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Suitors lining up for Missouri's 13th casino license

The President Casino on the Admiral (KWMU photo)

By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio


Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Gaming Commission hosted an informal meeting Tuesday for several groups vying for the license currently used to operate the President Casino, which is scheduled to close by July.

Of the 15 entities that have expressed interest, four want to use the casino license in Cape Girardeau. David Knight, co-partner of Dream Big LLC, says Cape Girardeau is the last major metro area on the state's two main rivers without a casino.

"You see the saturation in the St. Louis market and the Kansas City market is pretty evident with the opening of the new casinos in Missouri, and unfortunately one in Kansas City, Kansas," Knight said.

But advocates for casino sites in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas were also on hand, giving brief talks on why they should be awarded the state's 13th license.

Gene McNary, Executive Director of the Gaming Commission, says market saturation will be a factor in considering who gets the license.

"If we issue another license (in the same area), will we just be taking away from (an) existing casino's business, in other words, more pieces of the same pie, or would it grow the pie and create more jobs and more revenue?" McNary said.

After the President Casino closes, Missouri will have four casinos in the St. Louis area, four in the Kansas City area, and the rest are in small towns along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. There are also two casinos on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River across from St. Louis.

A decision is expected by September first.


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