Vote "no" on Proposition A,
a commentary by Rep. Ray Salva (D-51)
We find deceptions, lies, and false statistics all too common in our search for the truth. Remember Watergate, Iran contragate, femagate, and troopergate. We now are experiencing what I am going to term “casinogate."
The University of Missouri at St. Louis with a grant paid for by the Missouri Gaming Commission conducted a study concerning certain gaming issues. This study was initiated in July 2007, six months before Proposition A was common knowledge.
Through their own admission, as records indicate, the gaming commission provided the state auditor with the results of the study in order for the auditor to validate statistics that project a 30% increase in gaming revenues should Proposition A pass.
Martha LeMond, chief financial officer for the gaming commission, together with Scott Charton, spokesperson for Proposition A, cite this UM-STL report as the basis for their claim that lifting the current loss limits on gambling will provide between $105,000,000 to $130,000,000 of additional revenue for primary and secondary school education.
Ameristar and Pinnacle Gaming are spending approx $16,000,000.00 in order to gain support for Proposition A's passage from voters--educators, Chamber of Commerce members and members of other civic organizations. They also reference the study conducted by the University of Missouri at St. Louis as credible evidence for its passage.
Now comes "casinogate"
My investigation revealed that the study less than coincidentally was initiated at the same time that an application for a new gaming license was made in the Kansas City market area. This is the same area that is controlled by Ameristar Casino.
Based upon the results of the study I did not understand how the gaming commission possibly could claim an increase in gaming revenues. I then contacted the university’s chancellor and received permission to interview the two professors who authored the study. Greg Aubuchon, Ph.D. and Don Kridel, professors in the department of economics, sent this reply:
The following statement describes the particulars of our study.
The study entitled “The Missouri Gaming Market: Gamer Profiles and the Estimated Impact of New Gaming Facilities on the State of Missouri and Missouri’s Gaming Industry" was funded by the Missouri Gaming Commission (through a University grant). The study was initiated in July of 2007 and the final report was submitted in early January 2008. The study focused on Missouri gamers and on the impacts of potential new casino licenses. In particular, the study provided detailed information on
- Gamer profiles (demographic and public opinion);
- The impact on gaming revenue (and associated taxes) if additional gaming licenses were awarded; and
- The impact on existing casinos by the awarding of new gaming licenses.
The study did not address the impact on gaming revenues associated with the elimination of loss limits.
While the study did not estimate the fiscal impacts in Missouri of loss limit repeal, it is possible, that some person(s) (other than the University of Missouri and/or its employees) created estimates of fiscal impact on their own accord drawing inferences from information disclosed in the study. If so, such estimates were generated and reported without the participation of the study’s authors or the University of Missouri. The fiscal impact estimates currently set forth in the fiscal note accompanying Proposition A were generated without the participation of the study’s authors.
[Signed] Don Kridel
It is obvious that the office of the state auditor passed along information that was meant to mislead Missouri voters on Proposition A.
Casinogate needs to be investigated. Proposition A was written by Ameristar Casino, filed by Ameristar Casino, signatures gathered and false advertising paid for by Ameristar Casino.
I will be requesting that the offices of the attorney general, the secretary of state and the auditor join me in demanding a federal inquiry into these deceptive practices.
Nixon and Hulshof are in agreement
Both gubernatorial candidates, Jay Nixon and Kenny Hulshof have come out against Proposition A. They both agree that lifting loss limits is “anti-family” and is contrary to what the majority of Missouri voters want.
Both candidates also agree that Proposition A also lifts all entry requirements for casinos. Casinos sponsor game rooms for children, movies for children, restaurants and even day care facilities. If Proposition A passes, we will not be able to regulate, through the existing individual card identity system, who enters the casinos. Ex-cons, child molesters, sexual deviates, habitual gamblers and those mandated by the courts not to enter a casino will have the casino doors open to them as long as they are at least 21-years-old.