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Riverboat closes and new casino opens

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – The Casino Queen riverboat in East St. Louis closes tonight (Wednesday) at six.

The new casino located in what used to be a parking lot will open Thursday night at 8 p.m.

The casino floor is actually floating on water to stay within the so-called "boat in a moat" law approved by the Illinois legislature.

But Casino Queen general manager Tom Monaghan says visitors won't know their on a barge.

"It's seamless; you would never know it at all," Monaghan said. "There's 340,000 gallons of water under the casino floor, but you'll never know it was there."

It's the first of Illinois' nine casinos to move inland.

The project cost $90 million and is the first of three phases of the casino's expansion.

Monaghan says he's in talks with two companies interested in buying the Casino Queen riverboat and operating it elsewhere.


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