|Anti-gambling legislators in the southern American state of Louisiana failed on Tuesday to pass a measure out of Committee that would have banned automated teller machines (ATMs) from casinos.|
Senate Bill 41 was sponsored by State Senator Joe McPherson and would have also outlawed credit extensions in Louisiana casinos. If passed, the legislation would have forced gamblers to go off-site in order to get additional cash but did not survive a hearing on whether a full vote should be sought. McPherson argued that casinos squeeze every penny from players and that his bill would help curb gambling addictions.
“Everything is designed to make you forget the real world,” said McPherson.
However, Danny Martiny, Chairman for Senate Judiciary B Committee, stated that gambling addicts would feed their addictions regardless of where ATMs were located and that the legislation would not apply to the handful of American Indian casinos because of their pacts with the State.
Wade Duty, Executive Director of the Casino Association of Louisiana, stated that the Bill was ‘an oozing, backdoor method to chip away at the industry’ and reiterated that only people over the age of 21 may enter casinos.
“It’s not fair to single us out,” said Cheryl Teamer from Harrah’s New Orleans Casino.
“I’m sure there are lots of husbands who would like to ban ATMs at shopping malls but it’s not going to happen.”
In spite of this, the Committee did vote unanimously to send McPherson’s Senate Bill 797 to the floor for debate. This proposed legislation would require casinos to publicly declare revenues, particularly on billboards, when bragging about how much players had won.
“I simply want the truth in gambling advertisements,” said McPherson.
“People lose more than they win when gambling.”