The Missouri General Assembly is having its annual debate on casino loss limits, a state law that prohibits gamblers from losing more than $500 every two hours. Missouri is the only state that has such a law.
This year’s iteration of the proposal would couple a repeal of the limits to higher state taxes on casinos and an overall cap on the number of casinos. Proponents argue that limits put Missouri casinos at a competitive disadvantage to those right across the borders; opponents argue that the limits make it harder for some gamblers to lose an entire paycheck in a single spree.
In general, I side with those who favor a repeal of loss limits. Casino operator Pinnacle Entertainment has ambitious plans for its property on the St. Louis riverfront, including new residences and more retail and entertainment venues. Missouri law already has a provision to address the worries of those gamblers who fear they might lose the rent: a self-enrolled list of people banned from playing.