Casino illogic

When voters approved Proposition A in the November election, they did away with gambling loss limits and set a limit barring any more casinos in the state, among other things. Those changes went into effect immediately.

Proponents said the changes were necessary to help the casinos which, in turn, would help Missouri's coffers by producing more state revenue. The changes shut down efforts, including those in Cape Girardeau, to develop new casino projects.

November's revenue report shows five of the state's 12 casinos took in less revenue than the year before, reflecting a similar downturn nationwide in gambling activity. Another five of Missouri's casinos had higher revenue, one broke even and one was not open until December last year.

Gene McNary, executive director of the Gaming Commission, made an interesting comment in connection with the November revenue report. He said the opening of the newest casino, in St. Louis, had strengthened that market beyond expectations. "Lumiere Place didn't cannibalize the other casinos as much as was feared and added to the pie."

Just so, Mr. McNary. That's exactly the argument the principals behind the proposed Cape Girardeau casino made, only to be rebuffed. Can we have it both ways?