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Nixon signs bills on bingo, public notice

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(UPI photo)
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By Associated Press

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri residents soon could have more chances to play bingo. Governor Jay Nixon signed legislation Tuesday letting bingo parlors open earlier, close later and offer games twice a week instead of just once. The bill also increases the amount of money bingo operators can spend on advertising.

Under Missouri law, bingo games can be operated only by charitable, religious, veteran, fraternal and service organizations. The number of groups licensed to run regular bingo games has fallen by more than half during the past 15 years, as casinos expanded in Missouri.

Nixon says it should help boost revenues for nonprofit groups that serve their communities.

Missouri's expanded bingo law will take effect August 28.

Another bill signed by the governor Tuesday means city councils and other Missouri government boards will have to give greater notice before voting on tax increases. The legislation requires public notification four days before meetings on tax increases, eminent domain or redevelopment plans financed with public funds.

Missouri's current law requires only a 24-hour notice for government meetings.

The new law also prohibits votes on those matters before the public has a chance to comment.

Some supporters of the bill had complained that city officials sometimes give developers more notice than the general public when they are considering development incentives.

The new requirements will also take effect August 28.

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