonymous vague assertions in random blogs, instead."

10/21/2008 9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan knows the truth whereof I speak in the first post.

But he won't do anything about it.

The BAR doesn't dare touch it.

10/22/2008 2:36 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

No, Anonymous, I truly do not see "the truth whereof you speak". Sorry, but I think if anyone had such truth, they would do something other than post anonymous off-topic comments on local blogs. If you're serious, then get serious and do something about it. If you're just an anonymous coward with a gripe, well, I guess you're doing exactly what I would expect an anonymous coward with a gripe to do.

10/22/2008 6:31 AM  
Blogger Jeremy B said...

Thank you for your synopsis of this issue in terms that are easier to understand. I'm still uncertain why these two (or three or four) issues weren't broken up into multiple propositions.

10/23/2008 12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To all the people that talk about the bad things people do to get money to gamble with I say this. They are doing the same things they do to get drugs, liquor and anything else they are addicted to. Some are legal and the state receives tax income and others are not.

The loss limit itself is anticompetitive. By having it we are forcing people that will gamble anyway to do it in another state or not come from another state to do it in Missouri. This means that other states are getting tax revenue that Missouri should be getting. Sure, the Missouri casinos get the biggest revenue boost, that's why they are for Proposition A, but they get it by taking business away from casinos in states like Illinois, Iowa, Mississippi, and soon Kansas which are all unlimited gambling states.

What this means for Missouri residents is tax dollars that could be kept in Missouri or brought to Missouri from outside the state are not. By voting no on Proposition A you are voting YES to paying more individual property tax, sales tax, income tax, etc.

Let's keep our taxes low by voting YES on Proposition A and letting the casinos in our state make more money and pay more taxes instead of that revenue going to other states and their casinos.

It's all about a level playing field, and the loss limit is pushing a lot of wealth out of Missouri.

Vote Yes on Proposition A

10/25/2008 5:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so tired of all the advertisement about "prop A." I haven't seen or heard anything in the media refuting all the "good" it will do for schools. Will there be any advertisement for the truth behind proposition A? Voters should know what they are voting for, whatever they decide.

10/27/2008 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work for a casino in Kansas City, MO. The writer of this is correct. Eliminating the loss limit will only increase the problems Missouri gamblers have, and will enable casinos to funnel their profits to the "motherland" aka Las Vegas. Missouri schools might get a little extra cash out of this, but think about spreading maybe 5 million dollars state wide, it isn't a lot of money. But casinos will gain more! In an average Saturday night, the casino I work for brings in 9 million dollars (coin in). I see problem gamblers day after day, and it is a sad sight. Some of them steal from family to get money, others commit suicide.

11/03/2008 8:49 PM  

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