Missouri Gaming Commission chair says 13th casino license may go unawarded

Thursday, September 23, 2010 | 1:37 p.m. CDT

CAPE GIRARDEAU — Who will get Missouri's 13th casino license? Maybe no one, according to Missouri Gaming Commission chairman Jim Mathewson, who will be in Cape Girardeau on Monday to lead the public hearing at the River Campus at Southeast Missouri State University.

"Not doing one is an option," said the former state senator from Sedalia. "The law says you can't have more than 13, not that you have to have 13."

While that scenario seems unlikely, Mathewson said he is awaiting a study being done by the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

The questions he wants answered before he votes include:

  • What will the economic impact of a casino be?
  • How much profit will a 13th casino take from the other 12?
  • Would it work better in one part of the state or another?
  • Exactly how much new revenue for the state would a 13th casino create?

"If our study comes out and says that we're not really creating any new revenue, all we're doing is stealing from Peter to pay Paul, what's the point?" Mathewson said.

For reactions from Isle of Capri and Cape Girardeau city officials, check

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