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Missouri Seeks to Lure High-Stakes Gamblers

Chris Blank / Associated Press
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Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri casinos could begin offering lines of credit to high rollers under legislation given final approval Tuesday by state lawmakers. It now goes to Gov. Jay Nixon.

The bill would allow casinos to extend a minimum line of credit of $10,000 that would be considered an unsecured, no-interest due loan due within at least 30 days. Credit could not be extended to someone who is intoxicated.

The casino industry is betting the option would make Missouri more attractive to high rollers who do not want to carry large amounts of cash when they gamble. Bettors in states such as Nevada, New Jersey and neighboring Illinois have similar perks, and the Missouri Gaming Association says at least 10 other states allow casinos to issue lines of credit.

House members approved the legislation 125-21 on Tuesday, and it passed the state Senate by a 24-9 vote earlier this month.

Most of the lawmakers who voted against the measure in the House and Senate were Republicans. Several senators had questioned whether Missouri should make it easier for gamblers to wager significant sums of money.

An executive for Pinnacle Entertainment said during a public hearing earlier this year that the goal of the legislation is to attract large bettors such as athletes who have credit lines at casinos in other states but cannot use it at those in Missouri.

Pinnacle operates 16 casinos and racetracks in nine tracks, including casinos in St. Louis, St. Charles and Kansas City.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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