Casinos could loan money to gamblers

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - It's a gamble, but Missouri lawmakers are considering passing legislation that would allow casinos to loan money to patrons.

Gamblers who pass credit checks could borrow money from the casino and exchange it for electronic tokens and chips.

Proponents say the measure would attract more high roller gamblers, and bring more money to the area.

Michael Hester, the Coordinator of Community Based Solutions in Cape Girardeau, says the idea of giving loans to gamblers is scary.

He says gambling can be a compulsive disorder, meaning people will repeat the behavior even though it can have harmful consequences.

Hester says it can be a problem for gamblers and their families.

He says if casinos have the ability to provide loans, it could be a problem for people who don't even have a gambling disorder.

"If I go in, got a hundred bucks to spend, you know gamble, have some food, have a good time, probably not a problem," said Hester. "But, say I win a little bit, start feeling pretty good, and have this access, I might make decisions I wouldn't normally make."

You can read Senate Bill 813 here.

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