By AP/St. Louis Public Radio
St. Louis, MO – Congressman William Lacy Clay is encouraging the Missouri Gaming Commission to place a casino in north St. Louis County.
Clay sent a letter to the commission's executive director touting the economic benefits of putting a casino in an area that Clay said has "extremely high rates of unemployment."
The Democratic congressman from St. Louis said the casino could bring 1,500 full-time jobs and an economic impact of up to $300 million for the county, its cities and the state.
County Executive Charlie Dooley said he opposes the idea because the development could have a negative environmental impact on the nearby Columbia Bottom Conservation Area.
One of Missouri's 13 casino licenses is up for grabs because of the recent closure of the President Casino in St. Louis. Developers have also expressed interest in placing a casino in the city of St. Louis.