Missouri’s lawmakers have been looking to expand the state’s gambling industry this year. It now seems that officials are looking to add a new casino to one of the state’s most popular tourist destinations. One new bill has just been presented here to allow a lake of the Ozarks casino.
Many in the state are excited to see these plans presented. Several steps still need to be taken in order for a casino to open its doors, though.
Here’s what you need to know!
More Details on the Lake of the Ozarks Casino Plans Have Surfaced
Missouri has never gained a reputation as a major gambling hub. Things may be starting to change, though. Lawmakers in the state have been pushing to allow new forms of gambling. They have also been discussing the pros and cons of allowing new casinos in different areas of the state.
The Osage Nation is one of the state’s most prolific gambling operators. This tribal group has been pushing hard to open new casinos in Missouri. It has seemed particularly interested in opening a Class III casino at the Lake of the Ozarks, even narrowing down a specific area that could welcome the gambling venue.
More information on the Lake of the Ozarks Casino plans is starting to come out. House Joint Resolution 127 was filed by State Rep. Ron Hicks earlier this month. Public approval of this bill will amend the state’s constitution and allow for a casino to open in the area of Lake of the Ozarks.
The Osage Nation claims it is prepared to invest $60 million into a gambling venue here. Osage River Gaming released a statement on these plans to the media this week.
“Osage River Gaming worked with Rep. Hicks and others on behalf of a larger coalition of Lake of the Ozarks area businesses that support a level tax and regulatory playing field for all Missouri businesses. Passage of HJR 127 will have a significant positive economic impact on the Lake area economy…” The statement said. “The facility will generate at least $100 million of new net revenue annually to the Lake area economy and $26 million in state and local tax revenue. HJR 127 is a win-win for the lake area economy and has strong support from the Lake area business community.”
Many residents will likely support this move. Anti-gambling groups will likely push against these plans, though. We’ll be sure to provide updates on this bill’s progress as the year goes on.
Is Missouri Set to Legalize Sports Betting in 2022?
Lawmakers in Missouri are focused on more than just casino expansion. Various lawmakers in the House and Senate are also pushing to legalize sports betting in the state. More than half the country has already chosen to do so since 2018.
It appears this issue is beginning to gain bipartisan support. Senate Bill 764 was presented earlier this year by a group of pro-sports betting lawmakers. The goal of this bill is to allow both retail and online sportsbooks to operate in the state.
Many state officials are already showing their support for this bill. These lawmakers have seen how much tax revenue other nearby states such as Illinois and Tennessee are earning from their legal sports betting industries. Missouri is home to a large sports fan base and would likely generate a huge amount of revenue each month, as well.
It’s likely that the House and Senate will need to come to specific agreements on this move. That includes deciding where the tax revenue earned from regulated sportsbooks will be allocated.
Gambling fans in Missouri have reason to celebrate. Sports betting may soon become available and a Lake of the Ozarks casino may be just around the corner. Stay tuned for more information on these new gaming options!
Illinois Continues Pushing to Open New Casinos
Historically speaking, Illinois has been the true gambling hub of the Midwestern United States. It’s here that many popular casinos are up and running. Sports betting was made legal here in 2020 and the state has quickly turned into one of the most profitable sports gambling destinations in the country.
Lawmakers in Illinois approved a Capital Plan in 2019 allowing for six additional casinos to open in the state. Unfortunately, only one new casino has yet to go under construction. Officials have found it difficult to greenlight these various gambling venues’ plans.
There is still hope that more casinos in the state begin going under construction before the end of the year. That includes a casino in Chicago. Officials continue narrowing down a location for this Chicago casino and it could start going under construction before the end of the year.
Many states in the Midwestern US are working to expand their gaming industries. It will be difficult for these states’ gaming options to truly compete with the ones in Illinois, though.
Are you excited to hear about the Lake of the Ozarks casino plans? Do you think construction on this property will begin this year? Let us know in the comments section below!