A proposed constitutional amendment that would authorize a riverboat casino near the Lake of the Ozarks could be heading to the Missouri House floor soon, after being approved by two committees.

State Rep. Rocky Miller, R-Lake Ozark, speaks on the Missouri House floor in Jefferson City on May 17, 2019 (file photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

The proposal from State Rep. Rocky Miller, R-Lake Ozark, would authorize a boat on the Osage River, between the Bagnell Dam and the Missouri River.

“All (the bill) it really does is put out to a vote of the people adding the Osage River to the possibility of getting a license, if one becomes available in the future,” Miller says.

Currently, riverboat gambling in Missouri is only allowed along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. The Missouri Gaming Commission regulates casino gambling.

Missouri’s 13 riverboat casino licenses are all currently taken. It’s capped at 13 as a result of Proposition A, which was approved by voters in 2008. Proposition A also repealed loss limits and increased the casino gambling tax from 20 to 21 percent.

Miller has filed House Joint Resolution 87, which is a proposed constitutional amendment. He tells Missourinet that a casino would do well along the Osage River, if it’s done right.

“It has to be where it’s a benefit to the community and to the state,” says Miller. “And the way to ensure that is to make sure it goes through the legislative process, and that’s what we’re doing here today,” he said during a recent Statehouse interview.

Miller’s proposal was approved by the House Special Committee on Government Oversight on a 3-2 vote. It was approved by the Rules Committee on a 6-1 vote.

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