New Osage River Casino Proposal Has Reached Missouri Congress

New Osage River Casino Proposal Has Reached Missouri Congress

Osage River Casino

A Missouri House committee heard a plan that would put a constitutional amendment to expand casino gaming before voters. House Joint Resolution 23 would put a question on the ballot that, if passed, would give the Missouri Gaming Commission permission to grant a license for a casino on the Osage River.

Rep. Jeff Knight, who wrote the bill, said that estimates show a casino near the Lake of the Ozarks could bring in about $100 million a year. According to the Columbia Missourian, the gaming commission puts a 25% tax on casino profits, which bring in about $25 million a year.

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The mayor of Lake Ozark, a city of 2,000 people on the Osage River that is thought to be the most likely place for a casino, said that the city needs about $25 million for improvements it can’t afford.

He blamed a lack of local taxpayers and “meaningful reinvestment” in the city’s hospitality industry over the past 40 or 50 years. Newberry observed that the $2.5 million in annual casino tax revenue that his city would get would bring “many chances” to his community.

One of Lake Ozar’s alderwomen, Krista Watts, said that when she went to a meeting of the state municipal league, the only four members who said they weren’t struggling to make money were those whose cities had casinos. She said that a casino would help Lake Ozark’s seasonal economy by creating more jobs that would be open all year.

Native American nations are not subject to state law, according to the given source, hence, HJR 23 has no direct impact on the Osage Nation’s casino development in Lake Ozark. Kimberly Pearson, chief executive officer of the Osage Nation Gaming Enterprise Board, reported that the Osage have acquired land in Lake Ozark and begun the process of clearing it for development.

House Debate on Osage River Casino

Some people are against an Osage casino at Lake Ozark because it wouldn’t have to pay taxes, which could give it an edge over a possible state casino. Pearson says that even though the Osage didn’t pay taxes, they made up for it by giving money to good causes in the community.

Rocky Miller, a former state representative from Lake Ozark, backed a prior version of the bill but said he was against Knight’s version because it would cement gaming license provisions in the state constitution. Miller, who is Native American, stated that the claim that the Osage would deplete the community was “insulting.”

Many people from the Lake of the Ozarks area spoke out against the bill because they were worried that a casino would make crime worse.

Reps. Josh Hurlbert, R-Smithville, and Jamie Johnson, D-Kansas City, both said that they don’t think the three casinos in the Kansas City metropolitan area have led to more crime in their districts. Rick Moss, the previous mayor of Lake Ozark, opined that a huge casino would attract more customers than local companies and force them out of the market.

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About Lou De Aguila

Lou Aguila is a news and feature writer for Golden Casino News. For over a decade, Lou has published news and featured articles for some of the most reputable sports betting and online casino sites in the world, including BetNow.UK, VegasOdds, and BWin. Apart from being a hardcore live casino punter, he also covers sports stories in North American leagues from time to time.