2 min read
Posted on 05.05.08
  • 2 min read
  • Posted on 05.05.08

If supporters of a proposal to remove of the state’s $500 loss limit at casinos have - as they recently announced - collected enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot, I am going to vote to repeal the limit. You should do whatever what you want.

I am not a gambler or an expert on the business of gambling. But, I do understand the impact of the municipal revenue generated by the brand new Lumiere Place casino downtown (and its sister ship the Admiral). Pinnacle, the company that owns both floating casinos argues that the loss limits puts them at a competitive disadvantage with casinos right across the river in Illinois, and (in Lumiere’s case) with high-end casinos across the country. And others argue that Missouri’s loss limit does little to prevent any of the problems that it is supposed to address.

Missouri voters originally approved riverboat gambling and the loss limit in 1992. A decade and a half is probably enough time to see if voters still want the limit.

I felt much more strongly about the so-called Missouri Civil Rights Initiative - which, according to election officials, has failed to make the ballot this time.

A California businessman has been leading an effort in several states, including ours, to end goals in awarding government contracts to minority and women owned companies. Passage of the initiative would mean that a state executive order that sets goals to award 10 percent of the state’s contracted work to minority businesses and 5 percent to women-owned companies - and my own executive order setting 25 (minority-owned) and 5 (women-owned) percent as goals for City contracts - would likely be overturned.

Affirmative action programs boost minority and women employment, and give underrepresented entrepreneurs a fairer chance at getting work.

The campaign in support of the initiative was marred by deceit and misdirection. I suspect that many earnest Missouri voters, including some in St. Louis, signed their names to petitions without knowing that the measure’s passage would have exactly the opposite effect they were led to believe. I am glad that it will not be on a Missouri ballot.