10 of the 15 states that allow land-based or riverboat casino gambling allow those casinos to make loans to their customers. Missouri does not currently allow for these casino loans but right or wrong, some Missouri lawmakers have decided they want a piece of that action.
Representative Scott Largent of Clinton is sponsoring a bill, now in committee in the state House, that would allow folks with a good credit score to take out a loan right there at the casino. Under the terms of the bill, gamblers could borrow money on the spot and immediately take it to the tables and begin wagering.
The supporters of this change profess that changing the law would help attract high-rollers such as professional athletes visiting Missouri. You see, Illinois casinos are already allowed to extend credit, and proponents of the Missouri bill say high-end gamblers who run out of cash and need loans to gamble are simply crossing the river and gambling there. Now, there may be scores of professional athletes clogging the roadways to get to Illinois casinos, and if there are, I say let them.
One of the serious signs of gambling addiction is borrowing money to gamble. Go to any of the "responsible gaming websites" and you'll see it noted there. Anyone who can afford to lose big should have ready access to their funds without having to take out a loan at a casino. And dangling the carrot about professional athletes and other high rollers is ludicrous. Passing this law will result in financial ruin and damage to folks who will borrow money from casinos only to give it right back to them. It's a losing proposition.