Riverboat gambling

Introduction Policy-makers are assessing the advice from Kenny Rogers, “You got to know when to hold ‘um, know when to fold ‘um, know when to walk away and when to run.” They are trying their hand at new and old forms of gambling in the hopes of generating additional revenues. One of the revitalized ideas of the past is to legalize gambling on historic riverboat replicas. Yet riverboat gambling won’t be restricted to the Mississippi, but will appear in towns like Gary, Indiana and even our own Jefferson City. Even New Mexico has explored a proposal to float a casino on a dammed section of the Rio Grande. These ideas demonstrate policy-makers attempts to satisfy taxpayers revolt while maintaining the need for increased revenues. Riverboat casinos are on the minds of policy-makers and citizens alike. This policy has passed through the Missouri legislature; and voters passed the idea by a large margin in a statewide referendum. Soon people will be boarding these vessels resembling historic steamboats of the past in the hopes of winning a return on their investment. By state statute this could mean as many as 20 riverboat casinos floating Missouri’s waters. At least seven riverboats licensed to operate gambling are expected to hit the water early this year. We will have to wait and see what affects this policy will have on revenues and Missouri residents. However, we can look to other states that have already implemented riverboat gambling to see what promises have been fulfilled and what problems have transpired. xxx There is little debate that these riverboats, floating casinos as they are sometimes referred, will produce some revenues without relying on higher taxes. A large majority of Missouri voters support the idea of riverboat gambling. In fact, voters all across the Midwest seem to support the notion that gambling is fun entertainment and comes at a cost they are q…

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