One license is left and there’s plenty of interest in who will get it.
It is the remaining license to operate a casino in Missouri. The Missouri Gaming Commission begins accepting applications Tuesday. The filing period ends September first. Missouri law allows 13 casino licenses. The President Casino on the St. Louis Riverfront is giving up its license. There seems to be plenty of competition for the 13th and final license.
Gaming Commission Executive Director Gene McNary says the commission will seek plenty of input before settling on who gets the license. Some of the input is likely to come from casino owners claiming their market is too crowded.
“We know that the existing casinos probably will show various economic data that the market is saturated and that all we will be doing is dividing the same pie in more ways rather than increasing the size of the pie,” according to McNary.
The commission has already laid a foundation for its decision. Commission members met with the industry on May 11th to discuss the overall health of the industry. They again met May 18th with communities, casinos and interested parties about the licensing process. By June 15th, licensed casinos in Missouri will have submitted their economic analysis to the State Department of Economic Development. The department should have a preliminary economic analysis on each applicant prepared for the Missouri Gaming Commission by the end of July.
Feedback should be available to applicants by August first. Those applicants not being seriously considered will be cautioned on proceeding. They can either heed the caution and not risk the $50,000 filing fee due September first or can look for ways to beef up their applications and forge ahead.
McNary says the commission will assess the effect on the region, the number of jobs projected, the revenue stream expected.
“With the cap on the casinos and only one available at the present time, there’s a lot of interest and it’s kind of a statewide consideration and that’s why the economic analysis is so important so the commission can be guided as to what serves the best interest of the state,” McNary says.
Interest has been expressed in St. Louis and St. Charles, but also in the Kansas City area community of Sugar Creek as well as Cape Girardeau.