Games of Chance Would Pay off for Missouri Approval Would Boost Revenue, Aid Education, Add Jobs

Article excerpt

Amendment 6 authorizes slot machines and other games of chance on Missouri's riverboats. It's important that Missouri voters realize this is not a vote authorizing gambling; we already voted overwhelmingly in 1992 to allow riverboat casinos on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. Amendment 6 simply allows slot machines and roulette to be played on our riverboats.

Slot machines are one of the most popular forms of gambling entertainment and would substantially increase state revenue for Missouri. In fact, state revenue from riverboat gambling - with slot machines - is conservatively estimated to add $30 million more to the money Missouri receives each year from riverboat gaming.

The state revenues from our riverboat casinos must go to our schools. The Constitution makes that explicit. The Missouri Constitution says that "all state revenues derived from the conduct of all gaming activities as are now or hereafter authorized by this constitution or law . . . shall be appropriated beginning July 1, 1993, solely for the public institutions of elementary, secondary and higher education and shall not be included in the definition of total state revenue."

So, the state money from Amendment 6 will help reduce class size and improve educational programs in schools across the state.

Passing Amendment 6 brings more benefits.

It will create jobs and further economic development, including hotels, retail shops and entertainment centers in those areas where there are riverboats.

Amendment 6 will also keep Missouri money in Missouri. Illinois, Iowa and other states are competing with Missouri riverboats and are now taking revenue from Missouri because of the lack of slot machines in our state.

This year's vote on Amendment 6 was made necessary because of a legal challenge and subsequent rewording of the original 1992 ballot proposal that forced the state to obtain, by constitutional amendment, voter approval of slot machines. …