St. Louis Public Radio News
4:52 pm
Thu April 22, 2010

Missouri Gaming Commission director resigns

St. Louis – The executive director of the Missouri Gaming Commission has resigned.

Gene McNary, a former Republican St. Louis County executive, and the commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service during the presidency of George H.W. Bush, will leave office on July 1. He's served since July 2006.

McNary's resignation comes a day after Governor Jay Nixon appointed two new members to the Commission, and as the state is beginning the process of re-awarding the license currently held by the President Casino.

McNary came under fire earlier this year for his efforts to strip the President of that license. McNary believed the casino's operator, Pinnacle Entertainment, was keeping the boat open despite slumping revenue simply to hold onto the license. Pinnacle sued, but eventually reached an agreement with the Commission that will shutter the casino July 1.

Opponents of casinos, including a proposed one near the Columbia Bottoms conservation area in North County, have alleged that McNary has a personal interest in getting the 13th license up for bid. News reports site various indirect connections between McNary and members of the development group that owns the North County property, but McNary has said he does not know any of the group's principals.

The Commission has named its director of enforcement, Roger Stottlemyre, as McNary's replacement.