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UMSL study indicates high yields for possible "Casino Celebration" site

(Casino Celebration)
Proposed design of the Celebration casino.

By Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

ST. LOUIS – A company seeking to build a casino at the site of the old Chain of Rocks Bridge in North St. Louis said that their location would earn the most money for Missouri.

The company, Casino Celebration purchased an economic impact study from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Greg Smith is an attorney representing Casino Celebration. He said that the data from the study indicates that Alton's Argosy casino would be their primary competitor.

Smith also said that the study indicates the north city location would vastly outperform competing sites in Cape Girardeau and Sugar Creek.

"This particular opportunity at the Chain of Rocks Bridge will produce the greatest revenue for the state of Missouri, some $85 million in new gaming revenue," Smith said. "And will, in only a slight way, impact the other licensees in the marketplace."

Smith said that Casino Celebration stands to generate as much as 20 million more in tax revenue than the Cape Girardeau site, and over 40 million more than Sugar Creek.

Located next to Interstate 270 and the Chain of Rocks Bridge, the casino would draw large numbers of gamblers back from Illinois, according to Smith.

"As a result we will be able to capture $51 million from what is currently Argosy's market," Smith said.

And, unlike the fourth proposed site in north St. Louis County-the Chain of Rocks location is not a sensitive wetland area.

However, some question the ability of the St. Louis market to sustain a 7th Casino.

Earlier this week Missouri Gaming Commission Chairman Jim Mathewson said there is nothing forcing the state to grant the 13th gaming license.

The state gaming commission will hold a public hearing in St. Louis on Tuesday.


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