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Mo. can't bet on casinos to fund education

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) __ Missouri schools could face a $24 million funding shortfall because tax revenues from casinos are falling short of projections.
The executive director of the Missouri Gaming Commission warned the state’s budget director of the revenue gap in a letter shortly before Christmas. The document was provided Wednesday to The Associated Press.

Gaming Commission director Roger Stottlemyre says casinos had been expected to produce about $372 million for education this year. That forecast assumed that a 2008 ballot measure removing gamblers’ loss limits would result in more revenues. But Stottlemyre says the slow economy continues to affect casinos, and they’re now expected to generate about $348 million for education this year.

A spokesman for Gov. Jay Nixon says he will look for ways to fill that shortfall.

Copyright 2010 Associated Press

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