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Jacology: Casino Loans

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(KPLR) - Some ideas are self evidently lousy, like giving a 17 year old a bottle of scotch and the keys to a corvette. Others are only semi-bad, like the designated hitter. And others are so mind-bogglingly awful that you wonder how they ever saw the light of day and then you remember that it's an idea from the Missouri legislature, which is to bad ideas as Einstein is to math.

This one has the premise of either a Saturday Night Live skit or a really depressing Robert DeNiro movie. How about we allow gamblers to take out loans inside casinos? And not just chump change loans. Why don't we allow casinos to loan out twenty or thirty thousand dollars or more to the slot and poker and craps players? Okay, you figure, anyone who makes a proposal like that gets laughed out of the legislature. Right?  Right?

Ahem. The Missouri House of Representatives financial institutions committee has voted to allow casinos in Missouri to extend credit and loans, right there on the casino floor to gamblers, and the vote was 13 to one.  Now before you say whoa, that's nuts, apparently the majority of casino states disagree with you.  Casinos in Illinois can offer credit; in fact, in ten of the 15 states where gambling is legal; casinos are allowed to make on the spot loans.

Supporters of the bill say it's aimed at high rollers, like professional athletes who decide to gamble while in town but don't want to carry thirty grand in cash in their jeans. Uh-huh. And the people making forty grand a year who go to casinos with a gambling problem and suddenly discover that can float a loan right there and end up losing half a year's pay?

Oh don't worry, that would never happen.

I'm Charles Jaco and that's Jacology.

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