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Another attempt to remove $500 loss limit at Missouri casinos

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – A bill in the Missouri Senate would do away with the $500 maximum loss limit imposed on gamblers at casinos across the state.

There have been several failed attempts over the years to repeal the $500 limit.

State Senator Scott Rupp (R, Wentzville), the bill's sponsor, says those who want to get around the rule can easily do so.

"They can either take someone's player card out of a machine if they've left it there, use the other person's player card to be able to buy in and put more money in the machine...they can buy them or get them from people out in the parking lot," Rupp said.

Rupp added that repealing the loss limit would bring in more revenues for Missouri schools, and enable the state to compete with Kansas, which just legalized casino gaming.

Keith Spare, Chair of the Missouri Council on Problem Gambling Concerns, opposes the bill.

"If the loss limit is removed, then the safety net for problem gamblers needs to be made considerably tighter...the major problem I see with the bill is that it does not include any additional funding for problem gambling treatment, prevention, education, or research," Spare said.

Spare is also concerned that the gaming industry will push for a ballot initiative to remove the $500 loss limit if the legislative route continues to prove unsuccessful.

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