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Passage of Proposition A brings changes


With the passage of Proposition A on Nov. 4, area casinos are revamping their policies to deal with the newfound absence of loss limits.


According to the Kansas City Board of Elections, Proposition A passed 97,286 to 45,915, or 67.94 percent to 32.06 percent.

Missouri was the only state in the country to institute loss limits for casinos. Previously casino patrons could not lose more than $500 in a two-hour period. Proposition A, however, has repealed that loss limit and brought Missouri’s casinos in line with the rest of the country.

Ameet Patel, general manager of Argosy Casino in Riverside, said the biggest advantage given to the casinos with Proposition A isn’t increased revenue with gamblers being allowed to lose more money, but rather the ability to now compete with any casino in the country and especially across the border in Kansas.

"What this really provides for us is the chance to compete in Kansas where they don’t have loss limits," he said. "The biggest advantage for us is this levels the playing field."

Some have expressed concerns that the repeal of the loss limits would endanger those with gambling addictions, the very people the loss limits were originally created to protect. But Patel disagrees.

"We will continue to operate more responsibly and continue to be more vigilant," he said. "Everyone needs to be trained and aware, and we need to make sure we do the right thing. For the exceptions, the 1 or 2 percent who do get into trouble, we have a responsibility to do the right thing, and it’s the same problem other jurisdictions have to deal with."

Patel said he expected casino revenues to increase from the passage of Proposition A, but he didn’t think it would be a large increase.

"There will be some gain for the casinos," he said. "But in our opinion, we are very conservative in our thought process, and we think there will be a net positive but not by a lot. We’re saying it will be a net positive because it comes with an added tax rate."

In addition to the repeal of loss limits, Proposition A also raised casino taxes by 1 percent to 21 percent and instituted a moratorium on any new casinos in the state, barring any new competition from entering the market.

As far as operational changes at Argosy Casino after the passage of Proposition A, Patel said casino patrons would no longer have to have player’s cards to enter the casino floor because the casino no longer needs to track their losses.

However, Patel said Argosy would not be getting rid of their player’s cards entirely, and he said he expected the same to be the case with other area casinos. The player’s cards, said Patel, are a staple of the casino experience and something return players expect because they provide added benefits.

Katie Knox, events and promotions manager for Harrah’s North Kansas City Casino and Hotel, said, "At this time, it’s really too soon to issue a statement about what people can expect from our business this soon after the loss limits have been repealed."