Latest News
1/12/08 TO 1/18/08

Bar owners play the casino card

MO - In the case of a proposed smoking ban for Kansas City bar and restaurant owners, theres already plenty of the latter. The KC Council is wrestling with how to handle the petition and the whys and wherefores of the casino floors and the Truman Sports Complex. If the ban passes the coalition has vowed to fight for an even playing field by introducing a smoking ban for casinos. / Jan. 12, 2008

Caruthersville Hopes Letter Writing Campaign Will Help Build New School

MO - Caruthersville's come a long way since the April 2nd tornado of 2006 destroyed more than half of it. A few months ago, school leaders approached the Missouri Lottery Commission to discuss accessing some extra lottery revenues. They're asking for a no interest loan over a 20 year period of time. / By: Holly Brantley / Jan 16, 2008

Dont make schools dependent on casinos

MO - Under the proposal, if the state Legislature decides to once again ignore the casinos request, the casinos will try to gather enough signatures to place it on the general election ballot this fall. They call it Yes for Schools. The casino coalition claims that lifting the loss limit will mean another $100 million annually for the states schools. The reality of it is, our casino here doesnt send these funds to the local districts, the official said. When you farm that out all over the state, its not going to be a whole lot per district. So lets set aside the school funding argument. Whats really going on here should be plain: The casinos want to take more money from their patrons. The measure should be more truthfully called Yes to Casino Profits. / January 16, 2008

Ex-judge says she borrowed money from former legislator

MO - A former Kansas City municipal judge said Monday that she repeatedly sought loans from lawyers because she had a gambling addiction. She said that despite her salary of more than $100,000 a year, she just didnt have the cash. / By MARK MORRIS / Jan. 14, 2008

KCS smoke-free law should include bars

MO - The council last week kowtowed to a few angry bar owners and decided to put its own ordinance on the April ballot. The plan is to permanently allow harmful smoking in bars. Prime movers behind that decision were council member Ed Ford and Mayor Mark Funkhouser, both of whom acted disingenuously on the matter. On Jan. 9, Ford told a council committee he opposed smoking in both bars and casinos: How can we consider a smoking ban and exclude casinos, I just dont understand. But a day later, Ford flipped 180 degrees at a council meeting to support smoking in bars and casinos: / By YAEL T. ABOUHALKAH / Jan. 16, 2008

KCs casinos are facing tougher odds

MO - Revenue growth of 0.08 percent, to $720.7 million, was flatter than a pancake in 2007. Admissions were down 9.1 percent. And thats the good news. In short, the local gambling marketplace appears on the brink of fundamental change, and the timing couldnt be worse for Missouris existing industry players. Other expansion plans are waiting in the wings: Missouris Gaming Commission on Wednesday formally announced it was considering a new casino in the Sugar Creek area, and gave would-be operators 45 days to file applications. Similar casino talk is heating up in Jefferson City, and the Gaming Commissions consultants also examined market impacts for potential casinos in Hermann and Cape Girardeau and near the Chain of Rocks river bridge north of St. Louis. During December the average Kansas City gambler lost $70.64 during a typical casino visit... Much of the increase can be attributed to the spread of lower-paying but more entertaining penny slots, which now make up 55 percent of the markets electronic games. Gaming Commission officials said 1,400 names were added to states list of persons voluntarily banning themselves from the boats for life, bringing the total to 12,458. / By RICK ALM / Jan. 16, 2008

State senate race in early stages draws nearly $335,000 in contributions

MO - The three candidates Democrat Kevin Gunn and Republicans Eric Schmitt and Jim Avery cant get on the Aug. 5 primary ballot until Feb. 26. Campaign finance reports the candidates filed with the state Ethics Commission show that Gunn, a Webster Groves city council member, has raised $196,998.84, Gunn reported raising $91,050 and spending $28,425.13 in the reporting period. His campaign has spent $32,376.84 thus far. Among donors to Gunn were Ameristar Casino Kansas City Inc., Boeing Co., Penn National Gaming Inc. and Barrett Toan, chairman of Express Scripts. / By Phil Sutin / 01/18/2008

State view sought on liquor law

MO - Meanwhile, Paul Harvey, with Charlie's Pub and Grill on First Capitol Drive, complained that the Ameristar Casino is the only place in St. Charles allowed to serve liquor until 3 a.m. He said all bars in the city should have the same option. Veit said later: "I don't think that's anything that's contemplated." / By Mark Schlinkmann / 01/15/2008

Casinos out of both bans

MO - Despite two separate smoking ban ordinances being proposed for an April 8 election, casinos within Kansas City limits are lucking out either way. As far as the ordinances go (said Stremming, Ameristar) , the casino floors are exempt in both proposals and we are very thankful and appreciative of petitioners and City Council members... / By: Kelli Bamforth / January 16, 2008