Pete Herschend stepped up to the plate today to discuss gambling. The co-owner of the Herschend empire had a couple other issues on his mind today that he wanted to discuss face to face. From what I gathered it's going to be a tough trip to Jefferson City tomorrow. Herschend just got back from Atlanta which he prefers to the state capital. Herschend said, "In Atlanta I have family and people don't sleep by my door." The issue of the week is the St. Louis School District who will have to yield power to a transition board due to the fact they've shown incompetence in MAP (Missouri Assessment Program) Testing. When asked about the "funding formula" suit Herschend shared the results will have little impact, certain to be heard in an appellate court.
Back to Gambling - Peter Herschend reiterated his position. "We address Casino gambling the same way a doctor addresses Cancer." Herschend's philosophy is to contain gambling in Missouri to the 13 venues gaming already has and has presented concessions to ensure those who have established equity will get on the same page as him. The elimination of loss limits was presented by the anti-gambling lobby whose allies Herschend didn't want to reveal. Herschend's concerns stem from a moral stance in addition to a corporate philosophy of good corporate citizenship. He believes Gambling would inevitably result in the destruction of Branson's economic roots saying "if a large casino were established the theater industry disappear."