Today the Missouri Gaming Commission nearly tripled the number of people on the state's Exclusion List. These are the gamblers who are banned against their will.
For eight years, from 1997-2005, the Gaming Commission didn't add any names to the list. Until today, there were only 11 names on the Missouri list. Now, there are 29.
Last fall, our investigation found more than 50 alleged associates of the largest Mafia families are banned in New Jersey and Nevada, but not Missouri, or for that matter, Illinois. The Exclusion lists of Missouri and Illinois do not include people involved in cheating schools, or a man who was the principal in a nationwide casino fraud.
Nevada banned Peter Joseph Ribaste 8 years ago for felony convictions in Missouri and his alleged ties to the Kansas City mafia. He wasn't on the Missouri list, but he was added today.
Illinois banned Kang Yu Chang for numerous arrests for gambling and cheating in six states, including Missouri, but he wasn't on the Missouri list until today.
Gene McNary, the Director of the Missouri Gaming Commission, told me that "we're showing leadership."
McNary says he's already making progress on adding the names of gamblers banned in New Jersey and Nevada to the Missouri list.
McNary wants to create a nationwide Exclusion List used by all casinos.
"If someone is excluded from one state they should be excluded from all states," said McNary.