Letter to the Editor

Highway patrol and gaming

Sunday, October 3, 2010

On Sept. 22, a letter to the editor was published in the Southeast Missourian concerning the Missouri State Highway Patrol's presence aboard casinos during gaming hours.

The Gaming Division was created in 1994 after the citizens of Missouri voted to allow gaming in Missouri. Lawmakers were concerned that gaming should not exist without strict regulations and oversight. Congress decided that the Missouri State Highway Patrol, possessing a well-recognized reputation for integrity and strong leadership, should be charged with this responsibility.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is divided into five bureaus. These bureaus are then subdivided into divisions. One of these divisions is the Gaming Division. Troopers assigned to this division are also given the title of gaming officer. These officers are in regular clothes and oversee the licensing and day-to-day operations of casinos and bingo operations. The Gaming Division's entire budget is funded directly by the casinos. No taxpayer funds are used to fund the Gaming Division.

The mission of the Missouri Gaming Division is to see that casinos comply with all laws and regulations, thereby insuring the public's trust and confidence.

I hope this information clarifies any misconceptions about the Gaming Division of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

A. V. RIEHL, Jackson