JEFFERSON CITY — The House has approved legislation loosening state regulations on bingo operators.
Only charitable and fraternal organizations can run bingo in Missouri, and the organizations cannot use any of the proceeds to pay game workers. The state also regulates the games and levies taxes on the sale of game cards.
The House voted 86-63 on Wednesday to eliminate the taxes, remove a hard cap on bingo winnings, expand the hours when bingo can be conducted and allow organizers to advertise more. That legislation now goes to the Senate.
Bill critics argue the legislation amounts to deregulation of bingo in Missouri and essentially creates hundreds of new casinos.
Democratic House member Ray Salva, of Sugar Creek, dismissed those arguments. He says the bill is about helping veterans and civil service organizations.