Missouri casino operators resist tax to fund state-operated veterans' homes

Jan 25, 2012

Missouri casino operators say they should not be solely responsible for boosting funding to state-operated veterans' homes.

Missouri House members have suggested adding $1 to the $2 per-patron entrance fee that casinos already pay the state. Gov. Jay Nixon's administration has said the fresh revenue could provide a dedicated funding source for the seven existing veterans' homes and possibly pay for one more.

After several years of tight budgets, the Missouri Veteran Commission says funding is running short. At a House committee hearing Tuesday, Mike Winter, of the Missouri Gaming Association, said the fee increase would cost casinos $53 million. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry also raised concern, saying funding for veterans' homes is a statewide issue that should not be the responsibility of one business sector.