St. Louis Public Radio News
9:02 am
Mon April 21, 2003

Casino Developer Wants to Build Near MO Bootheel

East Prairie, MO. – A developer wants to build a $300 million casino complex in deep southeastern Missouri, but the residents of the economically depressed Mississippi County aren't sure they want it.

The complex would bring jobs to a county with 8.1% unemployment, but some worry about the extra crime such a casino might bring.

Any proposal needs to go through the state Gaming Commission, which has yet to act on other requests for boats in Caruthersville, Scott City, and Ste. Genevieve. St. Louis County Executive Buzz Westfall also wants a casino near the Jefferson Barracks Bridge.

The complex in Mississippi County would include a casino, amusement park, hotel, golf course and retail centers.

The county has 8.1% unemployment and a 20% poverty rate.