gambling

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

High stakes gamblers could find Missouri more alluring if legislation passed by the Senate becomes law.

A bill approved Wednesday would let Missouri casinos extend a line of credit to gamblers willing to put up at least $10,000.

Supporters said the bill would free big bettors from having to carry large quantities of cash to casinos.

Casino officials also hope to attract more high rollers from other states, like professional athletes who may be traveling to Missouri to play in a game.

The Senate sent the bill to the House by a 24-9 vote.

slot machine
Rob Boudon / flickr

A recent decline in Missouri's casino revenues is raising questions among lawmakers about the extent to which the state can continue to rely on gambling to fund key programs.

Rob Boudon / Flickr

Casinos across Missouri are reporting decreased revenue this summer, continuing a trend seen at most of the state's 13 riverboat gambling sites last year.

Overall revenues for July were more than $9.5 million less than in July 2012, a 6.3 decline. That means nearly $2 million less for state education spending derived from a gambling tax compared with this time last year.

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Jim Mathewson, the chairman of the Missouri Gaming Commission will step down Friday. Matthewson chose not to stay for a second three-year term in order to spend more time with his family.

During Mathewson’s tenure with the Gaming Commission, Missouri’s 13th casino license was awarded to developers in Cape Girardeau and disassociated gamblers were provided a pathway to reinstatement.  He says the main challenge now is raising enough revenue to help K-through-12 schools.

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