St. Louis Public Radio News
5:39 pm
Mon September 13, 2010

Coalition claims possible Spanish Lake casino bad for economy, environment

ST. LOUIS – A coalition of groups opposed to developing a new casino at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers is sending its message to the state gaming commission.

The Save the Confluence Coalition released a study on Monday that suggests building a new casino in the Spanish Lake area of north St. Louis County would damage natural resources while providing little economic benefit.

Kathleen Logan-Smith, who represents the Confluence Coalition, furthered the findings.

"The gaming commission doesn't like to grant licenses where the community doesn't want the facility and this community doesn't want this facility," Logan-Smith said. "This area is designated for low-density development that complements the natural resources and the natural assets."

Logan-Smith also said that the proposed 377-acre facility would also destroy sensitive flood plain habitat.

Former State Senator John Loudon has served as chair of the Joint Committee on Gaming and Wagering. He said that the region already has too many casinos.

"This is the most saturated place to put a new casino," Loudon said. "Of all the locations to choose, this is the place where it's going to have the greatest effect of robbing from the other casinos and robbing from the local population."

The gaming commission will hold a public meeting in St. Louis on September 28th.

Requests for comment from the casino developer, North County Developer LLC, were not returned.