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Thursday, April 10, 2008


The Missouri Gaming Commission would be prohibited from licensing any new casinos until 2010 under legislation that won first-round House approval on April 2. Supporters say the moratorium is needed to gage the strength of the gambling market, particularly in the Kansas City area, where Missouri casinos will soon face competition from new facilities in Kansas.

As currently written, however, HB 1929 would prevent the licensing of casino that is already under construction in St. Louis County. When the Gaming Commission approves a new casino it doesn’t issue a license until after construction in completed.

The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Shannon Cooper, R-Clinton, said he will seek changes so the St. Louis facility isn’t affected. Opponents of the bill say the market – not an arbitrary limit imposed by the state – should determine how many casinos operate in Missouri.

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